What's Your Best Travel Hack?
For fat travel, disabled travel, etc. Because moving through the world is hard.
So I was thinking some more about Tuesday’s packing essay (because a fun thing my brain likes to do is continue to edit everything I write long after I publish it!) and realized that because I focused on what I packed, I didn’t talk that much about my experience traveling in Asia as a small fat person. So here was the toughest part: We rode in cabs or hired vans almost every day of the trip and only one had a seatbelt that fit me. I was obviously not excited to ride lots of places unbuckled but I also lived in New York City in the early 2000s when we still mostly didn’t buckle up in the backseat of cabs. (I think this has changed?) So I tried to just put myself in that headspace and hope for the best. Yay for not dying, I guess?
Mostly, though, this trip served as a stark reminder for me of my own privileges and a chance to observe, up close, just how inaccessible travel is for so many bodies. So many airplane seats and restaurant chairs are too small. So many streets are impossible to navigate if you have a mobility-based disability of any kind. So many beautiful views require able bodies, money, and other privileges to access. There are zillions of examples on this list.
One thing the internet is good for is getting intel on what to expect, how to prepare and how to advocate for yourself when moving about a world not built for your body. It’s clearly absurd that any of this is necessary. That fat folks have to call a restaurant in advance to check on seating size, as Sofie Hagen did this week, that Linda Gerhardt, an incisive, brilliant thinker, is best known for her blog post on going to Disney World fat, that disabled people have to plan how long they can fly based on how long they can hold their pee because you can’t get a wheelchair in most airplane bathrooms.
But since this is our world and we all have a right to be in it, I thought we could devote this Friday Thread to sharing our best tips, strategies and resources for making travel more accessible.
Feel free to share something that’s worked for you personally, link to someone else’s work (with credit), or if you have a trip coming up and you’re nervous about a specific aspect of it, post your questions here and we’ll try to collectively help out! I’d love this to become a robust resource we can all refer back to when these issues inevitably pop up again and again.
As always, let’s keep things friendly and follow my Thread Ground Rules.
One great resource: Corinne’s highlight on flying while fat over on @SellTradePlus.
You fat-shamed your beautiful girlfriend is a work of art.
So is Angela Garbes on healing, aging, mothering.