The cobblestone streets of old world European cities, days of touring their glorious museums, hours of transport dependent solely on your delicate soles and the allure of countryside hiking all require a good shoe strategy when traveling. Choosing footwear that is light, supportive and ideally waterproof while still trying to be stylish can be a challenge! Regardless of your strategy, spending entire days on your feet can make them incredibly sore. Rather than viewing this as a curse, I’ve come to believe that sore feet are actually a wonderful blessing in disguise. I can hear my feet saying, “Are you crazy?” Perhaps, but let me share my most recent example.
It was the 16th day of travel for my poor tootsies, having trekked through Oxford, Scotland and Ireland and it was my last day in London. With the weather unseasonably warm and sunny, I couldn’t resist walking through Kensington Park, which led to Hyde Park and on to Green Park and into Piccadilly. It was a great plan until I realized I needed to walk all the way back! My “dogs were barking”, as they say but I was determined to enjoy the sunshine in usually foggy London. So for extra motivation, my return trip had a destination – the Princess Diana memorial. And oh, what a wonderful treat.
Not only was I able to refresh my feet in the rushing water, I was able to watch children running and splashing with delight while a grown man walked in with his shoes and socks still on, seemingly startled at his sudden impulse and then quietly accepting the comfort and pleasure of the water. Calling this a memorial had me expecting something ornately grand but instead it was subtle, simple, graceful and fun. The water was at times turbulent and bubbling and other times calm and serene in a circular pattern that felt like life itself; flowing with a sense of energy and delight. It seemed a perfect tribute to a woman whose life was all of that and more. I thanked my sore feet for making me sit and just look with my heart.
And that’s the point; in the simple act of sitting, I can observe and enjoy the life teeming around me. Whether it’s a young girl laughing with delight as she chases a bird in the heart of Seville, watching an old couple hold hands as they stroll through an Italian piazza, children (and adults!) riding a carousel or spontaneous splashing about in whatever water feature is available; those simple acts of human connection allow me to pause long enough to make my heart soar with gratitude and appreciation for the gift we call life.
So next time you travel, whether your feet are sore or not, take time to sit and enjoy being in the moment. You won’t regret it and I can guarantee your feet will thank you!
Some of my favorite “resting feet” moments: