Jun 3, 2014

No Shoes No Shirt No Problem Sign

Hey, how's it going? Some of you are probably sick and tired of seeing the no shoes no shirt no service signs posted in front of many businesses. Luckily we don't see too many of 'em here on the islands. In fact, there is 1 store I know of that has quite the opposite sign on their window. You can read more about the barefoot-friendly sign shown below in the article I wrote about our vacation on Kauai that's published on Jonathan's site.

No shoes no shirt no skirt no problem sign



Pretty cool, huh? Hopefully, more businesses will follow suit and post a similar sign. Wishful thinking? Maybe, maybe not. Remember, we can all create magic in our lives by focusing on what we want.

Anyway, In case you didn't know, June 1st is National Go Barefoot Day which was a couple of days ago. So did any of you go barefoot that day? Did you enjoy it? Did you donate your shoes so you can go barefoot all the time now? Haha, wouldn't that be cool?

Someone asked me why I didn't make a post about the special day. Well, to be honest, I didn't pay much attention to it since I go barefoot everyday anyway. So to me it's just another day. Besides, the real purpose behind that "holiday" is to encourage people to donate their shoes to underprivileged kids. While helping others is a good thing, I don't think shoes are among the top priority items that those children need. Most of them are quite happy walking around in bare feet. My little sister Sharleen and I are not underprivileged kids, and we choose not to wear shoes.

Nevertheless, we always try to look on the bright side of things, and the National Go Barefoot Day does have one and that is, to encourage people to go barefoot even if only for a day. Some who have tasted the freedom and sensuousness walking barefoot offers may want to continue doing it. So yeah, the question is why limit it to just 1 day? Do it every day if you enjoy it!

No shoes, no shirt, no problem!

Have an awesome day!

May 22, 2014

Clean Vs Dirty Bare Feet

clean vs dirty feet
If you have ever gone barefoot outdoors for any length of time, you know that getting your feet dirty is inevitable. Habitual barefooters can basically be classified into 2 groups: those who like having their feet dirty, and those who simply enjoy the freedom and the wonderful sensation of walking on different surfaces that going barefoot offers, but don't care for dirty feet. I belong to the former while my little sister Sharleen (a.k.a. Lynn), the latter.

To take it a step further, those who like dirty feet, especially guys, think they are attractive, and they get "excited" looking at them if you know what I mean (I have to be careful with my choice of words here in order to keep this blog family-friendly, lol). While I'm not one of them, I have to admit sometimes it's fun knowing that some guys have a time of their lives staring at my dirty soles. Well, I won't go much more into it as that's not what this blog is about. But you can read my previous post: barefoot in the library and see what I mean.

I like having dirty feet because it shows others and reminds myself that I am an avid barefooter who is also care-free. Besides, it makes me look "different" and I love being different. So I don't wash my feet very often. I also go to bed in dirty feet which used to drive my mom nuts! :)

My sister Lynn on the other hand, does not like having dirty feet. Actually, being a habitual barefooter herself, she doesn't mind getting her feet dirty while she is outside as she herself said, "it comes with the territory." But inside the house, she prefers to keep her feet clean, especially when she goes to bed. She also thinks clean soles look better, and can't really understand why some people find dirty soles attractive. Well, to each their own, right?

But even her soles have never been squeaky clean since she became a regular barefooter, for it's virtually impossible to have your soles completely clean. There's always a few dirty spots that remain unless you use sandpaper or something, haha!

Lynn and I would often argue about clean feet vs. dirty feet. She told me I was gross for not washing my feet very often, for only God knows what we step on outside with our bare feet.
barefoot girl with dirty feet
Getting your feet dirty is fun.

She used to wash her feet every time she came home. I told her she was becoming a clean freak like mom, and she didn't like that.

"Don't even compare me with mom! She won't even walk barefoot indoors!" she replied vehemently, and I just laughed.

You see, we are actually best friends, and enjoy having little fights like that every now and then. I'm not sure if what I said had an impact on her, but she later became less anal about it, and now she lets her feet stay dirty if she knows she will be going out again later in the day.

When I asked her about it she said the reason was to conserve water. We both are environmentally conscious, so I'm cool with that reason.

She still washes her feet at the end of the day, though and would never go to bed with her feet dirty. Well, I shouldn't say "never" as there have been a few exceptions. Like one night she came home pretty late and was totally exhausted that she just jumped into bed immediately without washing her feet.

