5 Modern Signs of a Cheating Boyfriend

by PeopleLooker 

Before smartphones stole our attention, the signs your boyfriend was cheating were different.

Suspicions might have arisen if he came home from work late. Or if someone was repeatedly calling the house phone and hanging up when you answered.

But thanks to today’s technology, your boyfriend has easy and instant access to connect with whoever crosses his mind: A girl he swiped on Tinder, an old crush he found on Facebook, a co-worker or someone he met at a coffee shop.

He could be having an affair on his phone while being in the same room as you and you wouldn’t even know it. That is, unless you know what to look for.

If you want to know if your boyfriend is cheating in today’s world, look for these modern signs:

1. He Won’t Let You Look at All the Apps on His Phone

Some apps save your location history. Other apps allow users to have secret conversations. If he’s not okay with you seeing what apps he has installed or if he gets anxious about you looking, it sounds like he doesn’t want you to know where he’s been.

2. He Gets Texts Messages Late at Night

Late-night texting could be a sign that he’s trying to conceal his communications with someone from you.

Then again, it could be his mom.

To get a clue, examine his body language when that next text pings at 1:11 AM.

What facial expression does he make upon reading the message?

Does he look happy? Excited? Does he have a smile he can’t wipe off his face?

If he’s smiling while texting back – think: does he typically have that smile when he’s texting his friends?

This is the kind of situation your instincts are made for. What is his smile saying? Does it look like the same smile he gave you when you first started dating?

His reaction to a late-night text will tell you a lot. If he rolls over in bed and ignores it, it’s probably nothing.

3. He Always Keeps His Phone on Silent

Did your boyfriend used to leave his phone on the kitchen counter and now he keeps it in his pocket on silent? If so, that sounds suspicious.

A cheating boyfriend doesn’t want to miss a beat of ecstasy by disappearing from a texting conversation with the other woman.

Guys who’ve admitted to cheating reveal they used to text the other woman right under their girlfriends’ noses – that means while lying next to her in bed, while talking in the kitchen, while in the passenger seat of the car, etc.

Just because your man is physically with you, it doesn’t mean he is mentally.

A guy who keeps his phone on silent around you doesn’t want you to know who is texting him or when.

4. He Has Suspicious Names or Numbers on His Phone

Are there any nicknames on his phone you don’t recognize? Or calls from unrecognizable numbers?

To keep his lover’s info hidden, he might try to pull a fast one on you. Some guys have put the other woman’s number within the contact info of one of his family members. Others will use only a first name, initials or a nickname to conceal her number on his phone.

And don’t just give up your quest for truth if he tells you it’s just a friend or co-worker. The accessibility of being connected to different people all the time could have led to an emotional affair.

5. He Says He Has “Issues” With His Phone, Email, Facebook, Etc. or His Phone Always “Dies”

If a guy is constantly blaming modern technology or a dead phone for randomly falling out of a conversation, it sounds like he’s hiding something.

You want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but this situation sounds more like an excuse to not talk to you. He could be limiting conversation with you so he can talk to her. Again, this is one of those situations your good instincts will lead you to truth.

Infidelity is as old as relationships, but the signs of a cheater have changed. Technology has become a sneaky way to cheat, so you should know which behaviors look like an affair.

About Justin Lavelle

Justin Lavelle is the Chief Communications Officer for PeopleLooker and it is the easy way to search for people. It gives you fast, affordable, and easy access to public records.

PeopleLooker is widely used by online daters who use background checks to help screen their potential dates. Find out ages, marital status, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, and so much more! All the records you need in one simple report.

Don’t Forget the Lube!

By: Elizabeth Morris, Head of Content, Carvaka Sex Toys

So lube is just for older people or those with some health issue, right? Well that’s what a lot of people think, but the below infographic, prepared by UK Sex Toy retailer, Carvaka, shows just how much of a misconception that actually is. Lube can make all sex, gay or straight, penetrative or oral, solo or with a partner far more enjoyable and exciting for people of all ages. While when some people think of lube, they automatically think of boring old Vaseline, nowadays lube comes in a massive array of flavours, can give new and exciting sensations and is made from a choice of ingredients. Why not try a tingly, silicone based lube to add some extra spice to your next sex sesh! Or maybe liven up your next oral session with a strawberry favoured edible lubricant – the choices are almost endless. Heading away on vacation? Why not pack away some exotic flavoured lube and surprise your partner while on holiday!

