Feminism

5 Reasons Traveling The World (ALONE) Is An EPIC Cure For Heartbreak

travel


An unexpected healing from heartbreak.

You’re getting over a recent breakup, and you’ve found yourself in a rut. You’ve always wanted to go to another country, but maybe you were waiting on the right guy so you two could travel the world together.

Ummm… you DON’T need that person to make you happy! You might feel uncertain and don’t think that world travel can help relieve those post-breakup blues, but you can experience something wonderful and heal your heart at the same time.

Here are some reasons why traveling the world is one of the coolest things in life you could do for yourself:

1. It helps get you out of a rut.

2. Traveling forces you to think of life differently.

Being in transit — be it a plane/train/bus — can inspire you to wonder about the bigger picture. It can help you question your motivations and see the details that you might miss when you’re in everyday life.

It can even make you feel grateful for the things you DO have, instead of focusing on the sadness of a relationship gone sour.

3. Being able to observe a different culture is an incredible gift.

The sights. The sounds. The smells, even! This full immersion into a completely different environment will create new thoughts, new feelings, new emotions, and open you up to ideas and experiences you’ve never had before. The customs of this new place will surprise and even astound you at times and you won’t have time to think about ol’ what’s-his-name

Hashtag #TheySaid Highlights Body-Shaming Comments Women Hear

pregnant woman in front of a mirror

“#TheySaid you’re getting so fat you won’t be able to come back from that.”

Founder and CEO of the athletic wear company Oiselle Sally Bergesen definitely remembers one of the first times she was body-shamed. “’Keep eating like that and you’re going to be a butterball.’ My Dad when I was 12,” Bergesen tweeted on May 25.

It’s no surprise that the hashtag #TheySaid started trending a couple of days ago on Twitter, which has become a stream of crap things people have said about women’s bodies.

Screenshot twitter

How I Discovered I’m Asexual And What That Means To Me

alianaasexual

I’m among a subset of the asexual community who experience rare sexual attraction exclusively to people I have forged deep, intimate emotional bonds with. 

I didn’t use the word “asexual” until I was a senior in college. I didn’t so much use the word as I slurred it, in between a long drunken ramble, to my girlfriend and our best friend in our apartment’s small kitchen.

A few hours earlier, at the party we were hosting in our apartment, a friend had shared intimate details of her sex drive — more like sex overdrive. Later in the night, a friend asked if it was weird that she didn’t feel the urge to have sex very often. And there I was, spewing my guts in an alcohol-fueled rage against poor sex education and poor media representation to two of the people I’m closest to.

To this day, they’re the only people who have ever heard me use the label “asexual.” I’m among a rare collection of people: at 22, I’ve been with the same romantic and sexual partner for seven years now. I talk about my sex life openly to the point where my friends were unsurprised when I wrote a Cosmopolitan piece about role-playing in bed. How, then, can I be asexual?

Asexuality, for me, has always been a spectrum. There’s no doubt in my mind that, from puberty onward, I’ve had less desire to have sex than most of my close friends, and that I’m attracted to significantly fewer people. I’ve only had one sex partner and haven’t been put in the position of looking for another, but if I did, it would be pretty damn impossible for me to find one.

I’m among a subset of the asexual community who experience rare sexual attraction exclusively to people I have forged deep, intimate emotional bonds with. That doesn’t sound bad — and for the most part, it isn’t. If I were single, it would prevent me from considering one-night stands without thinking about the consequences. Unless, of course, the one-night-stand was with one of my closest friends after a long, passionate discussion — in which case, consequences be damned.

The only reason I even realized I was capable of sexual attraction was that, in eighth grade, I fell for one of my best friends. She and I would have lengthy sleepovers where we did everything but sleep — we talked late into the night about our futures, our fears, our lives, and then we cuddled through Final Destination 3 and burst into laughter at South Park. It was the first time a crush had ever escalated beyond just thinking the person had a nice personality. I knew every inch of her mind, so I finally felt something I’d never felt before: I wanted to have sex with her.

By the end of high school, I could count on one hand the number of people I’d found myself sexually attracted to. In fact, one of the reasons my initial feelings for my girlfriend were so impossible to ignore was because our emotional connection was the strongest I’d ever had — so strong, in fact, that I’d even dream about passionate make out sessions while she was sleeping over my house. Sometimes, the make outs even led to more.

As we navigated the early stages of our relationship, I learned what I’d always known to be true: my perception of sexuality and sexual attraction was different than other peoples’. Even in a long-term relationship, it was difficult for me to see her and jump right into a sexy situation, even though the emotional connection always existed as a foundation. It was as if my brain needed to be reminded. The best foreplay, for me, was sitting out by the docks on the water, discussing fantasy book series at length and laughing at inside jokes. It wasn’t that I didn’t find her aesthetically pleasing —it was the fact that I’ve always been incapable of finding anyone, even a celebrity, sexually attractive without the emotional bond.

I can’t even muster sexual attraction to celebrities unless they are playing a character I find myself very deeply connected with, like Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. I can look at an aesthetically pleasing celebrity and comprehend their sexiness, but I don’t actually feel it. For this reason, fictional characters in books are an ideal solution: not because I can imagine their appearance any way I want, but because it seems as if I know them on a deep, personal level after spending hundreds of pages in their worlds.

