I’ve written a few things for Matador Network recently but I’m being published almost as fast as I send over the draft, so it’s been tough to keep up! This is my latest endeavor though. Nearly overnight the piece when viral and I have no idea why. But it’s awesome! Probably my most popular piece yet!
It’s been a crazy experience. I have people who love the post and email me to say how awesome it is that someone has taken an interest in the Czech culture. I have people who absolutely hate me and think I am stereotyping Czechs. I have people who have lambasted my identity, saying that I am not “Czech” even though I have lived in the Czech Republic, have Czech family, and speak the language (oh well…). And then I have Czechs who think it’s hilarious and can’t stop spreading it around.
Compare us to Russians.
We are not, and never have been, Russian. Look on a bloody map — blocked by Poland, the Ukraine, and Belarus, the Czech Republic isn’t anywhere close. We make marionettes, not Matryoshka dolls. We don’t wear babushkas, we have babičkas (Czech grannies). Our country is landlocked so we don’t eat herring, and we drink beer, not vodka.
We don’t know how to read Cyrillic writing, and we don’t care either. The Russian Orthodox church means nothing to us because only about 21% of the country is religious. If you need further convincing, we dislike Russians because the Soviets invaded our country with tanks in 1968, and fucked everything up. So just stop.
I’m proud of this piece, despite whatever negative comments I might receive. Most of them are from expats who think they somehow know the Czech Republic better than I do. I’m not saying I’m all encompassing, but I will say that I proofed the piece with actual Czechs before sending it off, so…You win some you lose some. But I’m happy to have contributed this piece of Czech culture to the world and it makes me love Czechs all the more for it.
Read it here:
This is a fun little piece I wrote when I first became a Staff Writer for Matador Network. I love pole dance as a workout and also to spice things up a bit in the bedroom, and it is becoming more popular across the world. I thought it might be cool to see other pole studios and how they run things. The South Pole part is pretty corny but again, the piece itself is more of a humorous, edgy highlight than a serious example of a new exercise craze.
BodyMind Studios, Cape Town, South Africa
BodyMind Studios has a few locations in the larger cities of South Africa, and their methodology is similar to what you’d find elsewhere. What sets them apart is their involvement in Miss Pole Dance South Africa. The aim of the competition is to promote pole dancing as not only an erotic pastime, but a sport that utilizes creativity and expresses strength in a unique way. Students from BodyMind Studios compete for the title with their unique displays of “technique, flexibility, grace, agility and sexiness.” And yes, admission is open to the public.
Have you ever tried pole dancing before? If not, do you ever think you would? What are your feelings about this new form of “sexercise?”
This past September, I traveled to Iceland. It was awesome, in part because I got to hike on a glacier where Game of Thrones is filmed. If you ever get to Iceland, it’s worth it to drive the five hours from Reykjavik along the southeastern coast, visit Skaftafell National Park and take glacier hike. You don’t need to be very physically fit but you should be able to keep up with the spritely guides.
I sort of feel like a member of the Night’s Watch as my group of six travelers ascends the glacier, searching for harm against the kingdom I’ve sworn to protect. It would be cooler to be a Wildling though, scavenging for food, scouting for shelter from storms, and being an overall badass nomad. It’s only September, but “winter is coming.” The sun is bright, but the ground of this glacier is hard and icy, and the wind is strong, stinging my cheeks. Today, we are the only group hiking on Svínafellsjökull. I can’t help but think — if we suddenly encounter a band of White Walkers, will we survive?
I love Game of Thrones and I had so much fun writing this article. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more exposure, but GoT fans are weird that way I suppose. Sometimes people don’t want to take away the fantasy and replace it with reality, for fear that the magic will be lost. No big deal, I still enjoyed getting paid to write about one of my most favorite TV shows.
Although, I’m secretly hoping a scout spots our diligent clan and asks if we want to be extras for a day. I’ll gladly walk around wearing 20lbs of black fur, leather, and feathers at the Night’s Watch camp, or play a motionless Wildling, victim of a White Walker attack. What’s that? Kit Harington has asked me to dinner after the shoot?
