"Be wild and free, and kind hearted." ~ Sharleen W.L.

May 13, 2016

Barefoot Girl's Adventure (Traveling Barefoot Part 2)

by Sharleen W.L.

This is part 2 of Traveling Barefoot. If you haven't read part 1 yet, you can find the link at the bottom of this post.

barefoot girl
We landed bright and early (around 8 am) at the Houston Bush airport. I was a little sleepy but very excited about the vacation.

We had plenty of time before boarding our connecting flight to Orlando, and as we were walking in the terminal we saw a nice restaurant and dad decided to go in for breakfast. But he said to me, "We'll see if they'll let you in barefoot. If not, we'll just go to the food court and grab some fast food." I just smiled knowing that they would let me in. Yes, I believe is magic :)

We were seated and served without any problem. As I was eating my nose was running again, and I kept sniffling. Mom finally told me to blow it. I was going to use the cloth napkin but she scolded me saying it was improper (I had done this before but she just never noticed, lol), and told me to go to the bathroom. Some of the wait staff were standing in the hallway as I walked pass them to the bathroom with my bare feet in plain site. They smiled at me and said good morning.

We had quite a long way to walk to our next flight gate but we still had quite a bit of time even after we ate, so we walked leisurely and stopped at a few stores along the way. Mom's feet were hurting and she unexpectedly said to me, "It must be nice to be barefoot, huh?"

I jokingly said to her, "Why don't you take off you're shoes, mom!"

Before she could respond, dad said, "Hahaha, that'll be the day!"

Mom just smirked. She won't go barefoot in public in a million years. Hell, she won't even do it at home!

We finally arrived at our gate. Unsurprisingly, I was again the only one barefoot. Some people looked at my feet but said nothing. They must have thought I was tired of wearing shoes and had taken them off. I have also learned that little kids can get away with alot of things adults can't because people tend to think they don't know any better. Ah, the good old days! lol.

Once again, I boarded the plane without any problem. The flight to Orlando was relatively short (about 3 hours) and uneventful. We got there before we knew it.

At the Orlando airport we had to take the train to the baggage claim area. I felt people were looking at me on the train but I played with my phone and pretended to be oblivious. Again, no one said anything.

As we were waiting for our luggage there was an old lady standing next to me. She looked at me from head to toe and said, "I see your all dressed for summer!"

I smiled shyly and she continued, "Being barefoot is the only way to enjoy summer to the fullest!" She went on to tell me that she grew up in the country and used to go barefoot all summer. Didn't wear shoes from the last day of school in the spring till the first day of school in the fall. She said the main reason was to save money on shoes as her family wasn't rich, but she enjoyed every moment her feet were bare.

After we got our luggage we had to take the bus to the rental car place. There were not many people on the bus. I was curious how dirty my soles were by then, so I took a look and wow, they were fu*king black!

As we got to our resort dad said to me, "Ok Lynn (my nickname), you need to wear you're slippers from now on as this is not Hawaii, and I don't want any confrontation. So wash you're feet if you like and take a short rest, then we'll go out for lunch."

"Ok daddy," I said and went to wash my feet. I couldn't get them completely clean though, and there was some sticky dirt that remained.

I had the time of my life in Disney World. As far as barefooting is concerned there are a couple things worth mentioning.

At one point in Magic Kingdom I got kinda tired of wearing flip flops. My feet were longing to touch the ground! So I decided to break the rule and see how strict they really were about it. I took them off and started walking barefoot which felt really good. Mom was getting nervous and told me to put my slippers back on.

I said, "Don't worry mom, I would put them on if someone told me too, no big deal!"

She just sighed but didn't give me anymore hard time. After all, we were there for my birthday, right? :)

But I didn't get to go barefoot for very long. A staff member saw me and told me to put on my flip flops. She was nice about it though, and said alot of kids like to go barefoot but she needed to enforce the rule. So I complied.

Mom and dad were like, "We told you so!" and I was like, "ok... ok..."

At the Pirates of the Caribbean I took off my slippers as I was seated on the boat. It was dark and there was no staff member around, so I figured it would be ok.  I felt the floor of the boat was kinda wet and thought it must have been from some little splashes along the ride. But as we rode along, more water got into the boat somehow until my feet were totally submerged. The water was quite cold.

The others also realized that they're shoes got wet all of a sudden and had to lift up they're feet. They weren't too happy about it and dad mentioned it to the staff member as we got off. Kevin had it worst as his shoes and socks were totally soaked, so we went into a gift shop and bought him a pair of flip flops to change into. As for me, I was quite happy to get a free foot wash! :)

Btw, Kevin loved his new flip flops as they had Mickey Mouse (his favorite Disney character) on them that he decided to wear them instead of shoes for the remaining time in Florida. Ha!

The travel back home was quite uneventful for the most part with one exception which I'll tell you about in a sec. Once again I packed my slippers in my suitcase. Mom didn't ask about it this time :) I dressed casually again - jeans shorts and a purple tank top.

