Today is a sad and exciting day. I am beginning my search for a new pair of boots.
This old pair of Redback boots has served me very well for almost 12.5 years. That’s about half my lifetime. I got them for my first overnight hike back in high school; my parents refusing to spend too much money on boots for me, and me pouting because my 13-year-old self was convinced that they had bought me a pair of work boots instead of hiking boots. I never expected to end up becoming so fond of these boots or to develop such a love for hiking (or for them to have lasted so long!). Since that school camp back in 2000, my Redbacks and I have travelled all over Australia and South America together. A little over a week and a half ago, we were in Borneo together. We had just climbed Mount Kinabalu together and three days later, we were just beginning our explorations of the Bornean jungle in Mulu. After my first venture out into the jungle to visit the Deer and Lang caves, I discovered large rips in the soles of my boots making both of my heels sink; the reason why they had felt so strange when I had put them on that morning. That was when I came to the sad realisation that they would not make it to New Zealand with me, and that this injury beyond repair would signify the end of our journey. I left them behind in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (there is no way they would have known what to do with it had I thrown them out in Mulu).
Farewell, my beloved Redbacks. We have done some incredible things, seen amazing sights, and conquered many challenges together. Thank you for your service and the adventures that we have shared over the years. We will walk together no more, but you will not be forgotten.