Be careful what you wish for, they said. Maybe we should have listened. If you asked us around this time last year what we hoped for 2020, we probably said something like “unique experiences and meeting interesting people”. And that was exactly what we got. Unfortunately, a global pandemic was not the kind of experience we had in mind. Neither were virologists the kind of people we were looking forward to meeting. At least not that many of them.
If you had told us exactly what was about to happen in 2020, we would have thought that you were crazy. A virus that spreads around the world with the speed of light, ok, we had that before. But what happened afterward was just too surreal. Countries closing their borders, planes stop flying, people being locked up in their homes, everyone wearing facemasks… We can appreciate a good sci-fi movie, but that’s just way over the edge.
The planned year
Ever since we left Belgium in the summer of 2017, we have basically been going where the wind took us. We didn’t have much of a plan. Our only goal was to experience naturism in every corner of the world and, as a consequence, try to escape winters as much as possible. Along the way, Naked Wanderings started growing. From a small personal blog about our experiences at naturist places and our ideas about naturism to a big blog about… Ehm… well, basically the same.
Once you start to take blogging seriously, it suddenly starts asking a lot more time. You want your content to be more varied and informational. You start to grow on social media, and suddenly need to reply to so many messages. You want to engage in every online conversation about naturism. You learn that you can actually help people, so that becomes the highest value. Help as many naturists or aspiring naturists as possible.
2019 was the first year that we started realizing that a bit of planning upfront could be pretty convenient. Instead of aimlessly wandering around the world, we could visit more places and meet more people if we put some structure in it. 2020 became “the planned year”. We had it all worked out. In January the Zipolite nudist festival and afterward to Intima Resort, the last nudist resort on our list for the Mexican Caribbean coast. Then to the nude beaches and clothing-optional resorts in Cuba, Jamaica, and Saint Martin. Mid-spring we would end up in Florida, and then move to Europe for a big trip through Germany, the Netherlands, UK, France, and Spain. By the time the winter came back to Europe, we would be on our way to South-Africa where another summer would be waiting for us.
The lost year
The plan worked out well for exactly 2.5 months. While large parts of the world were already on lockdown, we somehow believed that we still had a chance to escape the virus. Until one evening in a bar in Havana, when some official on national TV announced that we (and all other foreigners that were still left) had 48 hours to get off the island. A bit of a daunting idea, with not many countries left that would be happy to receive us. One day later, we were on a plane back to Mexico. Looking back now, that was definitely the best choice we could have made.
More than 3 months later, the world started opening up again and we managed to get to Europe. The big tour was definitely not an option anymore, but we did manage to squeeze out a camping trip through France. And then came winter… and no possibility to get to South Africa. We are not complaining though. While most people have seen their vacations disappear like snow in the sun, we did manage to get on the move now and then. But for nomads like ourselves, 2020 was quite a lost year, travel-wise at least.
The year of opportunities
Suddenly we realized that our whole life was based on the simple fact that we can jump on a bus, train, or plane, have a nap, and end up somewhere else in the world. Something we’ve always taken for granted. Until this year. What seemed like a disaster at first, also started creating opportunities. Naturist vacations may have disappeared, but naturists definitely hadn’t.
Once again, we started thinking outside the box. If the naturist can’t go to the resort, we had to bring the resort to them. The result of this idea was our very successful Virtual Resort Visit project. Also others in the naturist world noticed a need for staying connected in a world in which people were not even allowed to hug anymore. British Naturism, the Irish Naturist Federation, and the Naturist Association Thailand became leaders in organizing online events. We participated in many of those and launched our first Live Q&A.
If there is one thing we did have a lot in 2020, it was time to think. Or better, time to actually do something with the many great ideas that we have. During the second half of 2020, we started our amazing Patreon community, we built a dedicated website about one of our most favorite naturist spots in the world, Zipolite in Mexico, and we even started a Nudist News Show.
The new year
More great new things are already being launched in the first week of 2021. As a follow-up of the Virtual Resort Visits, we will host Naturist Resort Sessions in which we talk live with naturist resort owners from around the world about their experiences and visions. Then there is the Simply Naked project, a collaboration between naturist promotors, bloggers, and influencers, all aiming for a better future for naturism.
But, of course, we do miss traveling. Our big plans for last year have all but been buried. They are in the freezer, waiting to come out when this virus has finally been conquered. With the vaccine ready, we have high hopes. We just can’t wait to visit new places and meet new people again. We can’t wait to see what the new normal will be like. To see how the world will look when the doors open up and the facemasks are taken off. Will we love each other more? Will we travel more sustainably? Will we value the little things more? Will we live more today and think less about tomorrow? Will we start enjoying life to the fullest? Will the world finally embrace naturism?
We are careful what we wish for, so if you ask us today, we just wish that the world keeps its sanity for these last couple of months before COVID is something for the history books. That we all hold on. And that this lost year has made us all better people. Welcome 2021!
Support Naked Wanderings
Do you like what we do for naturism and naturists? Did we make you laugh or cry? Did we help you find the information you were looking for? Then definitely join our Patreon community!