So if you thought lube wasn’t for you, check out this infographic – we bet you’ll change your mind!

Carvaka IG Lube.jpg

 

Another Day, Another Dildo: The Story of My First Internship

My internship search started off a bit shakey. I honestly had no idea where to even start looking.  I asked some professors and classmates for places they recommended, I e-mailed a few small businesses, and I even conducted some internship searches through Campus Philly, but I either had no real interest in the company or I unfortunately didn’t hear back from them.  World – 1 Brittany – 0.  It just wasn’t working out.  Until one day I got an email from Arcadia’s Media and Communication page, with links to blog posts that previous students had written about their own internship experiences.  I saw that two girls had written about a place called The Velvet Lily, so I checked it out. Immediately I knew I wanted this internship.

The Velvet Lily is a female-owned erotic boutique and novelty store in Philadelphia.  I emailed the owner Khara and set up an interview.  A few days later, I caught the train into Philly and made my way to 1204 Chestnut Street to meet with her.  The store has an alluring and sensual vibe from the moment you walk in with an assortment of products ranging from lingerie and candles, whips and handcuffs, condoms and lubes, vibrators and strap-ons, fleshlights and cockrings, anything you could imagine.  I was led to the back room to sit and wait on a luxurious black couch until Khara came to the back, pulled up a chair, and told me to make myself comfortable.  After we discussed the position, I met another girl who had previously interned and was now employed there and we all sat around the couch brainstorming ideas for the stores future videos. I got the internship and started later that week.  It was really fun and exciting to hear all their ideas and be able to share my input. I left the store and caught the train home feeling like the Carrie Bradshaw of Philly. 

My first day was just as interesting as I imagined it to be.  It started out slow with some video editing on a promotional video.  Then I got to search for youtube videos about fleshlights to post on social media.  The next task was where my skills were really put to the test- I had to plug in a bunch of vibrators to test if the batteries were working. The lovely little task paid off well when I got to pick whichever one I wanted. Of course I took the LELO Mia 2, a cute little pink one that looks like a lipstick and has a USB charger so it’s discrete and travel-friendly. But that wasn’t all…  I was handed a fleshlight and asked if I wanted it “for a friend maybe”, and boy did I have the perfect person to give it to.  That’s when I knew this job was perfect for me.

The next few shifts were pretty similar. I had to do some minor but crafty little tasks like tying ribbons around the Kama Sutra boxes we were selling to some fancy hotel, which I then had to deliver on my way home. But I also started writing product descriptions, and of course I was asked to write one for my new toy. I had to come up with a list of ideas for videos we could shoot for the store’s website/blog and then edit those videos. I got to search youtube and buzzfeed for more videos we could use to post on social media sites, specifically videos relevant to “cock rings” and “beginner vibrators”…never a dull moment. And my favorite part was definitely the customers.  Although I was usually in the back working on media related tasks, I often overheard some interesting things.  Like men trying out different whips or crazy old ladies, or sometimes old men, trying to return underwear. 

One weekend after a staff meeting, I decided to stick around for an event we were hosting called Fifty Shades of Play: an introduction to bondage. (Check out my blog about it here ). It was mostly an introduction to all the kinky things out there and different toys to use but also some valuable information about the media’s portrayal of sexuality and what is considered normal and how to become comfortable in talking to your partner about things you want and don’t want to do.  The woman who led the workshop is a licensed social worker and sexual health educator who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in human sexuality from Widener University.

Overall, it’s been a really fun experience.  I’ve learnt a lot more than I ever expected to know about sex toys, but I’ve also learnt a lot involving different aspects of media that I want to work with in the future.  It is also refreshing to work with so many empowered business women who are comfortable with sex and sexuality and make it their job to help others feel comfortable as well.

Hot Date Becomes Hot Mess

It started on Valentine’s Day.

I know. Cliché as fuck, right?

Most single girls on Valentine’s Day eat their weight in chocolate and binge watch rom-com’s like The Notebook. However, that is not my idea of a good time. So let’s flashback to Valentine’s Day 2013.

