Many travelers attempt to visit places and experience them in their purest form. Going Topless like #TheToplessTour is one way but The Naked Handstander might have found the ultimate way to do this by traveling the world upside down in his birthday suit!
The ginger man, who calls himself the Naked Handstander, was first spotted in Vik, Iceland in May 2009. The only other things known about this anonymous maverick is that he hails from a far away land and enjoys spending time upside down, exploring the world in Adam’s costume.
Why it started that auspicious day in Iceland is unclear, even to the culprit himself: “I can’t really say, it just happened! It was summer 2009, I was with a particularly cool girl and felt the urge to get nude…Vík is a spectacular place and I think it’s best experienced naked, as some of life’s many pleasures are!”
Other naked travelers like the Topless Travel Tour, the No-pants Subway Surfers and the One-handed Handstand Backpacker who also just wanted a more airy way of lighting up their trip, will agree with that.
It does look like the Naked Handstander has successfully combined all of their initiatives though as he is both Topless, without his Pants while doing Handstands at the same time.
Well-travelled, principled, and none-too-shy about dropping his attire he has bared his goods around the globe, from Preikestolen, Bergen & Oslo in Norway to Amsterdam, London, New York City, Reykjavik, Tallinn and The Great Wall of China.
Although The Naked Handstander does admit to enjoying “the world in all its glory and wonder in the raw,” his handstands are not simply the denuded demonstrations of a worldly exhibitionist. Rather, with each handstand, he intends to raise awareness about Planned Obsolescence, “the deliberate shortening of a products’ useful life in order to force the consumer to buy or ‘upgrade’ over and over and over again.”
In other words he is demonstrating against our ‘throw-away’ culture and the resulting garbage and ever increasing trash pile.
He wants to raise awareness of this Planned Obsolescence and – by exploring the world in all its glory and wonder in the raw – make people laugh, cry and smile (maybe even at the same time). Most importantly he writes on his website nakedhandstander.com “to make people THINK about this glorious place we live in and what we do to it. There is too much crap consumed and disposed daily in the world and we are slowly destroying it….we need to put things on their head and end this throw away culture we currently live in. The world is spectacular and full of amazement, get out there and explore it as best you can and you will see for yourself.”
It also makes perfect sense to do global naked handstands to raise awareness for this when you hear the handstander himself about it: “It’s a realisation I came to about our current consumerist ways. If we continue this way, we will one day end up in an exhausted world. As a result we will be left naked, wondering what happened and where we went wrong.”
When asked “Why naked handstands? Why not naked cartwheels?” the naked handstander honestly admits: “Well, I have to be honest and say I haven’t tried a naked cartwheel or any other fancy naked acrobatics…yet. I’m not as bendy as I’d like!”
He hasn’t revealed his true – non naked – identity yet. A Norwegian newspaper has speculated one reason may be that “public naked activity is strictly criminal, at least in Norway”
The Naked Handstander indeed admits having had some troubles here and there: “Well, there have been two occasions where some officials have not entirely enjoyed the idea. The first occasion was in Amsterdam, which resulted in me having a stern talking-to by the friendly local policeman. The second occasion was somewhere in Italy. They didn’t find it as humorous, so we had a ride in the back of a blue and white striped car. I don’t think I should say much more than that at the moment…Surprisingly, in Iceland on New Year’s Day, few people actually noticed me. I think that was due to the fact they were probably as hungover as I! Those who did notice had either a smirk or a chuckle, so it was good to see they took it in the way it was intended. Icelandic people are awesome.”
The Naked Handstanders World Tour
About his global travel exploits he says: I travel to experience the world and toss in as many naked handstands as possible. It makes sense to incorporate these into travels rather than travelling specifically for handstanding. Usually the locations I visit lend themselves naturally to handstands. I’m planning the naked handstanders world tour next year, though.
His photographer is usually a good friend or travelling amigo. Occasionally the camera, tripod and timer, which does take him a few goes!
He considers the ideal condition to be: a scenic background, little or no people around, blue skies, sunshine and good company. Blue skies and sunshine are always preferable, but as long as it’s not too slippery, I’ll have a craic!