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NY Post
New York Post
2 Sep 2023


NextImg:My husband and I opened a hotel for nudists — we all love being in the buff

A nudist couple has ditched their lives to go off the grid and transform a 70-foot narrowboat into a naturist haven.

Last year, longtime naturists Fiona Discombe, 54, and her husband Michael, 51, decided to sell their home, purchase a van and travel across Europe to visit as many nudist-friendly locations as they could.

They trekked through countries such as France and Spain — the “best places for nudism” — until they returned to the UK this year and continued to live in their van. However, the weather in England made it challenging.

“We still wanted to try and live off-grid as much as possible, work for ourselves, and have a base in the UK, so we decided we would go and have a look at some boats,” Fiona told Cater News.

Swapping their van for a narrowboat, they decided to turn part of their waterborne home into a hotel for fellow nudists, spending four months on renovations.

“When guests come to stay on the boat we do everything for them,” she said.

They ditched their lives to trek across Europe in a van, only to return home and swap their vehicle for a narrowboat.
@nakedtravels1/ CATERS NEWS

Narrowboat

The 70-foot boat houses the couple and their visitors.
@nakedtravels1/ CATERS NEWS

Their amenities include cruises to Bath and Bristol and home-cooked meals, as well as massages and yoga, since Fiona is a masseuse and Michale is a yoga instructor.

“We don’t find it hard sharing the boat with guests because we all usually share the common interests of naturism, and we can also screen off either of the ends for privacy,” she added.

Before their 1994 honeymoon in Greece, the couple was “ignorant” to nudism.

While trying to find a secluded spot to lounge on the beach along the Balkan coast at the time, the newlyweds stumbled across a naked couple further down the shore basking in the rays.

Michael doing yoga naked on beach next to dog

They were first introduced to nudism while on their honeymoon in Greece and haven’t looked back since.
@nakedtravels1/ CATERS NEWS

“We sat there for a while before we decided we would join in. No one was watching, so we thought, why not?” Fiona recalled.

“So we took our clothes off and went in the water, and haven’t looked back since.”

When they returned to the UK after their honeymoon, they dove into naturist research, attempting to scout out places nearby that were nudist-friendly.

However, they turned up empty-handed — the select few locations that were accepting of naturists were not as “nice” as they were abroad because of the overwhelming “prudish” attitude.

Michael and Fiona

There’s a certain freedom and confidence that comes with being nude constantly, according to Fiona.
@nakedtravels1/ CATERS NEWS

“It’s a societal thing as people connect it with sex and sleaziness,” she explained.

Growing up, Fiona would have never dreamed of being naked in front of other people after facing bullying for her curvy figure.

“It was difficult to begin with, and sometimes I do still have to block that voice out, but it is possible and it makes me feel so much better,” she said.

Now, baring it all in the buff has made her self-confidence blossom.

“If I hadn’t got into naturism I would still be reclusive and shy,” she said. “I wish I had the same level of confidence that I have now years ago.”

Fiona naked by pool

Despite growing up struggling with body image, Fiona said being a naturist has helped.
@nakedtravels1/ CATERS NEWS

For her, always being “inhibited by clothing” is freeing.

“You don’t have to hide, and you don’t know what people are or what they do because you can’t make any judgments by their clothes,” she explained.

“It also helps you realize that bodies aren’t perfect. We all have scars and marks that tell our life stories, whether it be from babies, operations, or accidents.”