I was in London, studying abroad for the semester. At this point I’d been in the city a little over a month. I had made friends and knew my way around the city fairly well. So when Valentine’s Day rolled around, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. O’Neill’s. The only way I can describe O’Neill’s is that, at best- it is a shit show. But I had not yet experienced it such as my flat mates had. So my friend Johanna and I, and her friend Lia decided that we were going to make Valentine’s Day our bitch.

Lia had met us at our house in Kilburn Park and greeted us with chocolate and wine. Because really, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? We got ready and my flat mates (and Lia) all ventured out for the evening.

The night did not begin at O’Neills. We went to a place called Strawberry Moon first, which was entirely too boring for us. Essentially we were looking to get wasted and hookup with beautiful British men. At this point in the night, we decided to head to O’Neill’s.

I wish I could tell you how much fun I had or how much money my bar tab was but the truth is… I don’t remember. I went from 0 to drunk real quick. I lost Johanna and Lia at one point. I met a British man named Alex who I then started hooking up with. He also paid for all of my drinks and eventually helped me find my friends. I found Johanna upstairs in a corner attached to an Italian man’s face. Lia was dancing with everyone because she is beautiful and everyone wanted to dance with her. We had all found “our guy.” Eventually it was time to go home. Alex came back with me, but Johanna and Lia exchanged numbers with their guys.

Alex left my flat VERY early the next morning, and that next day we laughed and tried to recall drunken memories from the previous night. Now, you may think this is where this story ends. However you are very much wrong.

Not thinking anything of it, Johanna’s guy had texted her later in the week and also found her on Facebook. He wanted nothing more than to see her again. Crazy right? Who would ever expect a hookup at a club abroad to turn into another date? Then again, if you knew Johanna, she IS a beautiful, blonde, bombshell from SoCal. So if I were an Italian man, I’d want to date her too. She wanted to see him again, but also did not want to put herself in a bad situation, after all she hardly knew this guy. So, because I am such a great friend (and because Antonio- her guy- had hot friends) I agreed to go on a date with them. The only requirement was that Antonio had to bring a hot friend for me as well. We made plans to go to a local pub on a Thursday night.

I sat through my dreaded three hour marketing class that Thursday night until 10pm. I quickly got changed at school and then met up with Johanna. We texted Antonio (Johanna’s guy) to try and find them. After some miscommunication, we eventually found them in the tube station. But Antonio didn’t just bring one friend…he brought three. Now again you’re probably thinking “Four beautiful Italian men, how lucky are these girls?” Again, WRONG. Four of them, and two of us. That’s a lot of fucking testosterone. Additionally we went to greet them and quickly discovered the three friends he brought BARELY spoke English!!! All I could think was “What the fuck did I just get myself into…”

We headed to the pub and got drinks. I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from there, but that would be the understatement of the year. It was like trying to communicate with brick walls. We all barely understood each other. I used Google Translator half of the “date” (PS shout out to that pub for having free Wi-Fi so that I could even use Google Translator.) On top of the language barrier we realized we barely had anything in common with them. I also found out one of them had a girlfriend back in Italy. It was just a mess. A hot mess. Literally a hot mess, after all they were easy on the eyes. Eventually we finished our drinks and headed home. We cracked up about how weird the date wbrewskisas the whole way home. Johanna and I must have sounded like little school girls giggling on the bus ride home.

From this date though I did learn a few VERY valuable lessons.

1) You will never fall in love in a bar.
2) You CAN in fact hookup with someone in a bar and be very unaware they barely speak English.
3) When all else fails, there is nothing a good drink can’t fix.

Dirty Minds: What We Really Think During Sex

The media usually shows sex scenes as glamorous and flawless. Sure, that is everyone’s fantasy. But in reality sex can be awkward a lot of times. Jenna Marbles explains it best in her two hilarious videos, What Guys Think About During Sex and What Girls Think About During Sex. This video overlaps the audio of some of the funny things she says with scenes from various other twenty-something’s favorite sex scenes.

If you check out one thing today, make it {my lingerie play}

By: Kara Mendez

Feminism. One four-syllable word can represent an over one hundred year movement of women and men fighting for equality; a fight we are still fighting today.