We checked in our luggage at the Orlando airport and went through security. One nice thing about flying barefoot is that you don't have to take you're shoes off at the security check point. But something unexpected happened that day. Seeing me barefoot, one of the TSA agents told me I didn't need to take my shoes off since I was under 12, and should put them back on.

I was a bit astounded and felt my heart skip a beat. Then I sheepishly told him I wasn't wearing shoes.

Now it was his turn to be shocked. He raised his eyebrows and was like, "Oh really? Wow... ok! hahaha!"

Phew! Now I could laugh. Mom, dad, and Kevin couldn't help laughing as well. Btw, my cold had gotten worse. My ears were really stuffed up and a little painful during take-off and landing, so we had to buy some decongestant at the airport in Houston.

Needless to say, my soles were really filthy again by the time we got home. It was a fantastic experience traveling barefoot although I didn't get to do it full time and came home with a full-blown cold.

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

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

Traveling Barefoot Part 1

Apr 3, 2016

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!

* Barefoot Girl Favorite Sibling
** Barefoot Kauai Vacation

Jan 1, 2016

A Barefoot Nightmare - Those With No Shoes Please...

by Sharleen W.L.

I just finish eating lunch in the cafetaria with 2 of my friends, and were heading to our first afternoon class. I'm barefoot as usual. One of my friends is wearing shoes and the other flip flops. It really feels great walking around campus in bare feet.

As we get to the building, both my friends head towards the restroom and tell me they'll see me in class since I don't need to go.

So I climb up the stairs to the 3rd floor where our classroom is. The floors in that building are really grimy but it feels good on my bare soles.

There are already quite a few students in the classroom. This is a discussion class, so there are tables with a few chairs around each. I spot a table with no one sitting at it yet which is perfect as my friends and I can sit together.

There's a nerdy looking guy sitting at the next table busy with his phone. As I sit down he looks at my bare feet but doesn't say anything. He then makes a call and starts talking on the phone.

Suddenly I notice something. There's a piece of paper taped to the back of every chair with huge handwritten words: THOSE WITH NO SHOES PLEASE EXPOSE YOURSELVES!

I'm like, W T F!? How come I've never seen it before? And the language is kinda wierd. I start to feel a little uneasy. So what am I supposed to do? My 2 friends walk in and we talk about different things, and I kinda forget about the strange sign.

Soon the professor comes in. He's an older man with gray hair and beard, wearing thick glasses. "Ok, lets get started!" he says, and everyone was quiet. Then he says again, "Oh, before we start, any of you whose not wearing shoes please leave the class now!"

My heart stops beating! The prof speaks further, "Well, I'm not gonna check everyone's feet, but if I walk around and happen to catch you, you'll be in big trouble. So, its better for you to just leave right now!" No one gets up.

My friends and the nerdy guy are all looking at me without saying a word. Should I leave or just sit there and pretend there's nothing and hope the old goat won't catch me? I opt for the former for I don't think I can stand being stressed out for a whole hour. So I put everything in my backpack, get up, and walk towards the door. I can feel all eyes are on me.

Right before I get to the door the prof hollers, "Whoa, where are you going young lady? Come here for a second!" My heart stops beating for the second time. I'm leaving as he told me to, so what does he want now? But my feet also stop, and I turn and walk hesitantly towards him.

"Why are you not wearing shoes?" he asks me sternly as I stand in front of him.

"Uhm... because... I hate wearing shoes!" I reply with a shaky voice. That's the same line I've used over and over since I was little whenever someone questions me about my lack of footwear. I usually say it with a smile and try to look cute, but this time I just can't smile as I'm really nervous.

"Well, I hate seeing people walk around barefoot in public places, especially on campus which is very improper. That's why I don't allow them in my class!" says the prof with a loud voice.

"Look at how filthy your feet are! Don't you think that's disgusting!? You should be ashamed of yourself. As a college student your supposed to be a good role model!" he continues his diatribe.

All I can do is look down at my feet which are filthy. Even the top and sides of my toes are dirty. Yep, that's what usually happens after I walk around campus barefoot all day. But I remain silent as he chastises me in front of the whole class.

"So are you gonna wear shoes next time?" he finally asks me with a slightly toned-down voice.

"Yes, sir," I reply sheepishly while thinking to myself, "Like hell I am!"

"Ok, I'll let you stay this time. But just this time. Now go back and sit down!"

So I walk back to my seat while once again, all eyes are on me and my dirty bare feet. Many of the students are giggling. Major embarassment!

Then I suddenly realize that it's all a dream. A nightmare! I open my eyes and find myself laying in my bed. Phew! I guess that's what happens when you party too much. :) I was out partying last night (new years eve) and got a little drunk. I didn't come home until 4 am this morning, and didn't get to sleep until around 4.30.

I look at the clock, and it's 10:11 am. I'm still kinda sleepy but I don't think I can go back to sleep after that nightmare, so I might as well get up and write about it and share it with you. Happy new year everyone! :)

I didn't make it all up, though (unlike Tania's Halloween story about me and the witch - which I really like, btw). I really had this wierd dream which I hope will never ever come true!

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

Aloha, and let's make this new year magical!

