Last Sunday, The Plus-Size Backpacker turned FOUR! Happy birthday, blog!
At that age, a blog is a bit like a late teenager/young adult: it knows relatively well where it’s heading but remains open to change if opportunity knocks (or necessity requires it). On the other hand, it still has this desire to please and simultaneously wants to prove its purpose to the whole world, possibly in a flashy, rebellious, non-traditional way!
After over 200 published posts, from gear and clothes reviews to a variety of rants, without forgetting interviews with experts of all sorts, some photo looks and travel top 10, I think there is enough road behind to take the time to look back and look at the road traveled since 2013, the year the blog was born. Let’s see how things changed since…
I was the ONLY resource entirely dedicated to plus-size travel. I know, because when I got the idea to launch The Plus-Size Backpacker (originally The PS Backpacker), I googled “plus-size travel” and realized that, other than a post here and there on various blogs, there was nothing to address the numerous aspects of traveling as a plus-size person in general, and a plus-size woman in particular.
We are multiplying!
… and now.
Though the plus-size travel community is not that big yet, I’m not alone anymore! Plus-size, active traveling – and hiking – bloggers and communities started blossoming online in the past couple of years and they seem to get great support and following… so I guess there is hope for us, chubby travelers!
Blogs like Travel with curves and Plus-Size Adventure, along with communities like Fat Girls Hiking all contribute to increasing body positivity on the trails and on the globe by making themselves heard and seen, not being apologetic about their size and showing that we are not defined by the scale! #LoseHateNotWeight
I started this blog in English. Because the “plus-size game” was – and still is – mostly happening in English. My goal was to conquer the US first, then who knew what would happen to me after? (I know, that was very ambitious, haha!) But that was tricky because EVERYONE wants to conquer the English-speaking (English-reading?) world!
… and now.
Last year, as I launched “The Ultimate Guide to Plus-Size Backpacking” (which I also wrote in French) and started getting interview requests and coverage from French media outlets, I decided to undertake the tremendous job of translating most of the English content to French. (Needless to say, that was A LOT of work!) Since then, I have posted in both languages!
For the past couple of weeks, thanks to the new contacts I made in events like the Outdoor Travel & Adventure Show, I have seen my French following increase considerably in Quebec. I’m really excited about it, as I have so much to offer to my fellow French Canadian travelers! But all this would not have been possible without the support and presence of my English following, and I’m glad I have made the decision of starting and pursuing bilingual blogging. Next target: FRANCE!
My very 1st post was about finding a proper backpack. In it, I wrote that “Though I recommend not going above 75-80 liters of capacity, it would also be tough to go below 50-60 liters.” #Yikes
I was clearly an “over-packer” who wasn’t that good at picking the right clothes and gear to travel. I mean… I packed TWO pairs of sneakers for 3 months in India…
… and now.
WHAAAAT? WHAT WAS I THINKING!? 80 LITERS…? Heck no! For my last few trips (Poland & Peru), I used a 48 liters carry-on backpack! I guess all these trials and errors ended up paying back in the end… That, and packing cubes… and synthetic fabrics!
In 2013 (but mostly in 2014-2015)…
My publication was a bit random and not so steady. I was struggling to find my angle and to adopt certain standards in my publication (the structure of my reviews, for example). It was not easy to reach out to organizations and businesses to trust me with product reviews or to convince media outlet or other bloggers to get some extra visibility; the blog was so young and I didn’t have much content and blogging experience to rely on to show how pertinent and necessary The Plus-Size Backpacker was.
… and now.
I have been posting steadily, every Wednesday, for over a year now (with the exception of the Christmas holidays and my trip to Peru!)… not bad huh? Through the years, I added a bunch of new post categories (“Travel top 10” being one of the latest) and diversified the topics explored, while remaining faithful to my mission, providing answers and solutions to the challenges faced by plus-size travelers, particularly women.
Recently, I started to write for two French websites, Belles et Rondes (on self-esteem and body diversity) and Économies et cie (on money saving tips related to travel). I’m thrilled to have these new ways to share the good news of budget travels to all and reach a new audience!
I was completely out of shape, I have to admit. That’s probably one of the reasons I was forced to come back from India, halfway through the trip and sick like a dog, at the end of 2012! During the spring of 2013, I decided to visit Guatemala and included hikes in the Tikal jungle and on the Pacaya volcano, I started working out to be able to enjoy my travel more and have the capacity to get more active while away.
… and now.
My interest in hiking increased since my Guatemala trip, and I try to include trails of some sorts in most of my trips! I won’t lie to you; since I have included regular workouts in my everyday life, I have shed some weight. I have decided to remain discreet on the topic because it’s not what this blog is about. (And I don’t plan on changing that aspect!) I might write about exercise occasionally (the same way I looked into nutrition) to help improve your preparation before hiking and recuperation after it, but rest assured, it’ll NEVER be in a weight loss perspective. It’ll only be done to allow more of us to get the best experiences out of our travels! My goal has always been – and will remain – to give the means to plus-size women around me to empower themselves, get out there and travel!