Last month, Ryan noticed that the fabric of his beloved Nikes were cracked. Because they were the only warm-weather and daily-use shoes he owns, this wouldn’t fly. And so began the (what always feels like an) eternal search for the perfect replacements.

You see, Ryan doesn’t shop like I do. I’m impulsive and impatient when it comes to shopping, never mind the fact that I’m basically blind to prices. If I see something I need (or think I need, rather – I’ve been told repeatedly there’s a difference there), I don’t usually take the time to do extensive research on said needed thing. I am the ideal capitalist pawn. I buy. Immediately.

Ryan, on the other hand, will voluntarily spend upwards of months researching, comparing, rifling through reviews upon reviews, basically exhausting the internet while also visiting local shops to find the perfect item(s). This time it was shoes.

And so it began – online – as it normally does. Since he was replacing his Nikes, that’s where the quest for the perfect replacements started. However, so as not to pigeonhole his search, he also looked at a bunch of other brands that have piqued his interest over the years.

WAU Brand by Jets Like Taxis

I can’t tell you how many shoes (and different varieties/colorways of the same shoes) I was forced to look at on his computer, all neatly organized in separated tabs to ease the comparison process.

But there were just so many…or, at least, that’s how it felt to me. We visited store after store, window-shopped our hearts out, and trekked it to the outlet mall on the outskirts of town.

The Style Outlets in Seville, Spain

At the Nike outlet store, he tried on all sorts of styles, weights, and versions – just to be sure of what size fit the best in which style. Pictures of shoeboxes were taken for further online research. At times, I felt like we were in search of the fountain of youth.

Nike Outlet by TravellingTheGap on flickrPhoto by travellingthegap / CC by 2.0

Hilariously, as many things end up this way, Ryan decided that he wanted the same shoes he had three years ago: Nike Free 4.0. As they say, “If it ain’t broke…” Every standard colorway was displeasing to both of us, so it was agreed that the only route to take was to customize them on the NikeID website.

NikeID by Jets Like Taxis

For those of you not in the know, NikeID is a feature offered by Nike online, where you pick the shoe style, then choose the colors for each part of the shoe. You can even have text printed on the shoes!

NikeID Free 4.0 Prisa Mata by Jets Like Taxis

Ryan chose “prisa mata,” which roughly translates to “rushing kills.” He’s got the tattoo as well.

Please keep in mind that you’re paying extra to customize your shoes, and we don’t take that extra expense lightly, but it’s really an investment in the comfort of Ryan’s feet for the next year or more, depending on how long they’ll take to fall apart this time with daily use. That said, we believed it to be a solid investment.

Anywho, as we don’t often shop for new things, we were super excited to receive email updates from Nike:

• 31-Oct: NikeID account created.
• 31-Oct: Order submitted.
• 02-Nov: Some nonsense about payment schedule. No exciting info.
• 04-Nov: Order *almost* completed. (!!!)
• 05-Nov: Order shipped. (Hallelujah!!)

Once shipped, we followed their movement each day or so. Nearly every time we checked, the shoes were in a different country. Based on our lifestyle, it should be no surprise that the international travels of these shoes had our minds racing. “There should have been a GoPro attached to the box so we could see everywhere it’s been!” or “Geez, why is it stopping there?!?”

NikeID UPS Tracking by Jets Like Taxis

When all was said and done, the box had seen ten different cities in five different countries, beginning in Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, through Thailand, then to India, continuing through Germany, and bouncing around Spain a handful of times until it was finally delivered to our door on the 13th of November, a whole twelve days before their estimated arrival date.

Oh, if only these shoes could talk. I’d ask all about what they’d seen, heard, smelled, and felt in all these places.

NikeID Free 4.0 by Jets Like Taxis

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Have you ever followed a package long-distance and thought/imagined about all the places it’s been? If you have, and whatever it was could talk, what would you ask it? Tell us down below!