This is already the 3rd new year we’re celebrating on Naked Wanderings. The last two years we’ve expressed our wishes towards you and we were actually about to do the same this time when we noticed that what we want to wish you hasn’t really changed much.
So we could write exactly the same thing again, maybe in some other words. Or you could just have a look at our wishes for 2017 and 2018.
We don’t like to repeat ourselves, so we figured we should do something else this time. In fact, this has been a very special year for us. It has been the year in which we 100% focused on being naked as much as possible in as many possible places. It has been a year in which we’ve been constantly on the road in search for places suitable for naturism. It has been a year of amazing encounters. Maybe it has even been the best year of them all.
But that didn’t happen just like that. It happened because we’ve dreamt it and then made it reality.
Flashback to the end of 2017: We were in Greece and cold winds and rainy days were predicting the real end of an amazing naked summer. We had to move on, to some place where the winter wouldn’t get a grip on us. Unfortunately, when winter hits the northern hemisphere, the naturist options around the world become quite limited. From the beginning of this trip we wanted to to east, so east we went. Mistake number one.
Because Asia is not really known to have many cultural or religious restrictions against nudity, we thought that this continent would provide quite some opportunities for the naked traveller. Our first destination was Sri Lanka. Mistake number two. Sri Lanka appeared to be culturally very much against public nudity and naturism has not yet set foot on ground in the country. We figured that Sri Lanka would be a good gateway to India though, a country where meditation, yoga and ayurveda are very famous. These are often linked with naturism as well. Other than that we had also heard about some secret nude beaches around Goa and about naturist meet ups. Mistake number three.
The more we researched India, the more we found out that also here our options would be very limited. Some unofficial nude beach here, a meetup about 5000km further, that kind of thing. But our flights were booked… what could we do? And then something happened. A couple of days before we planned to fly to India our visa got rejected (due to a mistake from our side). We didn’t have enough days left on our Sri Lankan visa to apply for another country, so we had to decide quickly and go to a place with no visa requirements for Europeans. That’s how we ended up celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Malaysia.
No naked Christmas in 2017… in Malaysia you can get thrown in jail for public nudity. The country does have an official naturist federation but activities are seldom organised and we were not able to learn much about it. We had dreamt about being naked on gorgeous beaches while eating delicious Asian food. Instead we were running around from one place to another with our clothes on, eating delicious Asian food nevertheless. The good news was that Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is a major hub for Asian travels. From here we could get anywhere and for little money as well.
We were running low on content for Naked Wanderings and quite a lot on patience too. Now we had to be sure what we did. This time we researched well and took no risks, we would aim for official naturist resorts and see what happens from there. The amount of naturist resorts in Asia is not particularly spectacular… We flew to Bali because we wanted to visit Au Naturel resort and because we knew about some private villas over there and then we moved on directly to the heart of Asian naturism: Thailand.
For the following month we only put on clothes to move from one naturist resort to another. Truth has to be said, we’ve seen very little of the country but finally we were back on track. Meanwhile we met some amazing people: Gregers and Dao who started a successful naturist federation in Asia, Bruce (also a head member of the federation) who helped the resorts become great naturist places and Paolo who had managed to build a naturist resort without walls in a country like Thailand.
Top of the bill: we went to a wonderful trip with Barefeet resort to a magnificent beach on an uninhabited island where we could be nude. While eating delicious Asian food. Our dream had come true eventually.
While we were enjoying our naked time in Thailand, one idea did keep us up at night: what’s next? When we visited all naturist places in this country, our secure options for Asia would be over. One idea was to go to Japan and Taiwan which have public baths that are nude friendly. But how much can we write about a public bath? Let alone several?
Australia and New Zealand were also on the options list, those countries were pretty much around the corner but are also very expensive for travellers. That would be a major attack on our bank accounts and as an extend to our travel time.
We could hang around in Thailand for the next month or two and then move back to Europe where the options are huge. But what kind of a world trip would that be?
A difficult decision and we couldn’t make up our minds. Until one day we received an e-mail from a friend who was throwing a party in New York and asked us to come. Just like that the decision was made. New York here we come!
The weekend before we landed on JFK airport the weather had been fabulous, when we got there it was cold and pouring rain. Although we had friends and a party, we also had hoped to be able to visit the famous Gunnison beach and Rock Lodge club. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. What did happen was one of the most magnificent naked yoga sessions ever. Together with some fifteen other participants of Naked in Motion we stretched naked while looking over Manhattan.
California and below
Travel costs in the USA are not particularly Asian-style and we figured that we could afford one more destination in the states. We decided to pick California, other than the more obvious Florida. That appeared to be an excellent choice. In California we had the opportunity to see some of the best of what American naturism has to offer. Campgrounds deep in the desert like DeAnza Springs and the Olive Dell Ranch. Wonderful naturist b&b’s in Pasadena and San Diego. Top class naturist resorts in Palm Springs like the Terra Cotta and Desert Sun. We went naked hiking with a local nudist group to Deep Creek hot springs and we walked with some other naturists through the streets of San Francisco during Bay to Breakers.
