New York State of Mind

Last month we were in New York. ALL of us, together first the first time in real life. After almost a year of creating content for this blog Amanda, Chantel, Sam, Bianca and I met in the Big Apple. I’m not gonna lie, it felt like the Fat Girl version of Sex in the City, and we looked the part! From hosting a Fat Girls Traveling Meet up and visiting One World Observatory, to speaking at Women’s Travel Fest we took New York by storm!

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When your outfit is as poppin’ as your personality.

You should probably know that I’m extra AF. And since we are rarely all together, I suggested we do a promotional photo shoot. So we hired a photographer, coordinated looks, smiled through the brisk morning chill, navigated the morning work rush and creepy staring dudes. More often than not strangers told us how beautiful we looked.

Two women stand out in particular. As we were trying to capture the perfect “5 Women crossing the street in style shot” these ladies started cheering us on. They told us that they were running late for work but loved what we were doing. Five minutes later we’re sharing self-love stories and taking photos. At that moment we were able to experience the positivity that loving and expressing ourselves can bring.

Where to Stay

Although we were in town to speak at the Women’s Travel Fest, we all had different objectives. Sam was actually moving from NYC to the Pacific Northwest days after the festival. Bianca and Chantel traveled with their partners and made it a baecation. Amanda stayed with friends and I stayed at HI Hostel New York

I’ve stayed at HI New York a handful of times and it’s my go-to when I’m looking for affordable NYC accommodations, in a safe area, near the subway. I know it sounds like a unicorn, affordable NYC accommodations, but it’s true!

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I love staying at hostels when I travel, but they are  notoriously difficult to find in the United States. Hostelling International has locations all over the world. So they have perfected the formula. I know that my stay will come with a few essentials like clean facilities, fresh bedding, a private light and charger plug for my bunk.

HI Hostel New York has a cafe, movie room and ample work/socializing areas. It’s the largest hostel I’ve ever stayed in, with some of the best business practices I’ve seen from a brand. Learn more about HI USA’s sustainable tourism contributions and Education Programs.

Meet Tara

The incredible Tara was one of my roommates and it was so refreshing to see another fat girl traveling solo! We had a chance to chat.

Fat Girls Guide: What brings you to NYC?

Tara: I’ve been planning this trip since forever. I’ve always wanted to see New York City and planned this trip with a friend. When she cancelled at the last minute, I decided to go alone.

FGG: So you’re officially a solo female traveler! How does it feel?

T: I was really nervous at first, because NYC seems like a place you should visit with others, so I was scared to do it alone at first. But I met awesome people at HI New York and we explored the city together.

FGG: Was that why you booked a hostel, to make travel friends?

T: Honestly, I’ve never stayed at a hostel before, but when my friend canceled it was all I could afford. I’d budgeted to split a hotel room, shop and do some sightseeing. Including a helicopter ride above Manhattan. If I hadn’t stayed at HI New York I wouldn’t have been able to do all the things I’d planned.

FGG: Girl! You sound like a professional, because that’s exactly what I would do. Do you have any advice for someone nervous to travel solo?

T: Do it! I’m so happy I took this solo trip. It was exactly what I needed. I made friends from all over the world, got to see a city I’ve always wanted to see, and I faced a fear.

Tara was such a ball of energy! I saw so much of myself in her. Her love for travel was tangible and I’m thankful that we got to cross paths.

FGT Meet up

I try to host a meet up in each city I visit and luckily it worked this time. We met up with a few Fat Girls Traveling members at a cute cafe to discuss self-love, Fat Camp and to shop Sam’s “donate” pile.

Not only did we leave with some new friends and this cute picture. Some people left with new-to-them clothes! Now that’s what I call a win-win!

One World Observatory

Have you been to One World Observatory? The ladies and I took a field trip there and it was awe-inspiring. There’s something special about seeing the city from that view. You literally feel like you’re on the top of the world!

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Sometimes, it is about who you know. I recently met a boss babe and Fat Girls Traveling member who was able to secure us a private tour of the iconic tower. And it gave is all the feels.

Add with views like this, can you blame us?

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Women’s Travel Fest

The primary purpose for our visit was to speak at Women’s Travel Fest. And we killed it! I’m not sure if there’s been a panel of fat women talking about diversity and inclusivity in the travel space before us. But it was an important conversation that is just starting to receive the attention needed to make positive changes.

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New York was a turning point for me personally and for this blog. As a team we are excited to create fresh content, introduce you to new faces and share all of our favorite things with you. So get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

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Special Thanks to HI Hostel New York for hosting me and One World Observatory for the tour. As always, all opinions are my own.

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