Stuff update

Content warning: This post is really boring and self-indulgent, and I definitely overthink clothes-buying. You probably don't want to read it.

If you know me at all (or read my logs) you know I only buy clothes about once a year (though I bought a secondhand hoodie in Prague in february, not sure if this makes what I'm about to write about my second shopping trip of 2018) and also I only buy secondhand stuff (except for underwear). This isn't about cost, though that helps, but a determination to make as little dent in the world as possible with my material consumption habits. I also have a one-in one-out policy with new stuff because my backpack is at capacity.

Since it's out of character and I feel bad about it, I'm writing about why I bought stuff from SportsDirect in Poland over the past few days.

Bag

My daypack broke on Saturday. I got it in Japan in Nov 2016, it folds into a little pocket to clip onto my big backpack when not in use, and has lasted way longer than I expected. I thought the straps or seams would go, especially as I use it for carrying my laptop. But uh, the zips fell off. They just disappeared. I do not know how to repair this, and it's a pretty critical piece of my day-to-day infrastructure. So I needed a replacement STAT.

I happened to know of an extremely compact ~12eur pack in SportsDirect, so I thought I'd not waste time searching around and just get it. It's not as good as my old one - no side pockets, and the case it packs into is separate rather than attached - but it folds to about one quarter of the size and seems pretty solid.

A composite image of the same small green backpack on a floor, on the right open out and on the left folded in on itself into a pocket A black and grey small backpack and a little pouch A stuffed black pouch hanging from a bigger backpack

This is what led to the buying of the rest of the things.

Shoes

For a few months I've been down to my running shoes and my walking boots. So I've wanted something else to serve as sandals/casual shoes/shoes-I-can-wear-with-a-dress-without-looking-like-a-person-who-only-owns-running-shoes-and-walking-boots.

Also, my boots are terrible. I got them from a secondhand shop in Bosnia. They look fine, and have good ankle support. They're not waterproof on top, and the right one has sprung a leak in the sole. 30% of the time they're not comfortable (not enough to make me ditch them, but often enough to be really annoying). They're two sizes too big so I always have to wear chunky walking socks with them. And they're freaking huge, inflexible, hard to pack, slow to put on and take off, generally in the way whilst travelling.

Mostly I find myself wearing the boots whilst on the move (because I can't pack them), the running shoes the rest of the time, until my feet cry out for a change of scene and I have to wear the boots for a couple of days. I mostly wear my running shoes for hikes too because my boots are too annoying.

But I need something that's not my running shoes, because they're gonna wear out quickly, I'm sick of getting them full of sand at the beach, and my feet need a break from them sometimes.

I had been mentally prepping to hit secondhand shops and street markets in the Tri-City area for sandals this week. But then I found walking sandles and squishy beach pumps in SportsDirect.

The sandals are good quality, I found a kids size that fits (cheaper), I think they look nice, are small and lightweight, and they are really comfy. They were ~25eur. Given how much serious hiking I actually use my walking boots for at the moment, I can definitely now ditch the boots in favour of these sandles. I'll reconsider next time I need to climb Everest, or go somewhere with winter, obviously.

I would totally wear walking sandals with a dress and consider myself dressed up, but then I spotted the beach pumps. Also comfy, lightweight, fold totally flat and from a distance look potentially smart. Sure they have a little cartoon fish on them.. these may also be kids shoes.. but whatever. They're less obviously walking sandals. They're also much quicker to slip on and off, and clearly designed to get wet and dry fast, so will be useful in gross hostel showers, actually at the beach, and whatever. They were less than 10eur.

I spent ten minutes agonising and trying both pairs on before deciding that collectively they still take up less space than my boots, and I will definitely wear both of them a lot, so I can justify both.

A pair of large tan and blue laceup boots beside a pair of pink and purple running shoes A pair of black beach pumps beside a pair of black and khaki walking sandles

Other stuff

I also bought socks :o First new socks since circa Boston 2015, half of which are getting thin in the heels and soles and I can finally throw out.

In Vienna I borrowed my sister's running belt, a fabulous stretchy zip pocket that fits all the things inside but is super light and folds up small. I tried to uh acquire it from her, but she wouldn't let me have it. I found a very similar one SportsDirect for ~10eur so I just bought it. I need to reduce barriers to running, and this isn't the kind of thing secondhand shops have in abundance. I later checked Amazon and the decent looking ones aren't much cheaper.

Aaaand I bought a pair of shorts. Definitely something I should be able to pick up at a secondhand shop or market, but I have pretty specific requirements on the shorts I want (they need to simultaneously work as running shorts, pyjamas and nice leaving the house shorts, obviously have pockets, and not clash with any of my shirts).. they were there, and cheap, and super comfy and met my requirements and I'm really sick of not having shorts.

A mound of bright coloured ankle socks A black belt with a zip pocket A pair of soft black shorts

Also out of charcter, everything I bought was black :o

Stuff out

Before I leave Poland I'll find someone who'll take clothes donations, for distribution or recycling, and leave behind:

stuff in a heap on the floor: brown walking boots, pink and blue shorts/skirt, dark blue tshirt, light yellow tshirt, dark blue winter coat

🏷 travel life https://rhiaro.co.uk/tags/stuff