February 1, 2010

Two Left Shoes

the evidence
the evidence

If you caught this one in our August 2008 newsletter, forgive me for repeating it – it just happens to be my favorite travel story.

Flexibility is key to any good adventure and I can hardly think of a better example than this: our friend Sam, at the tender – but never awkward – age of 14, packed for a family safari in a big rush. She ended up in Tanzania with two left shoes. Since she’s an admirably light packer they also happened to be her only pair of shoes, except for flip flops. We were unable to find anything in her size before leaving town for the remote national parks, so Sam cheerfully donned those two left shoes every time we went out. She wore them without complaint or apology for two weeks, and always with a smile.

Needing some follow up, I wrote to see how things are now she is back home. To which my friend Sam wrote: “Yes… my feet have recovered. I actually had to wear two right shoes for a while because I was at my mom’s house and the two left ones were at my dad’s house. So maybe that helped, too….”

I know there is something to be learned in this story – something about packing, and humor, and the value of never letting the unexpected interfere with your good time. Maybe we should all wear two left shoes as a reminder.