Because if there is something sacred and holy in the ground I walk upon, I want to be as close to it as possible.
The situation is somewhere between symbolism and analogy, really. The clothes make me feel trapped when I wear them. Now I'm trapped in this place because of them.
As a barefoot geocacher I get to visit very unusual places, so when the location is somewhere public, I'm twice as conspicuous.
When I still wasn't used to walking barefoot in public I was so self-conscious all the time I literally charted (mentally) the places I "conquered" barefoot. Once I "conquered" a place, I'd frequent it until I was comfortable barefoot. The tipping point was when I was returning alone from vacation for work and on the way I stopped at Croatia's capital city, Zagreb.
The first step out the back door introduced my body to a slight breeze and the soft sound of droplets hitting the paved path leading to the bridge just outside my backyard. As I step down the steps to the pavement I feel the first drops of warm spring rain tingling my bare feet. The breeze carries with it the scent of washed asphalt, damp earth, and water vapor.
I could handle all of them individually, explain to them that I'm fine and used to the "cold" (the ground was actually much warmer than my shoes) and that this all feels really great and not at all uncomfortable. But when there's a crowd of people, I don't want to lecture them, they're harder to dismiss, there'll be multiple objections to everything I say or do and I can't answer them all and I can't ignore them all.
Instead, she heard it from my mother, who heard it from who knows who, who heard it from local gossips, whose brains have constructed this image of me naked after photons have passed through glasses an inch thick, which their eye is still too broken to actually focus properly onto their respective retinas, but have brains rotten enough to turn a blurry image into a vicious gossip.
[...] there's a little drawback to getting my base tan purely from gardening, as that way I mostly only tan my shoulders, the back of my neck, my back, arms, and a portion of my legs. This leaves me with the most problematic area in terms of tanning - my torso - looking like cheese. But, I suppose, tanning half my body on the deck chair is faster and more comfortable than tanning my whole body on a beach towel.
This unusual escapade prompted a lot of talk. I even found out that being slightly crazy runs in the family - my grandmother once competed with her siblings to get the water from a community well in winter by going to the well barefoot on frozen snow (even I'm not crazy enough to try that). She said she cried from pain for two days.