I had planned to go for a walk this weekend, and on Saturday, I got up bright and early and checked the weather. The forecast was for an overcast day with 10 c temps and wind, but the wind chill was the same, so I decided to go on the walk.
I entered the camper van and drove to a back lane near Rickney, East Sussex. Upon arrival, I grabbed my walking boots and backpack, set off into the field, and walked next to the river. I got out of sight of the road and stripped off, putting my clothes into my backpack, leaving me just wearing my boots, socks and cap. I felt warm as I walked and soon realised I was over a third of the way around. I was coming up to a part on the river bank where a path from another direction joins it, and as I looked to my right across the open field, I could see a family heading towards my path. I had that momentary thought of if I should cover as I could see children but decided they were far enough away that I did not need to, and I carried on.
I passed the join in the path, and they were still about 100 feet away, so I carried on plodding along. After a short time, I realised they had caught up with me as I slowly strolled along. At this point, I was expecting to get a torrent of abuse, but I was surprised when the man said, "Morning, is it warm enough for you?". I was taken aback as I was expecting the worst and got the opposite. I turned towards him, replied it was warm enough, and smiled. They then asked if they could join me as I walked; not what I was expecting, but I happily agreed as it would be nice to have the company.
As we walked, they introduced me to the family, husband and wife and their two children, a girl and a boy. The woman asked if I often walk nude, and I explained I do as I am a naturist and that I walk solo as well as with Natram, the naturist walking group. She then presented to the children what a naturist was by saying it is a person who is the same as them but prefers not to wear clothing. The man asked about what walks I had done, and I explained about my website and that I usually video blog the walks, holidays, events and general lifestyle. The girl then asked me if I felt the cold as she was cold with a coat on. I explained that our bodies get used to the temperatures over time, and we don't feel the cold as much, like the Stone Age people who did not have clothing.
That then opened a torrent of questions from the girl and boy, things like, do I go shopping naked or go to work naked? Do I even own clothes? Being 10 and 8, I even got the question, why do I not have hair around my "willy"? I answered the questions, and they were not bothered by my nudity at all. I told the parents that, generally, families with children typically shout at naturists and give us a hard time. I explained we usually try to cover up when we see families as it saves them from being a hassle, but I knew I would be far enough in front that they would not see. The man explained that they didn't understand that attitude as everyone has a naked body that children would not be bothered by and that he thought it was just the parents who had an issue with it. I fully agreed with him. He said that if they are getting dressed or showering at home, they don't hide away from the children as there is no need.
We walked for around three miles and chatted about everything: the weather, the country's state, jobs, holidays, family, etc. They were so polite and friendly, and as the adults chatted, the kids ran about in front playing and paid little attention to us. We passed a few people on the way, and all said hello and smiled; probably, they felt a bit at ease seeing a naked person as I was with a family and could see they had no issues.
When we went in separate directions, they all said goodbye and, since then, have been in touch on my website as they live in the area. I said that we have naturist events in the summer that are clothing optional, and they would be welcome to come to them. They are still determining if they will go nude, but after seeing me and how relaxed and happy I was, they are giving it thought as a lifestyle change.
If only more people in the world would wake up and realise that the human body being naked is not a problem or something to be annoyed about, then perhaps the world would be a better place.
It shows that we, as naturists, sometimes expect the worst from our previous experiences, but things don't always turn out the same way. If I had covered up, I would have looked guilty of doing something wrong, which I had not, and this decision turned out to be correct. I expect to meet up with them again for a walk, and hopefully, it will prove to any person we meet that being a naturist is normal and there is no need to have an issue or fear of us.
It is excellent that there are still sensible people in the world.