Over the last three years, I've asked myself what I see as my strengths. Are my eyes captivating? Does my shape compliment my personality? Why am I walking into a salon? Well, beauty is what you make of it and as someone who is in-between sizes and personalities, I have a story just for you.
While traveling to Prague, Czech Republic, I kept in mind the various aspects of European culture. It had been some time since I had traveled and was unsure of what stores I'd come across and how the people would judge me. But to my surprise, I learned many things about the Czech people and this is what I want you to take away. And even though there's not a lot of shopping for those of us who are a tad bigger, the respect was something I valued much higher than here in the States.
I've never been one to wear a bikini. No, just a simple tankini or a fitted one-piece. But when I traveled to The Czech Republic and Croatia, I learned something new -- there's a 'no judgment' zone. Yes, I was not criticized for wearing a bikini to the beautiful waterpark in Prague nor while walking the rocky beaches of Split, Croatia. And to my surprise, I took that and owned it. Never did I think I would feel comfortable in a bikini, but I took a look around and saw some...questionable....attire, which made me feel better about myself. And with that, I listened for comments and there weren't any (at least, not that I could understand), but none from my college group with Bus2Alps. And here's what 20+ college students and local European students taught me.
- Some areas of Europe tend to cater to women with curves (helloooooo The New Yorker)
- Busy Czech moms want to feel free too (I never want to see a thong-bikini again)
- The Croats actually admired the confidence of their guests
- Not all college-aged women are close minded
- Bring your own swimwear (apparently large sizes sell out and there are no returns/exchanges)
- The Czech eat like Americans (except for fast food, but the locals love big appetites)
- I had a supportive friend from Slovakia picked out my Croatia wardrobe (complete with shorts, dresses, flirty tops, and so much more!)
- Europe is like America, except, to my knowledge and experience, don't 'fat-shame.'
- Though there's not a ton of attractive men, the ones in the area appreciate someone with an appetite.