The next morning when I saw that she had slept in her dirty feet, I couldn't help laughing, and I had fun giving her a hard time about it. I told her she should eat her own words. As usual, she made faces and stuck her tongue out at me when she lost an argument. She said she was really tired that night, and wouldn't make it a habit. Uh huh...but it happened at least a couple more times, right sis? :p 

Well, you know what? The good thing about being a barefooter is that you have a choice. If you like dirty feet, then keep them dirty. Otherwise, you can wash them as often as you like (at the risk of being labeled "clean freak," haha just kidding!). None of us can really say that one is better than the other. It's a matter of preference.

So with that said, which do you prefer? Dirty feet or clean feet, and why? Post your comments below (just click on the "Comments" link if you're reading on the home page). But please remember to keep them clean. I don't mean your feet <lol>, but your words as this is a family-friendly blog. Come on, don't be shy! :)

Apr 19, 2014

Barefoot in the Library

I'm a college student, and I go barefoot to school on most days. The only days I wear flip flops are when I have yoga class (which is on Tuesdays and Fridays) as we have to have clean feet. Yeah, my feet get pretty dirty by the end of the day from walking around campus.

barefoot studentI love our college library as it's a great place to study and to rest. They have benches with soft cushions where you can lie down and relax or even sleep. I often take a power nap in between classes in the afternoon which is great cos when I wake up I feel really refreshed, especially when I've been burning the midnight oil.

One day I was doing just that. I was lying down on one of the benches taking a nap with my dirty bare feet hanging on the edge for everyone who passed by to see. Some would be turned on, some would be disgusted, so what! lol.

I woke up after about 20 minutes and sat up. There was a guy sitting at the table across the aisle looking at me. He quickly looked away as I looked at him. I bet he had been eyeing my bare feet the entire time I was sleeping. I just know his type, lol.

I put my legs up and sat cross-legged so one of my dirty soles was partially visible. As I was straightening my hair I noticed that the dude was looking my direction again. So I glanced at him and smiled. He was caught a little off-guard. He smiled back but quickly looked down at his book on the table.

I had about 20 minutes before I had to walk over to my next class, so I sipped my cold orange juice (ahh...that felt so good!) and started reading my lecture notes. Then I received a text message from my boyfriend. I giggled as I read it. Sorry, I can't share with you what it said though, cos it was...uh...X rated hahaha! <blush>

At that moment the guy across was looking my way yet again. And like the previous times, he quickly looked down as our eyes met. That actually made me giggle even more. I don't know if he realized that, though.

Now it was time to leave the comfortable library and head over to my next class, so I finished my OJ, put all my stuff in my backpack and got up. I looked at my admirer as I walked pass him. He looked up briefly, and I smiled and said, "bye!" I bet he didn't expect that at all, but I heard him say "bye" faintly in reply. I just had the feeling that he was staring at my dirty bare feet as I was walking out of the library, but I didn't look back to confirm it.

So, that was my brief post about one of the interesting things I experienced while being barefoot at school. Hope you enjoyed it.

Image credit: Hilda Barefoot Art Edit ver. 1 by AzraelFinalstar at deviantART under Creative Commons license.

Mar 15, 2014

Going Barefoot at School

Going barefoot to school is quite common in some countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. A few elementary schools in Hawaii still allow their students to attend school in bare feet.

My little sister Sharleen (nicknamed Lynn) and I went to a private elementary school with a rather strict dress code. We had to wear uniform everyday that included a tie and white closed shoes. White socks had to be worn at all times in the beginning.

Being an avid barefooter, I always wanted to be barefoot as much as possible. So I would usually take off my tie along with my shoes and socks on the (city) bus, and walk barefoot home from the bus stop. Lynn would never do that, however. She said going barefoot while in the school uniform just didn't look "right" and she would feel embarrassed.

But the funny thing was, when she got home she would often just change her shirt, leave her uniform skirt on, and go out in bare feet (just like in the picture below). She said it was OK since she wasn't in full uniform.

barefoot girl in uniform skirt
Playing at the beach after school
Later they dropped the socks requirement. There was no clear reason given although I heard it was because the rule had become rather hard to enforce due to the popularity of "no show socks." Lynn believes she was partly responsible for it, but that's another story for another time.

Believe it or not, I still chose to wear socks because they help reduce foot odor. Lynn however, was only too happy to not have to wear socks to school ever again. That way she could also show off her fancy ankle bracelets. Mom bought her 2 additional pairs of shoes though, so she could alternate them to prevent having stinky feet, lol!

There were a few instances where the strict dress code did not apply, and one of them was an art class which was an extracurricular activity, where students had to work with a lot of paint, and to prevent the uniform from getting dirty, students were required to change into old clothes and take off their shoes (and socks if worn). That was one of the reasons Lynn loved the class.

