He explores

"Traveling at the Speed of Life"

The Curious Case of Lost Thongs

A lot of things bind us together as travelers. The insatiable hunger to see the world. Trying to make ends meet on a low budget. The frustration of things not turning out the way you planned. The ability to swear in 5 different languages and last but not least: The curse of lost thongs! You know, the ones you wear on your feet – not the other kind. If you’ve ever been backpacking, I’m sure you can relate to this post.

Thongs seem to disappear in the most curious ways, kind of like the mythical lost sock. I’ve lost count of just how many I’ve had to buy while traveling Asia and Australia. Here’s 5 real-life examples of curious cases of lost thongs:

1st case: The Beach Party
This is a classic case! Eventually most backpackers end up partying on a beach, drinking cocktails and beers, dancing till the break of dawn. At some point or another, you’re most likely to get the brilliant idea to take off your thongs to feel the sand beneath your feet. That’s the moment when the curious case of lost thongs strikes! This happened to me during a crazy Full Moon Party in Thailand. My thongs lost and gone, without a trace, like a ship in the Bermuda Triangle.

2nd case: The Houdini
Landing a job in regional Australia I invested in a new pair of decent thongs, which were to last me for the 3 months length of my work stay. They lasted 1 week! To this day I’m not quite sure what happened to them. However, I’ve got an idea of where and when they were lost. Going to a swimming hole to chill after a long day’s work they suddenly disappeared. I looked for them everywhere, but no luck. The next day my thongs, or so I thought, magically reappeared on the feet of one of my co-workers, who blankly denied them being mine.

3rd case: The Fire
One of the best things about road tripping and camping is the campfires. One chilly night in Australia, I was enjoying the warmth and coziness of a campfire in good company. My feet were freezing, so I decided to rest them on one of the stones surrounding the fire. With my thongs on! 5 minutes later someone in our group cried out: “What’s that smell!?” That same instant smoke started coming out from under my feet, which were not so cold anymore, rather burning hot. Another good pair of thongs – melting away.

4th case: The Quicksand
After 3 days of living as castaways on an island in The Whitsundays, it was time for my travel partner and I to get back to civilization. We heard our boat taxi coming and were suddenly in a hurry bringing all our camping gear down to the beach. Running back and forth between the boat and our camping spot, we were finally down to the last run. About 20 paces from the boat my right foot got stuck in the wet sand. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to pull it out and when I finally succeeded, my thong was gone! In a state of frenzy, I knelt down, dug my hand deep down into the sand and searched for it everywhere, while the people on the boat impatiently were signaling me to hurry up. It turned out to be mission impossible to salvage my beloved thong.

5th case: The Flood
It’s not always easy finding a good, free camping spot, when you’re in a city in Australia. However, my travel partner and I did so, when we were on the Gold Coast, trying to find a place in the dark. Public barbeque, toilets and a beautiful river as a backdrop. Or so we thought. We decided to sleep in our car instead of our tent and to make enough space we left half of our stuff outside. The following morning we woke up to the sound of birds singing and water flowing. Blissfully ignorant, we rubbed our eyes and looked outside. Then we rubbed our eyes some more and looked again, while reality slowly sank in. We had parked our car on a boat ramp subject to rising water levels and were now surrounded by it, knee-deep! The stuff that we had left outside, including my thongs, was peacefully floating down the river.

So, why is it that thongs disappear in the most curious ways? My theory is that they feel enslaved. Thongs have an innate urge to free themselves and escape to a safe haven, a sort of thong-paradise, where there are no feet to oppress them.

What about you? Have you lost any thongs recently? (: Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your story!


  1. This blog made me laugh because we have just spent a lot of time looking for a pair of sandals that my husband placed under a piece of driftwood on the beach in Hokatika to go for a walk. We never found them…we think they may have found some new feet. Great Blog!

    • HeExplores

      February 14, 2016 at 3:03 am

      Haha, sad to hear that you got struck by the curse of lost sandals as well! Guess we all have to go through it, sooner or later. (:

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