“But you are so thin. May be it’s because you have to travel so much”
Okay I did not see that coming. That linkage being made between my physicality and the great affair to move? Nope, did not see it coming at all.
Once upon a time…
Long long ago before circa Nomadic Thunker, yours truly championed for the cause of the SkinnyGenus. Because in the shores closer to home, never in my 27 year existence had any conversation begun without a reference being made to my weight. Or the lack thereof actually!
And though moot, it has always been said “Oh look you’ve lost weight!”
From bordering on the snide “You hardly ate anything! Are you trying to maintain your figure?” to the somewhat comical “You’re lucky – you can find clothes for yourself in the kids section too”, I thought I had heard it all. Until now. [Read: O the things people say]
Because in a conversation that revolved around nothing remotely related to weight, food or even me for that matter, travel was suddenly being blamed for my skinniness! There was no prelude whatsoever and yet it was, like always, stated in a rather matter of fact manner.
It was just like how weeks later when I crossed paths with two girls from the UK and we got chatty one of them wanted to know why people were being judgemental about them. I probed and learnt that while in Agra not just the guide but even the bus driver and some others openly declared that they’d presumed these girls were not older than 16! My newly formed friends on the road were appalled. They were 22 – fresh out of grad school. And no, their parents weren’t so liberal that they’d send their daughters off on a round the world trip!
Thankfully I am no longer peeved or scarred by what anyone has to say on the subject matter. I owe it to the earlier stint at blogging – it helped channelize the irritations in a constructive direction I must admit!
So while sticks and stones can still break my bones, words – they just glide, no more drilling holes in that impressionable mind and sense of self-worth. [Read: Damsel in distress… NOT]
But back to the topic of discussion, to say that I am thin because I’ve been travelling is like saying I solo travel because I do not prefer company (Oh and how many times have I had to hear this one too!) And while I won’t claim I live to eat, solo travel has also meant that I don’t have to share food with anyone (Joey mode activated) #ftw.
Has being not-so-ample come in the way while travelling i.e. has it had a restricting effect on me? NOPE. I have lugged my 60 litre Quechua and another backpack while comfortably manoeuvring a trolley bag during my 6 month long term travel. Though to be honest, I surprised myself with that a little bit too – in a good way though!
And I am a backpack person. I love the whole hands-free feel that comes along with it. I profess my love for backpack in spite of repressed memory around a new backpack that I have been wanting to set ablaze because I didn’t know that like shoes, bags too have to be broken into! But yes, I am still a backpack person.
Trolleys seem have a mind of their own (at times) and the trolley owners that I’ve seen make me want to give them a piece of my mind. So yeah, there’s that! As far as shoulder bags go, my point is that why do with one shoulder what you can do with two (and still be alive to enjoy your trip after you’ve reached your destination)?
|Me and my backpack|
Skinny or Nomad? What you see reveals a lot about you
I was on the road when I had this epiphany – “If you cannot carry what you pack, you should pack only what you can carry”. The backstory to this epiphany is that I ended up carrying another traveller’s bag because they couldn’t (and I was being courteous).
[Read: On strength and being strong]
But travel, especially my recent stint at long term travel, has taught me a lot – for one, it has reassured me of my capabilities.
And it has also been insightful.
This explains why on coming back home after 7 months I saw the world as I once knew it divided into two groups:
1) those whose first remark has still been “You’ve lost weight?” (which I haven’t) while clearly missing a more obvious change – I’ve tanned, and
2) those who have asked me “So tell me what it has been like on the road… but before that where are you off to next and when?”
P.S.: I am thin because of my genetic composition.
And I solo travel because people take too long to make up their minds.
Just wanted to put it out there!