Sometimes, before I hang out with a guy, I tell him, "If you ever touch me without my consent, I will kill you."
It is a happy talent to know how to play...
But in order to play safely (and without having your time usurped by people you don't like) in this world, especially as a woman, you need to be good at assertiveness and boundary-setting. That is something I'm good at — and it's the reason I've able to been spend literally years abroad as a solo, female traveler.
Lately, it's also the reason I've been able to spend the last 13 months on the road as a solo, female RVer.
Hello, today's teenagers. I know you don't remember this, but back when you were three months old, you likely began showing self-soothing behaviors — that is, you began learning how to calm down, relax and go to sleep again in your bed.
By the time you were six months old, your parents were actively encouraging you to self-soothe, as this is around the time you could make it through the night without needing to be fed.
And I'll bet you were crushing it!
Spring break is canceled. Your summer travel plans are canceled. Date night is canceled. Open mic, karaoke, sports, concerts, birthdays, weddings.
It's all canceled.
Even your ability to hike in local parks or surf local beaches may be canceled.
And one way to cope with these losses may be a small investment in a starry night or ocean projector.
When people ask me what my blog is about, I want to tell them, "Playfulness." Playfulness is why I started this blog. It's on my About page; it's discussed on some of my most popular posts...
Yet one recurring theme has been assertiveness. Assertiveness seems at odds with playfulness... but, in fact, I've found assertiveness to be a crucial skill that enables my playfulness.
And it's probably one of the most important possible social skills you can learn and use during the current lockdown/quarantine/social distancing protocols.
You'd think, from the hysterical way white dudes drinking cheap beer at hostel bars tell white women they need to "cover up" while traveling, that I'd've offended someone by now.
(I mean, other than said white dudes. They, like certain parts of certain cultures, do not deserve my respect.)
But no! No bikini, shorts, or tank top I've worn has ever offended a local -- in fact, most seem absolutely delighted for the chance to chat, question, or take a photo with me. Especially the women.
But... there is one thing I wore once that was super offensive, and just thinking about it makes me cringe.
A recent article in The Harvard Crimson complained that scholarship recipients felt "uncomfortable" and "out of place" at an annual Scholarship Dinner, where students had the opportunity to network with billionaires and millionaires (many of whom were, themselves, scholarship recipients in their days at Harvard) while eating delicious food.
Image: @TheHappyTalent on Instagram
Let me start by saying that I love you. I love that you want to be there for me. I love that you're showing concern for my health and recovery. It means so much.
But can I just, real quick, tell you what my mornings have been like since my injury?
While traveling in Malaysia this year, I met the most amazing woman. Vivacious, brilliant, and adventurous, this girl and I kayaked several miles of open sea in search of fish species we'd never seen before. We lay on the beach all night, watching the stars and eating watermelon infused with duty-free vodka. We trekked the python- and cobra-filled jungle in search of the elusive Penis Plant.
"She only got in because she's an athlete."
"He only got in because he's black. I had a much higher SAT score, and I didn't get in."
"Of course she got in! She's Mexican, gay, and disabled. A triple-threat minority!"
"Yeah, but he's a legacy student."
Jealousy is ugly... and if you're someone who's been admitted to a prestigious prep school or university, chances are you've heard someone say something ugly about why you got in.
They might be right. They might be wrong. They might just be spiteful. Regardless, who cares? You got in, and they didn't.
Almost everyone who participates in teen travel tours, service trips, and summer abroad programs... is a girl.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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