Diana Oh, a new york based actor, singer, songwriter, performance artist, and feminist has comprised a collection of visual and performance installations called {my lingerie play}. If you have yet to guess, Diana performed/will perform all 10 installations in her lingerie. What originally began as a script for a solo show turned into an amazing, head turning, emotional, eye opening experience right in the heart of NYC. Diana- and later a group of women and men alongside her- stand on soapboxes in different NYC locations with cardboard signs explaining their mission.

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Photo credit: Hye Yun Park

As seen on {my lingerie play}’s Facebook group, Diana Oh is standing on a soapbox holding a sign that says “I’m standing here in my lingerie because I’m a woman who enjoys wearing lingerie but does not enjoy: being catcalled, being trafficked, being sold, being owned, being told to be unhealthily thin, being told to age unnaturally, being street harassed and followed home by a car full of men at 2 in the morning (1), being asked to f-ck you like a b-tich or to suck on these n-ts and lick the d-ick (2), being called a hoe (3), a tramp (3), a stupid girl (3), or a little Asian friend (3), and being told that you love my lack of self respect (3), and that you got these b-tches all tipsy trying to sex you (3). I’m standing here in my lingerie because I’m a woman who enjoys wearing lingerie and many MANY other things (4). HAVE AN AWESOME DAY!
(1) actually happened. (2) actual lyrics (3) actual lyrics that aren’t from hip hop songs (4) see you next time!” (Installation 1/10. Times Square, New York). 

When asked about {my lingerie play} Diana released this manifesto: “The solution is not to tell women to cover up. The solution is not to tell women to keep chaste. The solution is not to tell women to stop being sexual beings. We are not asking to be harassed, abused, talked down to, or violated no matter what we are wearing. The solution is to change the way we are talked about for being a sexualized woman does not strip us of our humanity. The problem isn’t sexualization, the problem is the DEGRADATION that comes along with women expressing it. #mylingerieplay

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Left to Right: Diana Oh, Kana Hatakeyama, Kim Gee, Mariah MacCarthy, Colleen O’Connor, Parker Leventer, Lillian Meredith, Melissa Lusk, Hye Yun Park (not pictured). Photo credit: Kacey Stamats.

Anyone in the NYC area should try to catch an installation before it’s over. Support and show love to Diana and her entire crew of people and performances who- through art and performance- are taking steps towards equality. Spread the word. Show your friends. Stop the catcalls, slut shaming, and harassments alongside Diana as she stands on her soapbox in her lingerie.

LEARN MORE:
To find the project, more footage, & photos: www.facebook.com/mylingerplay 

To find Diana and to get involved: www.facebook.com/DianaOhisGOINGROGUE
#mylingerieplay

VIDEOS: http://wifey.tv/video/my-lingerie-play/
Filmed and edited by,  Hye Yun Park

Don’t Shit Where You Eat

by Brittany Tedesco

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There are some people who can take other people’s advice and learn from their mistakes. But there are some of us who have to touch the fire and get burned to learn. I am one of those people.

From the moment I moved into my student accommodation and saw my beautiful (male) flatmates, I knew I was about to be playing with fire. All my friends told me that handy little piece of advice, “Don’t Shit Where You Eat.” And I probably should’ve listened. But when the most beautiful boy you’ve ever seen knocks on your door at three in the morning while you’re both intoxicated and says in the most beautiful British accent you’ve ever heard, “Can I kiss you?” how can you possibly say no?

After that night, I thought nothing of it. Shit happens. But I barely saw him for a while after that. Maybe he’s avoiding me, maybe things are awkward now. Until eventually we crossed each other’s paths again. And eventually he was knocking on my door again. And before I knew what was going on, he had moved into my room– toothbrush, skateboard, clothes, and all.

And still, my friends kept warning me, “You need to kick him out” and “This isn’t going to turn out well.” But I refused to listen, even though I knew they were right. He would eat all my food, use all my shampoo, hog all the blankets, and play loud music in the morning even if I was still asleep. But I was in complete denial. I enjoyed his company. And maybe it was just convenience, sure. We’d watch Netflix, hook up, and go to sleep. There was honestly nothing else that I wanted.  (I mean, have I mentioned how beautiful and British he was?)

