My Achy Breaky Feet

I love to travel. I've started marking off places on my bucket list. In Europe, I've traveled to Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and France. In US, from coast to coast.

Next stop is Ireland. I've heard it's a beautiful country with a lot of places to explore.

By now I should have my packing down to a fine art. I don't. I can only take a carry on because the friends we are traveling with want to bring luggage too. Go figure. Since there will be four of us and we're renting a car there won't be a lot of room for luggage in the trunk. We all agreed to a carry-on. Which is nothing more than an oversized purse with wheels. At least it doesn't seem like a lot of space for three weeks of clothes. But, I'm a trooper. I can do this!

And worse, the biggest issue is my footwear. At my age, old enough to get Medicare I value comfort. And a little style might not be bad. Not ready for Velcro. Yet.

I have Morton neuroma in my right foot. I usually end up traveling with a good pair of sneakers (with shoelaces), but wouldn't it be nice to have a better traveling shoe for off road hikes? Of course, with hundreds, maybe thousands of shoes for sale, I expected to find a pair that fits, looks stylish and offers all day comfort. I learned very quickly it's a lot like TV channels. Why is it, there are zillions of channels and you can't find anything worth watching? This is how my search for shoes (cute, comfortable hiking shoes) was going.

There are two great outdoor stores in my neck of the woods. They'll allow you to wear the shoes off your carpet and go outside to try them out. This was going to be so easy.

At the store, I would try on about 20 pairs and then select the most comfortable and buy them. (I should mention I got about 4,000 steps just in the store.) Then home with these shoes that weren't so cute, but I'd be able to walk forever in. After another 4,000 steps on the carpet in the house, I was convinced I'd found the shoes. I had to give up on cuteness. Obviously, you can't hike in cute shoes.

Next was the test wearing them off the carpet and out to the sidewalk. After walking about 7,000 more steps, I knew I'd made a mistake.

Now this went on for weeks. I'd go to the store, return the hiking shoes and select another pair. To make sure, I'd walk 4,000 steps in the store and then another 4,000 on the carpet at home and then out the door for well you know, another 7,000 steps.

I refused to give up. I was convinced at one point a store would ban me from their shoe department. I kinda felt bad so I'd buy some clothes to ease my guilt.

I have just about lost count of how many pair of hiking shoes I bought and returned. I think it might be up to nine pairs. Please don't judge. I'm just so damn sure that perfect shoe is out there, and I just need to keep trying.

I know I'm running out of time to break in that perfect hiking shoe. Maybe one more try before I give in and just wear my sneakers. If I slip and fall or twist an ankle, I have Medicare. Good grief I forgot, no Medicare coverage for out of country accidents.

On a positive note, I've lost 2 pounds.

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