On the first day she was very happy to be able to be barefoot at school. At the end of the class (which was on Fridays) she didn't change back into her uniform, but put her shoes back on like all the other kids. The following week she thought, "What would happen if I didn't put my shoes back on, and just walk barefoot to the bus stop and all the way home with my sister? Would I get in trouble? Well, there's only one way to find out!"

So this very pretty yet rather naughty 9 year old girl put her shoes in her backpack and walked out of the classroom in tank top and shorts to meet me by the gate and walk to the bus stop. She was relieved that no one confronted her. I was a little surprised to see her in bare feet. Although at that time she was already going barefoot quite often, she had never done it at school (outside of her art class).

"Wow, you're barefoot!" I said.

"Yep, it feels good," she replied.

"You won't be embarrassed riding on the bus barefoot?"

"Nope, 'cos I'm not in uniform. You're the schoolgirl, and I'm just your bratty little sister tagging along!"

"Hahaha, my little sister has come a long way!" and we both laughed.

At the bus stop some people looked at her and smiled. Although she tried not to show it, I could sense that she was feeling a bit uneasy. But she calmly boarded the bus when it arrived, and was more at ease after we sat down.

The third week was a little different, however. Like the previous, Lynn put her shoes in her backpack and started to walk barefoot out of the classroom when she suddenly heard someone call her name, "Sharleen!"

She turned around and saw her arts teacher (whom we will refer to as Mr. B) standing there and gesturing to her to approach him, "Come here!"

You know that sinking feeling, right? "Uh oh, here we go," she thought, "I'm gonna get in trouble for being barefoot at school. But I'm gonna keep cool and try to look really cute, and who knows he will let me off the hook." She said she had been rehearsing this in her mind so in case she was ever confronted, she would know how to respond.

"Yes, Mr. B."

"Where are your shoes?"

"They're in my backpack," she said with a cute smile on her face.

"Why are you not wearing them?"

"Uhm...because...I hate wearing shoes!" she replied with a little giggle.

"You know the rule. You're supposed to wear shoes and socks at all times outside of my class, and class is over!"

"Uh...just shoes, sir. Socks are not required anymore," she said playfully, again giggling a little.

"Ah, that's right. I forgot about the amended rule," he said with a lot less stern voice. In fact, he almost cracked a smile. Almost! "But you're not wearing shoes. So you're still breaking the rule!" he continued.

"But school is over, and I'm not in uniform, so people may not know I'm a student here. Besides, I'll be out the front gate in just a couple of minutes, so I thought it would be OK," Lynn calmly responded, trying to reason her way out.

"The thing is, everyone knows you around here, and you're still on school grounds nonetheless." (Lynn was quite a popular student who was involved in a lot of activities, and they even had pictures of her in the school catalog).

"Oh...so...it's not OK?"

Duh! Obviously it wasn't, otherwise he would not have scolded her, right? She actually realized how silly and maybe futile her response was, but she just didn't know what else to say. Was it time to admit defeat, and just be a good girl and obey the rule?

At that point if Mr. B had said something like, "No! You have to wear shoes at all times. That's the rule, so put them on right now!" Lynn would have had no choice but to comply.

But either she had managed to charm him with her cuteness, or the goddesses were on her side, for he instead said, "Well, I personally don't have a problem with it..."

Immediately the smart girl knew that she could now tackle the guy and win the argument. Her confidence was restored and was stronger than ever. It was as if she had been handed a magic sword that would seal her victory.

"Oh, so it's OK then?" she quickly interrupted, jumping at the opportunity, but still with a sweet smile.

"Well, I don't want anyone from the administration to see you barefoot in school and give me trouble about it."

Aha! Apparently he was a wuss who thought covering his own ass was more important than enforcing school rules.

"Oh, don't worry Mr. B, should anybody say anything, I would tell them that you have spoken to me about it, and you could tell them the same thing if they talked to you."

Simply put, she would take full responsibility for her actions banking on the likelihood that no one (from the administration) would ever see her barefoot.

Mr. B just shook his head and sighed saying, "OK, just...just go! Quickly, before anyone sees you!"

"Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend, Mr. B!" said the spunky 3rd grader as she walked briskly out of the classroom feeling victorious.

When she finished telling her story we both smiled and high-fived each other, and exclaimed the word "Magic!" We both believed in magic, even when we were kids. Not talking about magic tricks or anything really supernatural here, but magical experiences that we create in our lives by always having a positive attitude.

