Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Five Reasons I Love Being a Petite Traveler
When you're little - OK short - people tend to think it's somehow scarier for you to travel, particularly alone. Well I've found that the benefits of being small far out-weigh looking easy to throw aside. Here's what I remember as I stand tall:
I fit in small spaces
Indonesian buses, third class rail cars and United Airlines seats are far from comfortable but I can contort my legs into several different positions as I try to sleep. My recent favorite is stuffing my feet in the magazine pouch on airline seats so I can have a semi-horizontal position even when there are people sitting on either side of me.
I blend in
It helps having dark hair too, but I can go anywhere and people don't notice me (note: I've never been to Scandinavia), I'm just another dark little head in the crowd. Bag snatchers on the prowl don't see me because I'm behind that well-fed couple in the University T-shirts, border guards are nice because I look so un-offensive, local people want to help me because I'm wide-eyed and little like a forest creature.
I can buy clothes and shoes anywhere
Only pair of pants get lost at the laundry? Flip flop blow out? Fell in love with the local dress? Any store anywhere carries my size.
I don't cost much to feed
When my husband joins me on trips my food expenses don't double, they triple. It's like a Honda Civic versus an SUV, I just don't take much fuel to keep chugging. I can drink two beers and it's party time - just think of the savings.
I rarely bump my head on things
The only time I ever almost got knocked out by a blow to the head was in Nepal when I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and hit my head on a door jam. Now that was a short door. I realized then that tall people must have to worry about doors all the time, as well as hanging lights, disco balls, the list goes on.
So I'll take being short, it might not be eye-catching but for my lifestyle that's a good thing. The kind of thrill I felt the first time I sat at the back of an Indonesian bus and could see all the way out the front window, might not happen much in my life but at least I'll get some sleep.