Interview with Nikola-Anne from Diary of a Travelling Teacher!
Raise your hand if you’re a teacher and a fan of Travel With Curves! We have so many readers from across the world, from all walks of life, and teaching abroad seems to be one of the go-to ways to experience the world while still earning a paycheck.
Nikola-Anne is a twenty-something Australian and blogger behind Diary of a Travelling Teacher. She writes about setting up her new life in London, the negative sides to moving abroad, dating in a foreign country, and a variety of other topics from a traveling teacher’s perspective. Check out her interview below and follow her on Instagram to see what she’s currently up to.
1. What was the biggest inspiration behind your blog, Diary of a Travelling Teacher?
There were two main inspirations for me.
Firstly, after more than a year living and travelling abroad, I was getting asked a lot of questions about my experiences which I felt unable to answer properly in a short Instagram message or conversation. A blog allows me to go into depth with answers as well as reflect on my experiences.
Also, my boyfriend at the time had a food blog which I loved. His passion for blogging rubbed off on me so with his help and support I expanded my little Instagram into something more. Now I’m constantly excited for what I’m going to write next.
2. Have you personally struggled with body image issues while traveling and, if so, how have you overcome them?
I have had negative thoughts about my body every single day that I can remember. I still do today, but they are shushed into the back of my mind more frequently than not.
Travelling has been one of the ways I’ve slowly gotten past this because after overcoming obstacles or ticking something off my bucket list, I would grow in self-confidence. The range of beautiful people I’ve met in my travels saw me for my personality and were drawn to my confidence, not the size of my jeans. And, when I met the rare girl that wore the same size as me, we flaunted each other’s clothes around like nobody’s business. At the end of the day, I have so much to be thankful for, so I’d rather spend my time enjoying my life and myself and not worrying about what someone else might be thinking.
3. Have you always been body positive? If not, how have you overcome any self-confidence issues to become the world adventurer you are today?
No, I have not always been body positive, but the power of positive voices on social media and in music helped me see the value in myself and what I wanted to do. I’m also extremely stubborn so if I want to do something I will. I wanted something different to the situation I was in a few years ago, so I changed it by booking my one-way flight and saying yes to many things I had said no to in the past. Now, I have amazing memories to look back on and a passion project to spend my free time on.
4. What has been your biggest challenge teaching in another country?
Getting to understand the lives and experiences of the students. Teenagers have a lot of similarities wherever you go, but a child from a middle-class coastal town in Australia isn’t going to respond the same way as a child living in a London estate with a single parent and siblings. Things that worked before won’t necessarily work now, so it’s always a learning experience.
5. Many plus-size women put off traveling for one reason or another (i.e., they want to lose weight, get in better shape, feel good in a bikini, etc.). What is your response to this? What would you say to a plus-size woman who has put off traveling because she thinks it leads to challenges or embarrassing situations?
Are you putting off travelling for yourself or society? Travelling is for no one else but the traveller. It’s not always glamorous or picture perfect but it is always a learning or laughing experience. I remember sitting in an old theatre and having to squeeze myself into the seat and feeling absolutely horrible about myself. Then I saw an absolutely stunning woman sit by me and struggle as well, and afterwards we laughed about it. If you want to travel, for you, then travel, being a confident version of yourself and you will be amazed at what comes your way.
6. Do you consider London a fat-friendly city? What are some of your top recommendations for plus-size travelers visiting London for the first time?
London is where I think I started to feel as confident in myself as I am now. There were more (online) clothing options that were designed for my age, there were more people who didn’t hold back their admiration for my body when I was confident about it and I was happy with where I was, so I cared less and less about what some people would think. There was the odd tight squeeze on some tube seats and less plus-size clothing in store, but overall, confidence will get you everywhere.