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I remember the first time I went to a movie by myself. It was December 14, 2010 and it was an experiment; a social experiment.

Except this time I wasn’t analyzing how people interact or how I interact with other people, but quite the opposite. This time I was trying to uncover something much more important and much harder to diagnose: how I interact with myself. And hopefully, ultimately, who I am and what I want out of this life.

Believe me, I realize that’s a lot of pressure to put on one 2-hour matinee. Of course, this didn’t really…


Self defense is as mental as it is physical. There’s a mental shift that needs to happen before you are ready to defend yourself. It’s not just about learning how to use your body to fight back. It’s not just about learning to pay attention to your surroundings and look for potential dangers. It’s not just knowing how to react and what to do. It’s also about being ready to do so.

This involves a two-step process that you’ll need to embrace and embody. And the sooner the better, because you never know when it can happen to you. …


About to embark on another solo adventure and need some tips for traveling alone? I’ve got you. Luckily, I’ve been down this road. And a long road at that. Included among my many adventures was a cross-country US road trip that took 2 months and 9,000 miles. All solo.

So trust me when I say I’ve been there, and I’ve got some pretty good ideas about how you can stay safe, strong, and secure on your own solo travels.

Below are my top 21 solo travel tips, especially for the solo traveling woman (who is hopefully also over the age…


I don’t know how people do it. I tried. I worked at Google for four years, trodding along every day in the corporate hamster wheel. And it drove me crazy. Literally. I developed anxiety disorder. I was diagnosed and everything.

Every day became a struggle.

Photo by Kat Jayne

For the latter half of my time there, I worked as an executive admin assistant. So my time was already not my own. I’d join my exec at meetings (or go in their stead if they were double booked), prep them for the next one, and make sure they were fed and caffeinated in between.


Self-defense is not about fighting. It’s about surviving. That’s why we call ourselves survivors, not fighters. Or victims.

Even so, one must still prepare for battle. Self-defense is 90% caution and 10% confrontation. As Mr. Miyagi says, we learn to fight so that we don’t have to. The more prepared we are, the less likely it is that it will come to that. Better to be safe than sorry.

So let’s develop the skills and smarts we need to effectively fight back like the strong women we are, armed with more than just our anger and righteous indignation. …


Want to learn self-defense? Want to feel safer and stronger walking down the street, or staying home alone, or just living your life? Well then there’s something you should know.

Self-defense is not what most people think it is.

It’s about a lot more than what people will tell you. Or what many are ready to talk about. And this makes Tough Cookie sad. Because it’s something we care deeply about. And want to rectify. And put an end to.

Oh my, I’m getting a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

I’ll give you a topic: Self-Defense. …


As anyone who travels a lot will tell you, life on the road isn’t easy. Whether you’re taking a short road trip or trying to live the nomadic life full-time, you’re going to face some unique challenges that only the road can present.

In preparation for my 2-month 9,000-mile cross-country road trip, I’d formed several goals and expectations about how healthy I’d be (and further become), how much I’d do and see, and all the great self-reflection I’d achieve. I had pretty idealistic visions of how productive this trip would be for me. …


Well okay. Yes. We all know I am crazy-mad… but that’s beside the point.

Today, and for the last several days, I’ve been angry-mad. Like peeved off at the world and all the annoying people in it-mad. Like how can there be this many stupid people in the world-mad. Like why am I still stuck surrounded by these people instead of getting on with my life-mad.

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Firstly, I’m mad about the big stuff…

I’m mad at my life and how much I have seen myself changed. I’m mad that somewhere in there, I lost myself. So slowly and imperceptibly that…

Rebecca Ahn

Writer. Editor. Wanderer. Warrior.

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