As a boy growing up in
I think about those swamps every time I’m in line at the airport and I watch somebody get all queasy about taking their shoes off to walk through the security portal. Sure, you’re about to walk your stocking feet (or bare feet) across 20 feet of flooring where other people have trod. Is that really such a disgusting and germ ridden concept that you should consider protective footwear? Obviously, it’s your own decision… but personally, I say “no.” Consider the other places you’ve been barefooted recently, your hotel room, the gym, the pool, in the elevator on the way to the pool, etc. What about the other germs that you don’t even think about? That chair at the airport, its armrests, the counter at the bar, the bowl of peanuts, etc, all have their own germy minions to consider.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that modern medicine and brilliant doctors are discovering new germs, the way they’re carried and how to fight them. I’m grateful for antibiotics and I take them when I need them. But I also believe that God made our bodies with an exceptional ability to fight, and the fact that I’m still alive after 43 years of public toilet using, convertible driving, Public Park playing, swamp trodding mayhem, is quite a testament to that very fact.
Still, lots of people ask me for my opinion as a traveler when it comes to these types of things, and some people have more of a legitimate reason to be concerned about germs than others. I can tell you that airports usually provide little hospital booties for people walk through security and lots of people use them. I laugh sometimes when I see people put them on, walk through security, take them off, then gently fold them and put them into the breast pocket of their suits, (why go to all the trouble to keep those germs away from your feet, only to mop them up and put them in your pocket where your cell phone lives?) but that’s the way it goes, I guess.
You can buy your own booties if you want! The folks at Ekosteps (www.ekosteps.com) make some flat little flip-flops that are quite portable out of 100% recycled paper. You can also buy your very own bundle of booties from the people at www.mytravelfeet.com if you like.
I’m older and wiser than I was as a swamp-kid and I have a very thin pair of moccasins (made from Moose leather) that I wear when walking to/from the pool, or down the hotel hallway for a bucket of ice. Still, my sandaled feet have survived trips in
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