Today I started a new trend.
In my frantic path towards (over)simplification I decided I was never going to bring a towel to the beach again. I just realised I don’t need it anymore. In the current pandemic phase in Ireland, signage instructs us to “swim and go”, therefore a towel is not required since lying down to sunbathe is not in line with current official guidelines. My beach bag is now lighter without the towel. I love it. I always preferred to dry out by the FRESH AIR and SUNSHINE anyway. To me it felt like the proper procedure after a nude swim, the logical second part following the laws of nature. And when the weather won’t play along for me, I’ll just resort to the silent disco solution: I will dance to the tune of my favourite music in my phone + earphones until I am warm and dry anew.
LIGHTNESS is my life creed. I don’t like to hoard. I experience something close to distress when having too many items around me, too many belongings. Consequently, I dislike shopping and owning things doesn’t excite me. I’m far from the ideal customer behaviour in capitalist times.
FRUGALITY guides my anti-consumerist tendency. I don’t do birthday gifts, I told my partner when we first met -we already have it all in the so-called first world. And now I tell my kids if they really need to, what I wish on my special day is a reverse gift: instead of giving me something, I want a big decluttering action, one that will result in us having fewer possessions. My culinary taste was always minimalist, I can state now – I never learnt to appreciate, for example, coffee, tea, alcohol, tobacco, spices… I also find phone addiction disturbing. I often feel the necessity to disconnect, to regain control of my time as well as my space.
I discovered the naturist experience through my obsession with SIMPLICITY. Going on holidays with the whole family sounded like a planning nightmare to me. Having to study painstakingly what to put in the luggage, which change of clothes for three small children apart from everything else… I remember thinking of a vacation as pure stress. And one day whilst browsing glamping sites a naturist location came up. I probably giggled at it. I had no idea such places existed, but the appeal of lightness immediately struck me.
Now, I wasn’t unfamiliar with some PUBLIC NUDITY in context: I was a seasoned continental sauna goer and also some sort of breastfeeding champion with a five-year experience that included regular tandem practices with my twins in parks and other outdoors. I could picture myself and my family going with the flow in a naturist context. It sounded like an interesting new adventure that could put an end to past strain.
No sooner said than done. We booked a holiday at the naturist campsite El Templo del Sol in Tarragona, Spain and we all loved it. The kids had no trouble adapting to the environment -they were also experienced sauna visitors at their level- and I was over the moon with this new-found taste of simplicity. Walking around in the forest, swimming in an infinity pool, tasting the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since my childhood and making new acquaintances in different languages… all that was more life-embracing and genuine in the nude.
It was a real REVELATION, an I-want-to-do-it-again-and-again feeling.
The bad side of this awakening is the fact that I haven’t been able to bring my family to a non-nudist holiday since, and they are not as minimalist as I am, to be honest. But I am fascinated by the FKK lifestyle now and they can relate to it too. We go every summer on “nakations” in Europe, I long to discover new places every year.
Plain. Basic. Natural. The New Normal to me.