The boost we had gotten in Thailand just kept going. When we were searching for the cheapest flight to Mexico, we found out that we were going to end up in Guadalajara. Exactly where the brand new president of the Mexican nudist federation lives. And the youngest one in the world too. Five days we slept on Hector and Andrea’s couch, drinking too much beer and brainstorming about all aspects of naturism and how we could bring it into the 21st century.
Next stop in Mexico was again bull’s eye: Zipolite beach. The name might sound familiar to those of you who have been following us for a while because we’ve been raving about the place ever since. Until today, it’s one of our most favourite places in the world.
Our next experience would be “naturism grand chic”. We moved to the Riviera Maya, known for its all inclusive top resorts and stayed at Playa Sonrisa which came as close to a bounty paradise as possible. We visited the super deluxe Hidden Beach resort and we tried out whether genuine naturists like ourselves could feel comfortable at a “sensual resort”. Honestly, we had serious doubts and from what we hear these were certainly not without reason. Luckily we seemed to have picked the perfect place to try this out: Desire resorts.
Lately we started dreaming about how cool it would be if we could keep doing this forever. But then someone would have to give us a lot of money or at least pay for our costs. While we were in Mexico we received an e-mail from the French tourism board asking us if we’d be interested to visit some naturist places in France. All costs covered. That’s how we like to roll! But first we wanted to reply on another e-mail we had received almost a year ago, from one of the most prominent persons in naturism and a huge promotor of the lifestyle. Stéphane Deschenes had asked us to visit him at Bare Oaks, his resort in Canada.
Canada had never really been on our list but now the timing was perfect. It was early August which promises pretty decent weather and Canada wasn’t all that far away from Mexico. When we announced on social media about our Canadian plans we received another wonderful message, from Attila. Another huge promotor of naturism. He was organising a naked cruise on lake Ontario and offered to host us the days before and after.
So early August we cruised the Canadian waters with about 50 other local naturists, then moved on to the amazing Bare Oaks resorts where we made a bunch of friends we will certainly remember for the rest of our lives and then we moved on to Sunward, Oasis and La Pommerie. All unique in their own way.
France – home – Lisbon – home
We had arranged that we would visit France at the end of September and for the second time during this trip we would experience the end of the European naturist season. Going on a “press trip” is exhausting, but we loved it. Everything was planned upfront for us so we basically just had to go with the flow and just make sure to have enough pictures and information to talk about. In two weeks we visited 6 naturist resorts in total, big ones, small ones, some with a beach, some with more facilities than we could ever imagine. In the end we were sure, France is still the queen of naturist destinations and the Nouvelle Aquitaine region provides some of the best of it.
There was no way that we could go to France without passing by Belgium, our home country where all of our friends and family had been looking forward to our return for more than a year.
While in Belgium we also wanted to learn some more about our local naturist community because we had to admit, other than our nude beach and some saunas we hadden’t really visited much of it. During our first weekend we went to a huge swim event and during our last we learned about the volunteering thing at the biggest naturist club in our country: Athena Ossendrecht.
The one weekend in between we had even bigger plans. We had kind of invited ourselves to the world congress of the International Naturist Federation (INF-FNI)in Lisbon. Not only would this be a great chance to see some old friends: Gregers and Dao from Thailand would be there and so would Hector from Mexico, Claudia from California and Laurent from Paris. Ever since the beginning of Naked Wanderings we have been complaining about the naturist federations and the INF because it seems like they do nothing to promote naturism. On one hand, the congress was a disillusion and after those three days we had completely lost the little faith we still had in the current board of the INF. On the other hand the congress was a success because we met so many amazing people with so many great ideas. Only lacking the support to execute them.
While in Belgium another amazing thing happened: we received green light from our publisher to announce that we were about to launch a book! For the last year we had secretly been working together with a known Belgian writer to get a book together. Because naturism did get a lot of media attention in 2018 everyone was pretty scared that someone else would also come the idea to write a book so we had to do this in all silence. A lot of sweat and long nights resulted in a (what we believe to be) a great book: Alles Uit!
Back across the ocean
If there’s one scratch on our naturist soul it must be that we’re not particularly being very ecological. Our footprint has been huge in 2018, we’ve been flying a lot from one place to another and it wasn’t about to get any better. Just like a year before we were struggling with our next destination. And again the options were limited. Australia and New Zealand were still as expensive as they had been the year before, South Africa seems to have some cool options but not enough to keep us busy for several months. The Caribbean have great weather but that would include even more flying from one island to another. Our eye fell on South America. Although naturism isn’t exactly huge in this continent, it seems to be growing lately. In Mexico we had learned that a new movement in naturism is much more interesting than established (and dare we say old fashioned) naturism.
After two failed attempts because of airport strikes, eventually we boarded a plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina. You’ve already read about our experiences at Yatan Rumi, a fairly unknown naturist camping but yet the largest one on this planet. And we hope that you will keep following our naked adventures through Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil during the first months of 2019. What happens after is still a guess. Something we still have to dream. The future will tell.
Sometimes it’s hard for us to believe that all of this has happened, that all of this is happening. Sometimes it feels so impossible. But yet here we are doing it.
We can’t just stop this post without wishing you all the best for 2019, without wishing you some wonderful naked time in great health and amazing company. And we wish you great dreams. Dream the impossible, we are the living proof that dreams can get real, as long as you keep believing in them.