So that went on for the rest of the semester. Class over, shoes in backpack, and girl happily barefoot all the way home. No one ever confronted her.

So, have you ever gone barefoot at school, or maybe you're one of the lucky students who go or have gone barefoot to school? Share your experience by posting a comment below.

Update - 4/23/14
Fast forward a few years. This little sister of mine is very free-spirited and playful. Well, actually we both are. But you won't believe what she did at Starbucks one day. Read what she wrote here.

Mar 3, 2014

Barefoot Sisters

I am the 3rd child in our family of 5 children. It's interesting that the ones who have any interest in barefooting at all are the girls (although I was the only avid barefooter in the beginning, and the most rebellious). I would go barefoot just about every chance I had, to my mom's dismay.

My big sister Debbie would go barefoot in public every once in a while when she was "in the mood" for it. My little sister Lynn was a barefooter at heart as she said she enjoyed the feeling of her soles touching the different surfaces, but she didn't like getting her feet dirty, so her barefooting was initially limited around the house. My oldest and youngest brothers (Steve and Kevin) have zero interest in going barefoot.

One day Debbie and I (she was 16, and I was 12) conspired to do something pretty crazy. We were going to shop at the mall, and Debbie was in the mood to go barefoot. Both our younger siblings (Lynn, 9 and Kevin, 8) wanted to come along pretty badly as they wanted to visit the arcade. So Debbie and I told them we would let them come along under one condition: they had to be barefoot!

They were both quite reluctant in the beginning, especially Kevin. But the excitement of playing the games and possibly winning prizes was so great that they finally agreed to go in bare feet. Of course, we didn't tell our parents about it, and we never foresaw what happened later that day.

Close to dinner time our parents called and told us we were going to have a family dinner at a restaurant, and since the four of us were already out, we should just go straight to the restaurant and meet them (mom, dad, and Steve) there. We were like panic stricken for a moment. "Uh oh...but we are all barefoot. We have no time to go back home first, so what are we gonna do?" we said to each other.

We still didn't tell our parents though, for we would get yelled at. But it seemed we were going to get in trouble no matter what (you will see why later), so we decided to just brave it and go to the restaurant in bare feet. Poor Kevin was so scared that he was shaking.

When we got to the restaurant mom had the shock of her lifetime to see 4 of her kids barefoot. She was furious. She chastised each one of us in front of the restaurant, but Debbie and I bore the brunt of her wrath since we were the ones who "made" the other 2 go barefoot. Kevin was in tears as he didn't really enjoy walking barefoot to begin with (he said his feet hurt from stepping on "things" and they got yucky), and now he got scolded for it too!

Luckily, dad intervened. He gently pulled mom aside and told her to take it easy, as we didn't really do anything to hurt anyone or ourselves. Besides, many other people go barefoot in public including to restaurants here on the islands, and he was sure the restaurant wouldn't mind. That calmed mom down a bit, but she still argued that it was not "proper" to dine in a restaurant in bare feet. "Well, it's acceptable here," dad said calmly.

You see, mom is of the old school and the disciplinarian. She had a hard time letting Debbie and I go barefoot in public places in the beginning although she eventually relented. But seeing 4 of her children barefoot to a restaurant was something she had never expected - something absolutely shocking! :)

Dad on the other hand, is very easy-going. His principle is, you can basically do anything you like as long as it doesn't harm other people or yourself. He smiled and winked at us as we walked into the restaurant where we were all seated with no problem. What a relief!

Steve, our oldest brother is also very laid-back. Although he is not into barefooting, he was quite amused to see his brother and sisters all barefoot, and was having a hard time holding back his laughter the entire time. He comforted Kevin who was now sitting next to him smiling. He said it was a terrible experience, and would never do it again.

Lynn was entirely different. She thought it was a fantastic experience, and would love to do it again (yeah, good luck with mom, right?). She said she wasn't worried about getting dirty feet because she could wash them when she got home. I knew she was a closet barefooter.

Fast forward 3 months.

One Saturday morning when I was away on a school retreat, mom, Lynn, and Kevin were going out to shop at the mall. Lynn was trying to decide which pair of flip flops she should wear: the black one, the pink one with Mickey Mouse on them, or the white one with transparent straps that from a distance made her look like she was barefoot. Then a very bright idea came to her. She mustered all her courage and asked, "Hey mom, can I just go barefoot?" <gasp!>, the nerve she had! :)

"Uh...well...OK, if you're comfortable with it." replied mom with little resistance although she was a bit hesitant. Of course, Lynn was elated but not too surprised as mom had been pretty lenient about letting me go places barefoot lately (dad had managed to convince her that she should "hang loose"), so she figured mom would let her do the same. "Yay, thank you mommy!" said the pretty little girl with excitement as she jumped into the car wearing nothing on her feet.

