Confessions of a Shopaholic Sole Sister

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hello! My name is Chichi and I am a shopaholic. It's been 6 months and 25 days since I last indulged in euphoria-inducing heartbeat-accelerating retail therapy.

Hello Chichi!

No, this isn't another confession relating to Boracay, a sandcastle and an irate guard. That was actually fun (and only a tiny smidge scary). This confession is a little bit more serious, a lot closer to my heart and most definitely the hardest one to 'fess up to and overcome.

You've seen me tackle a 7k Palawan budget challenge (and almost owned that one, thank you very much!) and basically live out of my backpack ever since the start of this blog. Let me tell you a secret, that's only 1/2 of who I am.

I have been living a double life. Yeah, I'm your resident Dr-Jekyll-Ms-Hyde blogger alright.

Chichi, The Hopeless Shopaholic

You're looking at a sole sister who was a slave to the fashion gods and to commercialist kings.

You're looking at a sole sister whose hands literally itched when paytime came around and the money has been sitting in her bank account for more than 24 hours.

You're looking at a girl who once bought a 5,000-peso worth bag in the middle of the night. In the middle of a freakin' parking lot. It was a lovely bag, though.

You're looking at someone who never stays at home on a weekend. So much so that we could change the title of this article to 'Confessions of a Party Girl'.


You're looking at a sister with more than 20 pairs of shoes and who stopped counting after that.

Wish I had Jane's closet from Sea of Shoes
 Most people need to wash their clothes so they have something to wear again, right? Nope, not me. I send my clothes to the laundry so I have closet space! 

It was that BAD.


Chichi, The Recovering Addict

All of that changed when I started going steady. With travel, that is. Ever since Lois and I took that first leap towards realizing our dreams of long-term travel, my shopaholic tendencies took a backseat (as did everything else). Ever since then, everything I did was geared towards saving up for my escape fund.

Before pulling out those precious pesos from my wallet, I considered the following:
1. Will buying/spending on [insert item/fab shoe/cute purse/amazing dress] bring me closer to my financial target for our Southeast Asia adventure?

2. Will this fit in my backpack?
3. Do I really need [insert item] before, after or during my BIG TRIP? Will I still use this after several months kept in storage?

4. What's the equivalent value of this item when it comes to travel expense or experience? E.g. How many nights stay in Koh Samui will the cost of this dress equal to?

That's right, I went cold turkey on shopping.

Anyone who went cold turkey on anything knows how it feels like to let go of an addiction. It's HARD!

My last shopping spree at an outlet mall in Jacksonville, FL

I drool everytime I spot a pair of fierce shoes in the mall. Or when I see an ensemble that would really, really look good on me...along with those fierce shoes. Ok maybe slobber is the right word. Especially if it's a particularly delicious must-have item.
However, once I became serious about pursuing my need to travel, I turned my back on that shoe. However delicious those babies might be. Somehow, I even managed to find the courage to sell almost ALL of my wardrobe, shoes and purses!*

Now...I just drool a little, wipe it off and walk away.

Chichi, The Reformed Shopaholic

I found that after a while the drools get fewer and fewer in between. After a while, it gets easier and easier to walk away. After a while, I just do a little double take when I see those fab shoes. No more drool.

After all, fashion fades. Styles change per season. I'll eventually get bunions on my feet from wearing those fierce heels. And that purse I almost died for? Those will eventually rot in my closet due to lack of use.
bomodok falls 1


It's experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Experience trumps shopping on any given day.

No shoe in the world can compare to the beauty I witnessed in the islands of Palawan. The high I used to get when purchasing a must-have item for that season does not equal to the exhiliration I felt jumping from that 20-foot waterfall in Sagada. The adrenaline rush I felt from a day of shopping spree can't even come close to the rush I felt jamming and singing with the locals in Sagada and a Baguio celebrity.

NO dress can make me feel as good as I felt when we announced to the world that we were quitting our day jobs to live our dreams.

Travel. Experience. Dreams. Life.

These are the things I gained when I went cold turkey on shopping.

Hello! My name is Chichi and I used to be a shopaholic. It's been 6 months and 25 days since I last indulged in euphoria-inducing heartbeat-accelerating retail therapy.

Reformed Shopaholic,
Sole Sister Chichi


* Update: I've SOLD all the dresses in the Every Dress Counts shoot. Thank you for the overwhelming response. Now, I'm selling everything in my shoe collection! All size 6-8 sole sisters, check out the Every Shoe Counts album on Facebook.

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15 sole trails

  1. how's the withdrawal syndromes? lol. looking forward for your shoes collections. hahaha

  2. Shaking, drooling and sweating. Those are my withdrawal symptoms! Posted my shoe collection already Ed, check out the link above.

  3. Hi Chichi, I totally understand what your going through form one shopaholic to another. I feel your pain. It's been 4 month's I've gone cold turkey with shopping all in the name of traveling. So far, I have no regrets. It actually feels good to save money and to actually understand the value of it. In the end I would rather spend money on the experience I get from traveling, than on another piece of clothing in my closet.
    Good Luck and I look forward reading your adventures.


  4. It feels good to hear encouraging words from a fellow ex-shopaholic, Sheila. I have no regrets, too. As I've said, experience trumps shopping always. My friends asked me how I can bear to sell all my clothes and shoes. I realized it was easy because what I got in return for selling them was more money for my escape fund. It was easy because I got something even more rewarding.

    Thanks for following our journey!

  5. imelda would weep. hehehe

  6. Amen to you chichi... I wish i have your determination...

  7. i can go like 180% shopaholic to an uber lover boy in the name of love cum romance but travel? only you, with that fiery bangs can DO that. It takes a lot of courage and power to facilitate the passion you have for the beautiful dream and i so admire/d you for taking that risk just to make you happy.


  8. Imelda can now have her throne back because I currently now own only 3 pairs of shoes :)

  9. Thanks Bettina! Now can I get a discount card from your store, F21? :p

  10. Thank you Mikeymaws! You've been a witness to my transformation, my shopping buddy. It really means a lot to me when you say that you're proud of me :)


  11. nice one Chichi!
    i would trade experience (from travel that is) over a killer pair of shoe too!
    arrggh! if only i can have both! hahaha

  12. errr... i mean pair of shoeS (this is me being

  13. Me too and i feel sad that whenever i look at my closet i see quantity not quality.

    Kudos to having the courage to break free from your addiction :)

  14. Thanks for the support Lurren! Now, I don't even have both quality and quantity when I look inside my backpack and I'm surprisingly ok with that ;)

  15. Wouldn't it be great if we can travel and have killer shoes at the same time? Heaven!


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