Cheri Alexander,
founder of the Travelites


    I am the founder of the Travelites, a club in Columbia, SC. 

     I have been a nudist for over 40 years, visited more than 50 clubs, resorts, parks, and beaches. I`ve been active in the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) at the national and regional levels as well as The Naturist Society (TNS)since 1987.
I have held many positions and been involved in numerous activities to promote social nudist concepts. I am a member of AANR`s Speakers Bureau as well as AANR`s Marketing Program, and as part of the AANR Mentor Program, I have helped start more than 20 nonlanded clubs and at least two landed clubs. I serve as a marketing specialist with AANR`s Marketing/PR Team and Mentoring Program. I was awarded AANR Woman of the Year in 1990 and the Eastern Region`s member of the year in 2007.
I have been a recipient of an AANR Educational Fund grant multiple times. While serving as AANR Liason with the Prodigy Online Service, I introduced countless people to nudism, actually documenting hundreds who made the step into social nudity.
I am a member of the The Naturist Outreach Volunteer Advocate (NOVA) Program with The Naturist Society.

Within the AANR-Eastern Region, I am the State Captain of the South Carolina Government Affairs Team and have held positions of Director, Public Relations Chair, Scholarship Chair, and conducted public community seminars on nudism.
As Club Administrator for the Travelites, I have seen the club receive the following awards: Glen Eden Award (national) for the Most Outstanding publicity Event of the Year, 1993; O`Neil Award (national) Outstanding Public Relations, 1996; Largest Percentage Increase in Membership (Eastern region), 1996; Individual PR achievement award 2001
Endless efforts to promote nudism in my community and government relations involvement include: AANR booth at Mayfest, a community festival with attendance over 150,000 held in the SC state capitol from 1996 through 1999 when the festival was discontinued; Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup 1996 - 2002 that put the Travelites` name on primary roadside signage; maintain liaison with State House and Senate committees regarding legislation potentially affecting nudism; appeared before South Carolina House of Representatives Judiciary Committee in 1998, 1999, 2007, and 2008, regarding indecent exposure and other bills that were defeated or died in committee.
I have done frequent interviews on local radio stations regarding nudism and nudist activities and provided information and press releases to local media of nudist activities.
I have been invited to and lectured on nudist topics at the East Carolina University for the Sociology Department from 1998 - 2005 and 2008.
Online, in my efforts to spread the word about social nudism, serving as moderator on several online forums and email discussion groups and contributing to numerous others.

      We have never met, but I am taking the liberty to write you because I understand that your significant other has become interested in nudism or clothes-free recreation. You are wondering whether or not to share in this. My husband and I are nudists, and like you, we both experienced all the concerns and uncertainties the first time we tried it. All the vague fears and worries I fretted about proved groundless. I would like to help you experience and become comfortable with this lifestyle. I hope you will let me try.

      Perhaps telling about my first experience with nude recreation will lead you to that end.  I was vacationing at a resort in the Caribbean. The first two days were spent on the beach sitting in a soggy swimsuit and being chafed by sand. I signed up for a day boat trip and picnic at a beach on an island away from the resort. As we were leaving, I discovered that the excursion was to an island with a nude beach! I decided to go anyway, thinking no way was anybody getting me out of my suit. I stood firm, and in fact, was the last person to give in and shed my swimsuit - I was the last one to get dressed to return to the resort. Why hadn't someone told me about this sooner? I was hooked, and that was over 30 years ago. The phrase, "nude when possible, clothed when practical," definitely describes me. I do wear at least shoes when vacuuming the house though as I have a habit of running over my toes with the vacuum cleaner.

      I admit that my first reaction was that this is something that was not an acceptable practice. I was unaware that there are national organizations and did not know anyone who could shed light on this relaxing way of life. The literature available today, some of which your significant other might have asked you to look over, tells it like it is. Everyone will tell you that once you have made your first visit, the feeling of apprehension will vanish. Until you experience a thing for yourself, words cannot tell you how you should feel or how you should act or react. 

      Believe in your mate. You have a good relationship, and I'm sure your significant other has never asked you to do anything that was wrong or really unpleasant. Occasionally, we don't want to do some things at first, but since it means a great deal to him, it usually turns out fine. This too, means a great deal to him. When you decide to visit a club, give them a call and inform them that this will be your first visit. Contrary to what most people believe, you generally will not be asked to leave your clothes at the gate. You will be given a tour of the premises, where the pool or hot tub, or other facilities are located. If you are visiting a non-landed club, you will most likely visit with some of the members at a neutral location, i.e., coffee shop, after which you will be invited to an event.

      Some common fears of women with whom I have been in contact include being secretly worried that she wouldn't be as attractive to her spouse as she had been, compared with all the beautiful figures she was sure must be there.

      For the most part, there is a normal cross-section of the population. The solution for this particular lady was the security she felt in her relationship and that the relationship was based on more than just physical attractiveness. Another fear is what sort of people will I meet. You will meet doctors, lawyers, clergymen and women, taxi drivers, accountants, secretaries, warehouse- men, waiters, school teachers, moms, dads, grandparents, teenagers, infants. We are your neighbors, your friends.

      It's a wonderful feeling to meet entirely new people and enjoy new interests and activities. There is a peculiar thing you have to experience to believe, but there is a friendliness about nudists that you will generally not find in any other group. I have come to count our nudist friends among my closest. They seem to always be there for me, for us. 

      Why don't you try your hand at being a nudist in your own home. Try sleeping nude, if you don't already--once you get used to it, you won't want to sleep any other way. 

      That's the first easy step. Then, when you take your shower or bath, don't grab for a robe except for comfort. Do your nails or set your hair or just read the newspaper. I think you will enjoy it. If you exercise, try it without clothes, it feels wonderful. Wear whatever you need to feel comfortable. Since it's convenient and healthful at times to dispense with clothes, nudists do. We're not different from other people, just more comfortable.

      I hope I've been able to help just a little. Offer a compromise to your mate. Give him an hour of your time, you will wish you had sooner. 

Cheri Donna

Copyright August 1997 - 2001 by Travelites, Inc.
PO Box 90836, Columbia, SC 29290
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Copyright 2001 by Travelites, Inc.

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