"But mom, she's gonna have yucky feet!" said Kevin trying to give his sister a hard time.
"It's OK, she can wash them when we come home," replied mom.
Lynn stuck her tongue out at her little brother and giggled.

She then propped her feet on the dashboard, prompting mom to look at her and ask, "Are your feet clean?"
"Of course, mommy, I haven't walked outside yet."
"You can't do that on the way back!" warned mom sternly.
"OK, mommy!" Lynn replied with a sweet smile.

This sister of mine has a cheerful disposition. As a kid she was mischievous at times, like most healthy kids are, but always in a playful way, and she never had a tantrum. Even when she was little she already had a positive outlook on life. She believes life is magical, and always looks at the bright side of things. She is always kind to others even when they are not so nice. That's why everyone loves her, especially dad (she is daddy's girl).

I called her later that morning when they were in the mall just to catch up with my little sister who also was (and still is) my best friend. When asked if she missed me, she said she did, but she also enjoyed having the room all to herself (we shared a bedroom till I went to college).

"Hey Tania, guess what! I'm barefoot!" she suddenly said.
"What? Are you serious? And mom is with you?" I said in disbelief.
"Yep!"
"Wow, that's really cool! Are your feet dirty?" I asked just to tease her.
"Of course, duh! But that's OK, I'll wash them when I get home." and she giggled.

From that day on Lynn became a regular barefooter, and she never looked back. Like me, she would go barefoot just about everywhere. The only difference is, she always washes her feet when she gets home and if she's not going out again for the day. I on the other hand, like to keep my feet dirty for a while.

In the next post I'll tell you about her exciting experience going barefoot at school. You don't wanna miss it!

Note: this article is not about The Barefoot Sisters (2 sisters who hiked the Appalachian Trail barefoot).

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Feb 22, 2014

Barefoot Wonderland

Have you ever wished you lived in a really barefoot friendly world where going barefoot is widely accepted as a lifestyle choice, it's not looked down upon, and you see plenty of people going about their daily business in bare feet? Read the following story and see if together we can't create such a wonderful world for barefooters - a barefoot wonderland!

*****

I wake up as the bright morning sun shines through my bedroom window. That's my natural alarm clock which wakes me up every morning at approximately the same time.

I'm a freshman in college, and this is the last day of school before summer vacation. There's no more classes today, but I'll be going to campus to get the results of the final exams I just took. I know I'm getting all A's and B's, so there's nothing to worry about, but I'm still anxious to know how well I did. Besides, tomorrow I'll be leaving for the South Pacific with my boyfriend for an exciting vacation that we have been anticipating all semester, and I don't want to wait until I get back to see my grades.

I'll also be visiting the student health center to get an allergy shot. Yep, it's that time of the year when I sneeze a lot and my nose runs a marathon. It gets embarrassing when I have to keep blowing my nose in public.

I lift my leg and look at my soles. They're still dirty from a full day of barefooting yesterday, and I smile with satisfaction. I don't usually wash my feet before going to bed like many people do. I like to keep them dirty for a while as a reminder that I'm an avid barefooter. I go to school barefoot most of the time. I wear flip flops only when I have yoga class that day since they want us to have clean feet.

Suddenly I start sneezing. I should have taken the allergy shot earlier, but I was really busy with homework, finals, and everything else. My eyes are itching and I don't really feel like getting up just yet. After all, it's a leisurely day today. So I roll over and close my eyes.

I feel my nose running, so I reluctantly get out of bed and slowly walk toward the bathroom to blow my nose. Then I decide to just wash up and get ready to go to campus.

After my morning meditation and a light, healthy breakfast I head out the door with backpack on my shoulder. I walk towards the bus stop which is a few blocks away. Barefoot, of course. Although I have a car, I prefer to take the bus to school for a number of reasons: I don't have to struggle finding parking on campus, it's greener, and above all, I really enjoy the walk to and from the bus stop. That's when I really feel connected to Mother Earth, admiring the beautiful scenery along the way, breathing fresh air, and sometimes meeting interesting people.

Like this morning there is an older lady walking her cute dog. We both smile and say "good morning" as we pass each other. I tell her how adorable her little mutt is, and she is very pleased. At the bus stop there are only 2 people sitting there since it's later than the normal time I get there, and the rush hour crowd is gone.