Oct 25, 2015

The Bunny, The Witch, and The Barefoot Angel

One day my little sister Sharleen went on a field trip to a forest reserve here on the island. It was really beautiful, and the weather was perfect. It was a little cool and sort of misty up in the mountains.

Sharleen really loves nature, so while her friends were taking a break and playing games, she decided to take a walk along the creek and see what interesting things she could find. She felt her feet were getting hot and sweaty, so she sat down, untied her shoes, and took 'em off. Since she wasn't wearing socks, she was immediately barefoot. Aahh...it felt fantastic!

That was actually against the rule since she was at a school function and wearing her uniform, but she didn't give a f*ck. Her feet had to be free in such a wonderful place! She figured if she got caught, she would just apologize. No big thing.

She didn't want to carry her shoes around either, so she just left them on the ground. She would put them back on when she returned. Or so she thought. :) The funny thing is, wearing a tie didn't bother her at all. So she kept her tie on as she walked barefoot towards the woods.

Suddenly she saw a little white bunny hopping around in the grass, and she tried to approach it. She knelt down and tried to befriend it, but the bunny ran away instead. She went after it without realizing that she was going deeper into the forest. She ran along a dirt path that was kinda wet, and her bare feet got a little muddy.

barefoot girl on a dirt path
Suddenly she started sneezing. Something there must have caused it, probably the wild flowers. She continued to sneeze and her nose began to run. Uh oh, she had no tissue! What to do now? Well, the only choice there was: snot rocket! She wiped her hands on the grass afterwards. Kinda gross, right? But what else would you do?

Because she got distracted she lost sight of the bunny. Only then did she realized how far she had gone into the forest. There was no more dirt path, so she could not track her way back. She walked around but she had lost direction.

She started to panic, and yelled out her friends' and teachers' names but of course, no one could hear her. She had no cell phone or anything else as she left her backpack with her friends.

Meanwhile, it was starting to get dark as the sun was setting. She continued to walk hoping to see an opening, a path, or anything that would bring her back to safety. But it seemed the more she walk, the deeper she got into the woods.

Sharleen was not a cry-baby, but at the time she was in despair. She was really scared. So she sat down and sobbed. Tears ran down her cheeks, and her nose started to run again.

She suddenly remembered what she had always learned. Attitude is everything! She needed to be positive. It's hard in a situation like that, but that's all the more reason to be positive. Her life depended on it. So she wiped her tears with her hands and blew her nose, then took a deep breath and told herself everything would be OK. What good things could she focus on?

She looked down at her feet and giggled. There she was in full uniform including a tie, and her feet bare and muddy. It was all because of that frickin' bunny! But hey, at least she got to enjoy walking in the woods barefoot which was heavenly! So she decided to walk some more. It was almost completely dark now.

She closed her eyes and imagined seeing a house where she could get help. Fat chance, right? Who on earth would be living in the middle of the forest? Well, sometimes imagination is what it takes. As she continued walking, she saw a small wooden hut with thatch roof in the distance, and there was a dim light flickering in the window. At first she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. But no, it was real!

Sharleen was overjoyed as she ran towards it. Without hesitation she knocked on the door. After a few seconds it opened slowly with a creak, and there stood an old woman with grey hair wearing a long dress. "Well, hello there! What brings you here beautiful child?" she said.

Sharleen was taken aback. "Oh...uh...I'm kinda lost, mam!" she said. "You see, I was on a field trip and decided to explore the surroundings on my own, and now I can't find my way back. It's already dark, and I'm afraid everyone has left."

"Well, come on in, my child!" said the old lady making way for Sharleen to walk in.

The hut was small and dark. It had a dirt floor and no electricity. The woman used an oil lantern and candles to light the place. She told Sharleen to sit at the table and said, "You came right on time. I'm about to have dinner and I can share some food with you. You must be hungry."

Indeed she was starving, and was happy to be invited to dinner. The food was all vegetables and fruits but it tasted pretty good. After they finished eating the old lady, who was barefoot herself, asked Sharleen why she wasn't wearing any shoes. So she told her that she hated wearing shoes and loved nature, so she decided to take them off and walk barefoot into the woods. But she went too far and lost her way. All because of a cute little bunny.

"Well, we have lots in common. I'm barefoot all the time too. That way I'm one with Mother Earth" said the old woman. "And there are no coincidences. I believe you were brought here by the goddesses, and our encounter will benefit both of us," she continued.

She went on to tell Sharleen that she was a witch. She lived off the land, and didn't believe in modern technology which she said only corrupts the earth and all living things, including humans. She told Sharleen not to worry. She would spend the night in her shack, and early the next morning she would show her how to get back home.

Sharleen was in awe. She met a real life Hawaiian witch. Way cool! She was to sleep on the couch. Yes, in her uniform! As she lay on the couch, which was kinda hard and uncomfortable, her thoughts wandered. She knew that most witches are good people, but what if... she was one of the wicked ones like often told in fairy tales? But she was too tired to entertain that thought any further, and soon fell asleep.

