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.


  1. he he! Now I wish I was short! Being 6' makes me stand out throughout my travels...

  2. you're funny )
    those seats! in madagascar as many other foreigners i had to buy two tickets on the front seat to spare my legs!

  3. Celeste, you're just a couple of hours down the road from me now. Stay in touch!

  4. Wow Celeste, this is a great photo. Where is that place located. Thats an awesome view.

    Thanks for this post.

    Seattle Real Estate | Alaska Fishing Lodge

  5. It's at Kaituer Falls in Guyana. You have to either hike in for several days to get to it or charter a plane. It was awsome!

  6. I am 6'4" and it makes it very hard to blend in when I travel abroad... not particular helpful on a sleeper train in India (about 12 inches of leg was hanging off my bunk).

  7. Brilliant blog :) An ultimately awesome pic. I have been to Scandinavia / Germany . And trust me , black hair stands out like anything :)

  8. Thanks! I'll have to go to Scandinavia just to find out what it feels like to stand out for a change :)



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