After 5 minutes the bus arrives. I look at the driver as I board. She is a beautiful lady with a red hibiscus in her hair. She is wearing a uniform, but I notice something very unusual: she is barefoot! I figure her feet were probably tired and she decided to take her shoes off. She says good morning and smiles at every boarding passenger.

After getting the results of all my exams, I head to the cafeteria where I'm supposed to meet with my boyfriend for lunch. He is already there sitting at one of the tables outside, propping his bare feet on a chair. When he sees me he gets up, and we hug and kiss before getting our food. I'm fortunate to have a boyfriend who is also a hard-core barefooter. Although we are allowed to attend most classes in bare feet, barefooters are in the small minority on campus. So we give each other moral support.

After lunch my boyfriend and I walk to the student health center. He teasingly says he wants to make sure I don't cry when I get my shot :) At the health center a nurse greets me and says she has everything ready for me. She is a young lady wearing a purple scrubs uniform. Again, I notice something very unusual: she is barefoot! I can't hold back my curiosity, so I ask her why she is not wearing any shoes, and her reply: "Hey, if you can be barefoot, so can I! This is the last day of school, so I decided to go casual and leave my shoes at home."

Needless to say I'm quite stunned. That's it, really? Just like that? Don't they have a dress code for employees, especially a professional like her? She says, since it's the last day of school, they made an exception. Hmm... how nice! But I still find it incredible. Perhaps she is the rebellious type who likes to defy authority?

As she walks around I notice her soles are quite dirty. She comes back with a syringe in her hand and I cringe a little. Uh oh, here we go! She says, "OK young lady, it's gonna sting just a little, but it will be very quick. Ready?" Uhm... do I have a choice? I close my eyes as she sticks my arm with the needle. "Ow!" I really hate needles. She chuckles and says, "That's it. Enjoy the rest of your barefoot day!" "Thank you mam, you do the same," I reply, and we both laugh.

Fast forward 20 hours.

I decided to stay at my boyfriend's apartment last night. It would make it easier and quicker for us to get ready in the morning and head to the airport.

So here we are still hugging each other in bed but wide awake after a fantastic and restful night ;) We take a look at our soles which are really dirty from walking barefoot all over, and haven't been washed for 2 days straight. We won't even bother taking a shower this morning since we will be spending a lot of time at the beach later, and we decide to just take a shower before we go to bed tonight. I tell my boyfriend our feet will get even filthier after we walk around the airport later. They will probably be jet black! We both laugh in amusement.

Yes, we will be flying barefoot, and we are traveling light. Each of us carries a small suitcase and a backpack. We don't bring any footwear, not even flip flops. That's what I call total freedom. So after a quick freshening up and a light breakfast, we hop on the bus heading to the airport.

At the airport we see quite a number of barefoot people, about 1/3 of them I would say. Not the majority, but a lot more than usual which is quite (pleasantly) surprising. Flying barefoot is actually a great idea since you don't have to take off your footwear for security screening. That's one less hassle to go through. Maybe people have caught on. As we are seated in the boarding area we both look at our soles. Yep, they are filthy, alright! We giggle and high-five each other.

Our airline is Barefoot Pacific Airways, and their slogan is "Fly in comfort, fly in bare feet!" As we board the plane we are greeted by the very friendly cabin crew. Their uniform is very simple and casual, yet elegant. It consists of a dark blue polo shirt with the airline logo on it and a name tag, and a pair of white shorts. That's it. What about footwear? None of the flight attendants, male or female, have anything on their feet. That's right, they're all barefoot.

As they walk around I notice some of them have slightly dirty feet (not filthy like ours, haha!) while the others have pretty clean soles. One of them approaches us and asks if we care for a pre-departure drink. She is a beautiful young girl who looks just a few years older than I am. Her name tag says Lynn. Following is a brief conversation I have with her.

"It's really nice to see all the flight attendants barefoot."
"Yeah, we are required to work in bare feet in accordance with the name of the airline, which we love very much as we are a lot more relaxed."
"So how come your feet are so clean?"
"Oh, we're not required to go barefoot everywhere. We can come to work in shoes or flip flops if we choose to, which I do. We just have to take them off once we get on the plane."
"Wow, that's really cool!"

Lynn smiles sweetly as she takes our order of orange juice.

Lunch is served after we're about an hour in the air. They give us plenty of delicious and healthy food. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I love this airline in more ways than one. After lunch I feel a bit sleepy, so I decide to take a little nap.

I feel a gentle tap on my shoulder and hear a sweet yet faint voice saying, "Miss Tania, would you please fasten your seatbelt? We will be landing shortly." I slowly open my eyes and...

