Speaking of nudity, how would you like to take a "nakation?" According to an article in the Travel pages of the New York Times, "In 2007, nude recreation represented a $440 million industry - up from $400 million in 2001 and $200 million in 1992 - and it's still growing, says the American Association for Nude Recreation, which promotes au natural vacations as 'nakations."
For some of us, the very thought conjures up fear. I remember my own unintentional nakation, when I lived in Santa Fe, NM, playground for upwardly mobile bohemians. There's a great spa there called 10,000 Waves, and the communal pool is clothing optional, and by optional I mean, you look like a total prude when you're basically the only one there with a swimsuit on. But the great thing about everybody else being naked is that the initial shock wears off pretty quickly, and as expected, the result is quite refreshingly invigorating.
Still, there are limits to what feels comfortable in the nude and what doesn't. For example, the article cites nude yoga retreats. Okay, that I get. But the writer also mentions nude mountain biking (ouch! please watch the seat after use!), and the somehow even freakier: an "all-nude charter flight this summer to take customers to a clothing-optional retreat in the Baltics. The naturalists will take off and land fully clothed, but shed their clothes once airborne. (Flight attendants and crew will, however, keep their uniforms on.)" Maybe I'm just being uptight and all, but this sounds like a highly unnatural setting, not to mention the ultimate vulnerability at 30,000 feet. Plus all those germs on planes? Yikes. No amount of Airborne could prepare you for that mess.
While an increased awareness in green and healthy living may be partly responsible for the trend, nude recreation is nothing new: There are the "ancient Greeks, who competed in the Olympics sans clothing, and later, in the United States, both Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau lauded the benefits of nude nature walks, or 'air baths."
"No matter how popular and upscale nude resorts become, one social convention is unlikely to change: Nudity and family vacations don't always mix."
Why? Not because most "naturalists" are afraid to um, expose their children to nudity. It's just that, as one mother explained her child's reaction, "Mom,' replied her son, 'I don't want to see you naked." True dat.
Interested? Check out the American Association for Nude Recreation here. And uh, don't forget your sunscreen. Seriously.