I’m a logical person, at least 30% of the time. Sure, sometimes I just throw away tupperware and the occasional glass bowl because I just don’t feel like washing it. And yeah, maybe I’ve had a spout or two of thinking my cats might actually respond back to me when I ask them questions. But most of the time, I try to be logical.
This goes double for what I can and cannot do while traveling. I’m very aware of my size and what it limits me in doing. Now, for those who are thinking “You can do anything you put your mind to. You shouldn’t limit yourself!” I appreciate your support, and imma let you finish… but the thing is, I’d rather be honest with myself than build up a fantasy of me hiking for 5 days to Machu Picchu or spend money on non-refundable trips that I can only do in my mind.
It all goes back to being logical. If you’re a size 10, you’re not going to fit into size 00 jeans. There’s no mantra, inspirational Instagram quote, or motivational TED Talk that is going to magically make you fit into those jeans. Just like when you travel, there are things that you just aren’t going to “fit” into…and that’s ok!
Say it with me. “THAT IS OKAY!!!”
Travel is supposed to be fun and exciting. But it can’t be if you’ve planned a bunch of activities that you either get rejected from or physically can’t do. With that being said, I’ve still done a lot things I never thought I would once I started traveling. While I do have personal limitations, I never miss an opportunity to push myself. It’s a balancing act, and I urge you to find inspiration from this post, but also to be honest with yourself and what is right for you.
Below I’ve listed the ways I choose what adventures to plan when I’m traveling. Ultimately, I hope this post will shed some light on just how much anyone can do while traveling regardless of your size or ability as well as what to consider when planning an adventure.
1. Know your limits/transportation
- Are you the type of person that enjoys walking, or would you be able to enjoy more if you had access to transportation?
- Can you stay in the sun all day or would you be miserable without AC for more than a couple hours?
- Are you willing to fail a few times before succeeding or do you not deal with weight related rejection well?
Make sure you know what kind of traveler you are, and what kind of limitations you are going to set for yourself, if any. I’m not huge on walking everywhere. I get tired too quickly, I get sweaty, and I start to get paranoid that people around me will notice that I’m struggling. When I travel, I always either rent a car, or make myself comfortable with navigating public transportation. This way I can actually enjoy my trip, rather than being miserable and out of breath. A little research and planning about the transportation options for your destination should be all you need to make the choice that is best for you.
Example: I loved London. Most things you could want to see, you can walk to. But, they also have a killer transportation system that I utilized when I went in April 2016. However, I do accept that cities = a lot of walking and I was prepared for that. I combined using the tube and bus system with clustering sites together to make it easier for me to enjoy all that London has to offer.
2. Don’t rely on the website details
After I purchase my plane tickets, I always start to plan my trip by finding something special and adventurous to do. The easiest search formula I’ve used for this is to Google the name of your destination and add the world “adventure” or “extreme” to the end of it. Chances are, there is bound to be an “Extreme Thailand” website with fun things to do. (If you were wondering, there is! It’s called Active Thailand)
I’ve learned in my searches, however, that the information provided isn’t always correct. Believe it or not, there is a person behind the making of that website you’re checking out, and there is a possibility they either got something wrong, or forgot to post it all together.
My best advice is to always email the company and ask questions. Not all excursions have a weight limit. But if what you choose to do requires a special outfit, harness, or some type of enclosure, it would be wise to double check the requirements of the activity before forking over the cash.
Questions I ask:
- “Is there a weight limit?”
- “ What is the largest size jumpsuit/harness/canoe/wetsuit you can provide?”
- “Can I bring my own jumpsuit/harness/canoe/wetsuit?”
- “Have you had overweight people on the excursion before? How did they handle it?”
- “Would you recommend this for someone who is overweight?”
- “Is there a way to accommodate someone who is overweight?”
Most of the time they will reply within a timely manner and answer your questions very kindly and honestly. This is something I like. I would never trust a company that tries to push the sale over the comfort and safety of a customer. Often times, the customer service rep might even be able to recommend other excursions that would be equally as fun and more accessible.
If you’re really set on doing something specific, ask if they do private trips. It will cost you more money, but you’d be able to experience the activity of your choice at your own pace and without the pressure of keeping up or pushing yourself to the standards of a group.
3. Go out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself
Sometimes all the research, emails, and questions can be dulling enough to make you want to forget about an adventure all together. Sometimes, you just have to go for it.
When I was researching adventures in Iceland, I went through almost every tour on the Extreme Iceland website before I just said FORGET IT (I used a different word than “forget”.) I wanted to do something awesome and I just decided to make the judgements myself and go for it. That is when I booked and completed my first ATV adventure. It is one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my travels and I’m so glad I decided to push aside the self-awareness and enjoy myself.
All in all, as long as you keep yourself honest, keep yourself informed, and keep yourself determined, you’re bound to have an unforgettable adventure.
What are some of your favorite adventures? Have you ever surprised yourself by doing something you never thought you could?
Author’s note: I want this post to be seen as an honest method to planning a plus size adventure and not as me telling someone they can’t do whatever they want. These are just my own methods based on my experiences and thoughts as an individual and plus sized person.