FAMU Grad Awarded Prestigious Travel Award for Body Positivity Blog
Posted By: Jeff Jenkins on December 16, 2020 |
Austin, Texas (Nov. 17, 2020) – Global travel authority Lonely Planet has today unveiled a radical reimagining of its much-awaited Best in Travel picks for 2021, reflecting an unprecedented year of disruption in the travel industry. For the first time, this year’s list spotlights not only places, but also people and communities. In 2021, Lonely Planet is looking ahead to the important changes taking place globally, from sustainability to diversity, and shining a light on the future of travel. This year, Jeff Jenkins has been singled out as one of the individuals who are transforming the travel industry.
This year, the Best in Travel list has been refocused to showcase transformative travel, which encourages travelers to find authentic and mindful moments during their journeys. In 2021, Lonely Planet is looking at the important changes taking place globally, and focusing on the individuals shaping the future of travel.
In a world of skinny Instagram stars and shrinking airplane seats, Jeff Jenkins created Chubby Diaries to provide practical information for plus-sized travelers, while also boosting their representation. As a storyteller, Jeff impressed the Lonely Planet team for not only amplifying the voices of a minority group, but also someone who shared his success to create a better world for others.
“Travel is a much more considerate exercise in 2021 than it has been ever before,” Lonely Planet CEO Luis Cabrera said.
“Best in Travel 2021 champions people, places and organizations that are making travel a force for good, all the more essential in a year when COVID-19 has disrupted and deprioritized travel. Best in Travel 2021 reflects how travel contributes to sustainability, community and inclusivity and showcases how we can best explore the world responsibly.”
Travel is always changing. Rather than delivering a destination bucket list, Lonely Planet focused on how people travel now: outdoors; in family groups; purposefully; with careful attention to the communities they will explore.
“I had travelled to 24 countries and I realized that I never saw anybody that looked like me,” says Jeff Jenkins, founder of the Chubby Diaries blog, a website for plus-sized travelers. “I learned that it's been because of a lack of representation.”
So after years of scrolling through the Instagram feeds of skinny travelers or seeing thin models advertising destinations on television, Jeff decided to build the Chubby Diaries to show the world that plus-sized people traveled too. He also wanted to provide inspiration, practical information and product recommendations for people like himself.
It’s been a hit. The community has now grown to over 41,500 followers across several social media platforms. Its rich mix of vivid photography, snappy in-destination videos, engaging blogs and resource lists for customers of size have helped it reach an audience of 1.8 million. What’s more, it’s having a positive impact for plus-sized travelers too.
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