But we were never exclusive. And we never wanted to be. Or at least he never wanted to be. And I never admitted that I wanted to be. But nothing burned worse than the night we went out to a club together, and he left with another girl instead of me. And my bed felt empty, and I couldn’t sleep. Things were always subtly awkward after that.  He still stayed over a few more times, but we both knew it had to end. His lease ended and he not only moved out of my room, but out of the apartment. And he slowly faded out of my life, so now we don’t even speak.

But I still wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. I had fun with him, and sure I got hurt and used, but I had to. I couldn’t have listened to anyone else, no matter how many times they tried to warn me. So as much as I’d like to stop you from making my mistakes and tell you not to hook up with your roommates, no matter how beautiful and British they are, I know you probably won’t listen. And I don’t blame you.  But if there’s one piece of advice you should actually take, it’s this: If you want to play with fire, expect to get burnt. But don’t let that stop you. Fire is a beautiful thing. What’s worse than getting burnt is how cold you will feel when the fire goes out. But only for a little while. Only until you realize you now have the entire blanket to yourself.

Photo credit: http://blueascookiemonster.tumblr.com/post/87232338084

The List: The Untold Story Of How Many British Men I Have ACTUALLY Hooked Up With.

by Katie Sorino

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Let’s set the scene here.

It was my last night at my home school in the states. I was helping my friends pack up their things to go home for break and saying my goodbyes. Though it was only halfway through the school year, I was not coming back in the spring. I had decided to study abroad in London and was the first one out of my group of friends to do so. I was scared shitless. I had no idea how I was going to survive without my tight knit group of friends. We did everything together– ate together, got drunk together, cried together…you name it we did it together (for the most part).

Four of my closest girls had decided it would be funny to lock me in a closet before I left. They had hoped that this would make me stay, and not leave for London. But nonetheless the ticket was bought and though I was nervous, I was pretty fucking excited too. I had always pictured myself living in a big city, living a life that I had only dreamed of or seen on shows like Sex in the City. Because let’s be honest, what 20 year old girl doesn’t want to be Carrie Bradshaw?

My friends and I were trying to focus on how much fun I was going to have rather than focus on being sad about me leaving. They knew I was wild, and knew I was going to tear up London and have the time of my life. Then… we got on the topic of boys. The ‘what if’ questions started swirling around in our conversation. Eventually my friend asked, “What if you kept a hook up list while you were in London?” At first I was shocked. A LIST? Did she think I was going to lock lips with that many beautiful British men?! I thought she was out of her mind…but then I sort of didn’t. Call me crazy (or maybe just super competitive) but I wanted to see how many guys (or girls, I guess, if I was drunk enough) I could put on that list. So I packed the journal that my friend Brittany had given me, and I was on a mission.

I boarded the flight to Canada and sobbed the entire way there. I skyped my mom in Toronto, listened to her words of encouragement, and got my ass on a connecting flight to Heathrow Airport in London. I landed and it was like a dream. Something out of a Mary Kate and Ashley movie, for all you 90’s babes. To make a very long story short– I took a bus to my house, met my flat mates, and got settled in. I didn’t go to a club that first night, but I did go to a bar. First night: unsuccessful. And I was kind of pissed. Did I not look hot enough? Did I not have enough liquid courage to make moves? What the fuck was I doing wrong?

That all changed mid-week. And by changed, I mean I had added five people to the list by the end of the week. I had gone to a club called Los Locos, which wound up being my very favorite club in London. Los Locos was located in Covent Garden, in central London. I had downed three bottles of cheap wine before going out, so needless to say, I was pretty drunk. I stumbled off the tube (no, literally– I fell on the cobblestone, but got right back up like the champ that I was) and headed towards the club with some old friends that had come to London with me from my home university and my new flat mates as well. I paid to get in, immediately went downstairs, and started dancing instantly. I definitely didn’t leave my “Jersey” at home, if you know what I mean. I was talking to guys left and right and was making tons of new friends. Then: it happened. I made out with someone. All I could think of while it was happening was “HOLY SHIT, I FINALLY have someone to put on the list!” And so, the list had been christened. The sad part is I couldn’t even tell you the guys name if my life depended on it. I knew he was from America though, which was pretty disappointing. But no worries. This tale includes many other British men. After I had made out with Random #1 (as he is named on my list) four more guys quickly followed. Three American men made the list, A British guy named Connor, and Connor’s friend who was black (again, this is exactly how they are named on my list.) That makes a total of five men in one night, ladies and gentleman. Something I had only accomplished one time in the states during my visit to Rutgers University. Now, I am not saying I am proud of this. But it was my first week in London, I was bound to go a little crazy.

