As a first class procrastinator of the highest rank, I spend a ridiculous amount of time avoiding the writing of my own blog by obsessively reading other travel blogs. I’m particularly fascinated by a sub-genre of the travel blogosphere known as solo female traveller under the age of 30. I’m struck by the sheer number of them and the quality of the work they are putting out. Kiersten Rich of The Blonde Abroad, Jess Gibson of The Travelista, and Brooke Saward of World of Wanderlust are just three examples of this breed of young women who are not only following their dreams travelling around the world, they are producing excellent content, building personal brands, and making names for themselves in a highly competitive marketplace. On top of all that they look fantastic doing it.
From bikinis to boho dresses and the ubiquitous brimmed hats, these women make sexy, casual and on-trend dressing look effortless.
Seeing their utterly fabulous travel fashion game, makes me question every single travel sartorial choice I have ever made. In my entire life.
To be fair these lovely ladies are considerably younger than I. Perhaps it would be more accurate to compare with a “Kimberly in her twenties” travel shot instead.
Let me see what I have here in the archives…
OK here we go. Feast your eyes (make sure you say that in a thick Scottish brogue) on Kimberly at 22:
To this day Laura and I are haunted by our hair and wardrobe choices on our 1992 European adventure. We were at our most young and nubile best and we squandered it on boyish, bowl haircuts and baggy, oversized tees. Our parents need not have worried about what we were getting up to on our travels. Looking like we did, there was no way either one of us was getting laid.
Lately I’ve been trying to up my style game, especially since my lovely husband has been taking me to some luxurious places. I have success to varying degrees.
But things can go very wrong. Unfortunately, such wrongness is never determined at the time when something could be done about it. Invariably, it is discovered weeks later at home as I click through my downloaded photo roll in horror.
Dressing well on the road gets even harder as you age. It’s difficult to flattering travel wear that is:
- extremely comfortable
- weather suitable
- culturally appropriate
- doesn’t wrinkle too badly
- does not take up much room in a small suitcase
- looks decent on a curvy body that is no longer size 6, or 8, or 10 or…just buggar off
Last year, my dear love and I travelled to Greece. I packed a few “cute” sundresses for touring in the Athens heat. Dressed and ready to go one morning I checked myself out in the mirror and thought, “Not bad”. This, by the way, is the upside to the farsightedness that kicks in at 40 and worsens from there. Without glasses, everything you see up close takes on a gauzy, soft focus – kind of like having vaseline smeared on your eyeballs.
My husband, who calls me Beauté (pronounced Bo-tay in his sexy French), concurred. So, I was feeling confident as we set off for our private Acropolis tour. We visited the ruins with Peggy, our knowledgeable guide, who shared the remarkable history of the site and took touristy pictures of us in front of the Parthenon. A few hours in, I excused myself to the ladies’ room where Peggy joined me. While washing our hands at the sink, she turned to me and out of the blue asked:
“Are you pregnant?”
I stared, dumbfounded. I didn’t know whether to be flattered that she thought I am young enough to bear a child or insulted that I look fat enough to be pregnant.
Seeing my confusion, she quickly clarified.
“Oh, I’m so sorry. It’s just that here in Greece we often have babies well into our forties.”
Fuck me. Door number two.
Clearly being a travel fashionista has always, and will always, be just outside my grasp. Sometimes I manage to rock it and other times, well, you’ve seen for yourself what happens. But the fact is, I don’t really care much anymore. I get to travel all over the world with a man who thinks I’m the cat’s pajamas. As long we both feel good and look good to each other, that’s all that matters to me.
The young bloggers are welcome to their fashion supremacy – it’s part of their identities and most definitely their brands. This pregnant-looking, ridiculously happy old barren blogger is content to yield the floor.