Often people can’t believe that I’ve been to 50 countries barefoot. “Airports and all?” they ask. I nod. I don’t take many photos in airports, but here’s one from 2012 in Doha, Qatar:
I should have taken more photos in so many places that I’ve been to, but I haven’t. It’s too late to complain. Still, I found quite a few and I made a small album of my barefoot adventures.
Some countries were more friendly to barefooters, and some were less when I visited them. I had hardly anyone complaining about me being barefoot or limiting access to venues in most countries in Europe — except in some areas in Spain, Croatia, and Macedonia. I’ve been to practically all European countries.
My early barefoot travels in Belgrade, Serbia in 2008:
In good company in Bucharest, Romania in 2010:
Arriving at a venue in Sieben Linden, Germany, February 2010:
At the Camino route in Bilbao, Spain:
With friends in Kyiv, Ukraine:
Picking trash in Amsterdam, the Netherlands:
Fooling around in Prishtina, Kosovo:
Coming down from Vitosha Mountain south of Sofia, Bulgaria:
Wild camping in the Albanian Alps:
Doing environmental activism at the EU parliament in Strasbourg, France:
More activism in Paris on COP21:
And in Riga, Latvia:
Facilitating a large group in Tallinn, Estonia:
Challenging icy roads in Findhorn, Scotland:
Hiking in the snow in Lichtenstein:
A short walk outside the hotel in Tallinn — it was -27 C (-17 F):
Africa and the Middle East are usually fine. The only problem was that everyone wanted to feed me when people saw me barefoot. They assumed I was poor, I guess.
Feeling goofy in Bursa, Turkey:
Climbing Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa:
Asian countries were easy too, I never had anyone complain or limit access for barefooters. People in China, Indonesia, and Malaysia were surprisingly courteous.
Feeling like at home in Vrindavan, India in 2007:
Practicing “hunting” in Sarawak, Malaysia:
Posing with a child in the mountains in Nepal:
Enjoying a meal in Zhujaijao, China:
In Latin America, there were questions asked all the time, but no problems.
My bare feet being contagious in Panama:
Climbing barefoot on Volcano Maderas at Ometepe Island, Nicaragua:
The U.S. is the worst of all the countries I’ve visited. There are so many places where they don’t allow barefooters in. No wonder I went crazy whenever I was outside and free! This is me at the top of Mount Mansfield in Vermont:
And this is me helping out with some dirty work, preparing boards for siding with the Shou Sugi Ban technique:
I felt a lot better in Canada than in the U.S., but I have no photos of myself from there. Just as I have no photos from many other countries. It is what it is … If you’re curious about traveling barefoot, I hope this will encourage you to go ahead and not be afraid. You can do it! 🙂