Some of the other names on my list included neighbors of mine such as:

  • Mitch the boy in the CAPA program poor life decision (not joking, that is how his name appears on my list)
  • Alex Henry Thomas the hot British man I kicked out of my flat at 5am
  • Strange Turkish man at Walkabout
  • Random #7 super hot guy in plaid shirt at Roxy
  • Guy I made out with at the bus stop
  • Harry Fowler the Royal Guard at Buckingham Palace (YUP THAT HAPPENED)

…. and the list goes on and on. My friends gave me a goal and I completed it. By the time the five months was up, I had kissed (or maybe done more with) over 50 people. This may seem like a lot but over the course of five months, and the amount of times I went out, it really wasn’t.

Not very many people knew about the list until now (sorry mom). But you know what? It’s my life. And I truly don’t give a shit. If you think I am a slut, that’s fine. You’re entitled to your own opinion. I’m not saying what I did was right. However, this is how I like to think of it– I had one shot at London. Five months to let go, re-create who I was, in a city with seven million people. That list even served as a sort of confidence booster for me. After a long line of bad boyfriends in the past, it was nice to meet guys that treated me well. They were not all drunk hookups or scumbags. In fact, I wound up going on dates with some of the guys I had met. Though not all of them were successful (such as the date I went on where I had to use Google Translator the entire time to attempt to make conversation in Italian), it’s still a memory I made in the city that I love. And it’s not like ALL I did while I was abroad was get drunk and find random people to hookup with. I did a lot of cultural things too. I attended Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, went to almost every museum in London, traveled to other countries and saw all the sites. I regret nothing.

As for the list…well I still have it. It is now a document on my computer. I had started it in the journal my friend had given me, but I wound up using that journal for a class so I ripped it out, typed it up and saved it to my documents. For me, it’s a memory. Since it’s in chronological order, I can very clearly recall which night was which, at what point it had happened in my trip, etc. I would update my friends as the hookups progressed but they did not see the “finished product,” we will call it, until the beginning of last May. We all got a good laugh out of it, and it gave me plenty of stories to tell. Hopefully, the same stories that I will remember when I am 80, all because I wrote it down.

Photo credit: Stephany Yanez via Creative Commons.

London Love

by Bri Wink

To Those Abroad In London:

First and foremost, do not take your time abroad for granted. Go ahead, indulge in a few days of wallowing in homesickness upon arrival, use jet lag as an excuse to curl up in your bed, skyping your friends and family and crying into your pillow that is nowhere near as comfortable and fluffy as the one at home. Take a few days to adjust, but then move on. Get out of those sweatpants, walk out that door and go out and do things. If you spend your whole time abroad stuck inside your room, hiding behind your laptop and complaining about your lack of live stream feed, then you shouldn’t have even studied abroad in the first place. You didn’t travel over 3,000 miles to stay up until five in the morning watching Pretty Little Liars. Go experience real things instead.london1

Take tourist days. Don’t be afraid to freak out crossing Abbey Road. Pose in front of those red telephone boxes with pride. Galavant around the Victoria & Albert Museum and take as many photos of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben as you want. Tourist days are the best days because you can let go of all that nonsense about blending in and just enjoy yourself. Bring your camera, bring a friend and leave the embarrassment of being an American behind. Just go out and knock things off that checklist of yours and don’t be ashamed of your enthusiasm or excitement or even your American-ness while you do. With that said, take a few non-touristy days, too. Travel off the beaten path and find a café or a bookstore or a pub that you can call entirely your own. Don’t pre-plan, either, Google searching “best unknown pubs in London” because that is cheating. Go out and find it on your own.

Visit the markets. Brick Lane is my favorite but go to all of them. Camden, Portobello Road, Borough Market, Old Spitalfields….They’re all unique and different and are such a great way to experience the vast and rich cultures that London is known for. Eat loads and buy loads and for just one day, indulge yourself in being a hipster. Just walk around and take in the charm of the city through the eyes of the vendors. You haven’t experienced the real London life until you’re chowing down on cheap empanadas while haggling down the price of a leather jacket.

