Your first year is probably going to suck, but you just have to get through it.

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We’ve all seen the people who write articles about how they moved to the other side of the world and seemingly became immediately successful. There are the influencers who are living the dream, doing yoga on Instagram, sharing raw food recipes from the jungle, or bloggers writing from a tropical beach.

If that’s you, congratulations. But if you’re planning on packing your life in a suitcase and leaving your country, I want you to know the experience might not be all that social media leads you to believe.

If there’s one thing I wish somebody had told me before I…

People who say they don’t have baggage are either lying or in denial.

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The pandemic got to me last week, and I got back on Tinder. I know.

I noticed an interesting trend with men this time, though. A lot of the men the app shows me, between approximately 35 and 50 years of age, add a strange description in their bio.

Sin mambos,” which basically translates into “no issues”. Others even explain that they don’t have emotional baggage, and that they don’t want to meet others who do. Seriously, though?

Are you honestly telling me you haven’t got issues, at 40 years old?

Obviously, this is code for not wanting to deal…

If you write clickbait on why veganism was wrong for you, you probably never cared much about the cause.

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I just read a story here on Medium with the ultimate clickbait title about why a person had quit veganism. It’s not even worth linking this story here, but it got me thinking.

The person started with a strong, eye-grabbing headline about veganism being the wrong choice for them. They then went on to explain why, telling a story about extreme food restriction, labeling foods good and bad, and anxiety about their diet.

When I got to the end, I realized the moral of the story wasn’t how veganism was bad for this person. It was that they had an…

Here’s a fresh idea: stop dehumanizing Muslims with falsely progressive views.

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A couple of months ago, I found out one of my friends is an islamophobe. It came up in a casual conversation over some beers, and he probably didn’t think much of it. His reasoning had all the common elements of the European far-right, especially the lack of integration of Muslim communities and their supposed unpatriotism.

“You know, all these things you’re about, of feminism and equal rights to minorities, don’t mean anything to Muslims,” he finished defending his posture after a while.

The strange thing is, he doesn’t consider what he said to be racist. …

If you suffer from imposter syndrome, trying to find your niche can make the job harder.

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I’ve read a lot of writing advice over the years, especially when I first tried writing on Medium for the first time a couple of years ago. One of the most common is the importance of finding your niche.

Many writers treat their blogging as if it’s just marketing a product. They pick a niche, the more specific the better, and stick to it. This helps them connect with their readers and ensure them they’ll offer them value in every post.

Picking your niche should be easy. …

There’s a double standard on what men and women are allowed to look for in online dating.

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I’m 5'8", and I put it in my Tinder profile. I do this because I like tall guys. Not crazy tall, just taller than I am (I live in Argentina, so it’s not a given).

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being shorter than 5'8". I know my preference is superficial and probably mostly related to my adolescent eating disorders and trauma that made me want to be physically small. I have nothing against women going for guys that are shorter. This is not rational, it’s just what I’m drawn to. …

The hierarchies of veganism and my fear of being judged made me hide my choices.

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I became a vegan 7 years ago, for several reasons. I felt good when I wasn’t eating animal products and my body responded better to training the more fruits and vegetables I ate. To top it off, my father had been diagnosed with cancer, a disease I’ve been terrified of since I can remember, and I was afraid it would happen to me.

Veganism was the common-sense solution to many of those things. For a formerly disordered eater, veganism offered a way to look good and gain muscle without counting calories or macros. As a person who wanted to leave…

Tracking progress is a useful motivator, but it also tells you where you’re not paying attention.

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I’ve been lifting weights for several years now, and it’s been an on/off relationship. At first, I didn’t really know what to do at the gym. Other times, I’ve found it hard to be motivated. Because of my stubborn nature and problems letting people tell me what to do, I’m not the kind of person to follow a program or a trainer.

About four years ago, I discovered something incredibly efficient that’s made my training much more efficient: a simple tracking app. It doesn’t count calories, give me training programs or different workouts every day. …

Giving my body some love is my number 1 priority.

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My body turned 35 in 2020. My mind has been there for years, but my body had always felt younger.

I’ve had my issues with body dysmorphia and eating disorders, sure. There have also been tough times when I’ve been eating poorly and drinking too much, and that has definitely made me feel unbalanced in my body. In the past years, I’ve been able to leave a lot of my insecurities behind, but I’ve still been pretty obsessive at times about working out.

Sitting at my desk from March to October in 2020 changed everything.

COVID-19 made my body feel…

A real-life story about why cancel culture is right to go after Snow White’s kiss.

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It’s time to be honest with myself, and tell the story about a situation that traumatized me.

This week, an article about Disneyland in SFGATE went so viral it even reached my friends in Argentina. The article, about Disneyland’s reopening and the problem of consent in Snow White’s kiss, made my feminist friends rejoice and my sexist Argentinian acquaintances (can’t really call them friends, for obvious reasons) go crazy.

“Cancel culture has gone too far,” they say. “Feminists are ridiculous,” some of them post. “How can a fairytale offend you? Is there no place for a true love’s kiss anymore?”

Taru Anniina Liikanen

Finnish by birth, porteña at heart. Politics, writing, life, everything Finland/Latin America.

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