Happy birthday to us!

7 years… and a week. On the 25th of August 2016, we published our very first blog post. We really didn’t have a clue of what we were doing, let alone what this little project would turn into. What we did know back then was that we couldn’t find any online information about naturism that we could identify with.

 

That summer of 2016, we visited several naturist resorts in Europe. Finding them had been a hassle, there were few websites that gave a complete overview of what’s available for the travelling naturist and neither did we find any first-hand guidance for people our age. Back then, early to mid thirty-somethings. It would be a very entrepreneurial thing to say that we found a gap in the market and filled it, but that’s not what happened.

 

 

Why we started Naked Wanderings

To be honest, we didn’t have all that much experience with naturism when we started this blog. The first time we went socially nude was in a Belgian spa center only about 5 years earlier. Slowly but firmly, we started to explore what else was possible without clothes, mostly during our vacation time, and as avid travellers, this meant mostly while travelling. This is how we discovered the existence of naturist resorts around the world.
The late nillies were the era of travel blogging, and for all our travels, we almost uniquely relied on the advice of bloggers. But for our naked travels, there weren’t any blogs available. Well, that is a lie. There was one, called the Meandering Naturist. A really good naturist travel blog that inspired us a lot, except that the people who ran it could have been our parents. We figured that maybe someone would be interested in something similar, except written by a younger generation.

 

 

The couple that travels naked around the world

Meanwhile, we also were working on another project. Back in 2011, we took a sabbatical to travel around South America for a year. An experience that would determine our future forever, except that we didn’t realise it back then. Only when the year was finished and we returned to Belgium to pick up our corporate office jobs, we knew that this was not what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives. The next couple of years, we would live on a small budget in order to save as much money as possible so we could go travelling again.

 

Today, we realise that the stars were very much aligned at that time. We had our savings and were ready to hit the road again, and meanwhile, we had started this blog that shows naturism through our own eyes. As we loved staying at naturist places more than anything else, it was easy to do the math. We would visit as many naturist places as possible during this trip and share all our experiences on our blog and social media. The only thing that wasn’t well adjusted to this, was our itinerary.

 

 

 

The Belgian couple that travels naked around the world

During our gap year in 2011, we made our way from the southern tip of Argentina to the north of Venezuela. Now we had more time and money, so we mapped out an even more spectacular idea, to get from our home in Belgium all the way to Australia without flying. When we look back at it now, it’s impossible not to realise that this is not the direction you want to take if you’re running a naturist blog. Once you leave Europe, there’s pretty much no naturism except for Thailand. Just one country the whole way.

 

The thing was, Naked Wanderings was just a hobby. It was just a thing we did with the hope of spreading some positivity about naturism. With the hope of inspiring others to try naturism. Nothing more, nothing less. But the media decided otherwise. They found our Instagram page and started making a big deal of it. Suddenly newspapers around the world headlined “Belgian couple travels around the world naked”.

 

Obviously, we didn’t actually travel naked. We just went to naturist places. In between, we were wearing clothes like everyone else. But our faces (and the rest of our bodies) were now known worldwide. Interestingly, this happened days before we were about to cross the border between Greece and Turkey. The latter is not particularly known to be a big fan of social nudity. This was one of our scariest border crossings ever… Luckily, the people at the border apparently hadn’t read the newspapers yet. Or didn’t recognise us with clothes.

 

 

When Naked Wanderings became our life

From then on, our life and our travels took an interesting move. While we were in Turkey, more and more media enquiries started flowing in, as well as emails from resort owners asking when we would visit them. We realised that there was an opportunity here. We had saved up enough money to travel for about 2 years, but if we could find a way to make money from Naked Wanderings, we might be able to travel longer and visit more places.

 

This also meant that our initial plan (Belgium – Australia, no flying) would have to go overboard. Right there and then, we decided that we would go all-in on Naked Wanderings. A smart decision, if you take into account that 7 years later, we’re still on the road. On the other hand, even today we still haven’t made it to Australia. We’ve been 6 times to France and 4 times to Mexico since we started this journey though.

 

 

Naked Wanderings the business

The entrepreneur would have seen the opportunity from the early start, but it took us years before we noticed that we’d better take this seriously. Because if we did, this could be our job. Can you imagine? Earning money by just going on a very long naturist vacation. Isn’t that something everyone wants?

 

Just because we had been running this blog for several years before we turned it into a business, we knew that this wasn’t just a free vacation. Whenever we were offered a complimentary stay, we knew that there was always something in return. A blog post, Instagram pictures, you name it. We could, of course, not care and just take the free vacation. But if we wanted to keep doing this in the long run, we’d better deliver.
 

 

Unfortunately, there was another difficult decision to make. What if we are invited to a place that we don’t like or don’t want to recommend? We quickly realised that being genuine was our strongest asset. All those people who follow us, are subscribed, and support us, all do so because they trust us. Once we lose that trust, there won’t be anything left. So we learned to say “no”. No, when we’re invited to a place that we don’t really want to visit, and no when we’re in the middle of a “business trip” and decide that we don’t want to promote the place. We learned to be honest about it, to apologise and compensate for any cost they have made to us.

 

 

 

When people start hating you

One thing we still find hard to cope with is that in most naturist places we visit, there will be someone who recognises us. Don’t get us wrong, we love it when that happens and it’s great to see the faces behind the comments or the messages, it just feels a bit awkward to be some kind of celebrity. Our goal was always to inspire people, but we never realised that this also meant that we would become somewhat famous.

