A nudist couple who enjoy visiting far-flung countries to slough off their clothing in public says the lifestyle has given them a new outlook on life and their bodies.
Fiona and Michael Discombe, who are both in their fifties, discovered the controversial lifestyle while holidaying in Greece for their honeymoon.
Having struggled with poor body image from a young age, the pair from Kent say naturism enabled them to reconnect with their bodies and the world around them.
They’ve spent nearly $19,000 traveling to communities that embrace the sub-culture and now want to break the stigma of the outlandish way of life.
The pair visited an island in Greece as newlyweds, where they quickly developed an affinity for nudism after finding it awakened their senses.
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Fiona, 54, told NeedToKnow: “I remember there being nobody else in this Greek secluded cove, except for one couple, and then I noticed they were naked. Both our eyes widened and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but it was such a gorgeous spot.”
Feeling outnumbered, the pair eventually stripped down and ran into the sea for a dip, leading them both to a liberating experience.
“For the first time in my life I felt so liberated and I was finally able to accept my body shape and not worry about what people thought of me,” explained Fiona.
“It was so freeing, feeling the elements on bare skin, and it made me want to be nude all the time. We hope to visit as many naturists switching as possible, including Thailand and Greenland, and plan to retire abroad.”
Fiona recalls getting her period at 10 after starting puberty, which caused changes in her body that she tried to conceal with baggy clothing.
Michael, 51, also battled poor self-image throughout his life, but both he and his wife feel significantly more at ease since embracing nudism.
According to the pair, the unusual way of life is more widely accepted outside of the UK, which they discovered after embarking on a trip around the world.
Though it is still frowned upon in the UK, the couple says that even their neighbors have adjusted to the way of life since seeing them walk around naked in their gardens.
“Our neighbours were shocked but after a while, they thought nothing of it,” said Fiona, adding: “Now, it’s no surprise to them when we lounge out in the garden completely starkers.”
“We are passionate about promoting this lifestyle and the benefits it brings and how it’s helped our relationship build.
“If we can remove the stigma of our lifestyle, we can encourage more people to become confident about their bodies. Now I can look in the mirror and barely notice any flaws that I had previously picked out. It’s just my body and I am proud of it.”