Being five feet tall

This cat is taller than me.

What does it mean to be travelling when you’re five feet nothing? I have wished to be taller on many occasions- when there’s a large crowd gathered and I can’t see anything or when I feel as though I’m not being taken seriously. I’m not asking for much- another six or seven inches is fine by me, but then most of time I realise that being as small as I am can be a good thing when I’m travelling.


People look out for me

I don’t mean to, but I sometimes stand out in a crowd when I’m overseas, particularly when I’m travelling alone. That in itself is no big deal but the wonderful thing is that because I’m small, people look out for me, probably because they think I’m younger than I really am. Motherly, older women have come up and talked to me for no reason. I had no idea what they were saying but from their worried expressions, it sounded like they were asking if I was all right.  None of them offered me shiny red apples so I don’t think they were evil witches in disguise.


I have a good excuse to go right in front

Nobody gets annoyed if I go to the front when I’m taking photographs. I’m so short, I won’t be in anyone’s way.


I can wear children’s clothes

If I’m looking for simple tops while I’m travelling, I look for t-shirts for 15-16 year old boys. As long as the designs aren’t too childish, I look perfectly all right in them. In fact, I once found a really nice Beatles t-shirt in Liverpool by looking in the boys’ section. Children’s clothes also cost less. Of course, if I’m looking for something  a little dressier or feminine, I head for the women’s department.



I can sit comfortably on planes, buses and trains, unlike people who are much taller. I can also stretch out and lie down very comfortably in the middle row on airplanes if the seats aren’t taken. If I’m snoozing on a bench in the airport, chances are no-one will ask me to get up because I’ll just look like a sleepy 15-year-old kid, all curled up :-).


People are nice to me (I think)

Security guards, customs officers, train attendants and yes, little old women, are sweet to me. I don’t come across as a possible threat and I don’t get asked all sorts of unnecessary questions. Besides, I think they feel sorry for me when they see me carrying my rucksack!

I know I’m not the only petite female traveller around. Are you one of us?

© 2013 – 2014, Anis. All rights reserved.

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10 Responses

  1. What you wrote above I also standing in the same situation. Cause I am five feet tall too. Hahaha.. Especially the legroom, when everyone complaining about that, for me it’s not a big deal. Same goes when taking photo. Plus another reason I proud to be five feet tall was people thought I look younger than my own real age =D

    • Anis Ibrahim says:

      Hi Diana- I know exactly what you mean! Because I’m small, I’ve been mistaken for a much younger person many, many times. I’m not complaining 🙂

  2. Iza says:

    me too, and got shorter after the Europe backpackers trip in 2010. The backpack and myself, same level.

  3. Sunrider says:

    I happened to drop in on your blog by chance about the Niuje Mosque in Beijing. Very succinct and nicely written. I like the simple style and short personal descriptions. TQ

  4. naiima says:

    i am 5 feet tall, flat foot and was diagnosed having slipdisc (ouch ouch).
    i look like a walking backpack and thre are times my back hurts so bad, but i am happier 🙂

  5. Colleen says:

    I’m a five foot tall traveler, too! People really do seem nicer to short people, and I love that I can curl up and fall asleep in the smallest spaces.