 

Fame comes with a downside though, the more people who enjoy what we’re doing, the more others who disagree with us. We can tell you, the first negative comments we got really hurt. They stuck with us for days, and it took us a while to realise that this was just the price we had to pay. That it’s actually a good thing that not everyone agrees with what we do. Every movement that was ever started had haters, and if they hadn’t, they would probably never have succeeded. Getting hateful comments, especially when they seem to come from smart people, still sucks. But a lot less than they used to.

 

 

A life of ups-and-downs

When we posted that first blog post on August 25 of 2016, we had no idea that this would ever become our job. That we would be self-employed as “naturist bloggers”, a job that didn’t actually exist before we created it. It was a big step that gave us many sleepless nights. Now we would be totally responsible for our own success or for our possible failure.

 

We became self-employed in the summer of 2019, just months before a certain pandemic would hit the world at the speed of light and would make travelling impossible. Honestly, from a business point of view, the only thing that would have been worse than a global lockdown would have been another ice age.

 

By the end of 2019, we had been able to create partnerships with naturist resorts and organisations around the world, which compensated a lot of our costs. Everyone knows the saying “time is money”, for us, it was the other way around. Money is time. The more we make, the longer we can travel and focus full-time on Naked Wanderings. When COVID hit, everyone went in survival mode and froze their budgets. Our budget went towards a very deep red.

 

 

Patreon to the rescue

We always believed that our income should come from the ones who financially benefit from what we do. Thanks to our writings, we bring people to resorts, we bring new members to federations, and so on. They should be the ones that make sure that Naked Wanderings is financially sustainable.

 

COVID turned this upside down, suddenly the businesses and organisations couldn’t afford to sponsor us anymore. So we did the one thing we were very reluctant to do, we asked for the help of our community. And our community responded…

 

It’s fair to say that Naked Wanderings might not exist today if it wasn’t for the huge support we received via Patreon. So many people decided to chip in, for $5, $15, or $50. Some even for a lot more. Much more than the financial support though, their willingness to sustain Naked Wanderings is what kept us going. We could easily have thrown the towel and gone back to secure office jobs. But the fact that the work we do is worth money to some (even though they can get most of our content for free anyway) is a major reason why we’re still on the road and why you can still read this 7-year-anniversary blog post.

 

 

The Future of Naked Wanderings

At the end of last year, 2022, we engaged in a project to try naturism on every continent (except for Antarctica) within 18 months. We’re writing this blog post from Canada. After Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the 5th continent on our list. There’s only one continent left… Ironically the same continent we decided to skip almost 7 years ago when we went all-in on Naked Wanderings.

 

If you’re an Aussie or a Kiwi reading this, you can rest assured. All the stars are pointing in your direction right now, and if all goes well, we will be writing blog posts from your backyard soon. But then what? What if we went naked in every continent? We honestly can’t tell. We spent a lot of late-night campfire talks and early-morning coffee talks about this, but we still haven’t figured it out. One thing is certain though, that will not be the end.

 

You see, we are just Nick and Lins. The Belgium couple that “travels naked around the world”. But Naked Wanderings is not us, it’s you. You who have visited the places we talk about, you who have taken the first steps into naturism. You who have decided to start a naturist resort. You who have changed your opinion about naturism. You who have followed our example and started talking openly about naturism.

 

Naked Wanderings has grown to be much more than we could ever dream of. On one hand, we feel like we have a responsibility now to just keep going. But on the other hand, we are living the life we’ve always dreamt of. And we have no plans to stop doing this any time soon.

 
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14 thoughts on “Happy birthday to us!”

  1. Congratulations on your birthday! I’ve been following your blog since you had published maybe 6 posts. I expected that your blog would be like all the rest, start out with reasonably frequent interesting short pieces of writing and then fizzle out, with increasingly long between increasingly dull pieces before just going permanently silent.

    But you haven’t. In 7 years I don’t think there’s been much more than a week between posts, and while some I find less interesting than others, most are an enjoyable read. As a reader I could never have anticipated where you would take your blog all those years ago, and I look forward to see it where you will take it next.

    Congratulations, keep up the good work.

    Reply
  2. Happy Anniversary! 🎂🍻🎉
    Keep collecting haters, they can’t stand seeing others do good things.
    Sending you good thoughts from Koversada.
    Carlitos =}

    Reply
  3. Happy Anniversary!
    There are haters, you can’t please everyone.
    Apparently we were at Camping Baldar in Croatia 2017 at the same time? I hadn’t read your blog then.
    Keep up the good work!!

    Reply
    • That’s so funny that we were there at the same time. Baldarin was our first naturist resort during this trip that would end up taking 6 years and more to come 🙂

      Reply
  4. Congratulations, they say that if you do something you love, you will never work another day in your life. That’s not to say what your doing isn’t hard work, I’m sure it it at times. You are an inspiration, and for those who do not have the opportunity to travel to the wonderful places you visit, you provide a window on the world of global naturism. Its a joy to follow you both. Thank you.

    Reply
  5. ¡Feliz cumpleaños pareja!
    Gracias por dar un aire fresco, renovado y alegre al naturismo. Vuestro viaje hacia “Ithaka” ya lo haceis desde “Ithaka” haciendo realidad vuestro sueño y compartiéndolo con los naturistas que os leemos, disfrutamos y acompañamos. Buen viaje y “que el camino sea largo, lleno de aventuras, lleno de conocimientos.”

    Reply
  6. Happy anniversary. I found your blog later but I have went back and read all your posts. Excellent work and photography. I love the creativity in the shots and many places you have been naked!

    Someday maybe I will as well. You have inspired me to be more comfortable naked around my wife perhaps someday I can find a way to be socially naked.

    Reply

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