Marie’s Note: Last year, when we did the reader survey, one of the most requested features was on travel. Traveling as a plus size woman, tips, and tricks and places to go! And to help bring you more of this content, I reached out to Kellie of AndIGetDressed.com, a fellow plus size blogger who has really been delivering awesome travel content! I asked her to share her tips with us, for travel and today we welcome her to the team! Please welcome Kellie as she shares her experience about Traveling with Confidence!
The first time I had to ask for a seat belt extender on an airplane was a few years back and initially, I didn’t really feel uncomfortable. I just knew I didn’t want to be pinched so tight in the seat for the length of the flight. It wasn’t until the flight attendant walked up and handed it to me rolled up tight with her hands covering and passed it to me as if the extender were narcotics and there were cops around that I felt a bit uncomfortable. So I decided in that instant to take it from her hands, let it drop down like the now Stark family flag dropped down over Winterfell and smile at her with a big “thank you!!”
What I realize from my travels and more specifically, my travel content either on social or my blog, is that so many women are leaving me comments or sending emails saying that they wish they had the confidence to travel or asking how things are on the road i.e. are people being mean to you? It’s sort of heartbreaking for me to think that there are people who want to see the world and the only thing holding them back is a fear of what other people will think.
There are lots of things you can do to make sure you are comfortable getting from place to place and the rest is up to you to know that you are capable and worthy of pursuing your dreams. ALL of them, even if it’s just visiting an island or city you’ve seen on TV! I personally travel for both business and pleasure no less than twice a month.
So, I have my little routines to (try) to make sure my flights are comfy.
First thing I do is I’m really diligent with sticking with my two preferred airlines. That means I’m always accruing points. You should also make sure you’re using a credit card that earns you points! Points mean easy upgrades. Either to more “comfortable” seats and depending on how much you travel, business class (goals, always always the goal).
The next thing I do is I always make sure my seat is assigned. I either do it online or call the airline. I do NOT want to sit in the middle seat. Being 5’10 and big makes this a hellacious place to be. Shoulders collapsed ugh, nightmare. So avoid this at ALL costs. I prefer the window because the aisle is a constant bump by the cart or passengers going to the bathroom, etc.
If you need a seat belt extender, literally no one cares. On the off chance you are sitting next to a scumbag of a human that does give a look or dare to say something, just look them in the eyes and put a hex on em. Ha, kidding – but no seriously, do it. The truth is the only person worried about it is you. And if you want, you can totally just order one from online and carry it with you in your purse. Boom! Pull it out, put it on… no one else is involved!
One of my favorite quotes – and it so deeply applies to so many facets my life is, “you have to want it, more than you are afraid of it.” I’ve always wanted to explore the world more than I was afraid of “it”. Be it going to places where you don’t speak the language, traveling to places where they’ve never or rarely have seen black people – yes, that elicits lots of stares too or moving about in the world in the body I’m in happy, sure and yes… looking pretty damn good while doing it.
There’s one place I’m dying to go and I too had to shake off the notions of what might happen there. Asia – everything is notoriously small (cars, bathrooms, etc.) and I’ve heard how anti-fat the culture is. That’s not going to stop me. I want to run through grass fields in Vietnam and eat amazing street food in Thailand. And I’m going to! 2017 is the goal.
The beautiful thing about the online community of women, especially plus women is that we are all here to cheer each other on and instill confidence in each other by doing what someone else might be afraid to do. By seeing us do it, she now feels she can do it to!
We’ve worn crop tops and bikinis and said “I love myself” (as we should) and so that includes moving freely in the world. Everywhere in the world! There will be places where it’s more socially acceptable to fat shame, but for the most part, the world is filled with normal and decent people. I personally haven’t had any sort of outwardly negative experiences and that’s not to say they don’t happen but, other people’s actions should never deter you from greatness, in any sense!
How do you travel with confidence? What steps do you take to ensure a great experience?