The witch woke her up as the sun was rising. She gave her fruits for breakfast and right after they ate, she took Sharleen out and walked with her along a dirt path. It was quite a long walk down the hill, and both of them were barefoot. Soon Sharleen was able to see the highway - the main highway that goes around the island. She was greatly relieved.

The witch said to her, "You see my child, there's a bus stop right at the end of the path. Just take the bus that will bring you home." She gave her some money for the bus fare since Sharleen didn't carry any money, and her bus pass was in her backpack.

She also gave her a little pouch and said, "I want you to keep this. Open it when you get home. Let it be the guide in your life! And this won't be the last time we see each other." She then chuckled as she stroked the girl's hair.

Sharleen didn't quite understand what she meant but she took the money and the pouch, and thanked the witch for all her kindness. They hugged as they got to the end of the path, and Sharleen sat at the bus stop, and witch walked back up.

It was rush hour, and there were a lot of people at the bus stop which made Sharleen uncomfortable. Unlike me, who often went barefoot while in uniform, she had never done it. She always said it was awkward, and embarrassing (I think because mom often told her it was inappropriate). And now there she was doing it as she had no choice.

The bus came, and it was full. There were no more seats available, and she had to stand which made her even more uneasy as she felt all eyes were on her - a girl in a school uniform with bare and muddy feet!

Then a young man stood up and gave his seat to Sharleen. "Thank you," she said as their eyes met and they both smiled. The young man winked at her. She felt a little better. Seated next to her was an old woman who was wearing a hat, so her face wasn't clearly visible.

The woman asked her, "Are you going to school?"

"Huh?! Oh...uh...no, I'm actually going home!" replied Sharleen and she giggled nervously. "Oh sh!t, please leave me alone," she thought to herself.

But the lady said again, "Going home so early in the morning? Shouldn't you be in school?"

Sharleen was like, "Oh, well uh...you see it's a long story...I was on a field trip yesterday and kinda got lost, and spent the night with an old lady in the forest."

"Aha!" said the woman. "But why aren't you wearing shoes? Do they let you go barefoot to school?"

Sharleen was getting fidgety. "Uh...no, they don't," she answered trying hard to maintain her composure. "But uh... I hate wearing shoes," she giggled again and wiggled in her seat. "And so uh... I took 'em off and left them somewhere on the ground before I got lost."

"Oh, I see!" said the old lady, and she chuckled.

Sharleen thought her chuckle sounded kinda familiar, but she was only too happy when the woman finally kept quiet, and she didn't think further of it.

So it came time for Sharleen to get off the bus. As she was standing up the woman said to her, "You have a blessed day, my child!"

"Thank you, and you too, mam!" replied Sharleen. As she was walking away, she heard the woman say, "Remember, let that be the guide in your life!" and she heard that familiar chuckle again.

Sharleen was startled and was like, "Wha...Whaat?! Wait...!" She turned her head around, but there were a lot of people standing behind her, and she could not see the lady. So she proceeded to get off the bus.

As she was standing outside she looked through the window trying to see the face of the woman. But she was nowhere to be seen. The seat she was sitting in was empty! She then looked among all the people who had gotten off trying to find the woman but of course, she couldn't!

As she got home Sharleen opened the pouch. Inside was a small bottle with dried herbs in it. There was an old, discolored label on it with a handwritten word, LOVE.

Now she understood what the old witch meant by "let it be the guide in your life." She was referring to LOVE which should always guide our life!

Needless to say, Sharleen got in big trouble with mom and dad, and the school but I'll spare you the gory details! :)


So, did you like the story? Well, I have a confession to make. It's fictional! Most of it anyway, as there are a few facts weaved in. Sorry, I didn't mean to deceive you or anything, I just wanted to post an entertaining barefoot story with a little spooky touch in time for Halloween. And I know many of you like Sharleen, so I made her the star. :) But the story could have easily been real, especially in a mystical place like Hawaii.

So happy Halloween, and like the barefoot angel always says at the end of her articles, have a magical day!

Oct 17, 2015

I Have A Dream (The Barefoot Edition)

If you have gone barefoot in stores or other establishments on a regular basis (especially in the United States which is known as the land of the free), most likely you have experienced some form of discrimination ranging from the mildest (like getting dirty looks) to the harshest (like being yelled at, kicked out, or in very rare cases, even arrested).

Ideally, barefooters should never be discriminated against as we don't break any law or hurt anyone by going barefoot. It's totally a personal choice, and we should be allowed the freedom to live the lifestyle that we love.

This wish is wonderfully expressed in the following short article.

I Have A Dream (The Barefoot Edition)

by Steve Barefoot

-I have a dream that one day, all across this nation, people will be able to go barefoot in public places without fear of ridicule and judgment.

-I have a dream that one day, people who wear shoes will not look at people who don't wear shoes as disgusting or mentally challenged.

-I have a dream that one day, businesses like restaurants and stores will no longer see barefooters as potential liabilities, but ordinary, normal customers.

-I have a dream that one day, misguided employees and managers will no longer say, "Excuse me, sir/ma'am....you need shoes to be in here..." but instead say, "May I help you?" and "Have a nice day!"

