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Fat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl Was Tired Of Waiting On Others And Took A Journey By Herself!

May 10, 2018
Fat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journey

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In a world where we get to read books or watch movies about women that throw caution to the wind and go on solo journeys to find themselves it’s rare to see them portrayed as plus size travelers. We can join Reese Witherspoon on a harrowing hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in a journey to come to terms with her messy life { Wild }, we’re able to see Julia Roberts put her world on pause to find life’s beauty and bounty abroad { Eat, Pray, Love }, or we can watch Diane Lane pull the carpet out from her old life and her start a new one on a whim in the splendor that is Tuscany { Under the Tuscan Sun }, but when do we get to see the fat girl traveling solo on journey of self exploration? Well, this traveling plus size girl took matters into her own hands after getting tired or waiting on others to get on board with her travel plans, she decided to realise her dream on her own and travel solo!

Fat Girl Traveling Solo

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Fat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journeyFat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journey

All photos courtesy Sami Mastrario

Meet Sami Mastrario, she’s a traveler and photographer hailing from Ashburn, Georgia. She started traveling solo after struggling to find travel companions up for an international trip. “I could not find anyone to go on a trip with me for various reasons. It really bummed me out. But after moping for a week or two, I decided that I could travel by myself solo! It’s a scary and completely humbling experience.” says Mastrario.

She decided to make her dream trip a reality and went about planning and booking her adventure with plans to hit Amsterdam followed by a week long roadtrip along the Alps! Along the way she visited Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, Annecy, France, Monferrato, Italy, Innsbruck, Austria, and Vaduz, Lichtenstein. All while capturing her adventures with self portraits.Fat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journey

I asked her what had prompted her traveling self portraits to which she replied “I am a photographer and I am usually the person behind the camera. I have never felt comfortable on the other side because I am my own worst critic.” { Umm, sound familiar anyone?? } “But that all changed after I went on a study abroad trip and came home with nothing but landscape photos. I have maybe a handful of images that show me actually on the trip. That was so disheartening.”

So what changed her mindset and made her more willing and eager to capture her journey with photographic souvenirs? Community!
Mastrario joined an online traveling group dedicated to plus size travelers called Fat Girls Traveling, a Facebook group which boasts more than 4000 members, myself included. It acts as an online forum and meeting place for like minded souls across the globe to share their travel experiences, especially though experiences that can be unique to plus size travel. “Just watching the confidence from each post really made me step up my game this year!” reflects Mastrario, “I got a tripod, my camera remote, and I set out to prove to myself that I can take those beautiful pictures that you see on all of the Instagram influencer accounts. As a plus size girl!

When it comes to traveling while plus size, we DO encounter many new, challenging and different obstacles that our straight size counterparts probably aren’t aware of. Sami is am a firm believer that there is no place and not much that can hold her back in her travel endeavors as a plus size girl, her biggest nugget of advice? “Plan ahead” if you’re nervous of seat belts not fitting you can purchase a seat belt extender in advance, which can be helpful when you’re too shy to ask in public. Nervous about tiny airline seats, you can look into if your airline holds a People of Size policy. Or if you’re an adrenaline junky and looking for adventure tours that include the likes of zip lining or hang gliding, look into what companies offer larger harnesses to accommodate you.Fat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journeyFat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journeyFat Girl Traveling Solo | This Plus Size Girl took the reigns and went on a life changing solo journey
What I loved most about Sami’s story, is her stepping in front of the camera so show she was there, the celebrate her triumphs and adorable looks she dawned in each location. To create mementos for her future, to show her family and friends. Too often we hide ourselves from photographs in an attempt to hide our bodies, but we are valid and valuable and deserving of experiences and memories, just like anyone else.

I like to think that if I’m fortunate enough to make it to 90 that I’ll have an arsenal of photos to look back at my youth, my life, my adventures and see myself in them, in all my different stages and styles { my goodness, it’s just fun to be able to look back at what we were wearing!! Don’t deny yourself that joy! }. So I asked if she could give us some tips on how to take our own beautiful portraits to treasure for our future!

Traveling Plus Size Girls Tips For Solo Photos
  1. Lighting is key! This is coming from the photographer in me but if you want those dreamy sky photos like most influencers, they are around sunrise or sunset. I always recommend sunrise because there will be a LOT less people which makes it a lot easier to take your own photos without feeling awkward with the tripod!
  2. Find clothes that make you confident! I used to be the girl who wore jeans and a t-shirt when I traveled. There is nothing wrong with that but I felt so slouchy in them. I started purchasing more items I loved and I started to exude more confidence!
  3. Get great equipment! This does not mean spending thousands of dollars on a camera that you don’t know how to operate. I recommend getting a basic DSLR { Margot – or even a mirrorless camera like mine } and practice, practice, practice! Once you start understanding how your camera operates, the easier it is to achieve a certain look in camera! But the camera is just 1/3 of the equipment I recommend! Get a travel tripod for your camera and a remote to take photos, though some cameras allow your phones to be remotes. I promise it will make your life a MILLION times easier than relying on strangers or camera timers. Smart phones nowadays have great photo quality but they truly cannot capture on the same level as a DSLR camera.
  4. Invest in post-processing software. I personally use Adobe Creative Cloud which is 9.99 a month for Lightroom + Photoshop. I am able to easily remove pesky random strangers from my photos. I can always be consistent and apply a preset on my images to keep a cohesive feed! { Margot – you can also use editing software on your device, I personally use VSCOcam, Aviary and Snapseed on my ipad mini! }

You can follow Sami’s adventures here:

instagram: @samimadventures

I hope this inspires you and gives you an extra boost you may have needed to get out there and experience this world and create the life you love! As Sami says “Don’t be afraid to go alone! It’s terrifying and amazing and oh so rewarding to prove that you can do it. You can be by yourself and take the trip!”
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