It's Better to Travel than Arrive?

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive"

Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginibus Puerisque, 1881.

"Robert Louis Stevenson speaks utter tosh and has

obviously never flown long haul economy class"

Kristy, first ever blog post, 2011.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

These Boots Were Made for Walking?

These boots were made for riding actually.  Riding like a cowboy (swoon).  I have an admission to make, I love cowboy boots.  I may actually have an addiction.  I've got five pairs, including a hot pink ostrich skin pair from Arizona that I bought to wear to a rodeo three years ago - and I wore them precisely once, but I love them, and no, I'm not ever giving them away.

Anyway, I love cowboy boots.  I wear my fave pair of boots year round, and when I put them on in the morning I can wear them all day with no problems.  I've worn them walking dogs, riding horses, in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants.

One thing you need to know about travelling is that, on some holidays, you do a lot of walking.  And when you do a lot of walking you need shoes that are really, really comfortable.  You need to know that they're going to be really comfortable and you need to have broken them in before you start trying to wear them all day.

I'm not talking about shoes for walking holidays here, heavens no!  Trust me, I'm not a "walking holiday" type of person, but you'd be surprised how much walking you do on a day in London, or in NYC.  If you actually want to see things in the cities you're visiting, you need to walk.  Of course, if you've won the lottery you can take taxis and skim over the surface of the places, but to actually experience a place, you need to walk.

No matter how much I love my cowboy boots, I discovered that I can't wear them if I'm going to be walking all day on holiday.  I can certainly wear them all day at home, from the car to the house, walking through the supermarket, sitting on the sofa, taking the dog for a 30 minute walk or doing the housework, but last year halfway through London's Hyde Park I started feeling a blister on the sole of my left foot.  There were no taxis and I still had a 30 minute walk home to our lovely friend Jim's apartment in Paddington.

By the time I got home, pretty much the entire sole of my left foot was a massive blister and I wasn't a happy bunny.  Luckily I had a pair of hiking boots at Jim's and I could hobble around for the rest of the trip with thick socks and hiking boots, but what I'm trying to say is that you need to think about what you're going to be doing when you're travelling and pack appropriate footwear.

I know hiking boots aren't terribly chic for posh cities, but I'm a big fan of bootleg jeans, and with the right length jean you can't actually see much except the toe of your hiking boot and you can get away with wearing them into fab shops and cafes - no-one can see and you'll be so very comfy.

The only shoes I've found I can wear all day in summer are Birkenstock Gizeh thongs (or flip flops for you US readers).  When we lived in Bangkok I wore them all day, every day, for 18 months.  Not only did they not wear out, I was comfy and you can also wear them on the beach or by the pool.  Birki Gizeh rock my world!  One note about Birkis, make sure you're fitted for your first pair.  You can buy subsequent pairs cheaper from the web, but fitting the first pair is pretty crucial for ongoing comfort.

Step out in style if you can, but definitely, whatever you do, step out in comfort
if you're planning on a glorious day at the shops in your holiday city.

Happy feet = happy holiday.


  1. You'd fit in well in Calgary with your cowboy boots! Can we please go for lunch soon and can you PLEASE, PLEASE wear the pink boots!

  2. Would love to have lunch, but have my parents visiting from Australia at the mo. June is looking good! Am worried that if I wear my boots they might take away my residency - they're very "out there" for this town. Still want to try the sushi?

  3. This post is so true. I've been caught out a number of times when I've picked the wrong shoes. It's something so basic, but really can damper the rest of your trip! GREAT advice! Know thy shoes!


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