Even at her young college age, Becky had traveled the world plenty of times. She was smart about it too, especially with the internet and today’s technology. She’d spend hours online looking at places to go, meticulously planning the next adventure, booking locations that most tourists had never even heard of.
The latest trip that Becky planned took place in Italy. She was drawn to a resort which featured an extremely interesting group of people whose whole lives revolved around yoga and spirituality; something that Becky had become very involved with in recent years.
Once there, it was everything we thought it would be. Gorgeous in every way. Everyplace that we went to was filled with amazing beauty and wonderful people. We would be there for two weeks, going to a few different locations before attending the big yoga retreat (something I would be forced to do for the very first time; yoga).
I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Despite my inner whining, I was here because of my daughter; she can be a highly persistent young woman and it’s impossible to refuse her wishes. Especially when she’s always been such a good girl who works so hard at school.
The first few days were just us being tourists: walking around, taking pictures, enjoying the views and the food. But the days after that were where the issues really began. Had I known the trip would turn out like this, I would never have allowed it to happen, thus, leading to the avoidance of the taboo secret we now share. To my dying day, I’ll always wonder if this trip was a good idea or not. But then again, Becky has a differing opinion.
After spending half an hour on her phone, she finally put it away and there was a strange expression on her face. It was the kind of expression which showed she had received some bad news, but despite this she also had enough good news to mitigate the damage.
We were in our small hotel room with our bags packed, ready to go for the next part of our trip.
“The bus will be here soon,” she said with a sly smile and a hint of nervousness.
“I’m sure it’ll be so much fun,” I said hesitantly, waiting patiently for the bad news to drop.
Becky gave a slow nod. That sly smile was still on her face and so was that nervous energy which surrounded her.
“Yep, plenty of fun,” she said, trying to sound positive.
The suspense was killing me.
“Anything wrong?” I asked.
The sly smile grew bigger. “I wasn’t going to mention anything, but since you brought it up, our transportation is going to be a little…unique.”
My eyebrow rose. “Unique?”
“Yeah, well, it’s not like a major company. So we won’t be sitting in a fancy tour bus for the next few hours.”
“That isn’t a problem.”
“We’ll be sharing the bus with hedonistic people,” she said quickly.
“It means, people who…”
“I know what it means. But what does it mean for us? Are they going to be oddly dressed or something?”
Her jaw clenched. “Try a little less.”
“Are they nudists?”
Her jaw clenched tighter. “Kind of.”
It felt like a bombshell had been dropped, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Becky was a young woman. I kept trying to tell myself that the important thing was that they were nice people (which I’m sure they were). I couldn’t stop thinking how awkward it would be, sitting in a bus full of nudists and whatnot, while we rode during those few short hours.
But who knows? Maybe there was another way.
“I’m sure there’s something else we can do,” I tried to reason. “Maybe another bus? The next one going to wherever we’re headed next.”
She shook her head. “The thing is, that’s the only bus going to our destination.”
“So that nudist bus is owned by the place we’re going?”
Becky nodded. “Pretty much.”
“Are we going to a nudist yoga retreat?”
“Technically, it’s not actually a nudist place. It’s a clothing optional place. We can stay dressed if we want.”
I sighed, “There’s a relief.”
“Don’t be sarcastic, dad. It’ll be fun. We should keep an open mind and learn about the human spirit and body. Who knows, you might even meet your future wife there.”
“A nudist resort is the last place I’d want to meet a wife. No offense.”
“You never know,” she said playfully, knowing how badly she screwed up with this trip.
“Is it too late to get a refund?” I half joked.
“We can only get a partial refund at this point. So we’re better off just going there and making the best of it.”
“That’s just great,” I huffed.
She smiled shyly. “Sorry dad, I was really busy with final exams and I guess I didn’t do my due diligence this time.”
It was time for me to be a reasonable adult here and stop complaining. Becky was a sweet girl and I didn’t want her to feel bad for something like this.
“Let’s just enjoy the trip,” I said. “It’s beautiful here. It’ll probably be a lot of fun.”
Becky threw her arms around me to embrace. She was happy that I wasn’t mad. How could I ever be mad at a girl like that?
We waited in front of the hotel with a few other attendees of the retreat until the bus arrived. It was big, old, and clunky. The thing looked like it came from the 60’s. The engine sounded like it too.
The bus stopped and it was already halfway filled with all sorts of people. As we had come to learn, many were tourists, just like us. Many were from across Europe and a few others were also from America.
The thing that they all had in common was that they all had the same free-spirited attitude. And yes, there was some partial nudity. Men with no shirts on. Women with their breasts exposed. It was all so normal to them. The parental side of me wanted to cover Becky’s eyes and drag her away from this. But she was a young woman now. As a parent, it’s sometimes easy to forget that your child is already grown up; something I have to keep reminding myself of.
Everyone was extremely friendly and they greeted us when they came out of the bus for a brief rest. There were still a few more minutes until the bus would depart again.
As everyone got off the bus to stretch and use the bathroom before the trip resumed, I loaded our luggage into the storage area, while Becky took the opportunity to make some new friends. She has always been such a friendly girl. She’s the type of girl who could go anywhere and be friends with anyone. And that was proven here as she socialized with grown women with their breasts showing, along with men who were also shirtless.
When I finished loading our luggage, Becky came to me with another one of those looks on her face. What that meant was, this day is about to get a lot more interesting.
“How do you feel so far?” she asked in an extra nice manner. “I mean, are you okay with all this?”
“I’m fine. How about you?”
She nodded. “Great.”
“I can see you’ve made some new friends already.”
Her face lit up. “I did. Nice people. I think we’re going to have a blast.”
People were returning to the bus and it seemed like we were moments away from departing on our adventure.
“We better get to our seats.”
She took a short breath. “Wait! You know? I was talking to the other ladies, and well, I think we’re over dressed. Well, at least I am.”