I have a love-hate relationship with travel. I love to go different places and experience new things. Seeing different cities and the cultures within those different cities is my favorite. But traveling while plus size is NOT my favorite and I didn’t realize it affected me until I was having a conversation with my friend Ari.
We were chatting about the different conferences we were planning on attending and the travel for the year when she asked me if I ever got tired of all the travel. My response? No! I love the travel but traveling while being plus size posed a couple of challenges that weren’t my favorite.
Let me pause here for a sec to say the following things:
- I love myself.
- I’m a work in progress. I’m actively working to lose weight for my physical, emotional and mental health.
Traveling While Plus Size
There’s a lot of challenges and inconveniences to traveling while plus size. But there’s also some good too.
Depending on the airline, there’s a level of discomfort. After talking to Ari about flying, I’m pretty sure everyone feels like we’re anchoves stuck in a tin. The airlines are trying to make more money by selling more seats. Naturally that means that the seats are smaller and closer together. Most of the older planes have shorter seatbelts. Now this wouldn’t be a problem if it were around my waist. But because this goes around my hips? Oh laaaawd!!!
I haven’t had to ask for a seatbelt extender on a flight but being completely honest, the thought of having to ask makes me feel all sorts of anxiety. Or at least it did. When I got to LA I got to chat with my fellow plus size goddess Aryn about her trip. Her perspective was really refreshing and just what I needed to normalize my own experience.
The Hotel Amenities
I love it when hotels go the extra mile and have little things in the hotel room that make it feel more home-like. My favorite thing used to be the robes. And I say used to because when you’re plus size, those things don’t fit you and they just highlight how much weight you need to lose to be considered normal or average.
Same thing with the towels. There’s nothing like feeling like you’re drying your body with a hand towel when it’s meant to be a body towel. Thank goodness I love walking around naked, ha! *wink wink*
But really, the things that are supposed to be laden with luxury definitely make plus size bodies feel out of place and unwelcome.
While snug plane seats and too small robes present some challenges, there’s also beauty in the experience that you wouldn’t really expect. My self-love and body confidence was tested publically. And when I say public, I don’t actually mean that people in public were testing me. I mean that how I reacted to potential discomfort regarding my size was tested in front of others.
It’s one thing to not really be around yourself or to just be around kids that you’ve made and love the vessel that grew them and practice self-love. Dare I say that’s easy? It’s another thing to sit on a plane in front of rows upon rows of people who may or may not be paying attention as you ask for a seat belt extender because your body deserves to be as comfortable on this flight as the next persons. It’s another thing to call the front desk to request more towels for your room of one person because the hand towels disguised as body towels are meant for one use.
But here’s the most beautiful thing to me: I’m not alone in this experience AND more often than not the only person sitting in judgment of myself is, well, me. And that’s an easy fix.