Traveling Barefoot

by Sharleen W.L.

The following took place a few years ago.

It was early summer and we just celebrated my 10th birthday, but mom and dad still had a big surprise for me. They were going to take me to Disney World as a birthday present! Not the whole family was going, though. Tania was off to summer camp, and our oldest brother and sister had other plans. So it was going to be dad, mom, my little brother Kevin, and me.

girl traveling barefoot
Girl traveling barefoot
Needless to say, I was really excited and so was Kevin as he would get to spend an entire week with his favorite sister*.

I had been a barefooter for almost a year, and had previously traveled completely barefoot**. But that was within Hawaii. This time it was a little different as we were going to the mainland (that's what we Hawaiians call the Continental US) which is not quite as barefoot friendly as Hawaii. So I asked dad if I could travel barefoot again this time.

He said I could probably fly barefoot but I should bring footware along since I would need them especially in Disney World which he had heard was quite strict about they're no-bare-feet policy. Well, that wouldn't be too bad - a small price to pay for all the magic I would experience :)

We were going to fly from Honolulu to Orlando via Houston. The first leg of the flight was a red-eye, so I packed the morning before we left. I hate wearing closed shoes, and I only wore them to school. Since I was going on a summer vacation, I didn't need to bring them. Just rubber slippers (what we call flip flops in Hawaii) would do. So I wrapped my slippers in a plastic back and put them in my suitcase.

I took a shower in the evening, so my feet were all clean, but that would not last very long :) I decided to dress really casually. I put on a pair of white shorts and a pink tank top. We ate something light at home before leaving as we were gonna get fed again on the plane. We got to the airport at around 7 pm.

As I got off the car and started pulling my suitcase my oldest brother Steve who drove us to the airport said to me, "Hey, aren't you forgetting something?"

I was like, "What?" thinking he was teasing me about not wearing anything on my feet.

But he said, "Aren't you going to give me a kiss like you did last time?"**

I giggled and kissed him. He said he wouldn't wanna miss a chance to be kissed by a pretty girl. I blushed (yes, again) and everyone laughed.

I didn't see any one else barefoot in the airport. Yeah, not many people fly barefoot even in Hawaii. I used to feel uncomfortable when I was the only one barefoot around, but now I was more confident about it.

As we were sitting at the gate mom asked me where I had put my slippers. I told her in the suitcase. She said I should of put them in my carry-on backpack just in case they wouldn't allow me to board the plane barefoot. Uh oh, I hadn't thought of that, and it was too late now! But I knew they would let me on with no problem for I had visualized everything going smoothly. So I told mom not to worry.

I was right, I had no problem boarding in bare feet. The plane was big and comfortable (a Boeing 777) and we all sat together in the middle row. I was seated between dad and Kevin. Dinner was served soon after take-off.

After eating I felt sleepy, so I lay my head on dad's lap and brought my feet up. Kevin said my feet were gross and told me to be sure they didn't touch him. I giggled and told him not to worry. It was a bit chilly, so dad put a blanket over me.

Despite my initial sleepiness, I didn't sleep well at all. I kept waking up throughout the night realizing I was high up in the sky above the vast Pacific Ocean with the plane engines roaring which made me a little uneasy. But at least I was barefoot, and that comforted me a little. I would of been more antsy had I been wearing shoes or socks.

I finally dozed off for I don't know how long. When I opened my eyes it was starting to get a little bright outside. I realized my (filthy) feet were resting against Kevin's thigh. Oops! But he was sleeping soundly and wasn't aware of it :)

I needed to go to the bathroom but there was quite a long line. Mom told me to go stand in line anyway for otherwise, it would take forever. People glanced at my bare feet, and some of them smiled. I smiled back but felt a little uneasy. I was starting to have a cold too, so I was sniffling. Ahchoo! I sneezed 3 times.

"Bless you!" said some of the kind folks, and all I did was smile shyly. After sneezing my nose was really running, and I didn't have any tissue. So I used my bare hands to wipe it which I then wiped on my shorts. A lady standing behind me got a tissue from her purse and handed it to me.

I thanked her and immediately blew my nose. Honk! Once again, all heads turned towards me and people smiled. Amazing isn't it, how one little girl could attract so much attention, lol. I was embarassed, so I didn't blow any more. Just had to wait till I got to the restroom.

After what felt like an eternity, it was finally my turn. The restroom floor was quite wet. I wasn't sure from what though, and there was no way I could avoid stepping on some of the wet stuff, so I just assumed it was water :) I know some of you must think its really gross, but that's part of living the barefoot lifestyle. A pretty small price to pay, really.

I felt relieved as I got back to my seat since I had emptied everything (my tummy, bladder, and sinuses, lol). Mom had also gone to another bathroom. When she came back she told me how wet and gross the floor was. She asked me how it was with me. I told her it was just a teeny bit wet on the sides, and I didn't step on any of it :) Soon we were getting ready to land in Houston.

To be continued...

Click here for part 2 of Traveling Barefoot and find out what happened in Houston and Orlando.

From paradise Hawaii this is Sharleen reminding you that life is magical. So...

Aloha, and let's make it a magical day!

References:
* Barefoot Girl Favorite Sibling
** Barefoot Kauai Vacation

Also read the story about when I went back to Houston as a college student: Barefoot Thanksgiving break

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