Memoire of the Traveling Chucks

IMG_7775.PNGOf all the items sitting in your closet or dresser right now, is there one that has an exceptional story to tell?

Maybe it’s a ring that was passed down from your grandmother to your mom to you.

Or the SF Giants shirt you’ve worn for a week straight during the last three World Series they’ve won. Forget Panda or MadBum, you just know they’ve won because of that raggedy t-shirt. You have newer shirts, without the beer stains and tug marks, but they don’t have that same story to tell.

Mine are my classic black Chuck Taylors.

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Dublin, Ireland

I bought them before I left for Europe. I needed a pair of shoes that I could wear with almost anything. Because when you’re living out of a suitcase and lugging it onto planes, trains and subways, every single thing in your bag needs to serve a purpose.

So if you’re that chick who brings 5 pairs of shoes to a weekend getaway, this life is not for you.

In my Chucks I could stand in crowded trains in London during rush hour, climb three flights of stairs to my flat in Barcelona with bags of groceries, and hike the hills of Cinque Terre.

When I traveled alone, those damn shoes ended up in a lot more of my photos than I did! I hated taking selfies. I felt so awkward. And I felt even MORE awkward asking a complete stranger to take my picture.

So I took “shoe selfies”: My Chucks in front of the docks at Riomaggiore, my Chucks at Parc Guell in Barcelona, my Chucks on beautiful sidewalks in Nice and Dublin.

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Nice, France

My shoe selfies may not be the most Instagram-worthy pictures.

In fact, I never posted most of the photos I took. But when I look at those busted-up Chucks, with the faded laces and scuff marks, I smile.

I smile remembering the places they’ve taken me. I smile thinking about how I got sick of wearing the same 7 outfits but somehow, my Chucks went perfectly with all of them. I never got tired of wearing them.

Even on those nights when I took myself on a date, and sat at a brasserie alone on a Thursday night with my glass of Sangiovese, I wore my Chucks. And I gave a satisfied smile as I watched droves of club-hopping high-heeled girls stumble on the cobblestone roads, like drunken little newborn fawns.

I can’t do that shit anymore. Because COMFORT > EVERYTHING. I’ll bust out some heels every now and then, but not when I travel.

My Chucks may not be sexy. They may not be classicly feminine. But I was wearing those Chucks the day I met my fiancé in London last year, paired with a backwards snapback cap by FR£SH State Property.

And he thought I was so damn fly, he put a ring on it. Psshhh. **flips hair**

Now that I’m back in Cali, I’m afraid to wear them. I don’t want to erase the adventures they’ve had.

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Parc Guell, Barcelona

Maybe I’ll just keep them in my closet, until a new journey comes calling. Or maybe I’ll give them to my (unborn) daughter one day, when she tells me how she wants to experience other worlds besides her own.

And I hope they bring her the same magic.

 

 

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3 comments

  1. Ems Sicangco · December 16, 2014

    You and your Chucks have definitely had good memories. Mine are my ankle boots whose soles are now almost worn out due to over-traveling. 😄

    • Mariela · December 17, 2014

      That’s awesome Ems. Will you ever get rid of them? I’ll probably keep mine until I wear them to shreds. lol

  2. Ems Sicangco · December 17, 2014

    I guess I won’t be able to. They’re now hibernating but not long until our next adventure. Teehee

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