We arrived at the doors of Portibi Farm with two tall backpacks on our shoulders. Jocean, the head of the Portibi clan, welcomed us with hugs and a frown. We were just staying for the weekend, but our carry-ons were as big as they were when we stayed for four days. It’s the books, you see. Whenever we travel, Twosocks and I would spend most of our packing time to choose which books would come for the journey and the same happened for this short weekend getaway.
The first book we chose was our own blue book, and no, it wasn’t because we are so narcissistic we read our own book when we travel. Half of the book was written in the Portibi Farm last year, so it is only natural for the Farm to have a copy of the book. The next books selected were the books we were currently reading – Terry Pratchett’s A Slip of the Keyboard for me and FX Toole’s Million Dollar Baby for Twosocks. It became more challenging to select the next ones, books we wanted to read after we were done with the current reads. We settled on borrowed books, Najib’s copy of Cooked by Michael Pollan for me and Budi Darma’s Orang-Orang Bloomington for Twosocks, borrowed from a fellow traveler. Then came the difficult question: which books should we take in case we want a change of mood? We rummaged through our books and stared at our shelves, hemming and hawing, picking and unpicking, until I crammed Roald Dahl’s BFG in my backpack and Twosocks slipped in Frank Sinatra Has a Cold. So yes, our bags were big and heavy, but they were heavy with adventures and friends.
Books really are excellent companions for travelling. A book could bring you friends when you travel alone and solitude when you travel in groups; it offers you adventures while you are waiting to move or sends a wave of calm when you yearn to stay still. A book on the place you’re traveling to can shed a different light to what you’re seeing, a familiar story can curb homesickness, and fantastical tales helps you experience a world from someone else’s eyes. Knowing this, we are ecstatic to find that there are those who trusted our blue book to become their traveling companions and can’t help but share some photos of where The Dusty Sneakers: Kisah Kawan di Ujung Sana has travelled to.
In Paris with Yuki, our lovely friend who took the blue book to Shakespeare and Co, a bookshop I hold most sacred and is the subject of my first chapter in the book. I was so moved when I saw this, there were tears involved.
In Komodo Island with Vindhya. I’ve traded sand and sea for trees and soil this year, but now I really yearn for the beach!
In Batu Karas with Vira, where the hammock matches the book perfectly.
In Uluwatu with Iin, who has read the book twice.
In Ubud with Vina, during the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival.
In Sydney with Ben. You would think that book’s mortal enemy is water, but not for the blue book!
Other than seeing the blue book travel, we also felt honored finding readers that have taken the time to write reviews or stories of their reading experience: Luckty the book blogger; Sastri, the traveling woman of learning; Ayu, who lets books swallow her up; and of course, the fellows on Goodreads.
Thank you, readers. Because of you the blue book travels too, even more than we do. Every time we see a review, a tweet, or an Instagram photo with #thedustysneakersbook tag, our hearts skip a beat. From the bottom of our quivering hearts, thank you.