-I have a dream that one day, we barefooters will no longer have to come up with creative ways to deflect the "shoe-police", but we can walk in any place, in any social setting in the feet that God gave to us.

-I have a dream that one day, people from the least to the greatest will realize that setting their feet free from shoes is an asset to their emotional health.

-I have a dream that as the barefoot revolution marches on, people will be more careful about how they treat their surroundings and no longer abuse the earthly home that they live in.

-I have a dream that as more people go barefoot, they will, with real humility, realize that we are all the same, that there are no big 'I's and little 'you's and no person is intrinsically better than the other.

-I have a dream that going barefoot is no longer just acceptable in New Zealand, but everywhere, all around the world (including the United States).

And when going barefoot becomes socially acceptable, from sea to shining sea, our feet, finally liberated, will sing "Free at last! Free last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty! We are free at last!"

Barefoot and free. Let's celebrate!


The above piece was originally posted in the Society for Barefoot Living Facebook Group (a group for people who enjoy living the barefoot lifestyle). Steve is one of the millions of people on this planet who enjoy going barefoot. You can follow him on Twitter where he tweets about living barefoot.

Everything starts with a dream, and if everyone who loves going barefoot would do something to spread the awareness (what you do is up to you, it can be as simple as sharing a pro-barefoot article or site), this dream would be a reality soon!

Happy barefooting!

Sep 16, 2015

Bloody Bare Footprints

Don't worry guys, it's fake blood, OK! Lol. I saw this bath mat online the other day as it's a hit this time of the year with Halloween approaching, and I thought it was pretty cool. I don't really like bloody stuff so yeah, this would freak me out if I didn't know it was fake. But I'm all about scaring people during Halloween! Especially this item kinda goes along with our love of going barefoot, don't you think? :)

bloody footprint bath mat
Bath mat with bloody bare footprints.
Get it now!
Imagine someone going into your bathroom and seeing this mat. They would scream thinking they were your (or someone's) bloody bare footprints! They would probably think somebody just got killed, haha!

I seriously thought about getting one myself but the thing is, I'm still living with my parents, and I have my own bathroom in my bedroom. Virtually no one that visits our house ever uses my bathroom, so I would be the only person who sees it and that's no fun, of course. Putting it in the common bathroom by the living room is out of the question as mom would eat me alive, haha!

But if you live by yourself or with others and love to entertain during Halloween, this might be a good idea for a prank. :) But use common sense, though. You definitely don't wanna play tricks on people that are vulnerable like little kids, older folks, or those with heart problems, etc. Let them use a different bathroom, or simply warn them before they go in.

If you wanna get this cool bloody bare footprint bath mat, just click on the picture or link above. Have fun!

Sep 2, 2015

Scared Silly - a Barefoot Halloween Story

by Sharleen W.L.

It was Friday evening about a week before Halloween back when I was in elementary school. As soon as I got home from school I took off my shoes and changed clothes as Kevin and I decided to walk around the neighborhood and look at some of the interesting Halloween decorations. I was, of course, barefoot while Kevin was wearing his favorite Crocs.

We stopped at a house and admired the fancy decorations. An old lady walked out the driveway and said to us, "Hey, you kids wanna come in and take a closer look at these little ghosts and goblins?"

I was like, "Sure!" and we walked into her front yard.

"Be careful though, there are some slippery spots as I just watered the lawn. Especially you don't have any shoes on!" she said pointing at me. I was like, "Ok!"

I really enjoyed stepping on the wet ground with my bare soles. Nice and cool. Something that Kevin missed out on. The nice lady showed us some of the animated spooky figures and we were oohing and aahing. She said they would look even more impressive after dark with the lights on.

As we were saying goodbye she said to us, "Hey, be sure you both come back here on Halloween night as I'll have lotsa goodies for ya!"

"Thank you, mam!" I said and we headed back home since it was almost dinner time. My soles got pretty dirty because I walked on the wet surface which caused all the dirt to stick. But it was Friday and Kevin and I were going to sleep outside in the tent (in our backyard)*, so I didn't bother washing my feet when we got home.

Kevin and I loved reading Halloween books but so far we had only been reading kid's books. In fact, we had a favorite that we loved to read over and over. It's called We're Off to Find the Witch's House.

Click here for more info
One day I thought, why don't we read a ghost story book for grown-ups for a change. I was really curious what the stories were like. Would I get scared? So I asked my big sister Debbie if she had any ghost story books. She had a few, and to start with she gave me this one:

Click here for more info
Its a compilation of Hawaiian folklore and ghost stories. She said she would give us more if we didn't get too scared :) Woohoo! I couldn't wait to read it, and this was the night Kevin and I decided to read it. In the tent! So after we finished eating we went straight to the tent. It was going to be an exciting night.

After reading a few of the stories we kinda freaked out, especially because those things happened in Hawaii. Right where we live! They sent chills down our spines.

"Lynn, I don't think I wanna read anymore," said Kevin.