I'm startled to find myself in... my bed! The sun is still shining through the window. I must have fallen back to sleep and dreamed of living in barefoot wonderland.

Dream vs. reality:

Yes, I will be going to campus this morning to check on my grades, but will my bus driver be barefoot? Not very likely, although it's not out of the realm of possibility. Her feet could really be tired or hurting from wearing shoes for long hours.

Yes, I will be having lunch with my boyfriend in the cafeteria later. Will he be barefoot? Definitely! I'm lucky to have a barefoot boyfriend in real life.

Yes, I will be going to the health center to get my allergy shot afterwards. Will I see a barefoot nurse? Nope, not a chance! With my luck, I will probably get a mean old nurse who will stick me hard and make me cry, haha! But at least my boyfriend will be there.

Yes, my boyfriend and I will be traveling barefoot to the South Pacific tomorrow, but will bring flip flops just in case. We are not yet living in barefoot wonderland, and we're not taking any chances that could ruin our vacation. You probably guessed it, we won't be flying Barefoot Pacific Airways, as that airline does not yet exist. Any barefoot entrepreneurs out there? Will we see any barefoot flight attendants? Again not a chance, unfortunately.

But hey, I can always dream it, right? Who knows, barefoot wonderland will be a reality one day as more and more people become aware of the benefits of going barefoot, and don't think it's taboo anymore. After all, many great things in life started with a dream.

Oh, by the way, Lynn is my little sister's name. She is not a flight attendant though, as she is still in high school. She is actually a sweet girl who also likes to go barefoot but doesn't care much for dirty feet. So she usually washes her feet as soon as she gets home after barefooting. She and I often argue about clean vs. dirty feet. I will have more stories to tell you about her in future posts. (Update: read Barefoot Sisters and Barefoot at School).

But the nice thing about being a barefooter is that you have a choice of keeping your feet dirty or clean. Whatever makes you feel good. I take a quick look at my soles and yes, they are dirty. At least that part wasn't a dream :)

I rub my nose with my fingers. Oops, it's wet and runny. That's because I never actually blew it earlier as I fell back to sleep. "Achoo! Achoo!" Uh oh... I jump out of bed and run to the bathroom. For real, this time.

*****

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Feb 4, 2014

Is going barefoot healthy?

In the previous post we concluded that going barefoot is not dangerous as long as you take certain precautions. The next question is whether it's healthy. Just because something is safe doesn't necessarily mean it's good for your health, right? In the case of barefooting though, the answer is a resounding yes! So, why/how is going barefoot healthy?

Well, let's start with the obvious. As I've mentioned before, the inside of your shoes is where bacteria, fungi, and other germs multiply, causing foot odor and infections like athlete's foot. You can avoid all that by going barefoot as much as possible. Yeah, I know, people keep saying you step on a lot of dirty stuff full of germs. Well, the good thing is, you can wash your feet as often as you like. When was the last time you washed your shoes, especially the inside part?

The next obvious reason is that most foot deformities are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes. Again, going barefoot as much as possible can help prevent this.

You also get a natural reflexology treatment by walking barefoot outdoors as the uneven surfaces and stuff you step on (like rocks, etc.) stimulate all the reflex points in your feet which in turn rejuvenate the various organs and areas of your body.

Another health benefit of going barefoot worth mentioning is grounding. This is when the energy field of your body as well as your chakra get balanced. The effect is that your body becomes healthier overall, and you feel more calm and relaxed.

To experience the greatest benefit, you should walk barefoot outdoors, especially on natural surfaces such as sand, soil or grass. Walking barefoot on concrete surfaces or indoors may not be as beneficial, but it's still better than wearing footwear!

You don't have to take my word for it, though. Check out the video and links below to learn more about the health benefits of going barefoot.


This book also explores the health benefits of going barefoot. Just click on the image to check it out!



Further reading:

7 Healthy reasons to go barefoot outside

Surprising reasons why you should walk barefoot

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV :) What I wrote above is based on my personal experience and knowledge. I'm not giving you any medical advice.



Jan 26, 2014

Is going barefoot dangerous?

Those that have never gone barefoot outside the house and newbie barefooters often wonder if there are dangers associated with going barefoot, and that's a legitimate concern.

The other day a friend of mine asked me, "dude, why are you always barefoot?" I casually replied, "cos it's healthy." He burst our laughing and said, "are you f**king serious?" I was like, "yeah, just search the internet, you'll find plenty of sites that explain why it's good for your health." "Well, what about all the germs and icky stuff that stick to the bottom of your feet? Don't tell me those are healthy too!" he sarcastically responded.

