Tale from the trail (9): the small things matter

When we set of on our trip of a lifetime we packed everything we would own for the next year into our panniers. It didn’t worry me to pack light, it almost felt like a relief. We had carefully selected each and every item in those panniers and would grow to love, or hate, them in the next few months.

The space was limited and everything we took with us would weigh us down when cycling, so we spent a lot of time selecting what to take with us and what to leave behind. Each of us had some ‘luxury’ items we refused to leave behind, but mostly our bags were packed with what we needed.

After a few weeks of cycling we knew our panniers like the back of our hand. We got rid of a few items we didn’t need as much as we thought and bought a few extra bits and bobs we missed after all. When travelling light it can sometimes be hard to predict which pieces you’ll love and which you’ll hate.

An item I ended up loving was one I picked up last-minute and almost left home without: my hiking sandals. I had decided to bring an extra pair of footwear with me to wear in the evenings and on resting days. I remember making fun of them with my best friend, they aren’t particularly stylish and I was seriously considering wearing them with socks (which, of course, I did). Before long I was wearing them every day and didn’t bother packing them in my panniers, that way I could slip them on immediately when we got on our destination.

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My sandal with socks!

One day we were cycling through a bigger city and I was getting annoyed with the traffic rushing by. My legs were getting tired from having to stop-and-go all the time and honestly I was fed up with everything. It was one of ‘those’ days, you know, where things just seems off and everything is somehow incredibly annoying. After cycling for what seemed like an eternity we stopped for yet another red light and my boyfriend casually remarked: ‘hey, did you manage to fit your sandals in your panniers again?’. And I just replied with: ‘uhm, no… why?!’

I turned around to look and they were gone, my lovely sandals were no longer dangling from my top bag and were nowhere to be seen. I was shocked, got mad and turned my bike around to start cycling back. I was not going to leave one of my few luxury items behind. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to find my first sandal. It was lying in the middle of a busy road and cars were rushing by. I saw a car drive over it right before I could reach it. It actually made me cry when I saw that the sandal survived and looked good as ever.

With tears I my eyes I continued my quest for the second one. I pedalled on a while longer but eventually gave up and turned my bike back around. When I almost reached my boyfriend again I saw it. I saw my second sandal. It was lying in some bushes, but was perfectly intact. I was so happy I started sobbing again.

When we set camp for the night, I wore my sandals and I was happy as could be. While travelling, a small luxury, like sandals, can have an immense impact on your quality of life. I loved and wore those sandals every day for a year and they are still going strong. Every time I see them I am reminded of how I almost lost them. It might seem silly to care so much about a pair of sandals, but they were a huge comfort to me and putting them on at the end of a long day felt like coming home.

Do you have an item that makes you feel at home while travelling?

17 thoughts on “Tale from the trail (9): the small things matter

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  1. This is a good question! I actually don’t think I have anything in particular that I take travelling with me to remind me of home. Im actually really surprised with myself because I’m such a homebody it’s strange for me to not have something.
    I love the story behind your sandals 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this! I don’t travel as much as I’d like (tough with kids) but good shoes are a must! I totally get the necessity of bringing along an item of “luxury.” I’m following–can’t wait to read more of your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a lovely post! I can totally imagine your total joy when you saw that second sandal! Phew!!

    My grandma has a similar story about a pair of flip flops that she lost when the sea came in quickly and washed them out too far for her to see in Ireland.

    A few weeks later she was walking along a different beach (about 25km away) and one of her flip flops washed into shore on a wave! She was pretty happy to find it, so we all kept our eyes out for the second shoe. In the end, a few hours later, we found the second flip flop!! 😀 Those flip flops lasted a few more years, so she had lots of chances to tell people about their mini cruise.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow. I almost felt what you felt while reading your blog and was so happy that you found the second one at the last moment. You write very well.

    For me I have a pair of flipflops that I use when I retire to my room everytime I travel. When I wear them in my hotel room I feel so much at peace and home. Once I forgot to pack them and surely missed them a lot.

    https://lobouniverse.com/life-insights/lfl-30-how-disrespect-can-lead-to-mental-abuse/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful story! I think we all have a possession (or 20) that have special meaning to us. I was so glad to read that you got your sandals back. I have a favorite pair of shoes I wear after a long run that are just soooo comfortable, but they provide no support. One time I wore them to walk around town BEFORE a race, and my feet were so sore the next day, I could barely run. I learned my lesson! Now I just wear them to relax AFTER a run! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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