Well, a fangirl can dream.
Read it here:
Nature Deficit Disorder is a term coined by journalist Richard Louv, to describe his studied increase of behavioral issues in human beings as a result of not spending enough time outdoors. However, urbanites could certainly argue Louv’s theories with evidence of their “street smarts” and highly-developed social cognition resulting from city-living.
25. “Beach” is how Australians pronounce the word “bitch.”
26. You’d gladly hike the Appalachian Trail, if the whole thing had free wifi.
27. Instagramming your Farm-to-Table meal is the same as going to the actual farm.
28. You are pissed that your goldfish couldn’t memorize a simple sentence like “P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney.”
29. When someone asks you to describe the word “autumn” you direct them to a Thought Catalog article entitled “25 Reasons Why Pumpkin Spice Reminds Me of the 1990s.”
30. You think the Grand Canyon is some sort of old slang word for a woman’s vagina.
For many college students across the United States, Spring Break is a right of passage. MTV made the concept popular by setting up camps at beachy destinations like Mexico, Florida and even Arizona where they promoted partying all day and all night.
I personally never got to experience the hedonistic spring break trips of my peers. Part of it was disinterest, part of it was that I was from New York, so why would I want to go anywhere else? My freshman year I went back home, my sophomore year I went up to DC, and my junior year I stayed and worked so that I had money to travel the world my senior year. I also worked in an office on campus that helped facilitate Alternative Spring Breaks for students – volunteer trips that went to places across the United States and around the world. Oftentimes I found satisfaction by vicariously living through the people who went on those trips, enough that I didn’t feel so bad about remaining stateside.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Some rowdy spring breakers decided to revert back their AP English Literature classes and go Lord of the Flies on the beautiful island of Saona. A significant lack of conch shells (due to vacationers pillaging “eco-friendly souvenirs”) prevented them from creating their creepy, infantile democracy, so they drew inspiration from the next best cultural reference — Cast Away — and traveled back to the main island using coconut-oil-powered jet skis.
Once back in Punta Cana, they gathered up all of the beach volleyballs from outlying resorts and created an army of Wilsons. Punta Cana has since shut down its beaches to those aged 18-22, but you can still find traces of paint-stained sports equipment, if you look hard enough.
This piece is a humorous look at popular Spring Break locations that may or may not still be the hotspots of 21st century generations. With the economy as tight as it is I rarely hear about people going on Spring Break anymore and if they do, it’s much more laid-back. This piece is a satirical look at how Spring Break culture has changed in recent years. The “Where Are They Now?” aspect is more of a silly take on hotspots from a bygone era when “to party” was the ultimate verb.
I wanted to respond, in my own way, to the recent controversy surrounding the recent death of Sarai Sierra and the influx of women’s travel articles floating around the internet. For a long time, I’ve been fighting within myself on this issue of “safety” while traveling, and why I get so upset when I see articles aimed specifically at women. I am a woman. I want to be safe. But why do we need to justify this concept through gender-specific articles? Why do we need to prove that women are just as capable of traveling on their own, as men? Why can’t we just do it and be happy?
So I wrote this article.
Safety while traveling alone is not, and should not ever be, a gender-specific issue. Travel safety is relevant to us all.
What my article is NOT about: trying to state that women travellers do not encounter any type of danger or unsafe situations while traveling abroad. We do. We absolutely do. And it needs to be talked about.
What my article TRIES TO CONVEY: That women are not the only demographic that needs to practice safe travel abroad, or the only gender that encounters trouble while away. We focus on women because we receive such opposition as travellers, but the world needs to know that it is not our gender that is the issue: safety is something that affects all kinds of people, not just us.
If you are a woman, you know how difficult certain areas of the world can be regarding our sex. The point I try to make however, is that we should never limit our travel experiences based on the kind of person we are. Man. Woman. Gay. Straight. Transgendered. Black. White. Young. Old. If you’ve traveled somewhere and received opposition from locals or other travellers based on your race, sex, age, etc., do you choose not to return because you are a woman, or because you had a bad experience?
Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Would love to hear what fellow travellers think about this issue.