One of the things I love about traveling is the chance to get away from myself for a while. Vacation Me is just a little different from Regular Me. Leaving my usual routine means shaking things up, trying new things, and taking chances.
Not that I'm an adventurer. My idea of a good time involves museums, shopping, and afternoon snacks. The most I'm willing to risk is sore feet. Snorkeling and parasailing are fine for other people, but if I'm on the beach I'm going to be sipping a drink while wearing a glamorously floppy hat.
I'm talking about taking the risks that we're all afraid to take in our "real" lives. Those little things that we'd like to do, but don't because we're not sure how people will react. But when we travel, we're surrounded by people we're never going to see again. We can stop caring about making a good impression because their opinions of us simply don't matter.
Raise your hand if you keep your upper arms covered at all times. Oh wait - you never raise your hand because it draws attention to your arms. (Or is that just me?)
Looking at my upper arms reminds me of my Grandmother wearing a sleeveless housedress while she endured summers without air conditioning. I inherited her flappy arms along with her good skin and heavy frame. It's taken me some effort to adopt her nonchalance.
For a lot of plus size women, we'd never consider baring our arms while running errands, relaxing with friends, or (yikes) at the office. No matter how hot it gets, we stay covered.
But why not give it a try on vacation? Remember - you're never going to see these people again. It doesn't matter if they're horrified by the sight of your upper extremities. Which they won't be unless you're traveling with some truly awful people.
Especially if you're traveling to someplace hot and humid. Keeping covered is going to keep you from enjoying yourself. Just show off those arms in a Sleeveless Shell. You'll be stylish and comfortable, so you can focus on how much fun you're having.
But wait - what about vacation photos?! You can't possibly ruin your vacation memories by exposing your arms. You won't be able to see anything else when you look at the pictures.
If you really feel that strongly about it, why not bring along a shrug or sheer topper that you can throw on at picture time? It'll probably come in handy when you encounter overzealous air conditioning. By the end of your trip, you may be so used to letting your upper arms see the light of day that you don't feel the need to cover up when the camera comes out.
Once you've exposed your upper arms to strangers, it's a lot easier to do it among friends. You may even find yourself doing it at the office when it's weather-appropriate. And realizing that you don't have to hide a part of yourself makes for a great vacation souvenir.