Go out on the town, ride the Tube drunk, and get lost on the night busses with your crazy friends and the even crazier strangers you meet. Open your eyes on these 4am journeys and take in the view of the city at night without the hustle and bustle. Sit back, relax, and let the beauty of the lights and the stillness of a city that’s half asleep mesmerize you. Then get off at the wrong stop, stand around for another twenty minutes and do it all over again when the next bus pulls up. Also understand that not every night has to end in vague memories and hangovers. Sitting around, gorging on pizza and bingewatching American Netflix with your flatmates is just as satisfying as feeling the bass pump through your veins and seeing the neon lights flash behind your eyelids at a club. Some may even argue that it’s better.

Steal something. I’m not saying to break into a jewelry store or hold up a bank, but sneak out a pint glass from your favorite pub. Rob a fork from that restaurant you fell in love with. Take a few leaves from your favorite tree or flowers from a garden. Conveniently never return the notepad from that hostel you stayed in when you traveled and don’t hesitate to steal a few kisses from the boys and girls that tickled your fancy.

When you get sick (and you will get sick- Freshers Flu knows no discrimination) you will miss your mom and your dad and your own bed more than anything. You won’t have the slightest idea what cold medicine to take, how to work your insurance, or what to do with yourself other than wallow in the self-pity that comes with a runny nose. I think the days I was sick were the days I missed home the most, simply because all I wanted was my mommy, my teddy bear and an America’s Next Top Model marathon to cure me back to health. But eventually, I stopped moping around and started ingesting that Vitamin C, slurping down some of that soup and went to the pub to drink away the headache. In Britain, a pint can cure just about anything.

Meet people. Meet local people, to be exact. This is the most important part of the experience, the one that you’ll cherish the most once you return home. Befriend the Americans on your program but don’t forget to set out to make some of the best friends you’ll ever have. My entire semester became infinitely better because I spent my time playing it up with a bunch of British idiots I was lucky enough to call my friends. Knowing people, hanging out with people, and understanding people from the city that you’re in or from cities and areas around it makes the whole study abroad experience vastly different. These are the people who can show you the ins and outs; the ones who know the best place to grab a bite or the perfect spot to watch the fireworks on Guy Fawkes night. These are the people who will think you and your American-ness are fascinating, and together you’ll understand new things about yourselves. They’ll help you figure out the basics and provide vital information on how to live outside of your comfort zone, and in return you can help them see the city through a new set of eyes. Also, you get the benefit of hearing those precious accents daily and nothing can be better than that.

Fall in love: with the city, with a boy or a girl or maybe even both, and most importantly, with yourself. Cherish the way the air smells before it rains, and be captivated by the way he/she holds your hand when you’re drunk on Jack Daniel’s and their smile. But, more than anything, get on that plane ride home loving yourself. Love who you are in the city, love who you’ve become (because those pamphlets really don’t lie- studying abroad does change you) and the way you’ve grown to care more about people and the world around you and less about your own problems. Studying abroad is about the whole “once-in-a-lifetime” experience, sure. But really, you’ll notice the best memories come from those little moments that shape you.

And if you do fall in love with a boy or a girl that captivated you, don’t run from it. Let that feeling of a foreign romance wash over you. There really isn’t anything that can compare to a European love affair. It might not work out in the long run, of course, but that doesn’t mean you have to immediately give up out of fear of the future. Sometimes the city really is better when you have someone’s hand to hold.

