The Curvy Kili Crew
On March 2, 2019 a group of 20 plus-sized women from around the world will step foot on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. 6 days later, on International Women’s Day, they all hope to be standing on top of the tallest mountain in Africa together.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 36-year-old stay-at-home mom and travel blogger from northern Virginia.
Tell us about the Curvy Kili Crew!
The Curvy Kili Crew is a group of 20 plus size women from around the world who are coming together to climb the tallest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. We will be summited on International Women’s Day (March 8th) 2019.
What’s unique about The Curvy Kili Crew?
While it’s not very common, plus size people like me have hiked Mount Kilimanjaro before. Kara Richardson Whitley even wrote two books about her experiences climbing the mountain 3 times. But an entire group of plus size women? That’s unheard of!
What inspired you to start this?
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2016 with an all women’s adventure company called WHOA Travel. It was an INCREDIBLE experience but being the slowest and fattest hiker, not just in the group but on the entire trail, made it very mentally challenging for me.
I knew I wanted to go back again but I wanted to hike with someone who was plus size like me, someone who would understand the struggles of being a fat hiker. I asked around in the travel groups I was part of and the response was overwhelming. What started out as a search for a travel buddy ballooned into the creation of an entire group of women who wanted to conquer this mountain together.
We can’t lessen the physical demands of Kilimanjaro but we CAN motivate and support each other and eliminate the mental challenges that one faces when on the mountain. And that alone can make the difference between reaching the summit or giving up.
Tell us about how you got into this.
I was never a hiker. It’s not a hobby I do on the weekends, I’m actually quite a couch potato. But adventures like this help keep me active by giving me a fitness-related goal that isn’t tied to numbers on a scale. For me, it’s the ultimate form of adventure travel. In fact, I’m going to be trekking to Everest Base Camp at the beginning of April!
How has the Curvy Kili Crew changed your life?
This group has been so amazing! Even though many of us haven’t met in person yet we are all staying connected online, encouraging each other throughout our training and sharing tips for finding plus size gear. I couldn’t imagine a better group of ladies to climb Kilimanjaro with.
How does participating in this make you feel about your body?
Before I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro I didn’t like my body that much. I felt like it had failed me in so many ways, primarily in being able to conceive children. There just wasn’t much that I loved about myself. But climbing that mountain made me realize that my body is capable of doing far more things than I gave it credit for. It’s made me so much more appreciative of my physical self.
Who is your inspiration?
My 5-year-old daughter has definitely been my inspiration. I want to make her proud, to show her that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. She is the reason I want to be my best self.
What do you want to say to women who may not yet have the confidence to follow their dreams?
There is no time like the present! The perfect time to follow your dreams is not just going to fall into your lap. You have to make the time for it, surround yourself with people who will support you and just go for it!
What is one message you’d like to leave our readers with today?
I want to encourage all plus size women to travel more, be adventurous and unashamed. You never know who else you are inspiring with your travels!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about the Curvy Kili Crew?
3 of the women in our group live in Oakland, CA yet they never knew each other until they joined the group. What are the odds?!
Name: Christa Singleton
The WHOA Travel link with our hike itinerary
Instagram: @curvykilicrew (group Instagram for the trip) @travel_fearlessly (Christa)