Stylized Photo of Author… by the Author

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…


Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

Okay. Breathe. Getting a major wave of anxiety right now.

It’s only adding to this overwhelming feeling, whose source I can’t quite put my finger on. Doesn’t really help, does it? If you’re already being swallowed by it, and then on top of that, you can’t name exactly what brought it on? I guess I’m just going to have to sit here, moping away as always in inexplicable misery until it passes.

But wait, here’s a thought. Since I already frequently use writing platforms like this one to reflect and process my various troubles, maybe it’s worth a shot to…


Lessons from my struggle writing, shooting & editing in quarantine and why it was worth it.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, just like a Tough Cookie!
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, just like a Tough Cookie!
Photo of Author by Author

This whole pandemic has been one long ride on the struggle bus to survival town for everyone. And that’s certainly no different for content creators like me.

As a video producer and creative business consultant in Los Angeles, I’ve been fighting to find paying work while simultaneously feeling the pressure to churn out even more content online.

You probably know what I’m talking about.

At the same time, and for years now, I’ve seen the increasing need for better women’s self-defense training. The classes currently available out there are usually designed and taught by men. So they can’t speak to…


Knowledge, versatility, and joy is worth all the megagazillions in the world

Photo: Pixabay/Pexels

The internet is flooded with articles of tips and stories for getting rich quickly. They detail all the methods the individual has used to make thousands or even millions of dollars, seemingly in a matter of days.

The problem is that despite their (probably) good intentions of inspiring others, they’re just making me feel more inadequate as an entrepreneur.

I’ve taken many steps similar to those they preach, and I’m still not a millionaire, far from it. …


Photo from “Kill Bill: Volume 2”

I love martial arts. I’ve been studying many different styles for many years and I highly recommend them for many reasons. But if you want to know the best martial arts for self defense, I have to be honest with you. There aren’t many styles I would say are useful in their entirety for self defense.

Some styles do prove helpful in some situations or with some of their moves, but martial arts alone are not a complete or thorough self defense training. …


We’re all prone to antisocial behavior, even the most bubbly extroverted Tracy Flicks among us. That has only become more pronounced with the pandemic. Socializing gets pretty hard when the whole world feels like it’s gone mad and is crumbling down around our very feet.

I’m no stranger to this feeling, especially lately, even though such a notion runs counter to the enduring image just about everyone in my life has of me.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seemed to people like the ultimate extroverted extrovert. In high school, they called me Becky “Bring It” Ahn. No I…


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. …

Rebecca Ahn

Writer • Wanderer • Warrior | toughcookietravel.com | rebeccaahn.com | amazon.com/dp/B00F2AK2VK

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