Let’s start with the Tall People Convention, not somewhere you would ever have spotted me prior to my tall New Year’s resolution but I departed for Nuremberg, Germany in early May with an open mind and a suitcase stuffed full of clothes!
The experience itself was reminiscent of a German package holiday, showcasing ultra-efficient scheduling, hundreds of Germans and a lot of seat reservations – coats, bags, newspapers and anything else that might communicate ‘step away, this seat is taken’. My Europatreffen baptism was the Annual Meeting of Tall Clubs, where a language barrier resulted in me being seated at the front of the room representing the UK?! Only one thing was discussed in detail (according to a few friendly sources, this is the same every year) and that was ‘where is the next Europatreffen being held?’. There was mention of wanting to discuss how clubs were going to attract new members but the heated debate over future locations dominated the agenda.Next was a day trip to Regensburg, a Bavarian city on the banks of the Danube River which is known for its well-preserved medieval core. We were scheduled to depart from Nuremberg early in the morning and with a strong coffee in hand, I walked/crouched my way through four practically empty coaches, upstairs and downstairs, before I located an ‘unreserved’ seat! Around 20 minutes into the 2 hour drive, the German lady in front of me fully reclined her seat without so much of a glance in my direction! Really??! Having all been on the receiving end at some point in our travels, what tall person does that?! Legroom wars would have commenced had I not had the pleasure of meeting Ekene, a fellow tall girl and the Belle Grand designer who I’d connected with on social media before arriving. Ekene and I spent the rest of the coach trip getting to know each other, whilst she stood in the walkway, casually leaning on the seat reclining German lady’s head! I was aware of the not-so-friendly looks we were getting but being true to British culture, I pretended I hadn’t noticed!
There is nothing wrong with package holidays; however, I’m not a package holiday kind of a girl. I prefer free-range wandering, ever adjusting schedules and unexpected detours! I enjoyed the morning boat trip down the Danube and after 15 minutes in to an hour long city tour, I slipped away down a side road and made up my own agenda for the rest of the day before catching an unplanned train back to Nuremberg.
The highlight of the trip was for me, like everyone else, the Gala Ball. I’d arranged to meet two of my favourite tall bloggers there, Karen (Tall Wife) and Beth (Tall Fashion Adventures), who had arrived at the venue before me and had the pleasure of freeing up a selection of reserved seats so that we could sit together for dinner!Spending an evening with 260 tall people was a truly unique experience for me and any height insecurities I may have been harbouring from my teenage years simply vanished. As the evening went on, the tall people took the dancefloor with gusto for a ballroom dancing extravaganza… this was undoubtedly our cue to leave so we bid farewell to our new tall friends and took the party back to our foxtrot-free hotel bar!This was my first Europatreffen and yes, it is likely to be my last but the legacy of experiencing life as the short-blonde (yes, someone actually referred to me as that!) will live on! Since returning to the UK, I’m standing a little straighter, holding my head a little higher and I love being the tall girl! Tall is a big part of my identity and having had access to a new perspective, albeit briefly, I wouldn’t want to be any other way.