"Me neither," I replied closing the book. "Lets go to sleep. Its getting late," I said looking at my watch which showed it was almost midnight.

But of course, we weren't able to sleep. The spooky stories we just read were still vivid on our minds. There was a strong trade wind blowing that night, howling through the trees outside our tent. We heard dogs barking in the distance. Suddenly we heard something else. It was different than any of the other sounds we had heard. It was like footsteps. Like someone or something was walking on the grass.

"Did you hear that?" asked Kevin with a worried look on his face. I was like, "Uh-huh."

"What is it?" he asked again.

"I don't know. Lets just go to sleep," I said trying to act calm (had to maintain my image as a big sister, lol) although I was probably as terrified as he was :) I hugged Kevin from behind and we closed our eyes. We felt more secure. But then we heard that sound again. This time it was getting closer to our tent. Our hearts were pounding.

"Lynn, I'm really scared!" said Kevin.

"Yeah, me too!" I replied. This time I just couldn't hide it anymore. "You wanna go inside? We can sleep in your room," I said to him.

"Yeah, lets do that!" he said with excitement.

I said, "Ok, we're gonna run as fast as we can to the house, but you can't wear your shoes, though!"

"Why?!" he protested.

"Because...whatever that thing is out there...it might come after us, and wearing shoes is just gonna slow you down. You might even fall!" I explained.

He let out a big sigh but relented and said, "ok..."

So we held hands and ran (barefoot) towards the back door which thankfully remained unlocked (you see, our backyard is actually very secure as there are alarmed tall fences and walls around it. We also live in a very safe neighborhood. So dad said the back door would remain unlocked when we were sleeping in the tent in case we should decide to go in in the middle of the night, it would make it a lot simpler for us). I locked the door as soon as we got inside. We both breathed a sigh of relief.

I actually felt like going into our parents' room and sleeping in there, but decided against it as I would feel embarrassed and besides, we might get scolded. So we went to Kevin's room as planned (it was right across from our parents' which was quite comforting). Again, we locked the door as we got in. Kevin already had a queen bed*, so we both could sleep comfortably in there.

Suddenly Kevin remembered something. He had to wash his feet! His room was originally a den, so it had no bathroom. So he would have to use the bathroom by the living room. I said to him, "Forget it, Kev! I'm not going back out, and you don't wanna go by yourself, do you? Besides, I don't think your feet got that dirty just running on the grass. Here, lets have a look."

So he sat down and showed his soles. Like I had thought, they were pretty clean. So he was convinced that he didn't need to wash them. I then showed him how dirty mine were and he was like, "Eeww!" We both giggled and jumped in bed.

As we turned out the lights he said, "Lynn, can you hug me again?"

"Why?" I asked. "Are you still scared?"

"No...," he answered. "But it felt good and I'll be able to sleep better!"

I giggled and hugged him from behind, and we both fell asleep.

I was awakened by a knock on the door. I opened my eyes and looked at my watch. OMG, it was almost 10 am! We had overslept. It was mom looking for us. She was wondering why we didn't show up for breakfast, so she went out and looked for us in the tent. She got a little worried when she didn't find us there. She asked us what happened and we told her everything. She didn't seem too concerned. She just told us to wash up and eat our breakfast. Luckily she didn't see my dirty feet, or she would of scolded me.

Later we told everyone else what happened that night. No one really laughed at us, but like mom, they didn't think much of it. They probably thought we were silly little kids who got scared reading an adult ghost book. But to us it was quite a frightening experience. I returned the Obake book to Debbie and told her we didn't care to read any of her other ones, and she laughed.

We were still too scared to sleep out in the tent again. Well, rainy season was upon us anyway, so dad took down the tent and didn't put it back up until the following spring.

So, what was it that we heard that night outside the tent? Was our imagination playing tricks on us? But both of us heard the same thing, so that's rather unlikely. Was it an animal? Was it...a ghost? Who knows! After all, Hawaii is a very mystical place.

barefoot witch costume
Barefoot witch
Click here to see more witch costumes
Oh btw, Kevin and I went back to the nice old lady's house on Halloween night to trick o'treat. Kevin dressed as Superboy and I as my favorite character, a witch. Yes, I was barefoot. In fact, that's how she recognized me: "your the barefoot girl that came visit the other day." It was an awesome night.

Side note: I still love wearing a witch costume even today. It just fits my personality, and its one of the Halloween costumes that look good with bare feet.

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

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

*Reference: Barefoot Girl Favorite Sibling

Aug 5, 2015

The Birth of a Barefoot Angel

barefoot little girl
Some of you who have read my little sister's article titled "Barefoot Girl Favorite Sibling" (link at bottom of post) may be wondering why our youngest brother Kevin found her so attractive.

Well, Sharleen (a.k.a. Lynn) didn't tell the whole story as the article is already quite long as it is. We didn't want to turn it into a novel :) So now let me try to fill you in so that it makes more sense.

One day Lynn and I were flipping through the pages of a fashion magazine when her eye caught the picture of a very pretty model and she was like, "Wow, she's so beautiful. I wish I could look like her!"

I looked at her face and said, "Hmmm... maybe you could!"

