Encouraging reactions…

Discussion in 'Bare It!' started by Barefoot Traveller, May 26, 2006.

  1. I’m living barefoot for more than six years, and it’s not surprising that I’ve faced all kind of reactions. After all: I’m hardly ever wearing shoes, going barefoot EVERYWHERE! That makes me different, I’m attracting attention… But it might be encouraging for you to know that most comments I get are positive! Especially here in India – back in Germany I had to get used to youngsters, mostly school kids, making some fun of me… Here, it’s different! A few days back for example, I went to a small shop, getting myself a new watch. One elderly gentlemen was the only other customer. Spotting my bare feet he asked me if it isn’t to hot (the usual question, especially in the summer!). I explained that I’m used to it, and the shopkeeper added that he has seen me walking around barefoot for the last few years. Now: Guess what was the reaction of the curious enquirer? A BIG smile and affectionate handshake! That’s only one example, it happens every day… Going barefoot seems to be a way to make new friends – at least in South India! You might ask: How about tourists? Well, let me tell you: I’m traveling A LOT, and I don’t know HOW MANY fellow backpacker I’ve met on the dusty roads of India. Again: Hardly any negative reaction, and not a single case of aggressive barefoot-phobia! I think those guys you meet on the “Lonely Planet Thorn Tree” etc. aren’t really representative… Fortunately! I always remember that Israeli girl in Uttaranchal: I was on the way to Gangotri (the source of the river Ganges)… It’s an 18 km – trail with loads of rocks and even some patches of snow. It was October, and as you might expect – in an altitude of 2000 to 3000 m – nights can get quite chilly up there. I was spending the compulsory night in one of those huge make-shift tents set up for tourists and pilgrims, together with a bunch of backpackers from Israel. That was when one of them, a girl in her early 20ies, joined me for lunch and admired my ability to do the whole trek barefoot! She said she would LOVE to do that herself – and I encouraged her to try, of course in a less challenging environment. The next morning I met a European couple. It was still chilly, and many of the small rivulets crossing the path where frozen. Obviously: A guy covering the remaining 5 km of the trail on his bare feet is an unusual sight. Their comment? “Barefoot – that’s good!” Before you reach the source of “Mother Ganga” (a mighty glacier) you’ve to pass a vast field of rocks. During the ascend I asked a backpacker for directions. He told me that the source is actually less than a kilometer ahead – and that I’ll reach within 20 Minutes, adding “if your bare feet are strong enough”! His friendly smile told me: No disapproval!

    I hope my own experiences are encouraging for you – especially if you’re new to the barefoot lifestyle! Now it’s YOUR turn: Why don’t you share your own stories with us? Tell us about those “encouraging encounters” you had while going barefoot! My Yahoo-Group “The Barefoot Travelers Tepee” is the right place:



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