“What is your train of thought when you see an oversized guy posting a picture from the Himalayas- “How did he climb it? He must have had help!” Back in 2016, as a fresh college graduate, one of the worst fears I had was exposing myself to the real-world – especially my oversized physique. Whenever I would tell someone that I liked to travel, the first thing they would do is give me the iconic “leg-to-head” look.
I wasn’t encouraged to express what I love, what I cherish, what I thought my passion was. Not because my passion is something weirdly illogical but because people thought they could take the liberty to judge me as I had a contrasting physique in their opinion.
Being a stout explorer and a nature lover, I was always warned not to take risks by trekking to the mountains. Body shaming by even your closest friends is not something uncommon in our country.
So, I decided to overcome my worst fear. I decided to climb the mountain. I travelled solo most of the time but it was more fun when I involved a lot of people travelling. Curating memorable travel experiences is something I love. I started an Instagram personal blog to post and share my travel experiences. Whenever I wanted to travel, I posted an open invite and interested people would join me. I took care of all the logistics and the travel experiences, while people came to take a break from their mundane routine. It turned out to be one of the best decisions in my life.
Today, my blog is 35 trips old and I’ve hosted 300+ people in the past 18 months. Whilst I was judged that I wouldn’t be able to trek the 5000ft high hill in Tamil Nadu, I trekked a 15,000 feet high mountain in the Himalayan ranges. I did this not once, but twice. The second time was even more memorable as I hosted a group of 8 people from Chennai.
Standing tall on all my insecurities today, I am so glad that I never let them get the better of me and did the trek anyway. Throughout this journey, I realised that mental fitness is equally important to physical fitness for trekking and travelling. While I agree, being fit helps in making things easier, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it if you’re oversized. This love for travel and being oversized need not be seen as an oxymoron. Live and let live. Today, I happily host over 200 people to the mountains every year and I look forward to hosting more.”
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