For me, being naked is soooo much about freedom. The freedom to be myself without feeling I need to live up to any expectations. The liberation of being safe and comfortable to bear all without receiving any negativity. The freedom to off load any of my worries and stresses and just enjoy the moment. With this book I hope to guide people to the places where they can feel this freedom. The places where there’s no-one else around so that they can off load their worries and reservations and be fully themselves. When there is no-one else to judge, criticise or take advantage we can be set free by our nudity. In a world where naked bodies are so often sexualised, it is so liberating to take the power back and enjoy your own body for what it is in a purely natural, non-sexual way.
These places we are finding have no rules and no pressures, because there’s no-one else there. They are places where people can be naked and completely carefree, where people can be confident about themselves and their bodies even if they aren’t in their everyday life. Because there is no-one else there to see them. In these places I find myself returning to a childlike sense of joy. I run around, skipping, jumping and whooping like an excited 5-year-old. When you get to a wonderfully secluded and beautiful place it is already exhilarating, but to throw off your clothes gives a whole new sense of excitement. Knowing you are in a place that is so obscure that no-one is going to stumble upon you gives you the green light to be naked and run around like a nutter. It gives you the opportunity to do things you’ve never done before. I am finally learning to do cartwheels, which is something I never did as a kid and have been too embarrassed to try to learn as an adult. In these safe spaces we are discovering, I can finally admit to my friends the things I’ve been too embarrassed to admit before. Such as being a 31-year-old who never learnt to do a cartwheel. So now I practise my cartwheels (naked) whenever we find a soft sand beach or a grassy paddock. And I’m getting better at them! These places give such an air of “who gives a shit?” Who cares if your bits are flopping around if no-one else is ever gonna know? You can just enjoy the feeling of the wind between your legs and the sun on your skin without ever telling anyone if you don’t want to.
So often in life we create cages for ourselves, in our houses, jobs, relationships, routines and in our minds. We feel the pressure from society to adhere to the “norm”. To look and act a certain way, to aspire to certain things. To abide by the rules and stick to the safe options. We let other people’s opinions decide our self-worth. The idea of physical beauty creates a tight cage in our minds. So many of us spend so much time worrying about our appearance, worrying about what others think of it and how we match up to the people around us. When we are naked in nature in these secluded spots, we can be set free from these cages. Even if it’s just for a brief time, we can be free from these pressures. But every second of carefree enjoyment helps us to feel more confident and comfortable in ourselves. And I can tell you from my personal experience, the more time spent naked in these places = the more confident I become in my body. The more time I spend feeling confident no-one will see me = the less of a shit I give if someone does see me.
I feel that freedom is being able to go where you want, when you want, and then not give a shit what people think of you when you get there. But I think it is human nature to worry about what the people around us think of us. Spending time in the buff in these places is helping me too stop worrying too much. Sometimes I do still worry that people will think I look stupid or ugly, or think that showing the world my naked body is vile and indecent. But I am trying to stick to what I believe and not let anyone’s negativity effect my decisions. I am trying to trust my own judgement rather than relying on other people’s judgement to tell me what is good for me. Throughout our lives we hold ourselves back so often because of preoccupations with other people’s opinions. What are the things you would have done in the past if you hadn’t been worried that people would think you were daft?
Since I started this trip, I feel that I have been blessed, I get to experience so much freedom! At 30 years old, I was pretty late to get my driving licence. But I finally got around to it late last year. So, since being back in New Zealand I have experienced the freedom of having my own car for the first time in my life. Having a licence and my own car has given my free spirit room to fly. When I’m in that car all on my own, I’m in my own little world. A world where I am the boss, the queen, the president and the hero, I am the lead role and I am in charge! I can go where I want, when I want, listen to whatever music I want as loud as I like and sing along at the top of my voice without anyone laughing at my dodgy singing. When I am on the open road, living by no routine, with no-one’s else’s expectations or assumptions to live up to and everything I need to survive in the car with me, then I feel so free that I’m almost floating. I feel as though I’m a bird soaring in the wind, the warm air below my wings keeping me flying high. I know that I’m very lucky to be living this way and I don’t write this to gloat about it. I’m writing about it here so that I can share this freedom with you guys. The book I am creating is my way to share this fantastic freedom with others. Some people would call me a free spirit, but I believe that everyone has a free spirit, it is just a case of unshackling it and letting it fly. I hope that my book will guide people to the spaces where they can let their spirits fly.
This nomad life gives me so much space to be myself and I’m loving this lifestyle. It’s not always perfect but when it’s good it’s sooo damn good. I don’t have a house that I need to keep clean, I don’t have a partner that I have to make compromises for, I don’t have a schedule to follow or a uniform to wear, in fact I hardly wear clothes at all, and most of all I don’t feel the need (that I have felt for so many years) to gain other people’s approval on my appearance. I am cage free, I’m a free-range Naked Kate.