Adventure Travel For Plus Size Women – Part 1
Plus size women raise families, work themselves up the co-operate ladder, attend their children sports meetings, dedicate their time and money to charities they support but one area where they are missing is in adventure travel.
Why is this so?
Let us first separate adventure vacations from basic travel. Adventure vacations mean that on your body power you propel yourself to do some activity: this could be rafting, hiking, skiing, mountaineering or any other activity. But looking at those glossy pictures websites or brochures of women adventure vacations you will be tempted to think that size is the qualification for joining such a tour. How wrong you are with such a conclusion?
True you are not a size 12 like the women on the brochures, but hopefully the wisdom that often comes with age has made you comfortable with your plus size body and you can listen to it, recognize your abilities and work with them rather than against them.
There is a clean and clear line between being plus size and being incapacitated on the couch. If as plus size as you are, you can give your house a top to down thorough cleaning, go through the family’s weekly ironing, work in your garden or give your dog its daily walk, you show all signs of a woman who need not spend 2 weeks on a sun bed by the beach or on a city coach tour.
Not that there is anything wrong with a beach holiday or a bus tour, but it is important for plus size women to challenge themselves with adventure travel, instead of always going for holiday options that they think are socially acceptable for them.
By focusing too much on what is acceptable or the norm, plus size women put themselves in a travel comfort zone that unfortunately locks them out of the joys of adventure travel. As a plus size woman, you owe yourself the right to enjoy adventure on your terms which should be dictated by your ability.
Many women can point with near accuracy the day or the period when they accepted that they are plus size and with that they subscribed to taking passive vacations or those with the least level of activity.
Was it after child number two, a relationship break-up, an illness, the retrenchment or retirement? Identify this period, look back at how you took your vacations before the tag “plus size” hit in. What activity did you use to enjoy? Was it hiking, snowboarding, sky diving, rafting, name it — re tune your mind to loving and longing for that activity, then hit the research trail for that kind of an adventure holiday.
Bring with you a healthy dose of realism that your body has changed but you are going for an adventure vacation to enjoy yourself and not necessary set standards or be the first one on the hiking trail. Don’t rush to sign up for an Everest or Kilimanjaro trek — should you not make it to the top you will only reinforce that negative feeling of “Oh,I failed because I’m a plus size woman.”
Go for adventures travel with different levels of activities e.g. where you can take a 5 km walk instead of the full 10 kms and where you may have an off-day for resting in the hotel.
What will come as a pleasant surprise is that once you let the mind go the adventure way and join other adventure women who have crossed the mental size-barriers, the optional off-day will rarely be used: you will want to be outdoors, savoring each hour and following up on talk of “where next?”
So banish the stigma associated with plus size travel, go out and put your feet in the water, smell the morning dew, have a cold wind on your face, look at the layer of fine dust on your walking boots. Remember to laugh as you do all this and later look back with WOW, what an adventure holiday that was!