But above all, understand that you’re going to have to leave. It’s inevitable; when you study abroad you have a clear expiration date and sooner rather than later, the day is going to come where you’re going to have to re-pack your entire life into a suitcase, hop on a plane, and go back to the place that you once considered home. Cry. Cry a lot. It doesn’t help, really, but it’s not something to be ashamed of, either. Freak out. Go crazy one last time. Sob the whole way through the packing process and the whole way to the airport. Hug your new friends so tight that it hurts to let go. Be weak. Listen to The Weakerthans “Left and Leaving” on repeat the entire 7 hour plane ride home. But then promise yourself that you’ll come back eventually. Get off that plane in your home airport rejuvenated, ready to return one day. Tell yourself as you fly back across the Atlantic that it’s going to happen. There’s so many things you haven’t done yet, so many sights and places and sunsets over the Thames that you haven’t seen. Do not doubt for one second that a return is possible. Because it will happen one day, as long as you believe that it will. Studying abroad is temporary, but the feelings that you leave with are for a lifetime.

london2

The Ritz Blitz

by Anonymous

Fresh in the midst of the holiday cheer, the day after Christmas I embarked on a trip to Montreal with my sister to just get free from the doldrums of our daily lives. This trip was amazing because it was a week prior to my 21st birthday, which meant that I was legal in Canada and would be legal in the U.S. once I arrived home. My sister is about 7 years older than me so our interests can often conflict and we spent a lot of time wandering the city on our own merit. Me being right in the middle of the college experience, headed straight to the bars and casino to spend some hard earned money from my most recent internship. It was on the 5th day of my journey in the frigid -33 degree weather, I decided to trek out and stop by a bar I was eyeing for a few days. There was nothing particularly special about it, but it looked like a laid back English-esque pub. It was late in the football season and there was a guy making bets on a few games, I struck up conversation with him for a bit and gave him my analysis on a few players and teams. In return the guy bought me a couple coke and rums, which was unnecessary but greatly appreciated.

I was chatting with the locals of Montreal for a couple hours just enjoying the random company and listening to some good stories, when little did I know that a great story of my own would soon be written. Seven drinks deep, I began to be a little bit more relaxed in the foreign setting, and I started talking to the bartender hoping to maybe befriend him for a free drink. Turns out the guy had a couple family members that were from Jersey, and we bonded over taylor ham and bagels. I probably got more excited than I should have, but my attention was quickly redirected as a beautiful brunette walked by had caught my eye. Approximately 5’ 6”, long dark brown hair that had the perfect sheen, a slender taught core, a robust perky chest, and quite possibly the most perfectly shaped ass one could conceive. The funny part is, I’m not a terribly judgmental person but when a perfect 10 walks your way you take notice. I’m not that super confident cocky guy you see at the bar, but instead I’m the guy who wishes that I could be that way. To this day, I have no idea why she walked up to me and introduced herself to me, but I guarantee you I was not fighting it. She looked me in the eyes with the cutest smile, and said “Hey, you look like you’re having a good time. I’m Layla, and this is my friend Christina.” I must have looked dumbfounded, as I offered them a seat next to me they sat on either side of me. At this point I was a bit confused, a bit drunk, and VERY interested as to how this would play out.

The next part of this story, is basically why most of my friends don’t know this event ever occurred. They both swiveled their chairs towards me, and Layla without skipping a beat said “So, we think you’re kind of cute. We want to make a bet with you, if you can make us both cum I’ll take care of your tab.” Words cannot describe what was going on in my head, my jaw must’ve dropped, and as if it were actually an instinctual response I said, “I don’t lose bets.” I reflect upon that moment as my most alpha point in my life. Layla took my hand dropped $100 on the bar for a $40 tab, and I began to wonder what is going on. In my head I begin thinking, “Well a prostitute wouldn’t pay for my drinks, maybe I’m just very lucky today?” I decided to roll with it for better or for worse. She takes me to a Ritz-Carlton, as we enter a King’s Suite, this place is beautiful and huge littered with champagne and remnants of some cocaine. “These girls know how to party”, was my first thought but was this actually happening? To put it simply, yes. Yes, I had a threesome with an incredibly beautiful brunette and her blonde friend who was pretty, but honestly? Didn’t come close to what this girl Layla had to offer. As I won the bet, and it was rounding close to 6am I realized I had to leave somehow and get back before my sister started wondering what in god’s name I was doing all night. Christina was on her cellphone texting, Layla was in the shower, and I grabbed the last sip of champagne and walked out drunk. Wandered back to my hotel, to find my sister was still asleep, and passed out. I woke up the next day to realize that the night before actually happened, I had sex with two beautiful and wealthy girls that just wanted to get it. It is still a story that I find to be an anomaly. Forever the Ritz-Blitz will live in my memory.

Photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/4vegeU