Austin’s Jeff Jenkins is on a mission to “help chubby people travel the world.”
Since the award-winning content creator and travel journalist founded his “Chubby Diaries” website a few years ago, he’s amassed quite an audience, including the nearly 30,000 people who follow him on Instagram at @chubbydiaries__.
We checked in with Jenkins to see how he’s feeling about the state of travel and what he’s expecting as the summer season begins.
ATM: How do you describe your work and your goal in the travel space?
Jeff Jenkins: The way that I describe my work is that I help chubby people travel the world and that is through compelling content, group tours, and community! My goal is simple: I want to redefine what it looks like to travel, and that’s by making travel more inclusive for all.
Why is it important for you to show all types of people, including plus-size travelers, that they can and should travel?
I believe that travel is incredible and can be a life-changing experience, so I want people all over the world to experience new cultures, traditions, and food. Travel expands people’s perspectives and I believe that this is what makes it so important.
What are some favorite places you’ve been?
My top three countries are Japan, Italy, and New York City—it feels like its own country. What these three places have in common is their incredible food, rich history, amazing people, and awesome excursions.
What travel trends do you think we might see this summer and fall?
As you can see, the world is opening up faster than experts first predicted. Tour companies have been selling out tours all over Europe and the Caribbean. I believe that road trips are still going to be very big this summer. It looks like ride sharing might be the best/cheapest option in a city you are visiting because of the rental car shortages and the extremely high prices around the nation. People will have taken test cruises in the next couple of months, so I believe that once others see those go smoothly, cruises will spring back up.
What tips do you give to people who haven’t traveled in a while and are nervous to do so?
I first would recommend preparing yourself to be overwhelmed. It is a normal feeling, especially if you haven’t been around people in a long time. Take it slow. If you haven’t done it in a while, maybe start with something light instead of a marathon. And come prepared with disinfectant and other products. That’s the best way to give yourself peace of mind when you travel. A truly clean surface is just a wipe away.