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A Goodbye Letter To My Travel Flip Flops

by Meg · 24 comments

Dear Beloved Left Foot Havaiana,

I purchased you (and your right foot twin) my Senior year in college.  You were cute, comfortable, and matched with everything I wore.  5 years later, you were still holding strong.  So in January, 2012, I packed you in my backpack to take you on a year-long journey around the world.

Havaianas flip flops

I wore you every single day on my 365-day trip exploring 13 different countries around the globe.

You were there for me on the Inca Trail in Peru when I needed sandals to enter the outdoor bathroom.

You were there for me in Paris when it was cold and rainy out and I refused to wear my big hiking boots in such a stylish city (maybe not our best day ever).

You were the perfect companion to have on my many beach days in Asia.

I took you to some amazing places… But I also put you through hell with all the travel this year.

But then today…

In Hawaii…

On the VERY LAST DAY of my RTW trip and right before I end up back where it all started (on the East Coast), you finally broke on me.

havaianas sandal

Having a shoe or sandal break is normally a crisis, but in this situation, I consider it a blessing.

You have been so good to me for the past 6 years… and I have really been pretty awful (Inca trail toilets? Seriously? How did you survive those?!?!).

You were  especially magnificent this past year.  You loved me so much that you did your very best to stay with me as long as you could.  It is almost as if you were saying to me “you had a good year Meg.  But it’s time to go home now.”

Left Foot Havaiana, I will miss you very much and will think of you often when I relive all the wonderful memories we shared together traveling the world.

To honor your memory, I shall lay you to rest here in beautiful Hawaii.

24 Hour Tombstones

Rest in peace buddy!

About Meg
Exhausted from traveling every week as a Business Management Consultant early in my career, I took a year off in 2012 to travel at my own pace. I am a high-energy girl that loves being active, eating food, drinking wine, and exploring the world with my partner-in-crime (and husband), Tony! I now reside in Portland, Oregon and continue to write about travel, food, wine, and the awesome adventures we have in the Pacific NW!

photo by: L. Marie
Sarah February 6, 2013 at 2:44 am

Oh no! This is so sad! I had some green Teva flipflops and I loved them so much – they were with me on my first big trip to Cambodia and Thailand and I wore them for at least 6 summers. Last summer they died in Mexico at a gasstation when I slipped on some motor oil. I took a goodbye picture of them and kissed them before I put them away 😀 BUT: Two weeks ago I found the SAME flippies in a store in my hometown. I bought 3 pairs of them. Now I´m prepared for my next trip 😉

Meg February 6, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Awesome story Sarah! Its always crucial to give a good pair of sandals a proper funeral… They are like pets! So glad you were able to find them again though!

Alexandra February 6, 2013 at 8:18 am

By some Locals or Uluas before leaving Hawaii!

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

OOoO I have never heard of those… Thanks for the tip!

Michael February 6, 2013 at 8:56 am

Lol this is so cute.

I lose flipflops every couple months or less. Mine never last that long.

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Mike! I usually don’t have good luck with flips but this pair in particular stuck with me for 6 year…. It was pretty hard to part with them yesterday!

Caroline @ Traveling 9 to 5 February 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

I’m impressed they lasted so long! I went through at least 3 sets in a year.

Hawaii also killed my most recent pair! Hawaiian Red Dirt and White Flips don’t mix!

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Oh no! I forgot about the red dirt. I still have to figure out how I am going to get that stuff out of my sneaks!

Lauren February 6, 2013 at 10:44 am

Nooo! Been there. Now contemplating buying a backup pair of havianas in preparation for the next blowout.

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:51 pm

I highly recommend a pair of havianas! They treated me well :-)

carol riley February 6, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Oh, I know. I had a terrible time parting with my shoes that walked the Great Wall of China. Somehow, it seemed as if they brought an international flavor to my house!!

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

It going to feel so weird not packing them in my backpack when I head home today… it’s the end of an era!

Allie @6000 Miles to Home February 6, 2013 at 1:21 pm

You are too funny Meg! Gotta love a good Haviana, glad she treated you right!

Meg February 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

haha Thanks Allie… They even survived a Tuscan Farm! After 6 years of good use, I know what brand I am sticking to from now on!

Magz February 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

What a fitting tribute.

Now it’s time to come play with me in the Northeast – I’ll get you a new fleece lined boot to replace that flip flop :)

Meg February 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

Don’t tease me Mugz! I want a pair of fluffy booties so bad right now! I may even have you bring me some tonight at the Hyatt… Yeah that’s right: I’m giving you errands through my blog. These are desperate times!!!

Stephanie - The Travel Chica February 6, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I feel your pain. I wore holes through two pair of Teva flip-flops (the simple ones, not the fancy ones). I remember how sad I was when I had to toss them.

Meg February 7, 2013 at 8:29 am

Its the worst! I actually am thinking I might buy a pair of Teva’s… As much as I love my simple flips, I slipped around a lot in them. I love the Teva’s backstrap… I am super clumsy, so they would help keep me in line!

JR February 9, 2013 at 9:59 am

Meg, what a cute story and wonderfully cute picture. I can say that I never had the emotional tie to a pair of FFs. I now realize what a hole I have created in my life. I am looking out the window in Boston at 22 inches of snow and thinking of wearing FFs soon however.

Meg February 9, 2013 at 11:32 am

haha snow or no snow, we are looking forward to seeing you in Boston JR… No need for flips there!

Stacey February 17, 2013 at 11:40 pm

The same thing happened to my sandals when I was in Japan. I had them for years and then I tripped and fell. And sadly the sandal split in half. I became creative and used the Japanese equivalent to duct tape and I decorated the heck out of it. I took pictures and said goodbye to them once I got back in the states. I feel your pain :(

Meg February 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

Awesome story Stacey and thanks for sharing! Duct tape also came in handy for us during our RTW trip. My backpack got all damaged and I had to tape the entire thing…. But I thought it looked really cool how I decorated it with tape. It made me feel like a backpacker pro!

Ali February 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

I love this! Such a cute post. Gotta love the irony of your flip flop giving out on you on the very last day of your RTW trip! I hope your replacement pair is just as awesome!

Meg February 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

Thanks Ali. It was sooo strange that it broke on our very last day of our trip… So bittersweet! After 6 years of hard wear and tear (especially this past year), I definitely am buying another pair of Havaianas!

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