If you’re a globe-trotting travel bug, getting your traditional wander-lust fix may have been challenging this past year. With public health guidance encouraging only close-to-home trips, however, this time has helped us uncover vital gems for exercise and discovery in our own backyards—such as trails!
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, millions of people in the United States have relied on their nearby trails for stay-cations, daytrips and even quick midday escapes—including Jeff Jenkins. As a prolific travel-blogger and the creator of Chubby Diaries—an “online community for plus-size travelers who are passionate about seeing the world, experiencing new foods and learning clever hacks along the way”—Jeff was often on the move.
Although the pandemic has altered Jeff’s travel plans, he hasn’t grounded his goal to help people discover new places, and bring attention to these great finds, while also making traveling more inclusive. Over the year, Texas-based Jeff has shared tips and introduced his Chubby Diaries community to many nearby destinations, such as local businesses, parks and trails—to inspire and remind us that we can keep exploring, just as long as we're mindful of public health and safety guidelines.
We caught up with Jeff to learn more about his local explorations, how he has adapted his blog and tourism tips during the pandemic, his vision for Chubby Dairies, and how sharing his experiences is making the outdoors and travel more inclusive and more accessible for everyone.