Interview with Lauren & Adrienne from The Plus Sized Globetrotter!
Did you know there’s a podcast for plus-size travelers?
The Plus Sized Globetrotter was started by travel buddies Lauren Suarez and Adrienne Alwag and is currently available on iTunes. Lauren works as an Expedia expert in Maui hotels and Adrienne grew up traveling because her mother worked at an airline. Together, these amazing ladies have started the first-ever dedicated plus-size travel podcast, and it’s well worth a listen!
Fortunately, I was able to interview these plus-size globetrotters as they were jet-setting to another destination together.
1. What inspired you to start The Plus Sized Globetrotter?
Lauren (size 26/28): I was on a bus from London to Lacock with my friend, Adrienne, and she knew I was passionate about writing. We were talking about how nerve-wracking traveling could be for a plus sized person and it just clicked in that moment.
Adrienne is always urging her friends to be creative and she'd suggested I try writing a blog about being a fluffy traveler, and suddenly I saw the layout for the blog in my mind’s eye.
Adrienne (size 18/20): My friend Lauren started the blog about a year ago to tell the world about traveling from a plus sized person's perspective. I'm pretty busy, so when I can, I contribute occasionally to the blog with "foodventure" articles since I'm a big foodie and it's a huge factor when planning my travel.
I listen to a lot of travel podcasts and I did a random search for "plus sized travel" and found that there wasn't a dedicated travel podcast for plus sized people, so we started the Plus Sized Globetrotter podcast back in February. We just received our first "thank you" email from one of our readers/listeners in early April and we're so incredibly humbled.
2. What has been your biggest challenge traveling as “a fluffy?”
Lauren: The unknown. Not knowing if I'd fit, or if I could “make it.” The fact that I would try and succeed made me more confident, but there is always that trepidation prior to booking new travel.
Adrienne: Luckily, I haven't had too many challenges, but I always worry about needing plus-size clothing while abroad. [There are] not very many options in most countries.
3. You’ve come up with a system on your blog called “PSG Ratings.” Could you describe what a PSG Rating entails and how it benefits plus-size travelers?
Adrienne: This was all Lauren's idea, I think it's really fantastic.
Lauren: It's all about finding your number on a scale of 1-10 based on your physical capabilities. Eventually, I hope to travel the whole globe and give each of my trips a PSG rating, so the unknown is now the known. I want to erase all the scary parts of traveling as a fluffy because, as I mentioned before, the unknown is the worst part.
4. Have you struggled with body image issues while traveling and, if so, how have you overcome them?
Adrienne: Only one time in Singapore at a size 16. I needed a top for a work event and went to all the major department stores in the area and couldn't find anything to fit. Luckily, I found a top with a ton of Lycra and made it work.
Lauren: I have, definitely. I know that when I'm standing in line about to board a plane that everyone around me is secretly praying that I'm not sitting next to them.
What I've done is small things like buying two seats on a plane so that my half of that stress disappears. Also, I show people that I can do it, albeit a bit slower, but I can do it!
My confidence grows each time I accomplish one of my dreams, and when people see a confident fluffy they tend to forget about them. It's when a fluffy shows their vulnerability that, sadly, people take advantage of it and can bully these folks.
5. Which destination has impacted you the most as a traveler and why?
Lauren: I'd have to say Greece was the destination for me that just blew me away. The mixture of history, the natural beauty, the people and the food all make for an amazing destination. I've always got Greece on a short list of where I want to go next.
Adrienne: Rome. The clash of ancient architecture with modern is incredible. As a child, you learn about the Roman empire and see images of the Colosseum and other ancient structures, so when you finally get to experience it, you're at a loss for words. Then as you travel to other places in Europe, you see just how vast the empire was when you see Roman ruins in England, France, Spain, Germany, etc. It's like walking through a history book.
6. What sorts of topics can listeners expect from your upcoming podcasts?
Lauren: Without being too dramatic, I want to spend some time in each of the upcoming podcasts discussing raising confidence and assisting in providing those tools for getting more confident as a fluffy traveler. Additionally, Adrienne and I have been to some amazing destinations, so up next is Southern Italy and Pompeii as well as Montreal!
Adrienne: What Lauren said plus FOODVENTURES :)