She was like, "Really? You think so? How?!"

"By changing your hairstyle," I replied. "Let's show it to Debbie and ask her what she thinks!"

Our big sister Debbie agreed with me but she said Lynn would have to wait till her hair grew longer, at least shoulder length (at the time it was about neck length). Debbie then took one of Lynn's headshots and drew new hair over it to make her look like the model. The hair was over her shoulders and slightly wavy, and there were sideswept bangs partially covering her right eye. When Lynn saw it she got really excited. She couldn't wait till her hair grew longer.

It felt like ages to her. Every week she would ask if her hair was long enough. Debbie and I would laugh and tell her to be patient. We also wanted it to be a surprise so we didn't tell anyone about our plan to give Lynn a hair makeover. When people asked why she had not cut her hair, she just said she liked it better longer.

Finally, the long-awaited day came. Debbie took her to her hairdresser to get her hair done just the way she drew it over her photo. The result was nothing short of magical! Lynn looked totally different. She was quite cute to begin with, but now she was gorgeous. She looked... angelic. She was even prettier than me, hahaha!

When she came home everyone was stunned to see her new look. Dad was like, "Whoa! Who is this girl? Debbie, did you trade your little sister?" Debbie laughed her ass off and Lynn giggled in amusement.

Lynn was absolutely thrilled. She felt like a brand new person, like Supergirl, she said. Her confidence soared, and her personality changed too. She used to be a little shy at times. Well, no more! She became very outgoing, more playful, and even mischievous. She also started to go out barefoot more often and eventually, all the time.

A funny story - one day she went to karate class for the first time since her transformation. She decided to go into the office to chat with the people there before class.

When she stepped in the secretary was like, "Hi, may I help you...? <Gasp!> Oh my God, Sharleen! Is that you? I didn't recognize you. You look so pretty! What did you do? And you're barefoot too, wow!"

Lynn giggled and told everyone about her hair makeover, and that she actually loved going barefoot. But yeah, she had never gone into the office barefoot. In class the instructor jokingly introduced her as a new student and asked for her name. Everyone laughed and she got a little embarrassed.

She also became a hit at school. She charmed a lot of people (probably even her teacher, lol - read "Going Barefoot at School"). Well, our little brother Kevin got enchanted too. That was an unintended consequence :) We were all fully aware of it, so one day dad had a little talk with both of them, basically reminding them that they were siblings. Although they could be good friends with each other (which is good), they were not exactly "friends."

At one point Debbie questioned whether it was appropriate for them to be sleeping in the tent together. But our parents fully trusted them and believed nothing "funny" would ever take place.

So yeah, that's the story behind it. You can read the referenced articles linked below.

Barefoot Girl Favorite Sibling

Going Barefoot at School

Jul 22, 2015

Barefoot Little Angel at the Hospital

by Sharleen W.L.

One morning in early summer when I was in elementary school I went to accompany mom to the hospital for treatment of her arthritis. I decided to go barefoot and she didn't object. The treatment was to be done in the outpatient clinic, and when we arrived the nurse was all ready for her. She asked mom how she was feeling.

Barefoot angel on duty
"Well, I was a little nervous because of the potential side effects, but now I'm ok since many people are praying for me," replied mom.

"Oh, you'll be just fine! And it's great that people are praying for you!" said the nurse.

Then unexpectedly mom said this: "besides...I've got my little angel here with me!" while pointing to me.

You see, mom is pretty strict and can even be a bit mean at times. She scolded me a lot, and sometimes even punished me when I was a kid, but she actually loves me very much.

"Oh, how wonderful that you have a little angel!" said the nurse.

"Yeah, naughty little angel!" said mom chuckling. Again, I didn't expect that!

The nurse was like, "Ahaha!...naughty angel, huh?!" winking at me. By that time I was blushing, and I just giggled not knowing what to say.

"I guess you are naughty cos you must have lost your shoes!" she said again, looking at my bare feet.

"But angels don't wear shoes!" I replied, giggling and still blushing.

She was like, "Ha, you got me there, kiddo!" as she walked towards mom to begin her treatment.

The treatment was to take at least a couple of hours, and after sitting in the room for a while I got bored. So mom told me to walk around outside for a while. She even gave me some money to buy whatever I wanted.

So I left the room and walked around the clinic. Just about everyone I met in the hallway smiled and said hi to me. I saw the gift shop and decided to go in. I enjoyed looking at all the cool stuff in there but didn't buy anything.

Then I headed to the front of the building. It was my lucky day, as there was a shave ice truck there. Yes! So I went and bought a small cone. I continued walking as I ate the yummy and colorful shave ice.

I stopped by the fish pond to look at the beautiful koi. There were a couple of little kids there, a boy and a girl about 3 and 4 years old, and their mother sitting by the pond. They said hi to me as I approached them, and we chatted a little. The boy pointed at my bare feet, grinned and looked at his mom.

"Yeah, she's got no shoes on!" she said chuckling. "Did you leave them with your mom?" she asked me.

"No, I was barefoot from home," I replied, and she was like, "Oh, wow!"

