Many of us are chomping at the bit to hit the road again and explore and discover some new and exciting places.
The pandemic has taught us not to take things for granted and embrace the world we live in. And that is something which has been a mantra for Rob and Paul Forkan.
The brothers were on a family trip to Sri Lanka in 2004 when their parents Kevin and Sandra died saving their young siblings Matt (12) and Rosie (9) from a tsunami which killed 280,000 people.
The following 12 months were spent in total shock, but suddenly they decided to travel again and during a trip to Australia, Rob and Paul decided to set up their own firm selling travel products using material and styles their parents loved.
Gandys International was born. The name was a tribute to Rob’s nickname of Gandhi as a young child and the brothers started off with their own impressive style of flip flops, graduating to clothes and travel gear.
One of the latest is a Flags of the World Sand Bali Backpack (£64.99), which would be a great present for any traveller.
The Gandy brothers had been on a four year family trip around the world when the tragedy struck and the backpack is inspired by those travels. It is made from waxed cotton and has been decorated with high quality embroidered badges, with padded shoulder straps and a back panel.
It also has multiple internal and external zip pockets and a hidden pocket at the back for your most valuable items. There is a laptop sleeve, external bottle pockets and the bag is two litres.
One of the great things about buying from the Gandys is that a percentage of your money goes towards the brothers’ projects to help vulnerable children around the world.
After setting up their first kids campus in Sri Lanka, to help look after and teach disadvantaged children, the brothers are now working on their fifth campus in Mongolia. Working with the Veloo Foundation, the campus should be complete by the end of the year and will provide education and essential learning tools. With 70 per cent of the population living under the poverty level, the goal is to stop children scavenging on the garbage dumps of survival, before it becomes generational.
And maybe one day, those children can travel and explore the world too.
For more information on the backpack and to read the brothers inspiring story via their book, ‘Tsunami Kids: Our Journey from Survival to Success’, please visit www.gandysinternational.com
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs courtesy of Gandys International