So it would seem that life has a way of getting in the way of things and plans have a way of changing. This has been the case for Jay and I over the past month. We had the next year roughly planned out (more or less) and all those plans came tumbling down as other plans squeezed their way into our lives. PCT plans have been pushed back since I have to attend my graduation ceremony in May and my brother gets married in August so it just wouldn’t be worth all the flying back and forth. And considering we would be jobless, paying for all those flights would get expensive. So those plans have been pushed back and new plans have been put in place but those won’t be disclosed until there is actual progress and the plans are concrete.
Truck conversion has come to a halt as we have decided to upgrade to a larger vehicle to accommodate two adults and a dog. We figured the truck would be cramped and it would be better to have something larger and be more comfortable. We’re not sure yet what vehicle but a diesel van would be ideal. We would then convert that to be our stealthy travel vehicle and be another white van in traffic.
Since we’ve been hindered on our vehicle plans we have been working on simplifying our lives. We’ve been able to cut down our possessions to about half and we’re still getting rid of stuff. Some things are hard to get rid of like my childhood stuffed animal and things we want to keep for the future when we are done traveling and ready to settle down (if we’re ever done traveling). I wish I had before and after pictures of the amount of stuff we had. I feel like such a consumer buying things I didn’t even need and never had a use for.
We’ve gotten rid of our small TV, gave away the X-Box, and DVD player. We don’t play video games and if we want to watch a movie we rent it from the REDbox and watch it on one of our laptops. The lap top screen is about as big as the TV screen was anyway so it’s not a big issue. We’ve also gotten rid of most of our shoes and replaced them with Huaraches.
Huaraches are simple shoes, or invisible shoes made out of rubber and some paracord. We actually made them ourselves. There’s a website, invisibleshoes.com that sells kits so you could make your own as well with different color cords to make them personal. We opted to buy the rubber sole separate since it was more cost-effective and we already had the paracord. With one sheet of Vibram Cherry 4 mm (that’s what the rubber sole is called) we can make four pairs of shoes, two per person. Once our sole arrived we used the various videos on YouTube on how to size, cut, and tie our new huaraches to get them set up.
No joke, these things are more comfortable than flip-flops. It’s the closest thing you can get to walking barefoot. They don’t even take very long to get used to. Your feet won’t allow you to walk in that ‘heel to toe’ manner that most people suggest is accurate. If you try walking heel to toe in these shoes, your feet will be very sore. Don’t believe me? Try running heel to toe barefoot. See how that works out for you! We wear our huaraches everywhere and we love working out in them. They are the best things to run in. We just have to be careful of rocks since we can feel anything and everything through the 4mm sole. Besides rocks, we can feel cracks in the sidewalk and the cold from the ground. It truly is almost like being barefoot. I don’t think we’ll be able to go back to normal shoes, even though we do have to wear regular tennis shoes for work (we hate gym shoes!). It would be much nicer on my feet, ankles, and my back if I could just walk around in my huaraches every day.
We feel simple wearing these shoes, similarly to the Mexican natives that have run in these for years. They would make them out of old rubber tires since they had no other materials. Reusing the tires in this manner really does give those tires way more mileage! Our dirty feet after running in the park reminded me of where these shoes came from and made me grateful that there are still people living simply in this world.
If you decide to make your own pair of huaraches let us know what you think of them! We’ve already been able to get our good friends and co-workers to try them out too! Hopefully they like them as well (and if you have a pair of five fingers, try these, you’ll be happy to have the extra material between your toes gone!)
-Ay and Jay
June 1, 2011