I happened to have candy in my pocket, so I gave some to the kids, and they were overjoyed.

I looked at my watch, and it was almost 12:30. Mom must be almost done, so I headed back to the treatment room after saying goodbye to the friendly kids and their mother. My soles got really dirty from all the walking.

When I got to the room the nurse was just wrapping things up. "Ah, here's your pretty barefoot angel, right on time!" she said to mom while winking at me.

Barefoot angel off duty
So everything went well with mom, and on the way home she treated me to a very nice lunch at my favorite resterant by the beach.

When we got home mom went to rest, and I hung out with my little brother in our tent in the backyard (you can read more about that here). After a while we went swimming in the pool.

It was another magical day in paradise for this barefoot (naughty) little angel.

Yes, this is Sharleen reminding you that life is indeed magical no matter where you are. So, let's make it a magical day!

Photo credit:
Fairy Heart with CC BY-SA 2.0

Jun 6, 2015

You Can Go Barefoot!

How to bribe a barefoot girl

by Sharleen W.L.

If you have read the story titled "Barefoot Sisters" you would know that in the beginning mom was so opposed to her kids going barefoot in public places, but she later gave in and allowed Tania and me to do so. The following took place in my early days of barefooting in public when I was in elementary school.

barefoot little girl
It was 9:30pm on a Wednesday when dad was away on business. My oldest brother and sisters were still busy doing homework and studying, and my little brother was already in bed. I just got done with all my homework. I had karate class earlier in the evening, and so I took a shower when I got home.

Btw, I got punished in class with doing lots of push-ups (I was joking around with another kid and wasn't paying attention to the instructor), so now I was a bit tired and sleepy. I was planning to go to bed a little earlier but wanted to kinda unwind first. So I decided to go to the media room and watch TV.

Mom came into the room and asked if I would go with her to the supermarket as she just realized she was running low on groceries. She wanted someone to accompany her and help her carry stuff, and I was the only one available. But that was the last thing I wanted to do at that late hour especially when I was so tired!

I told her I was exhausted and was going to go to bed in a few minutes, but she insisted saying she needed to make breakfast for all of us in the morning, and that it wouldn't take very long. I told her she didn't need to make anything fancy as we could all get by just eating cereal, and that I would go grocery shopping with her after school.

Mom seemed to be at her wit's end. She was silent for a few seconds, and I thought that was the end of it. Then she said something totally unexpected, "You can go barefoot!"

What?! My jaw just dropped. Did I hear that right? I could go barefoot?! Didn't she know I had already showered which meant my feet were going to get all dirty again if I went out barefoot? (You see, she would normally forbid me to go out barefoot after taking a shower). And on a school night too? I was just flabbergasted.

So I was like, "seriously, mommy?!" just to make sure she wasn't losing her mind. :)

She was like, "u-huh," nodding her head.

Grocery stores are some of my favorite places to go in my bare feet, and going out barefoot late at night sounded pretty wild. Something I had never done before. Now I would get to do it with mom's blessing too! I definitely could not pass up this exciting opportunity. All my tiredness and sleepiness suddenly vanished. I was invigorated. So I said, "ok mommy, I'll go!"

I turned off the TV and walked with mom to the garage. She hugged me and said, "thank you, sweetie!"

During the day I would usually see at least a couple of other barefoot people in the supermarket but that night I was a lone barefooter. Heck, I was the only kid in there. But I was cool with that. This particular store had very dirty floors and my soles could feel the grime as I walked around. I also managed to step on some sticky stuff.

We were in there for almost an hour, and I had a really fun night. When we were standing in line at the cashier I looked at the bottoms of my feet, and they were black! Just as I had expected.

Normally, when I went out barefoot with mom she would say, "you go wash your feet now, ok!" as we arrived back home, and I would wash my dirty bare feet in front of the garage. But that night had been anything but normal. Mom was probably tired too and forgot to remind me to wash my feet when we got home.

It was like 11:15pm which was way past my bedtime. I helped her bring some of the bags in from the car and put things in the fridge. When we were done she hugged and kissed me, and said, "it was very sweet of you to come with and help me. You go to bed now, and sweet dreams!"

By that time all the excitement had worn off, and I was really drowsy. I wasn't going to go back outside and wash my feet. I was like what the heck, I'll just wash them in the morning. So I head up to my room and went straight to bed. I was pooped but also very happy, and I had a very good night sleep.

In the morning my big sister Tania, whom I shared the room with, was shocked to see me lying in bed with filthy feet as it had never happened before. I told her what happened and she couldn't stop laughing for I had always said she was gross for going to bed in her dirty feet. She also teased me to death. She was like, "are you sure you weren't sleep-walking all over town?" Argh!

Anyway, I washed my feet outside later that morning right before I put on my shoes to go to school.

I later realized that mom had actually bribed me. Telling me I could go barefoot was the only way to get me to accompany her. But who cares, right? It was also a nice treat for me. I had a wonderful time roaming the grocery store barefoot late in the night when I would normally be in bed. It was a win-win situation!

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

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