Being asexual is like spending time in a room with a group of friends who just came back from an intimate trip together that you weren’t able to attend. You can hear them describe every painstaking detail, but you can’t create those memories. Your imagination can grasp the blurry edges of what their lived experience is like, but you won’t feel nostalgic when you look back on the trip six months later. I understand why people put Leonardo DiCaprio on their celebrity fuck lists, but I just can’t. Maybe someday, if he plays a somewhat shy, sarcastic journalist in a movie series who I can really connect with. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that day to come.

I’m A Woman With Facial Hair And I Love My Mustache

moustache

Author: Carolyn Castiglia

I’ve decided, as a rebellious act of self-love, to lose my inhibitions and keep my facial hair.

“Mommy … you know, I can see your mustache.” It was one of those innocuous things kids blurt out as they observe the world, not meant to be any more or less rude than pointing out how gross it is when people smoke or that the streets of New York are filled with garbage. Some things are just true: smoking’s gross, New York is filthy, and I have a mustache.

I laughed at my keen little kid and replied, “Yes, I know. I like it.”

She looked at me as if I were a sad puppy who just needed a little help better understanding the world and all of its complications. “No,” she said, quite seriously. “It’s bad.”

It still makes me laugh just thinking about it. Her implication was that if I didn’t do something about my visible mustache, something terrible might happen. Like the crashing of the patriarchy or the collapse of the beauty-industrial complex or – worst of all – other people might see it. Female + facial hair = certain death. I mean, we’ve all heard of bearded ladies, but have you ever actually seen one at the circus? I’m pretty sure those animals are extinct. From being hunted down. BY THE MAN.

I’m not sure why my mustache was so concerning for my 8-year-old daughter, or how she even knew visible facial hair on a woman is a no-no. It’s almost as if she was paying attention all of those times I wandered around our apartment with Nair on my upper lip, talking about how important it is to get the removal process just right. If you don’t leave the chemicals on long enough, the hair doesn’t fall out. If you leave them on too long, you get a chemical burn. Because I never did find the exact algorithm required for painless ‘stache removal, I quite often found myself left with a half-hairy lip and giant red scabs on each side of my mouth. AM I PRETTY ENOUGH FOR YOU NOW, AMERICA? Who wants to makeout with Scabby McScratchyface?!

So that’s why, about 9 months ago, I decided to stop removing my mustache. I didn’t want to get chemical burns anymore, and I didn’t have any dates coming up, so there was no pressure for me to present myself anywhere as a supple, hairless creature. You know, like a Canadian Sphynx. Cute. Sweet. Demure.

After a month or two, a funny thing happened. A chicken/egg sort of relationship developed between my dating habits and my facial hair. I can’t tell which caused what, but the longer I waited to book another date, the more willing I was to sit with my mustache. And the longer I lived out in the world with my mustache WITHOUT DYING, the less willing I was to book another date, because I didn’t want to feel any pressure to wax/bleach/burn off my mustache. Growing out my mustache hair (and refusing to remove it) became symbolic for all of the changes that were going on inside me. It was an act of rebellion, meant to show the world that I was not going to emotionally contort myself any longer to accommodate what I feel are unreasonable expectations on the part of others. I am a human being. A woman with gorgeous, thick brown hair … on my head, and everywhere else. There is a very thin, not-too-dark-but-certainly-visible bit of hair on my upper lip. DEAL WITH IT. I will shave my legs and my armpits and even pluck the middle part of my eyebrows, but right now, at this moment in time, I don’t want to brutalize my precious, delicate upper lip anymore. Hopefully I can stay off of Nair for the rest of my life if I do all the steps and keep going to meetings. But, as they say, one day at a time.

I have yet to show up to a date with my Burt Reynolds on full display, but I plan to. I just revamped my dating profile on a paid site to reflect all of the ways I’ve embraced myself over this last year. I started making those profile changes as a joke, using my real sense of humor (both feminist and ridiculous) instead of trying to prove myself witty and clever, but I liked my answers so much I actually clicked save. As soon as I did, I got three messages within five minutes. I took that as a sign that the world is ready for me to be my true self, mustache and all. I’m ready to go on dates with strangers again and take trying to find love seriously, or at least as seriously as a lady comic with a villainous moustache can. I have a good feeling about finding someone who can accept and love me the way I now accept and love myself.

It’s possible I may decide to remove my facial hair again at some point, but I want that decision to come from me, and not due to any outside pressure or influence. If I come into a lot of money and/or a steady gig on television, I will probably laser it off and be done with it. Until then, though, I’ll keep it. Even if it’s bad, because I think it’s kinda great.

Carolyn Castiglia is a comedian and mother who lives in Brooklyn. For more about her career, check out her full YourTango profile. You can also follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

This article was originally published at YourTango

MORE CONTENT FROM YOURTANGO:

7 Ways Love Transforms Your Brain
Learn To Write The Best Love Notes Ever
50 Love Quotes We Adore