Eli from Freewaters sent me my second ‘installment’ of sandals, from the 2013 line coming out in January, and it was a little ironic to open a box of 5 shiny new flip flops while a windstorm blew outside with -2` temperatures in Reykjavik. I realized I wouldn’t get much use out of them here, at least not now, but I have a trip coming up in December to Morocco and Portugal to look forward to. Although, I am flying with some (dreaded) cheap airlines with all sorts of carry on baggage restrictions, and doubt Ill pack all 5 pairs with me. How to choose which ones to take and which ones to leave? My goal has sort of been to get as much mileage out of each pair in as many sandal-friendly places as possible, letting each pair tell a story from the wear and tear of all my steps.
Then, I had this marvelous idea – do you remember the movie ‘The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,’ based on the novel by Ann Brashares? Why not have one pair of sandals travel between travelers and us correspond among eachother about where they went and what happened in them? It could be the backpackhers hood of the traveling sandals… or something like that… Im going to keep a logbook of everyone that wears them, where they go and how far they walk, until the traveler who is unlucky enough to see their last day finally buries them. Then Ill be sure to write a blog about it.
From my first few pairs of sandals, most are still in perfect shape, minus a few scratches here and there, but I buried my only pair of Freewaters in St. Martin in the French West Indies. I was standing in Marigot harbour, rushing to pay for my ferry ticket to St. Barthelemy, and as I ran to board the ferry, my right foot Cape Town sandal tore between the toes. I stood there for a lamenting second, feeling sad and sorry for the perfectly good left shoe I now had to leave behind too, and then slipped them both off and jumped on the ferry bare foot. As we pushed off, I saw the ticket validating guy stroll casually over to the pair of shoes, pick up the right one, and start to try to fix it. He looked up at me and waved at me with my broken shoe, and yelled something in creole french I don’t remember. But I yelled back, ‘Good Luck, you can keep them!’
Eli sent me a new pair of Cape Towns, and they will become the Traveling Freewaters Sandals, since those were the shoes who made it the furthest, and so far, created the best stories. I already have one traveler lined up to break them in; my friend Solveig from Iceland is taking them to Brazil for Carnival in Feburary. She gets back in the beginning of March, and will hand them back over to me. Then I’m thinking of taking them skiing in the Swiss Alps (to wear inside the saunas of course) or wine tasting in Italy, but they’re always up for grabs again between trips. All you need is to have shoe size 37-38, have a trip planned to somewhere flip-flop friendly, and send me your name, mailing address, and promise to return them with an accompanying travel story. So, if you’re going somewhere now or before February, or after March, send me a message!