We were lucky to have the chance to visit the North Island, New Zealand. Where else do you find among modern societies that being barefoot is normal! I’m not talking about being barefoot at beaches or backyards, those are normal. I’m talking about walking around barefoot in shopping malls, sidewalks, grocery stores, restaurants, sight seeing facilities, and even in a walking trail in a forest.
Here are some illustrations for you. Going barefoot in a shopping street in Wellington:
Along a pebbly walking dirt path under a very hot summer sun. This guy had to hop along the way because the ground was very hot. (Also notice the extra warn winter fur hat he was wearing, this guy knew the best how to deal with summer!)
Even in a walking trail in a forest, to see Tane Mahuta, the hugest giant kauri tree in the world!
Here is a picture of Tane Mahuta, the kauri tree he was admiring. With the trunk girth 13.77 m, trunk height 17.68 m and total height 51.2 m, this largest kauri tree in NZ is impresive indeed. Wear some footwear though, if you want to walk around there.
Now, being foot-injured doesn’t mean you can’t stay true to your barefootness! Even though barefoot courage from partner might be needed.
So, this barefootness is definitely quite common here in NZ, at least in the North Island. Sometimes this could be a serious problem, where they walk around in places where obviously you need a footwear coverage. For example in the walking path of geothermal areas where the ground is hot and sometimes its surface is fragile, where you could find yourself stepping into a boiling mud or pool if you are not careful.
This famous and intriguing geothermal area called Crater of the Moon even made it clear by posting a warning sign in its entrance.
“If the Shoe Fits, Wear it!”
Now I start wondering how it feel to walk around barefoot like these kiwis (by “kiwi” I mean the people of New Zealand of course, not the kiwi bird). Now, it will be odd if I try this in Sydney where I currently am: nobody does it here. Maybe next time if I’m lucky enough to visit NZ again? Sure I will carry antiseptic cream and some bandage in my pocket, you know, just in case. Or also a pair of shoes or “jandals” in my day pack, just in case I change my mind?