And though the trip is not limited to people who identify as plus size, it is meant for those who specifically want to feel secure in their bodies. Weeks before the trip, Ms. Shapiro, who lives in Rome, sends participants a survey that asks, among other things, what they’re nervous about. This is so she can address those worries ahead of time.
Of her trip — which is open to “self-identifying women and nonbinary folks who feel comfortable in female spaces” — Ms. Shapiro added, “I would never take people’s money and say I am the de facto voice in size-inclusive travel.” Her intention, she said, is simply to present “a more multifaceted experience with all the thoughts and intentionality that our travelers deserve.”
Necessity is the mother of invention, and for the influencer Annette Richmond, who founded Fat Girls Traveling, it is a necessity to not let sizeist convention stop her from doing every single thing she wants to do when it comes to experience and adventure.
She recounted a trip to Indonesia, where she was excited to experience the Tegalalang Rice Terrace Swing, an endorphin-packing attraction that launches participants over gorgeous rice paddies. Ms. Richmond recalls trudging through the mud: “I’m scraped up, I get there to the swing, ready for my debut, and I’m putting the harness around my waist and it does not click. I was like, ‘Dude, why can’t they just get a bigger harness?’” The result? The swing operators apologized and suggested a competitor, Real Bali Swing, which offered larger harnesses.
Now Ms. Richmond hosts trips and retreats for other people who are sick of being excluded: “My fat camps, which are like my retreats, those are for fat femmes and nonbinary people,” she said. If she opened up her retreats to everyone, she said, “there is a threat of losing the magic.” From Aug. 25 to 28, she’ll host Fat Camp U.K. in Brighton, England ($2,000), which, in addition to summer-camp-style games and pub crawls, will feature fat-positive discussions. Ms. Richmond also has a size-inclusive trip to Cuba Sept. 1 to 5 ($2,750) — without the planned consciousness-raising of the retreats, just pure fun — and hopes next to plan group travel in Mexico, her home base since 2020. (Her trips, unlike her retreats, are open to all genders.)