Then I had to explain it to him that our skin is germ proof for the most part as long as it's intact, and it's important for barefooters to keep their tetanus shots current. As for the icky but non-harmful stuff, you can always wash it off. But how often do you wash your shoes, especially the inside part where all the germs thrive?

To be fair though, there are certain situations that can put barefooters more at risk than their shod counterparts. The good news is, you can take simple precautions to really keep the risks to a minimum. The most obvious potential danger is stepping on sharp objects and injuring your foot, thus allowing germs to enter your body. But don't be discourage. Just use your common sense and watch where you're going.

If you see sharp objects like broken glasses, nails, thorns, etc. simply step around them or avoid walking through the area if there's a whole lot of them in one spot. The same goes for other harmful stuff like fluids from car engines. I know, sometimes it's unavoidable as the pieces of broken glass can be so frickin' tiny that you can't see them. You go barefoot outside long enough, sooner or later you will step on those pesky little things that will make you go "ouch!" :)

Most of the time though, that's as bad as it gets. So again, don't let that discourage you. Just carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers or something. If your foot bleeds, clean the area really good with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, apply some antibiotic ointment, and put a Band-Aid on. If it's not too bad, you can continue walking barefoot afterwards. Otherwise, you may have to wear flip flops for a couple of days. I can't tell you how often this has happened to me but hey, I'm still alive! :) Like I said before, keep your tetanus shots current to be on the safe side.

Yet other people are concerned about getting worms from walking barefoot outdoors, and I don't mean earth worms. Although they're gross, they're not harmful. The harmful parasitical worms can be found in human or animal excrement, and can enter your body through the skin of your bare soles. These are mostly prevalent in under-developed countries where sanitation is very poor.

So if you live in an industrialized country, this is practically not a concern. Again, watch where you're going. Even if you're shod, I'm sure you won't want to step on anything that looks gross and ruin your shoes, right? :)

So all in all, I'll say that going barefoot is not dangerous as long as you take certain precautions. Yes, there are always risks. Life itself is full of risks, but we don't stop living. In the case of going barefoot, the benefits (I'll talk more about how it's actually good for your health in the next post) and fun way outweigh the risks.

Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV :) What I wrote above is based on my personal experience and knowledge. I'm not giving you any medical advice.

Nov 24, 2009

Barefoot all his life

can you imagine never having to wear shoes all your life? you go to school, work, and go about your daily activities in bare feet without anybody giving a fuss about it. sounds like barefoot paradise? it sure does. too bad not all of us can be there. wonder where this place is? read my latest guestbook entry below:

Being born and bred in Nth Queensland has enabled me to live my whole life being barefoot. For 43 years I've never had the need for any footwear!

Went to Primary School in barefoot, High School barefoot and University barefoot. No looks of disgust or signs prohibiting barefeet. It's part of life here. Probably about 70% of our towns population are barefoot constantly with the other 30% only during the wet season.

Visitors to the town were here early this year and I heard them comment on the amount of barefooters. They were shocked when I told them that I've never had to wear shoes - not even to work! So long as you are aware of your surroundings and what you're doing, foot injuries become non-existant!

Anyway, to those who want to see another barefoot paradise, come to Nth Queensland - especially the smaller country towns!

Jan 5, 2009

Barefoot teachers

Following is another interesting entry from my guestbook:

"I'm a 28-year-old high school English teacher and all my students know me as "Ms. Feet" because I'm always barefoot in the classroom and most of the time around the campus. I haven't worn shoes to a video store in years and I also frequent the grocery store, the Subway sandwiches, Baskin-Robbins, the mall, the miniature golfing place, and Cal State Long Beach (where I'm attending night classes as well) in my most barest of feet. I've also gotten away with walking around Disneyland barefoot, but 9 times out of 10, they'll ask me to put my flip-flops on before I get on the rides. But I love being barefoot and hope you do,too! Yay for summer!"

wow, how cool is that! a while ago i had a brief email correspondence with another female barefoot teacher whom i met at one of the barefoot forums. she would take her shoes off at school and leave them under her desk, and sometimes would carry them in her hand as she walked around. the principal would scold her whenever he saw her walking around in bare feet, and tell her to put her shoes on. but often times she would just giggle and run towards the stairway until he couldn't see her anymore :)

i also had a barefoot professor in college. he was a guy in his 40's. he would wear shoes without socks and take them off in class, and walk around the class and in the hallway barefoot.

have you ever had a barefoot teacher? or maybe you are one yourself? please post a comment and share your experience.