When Evita Robinson talks, I imagine it to be very similar to how she lives life—a little fast, but full of zest and excitement. No pauses in between, just ready for whatever is thrown at her next.
Right now she’s explaining to me why her upcoming vacation to Belize is oh-so necessary for her sanity. The previous weekend she joined about 500 of her fellow Nomadness Travel Tribe members for their first #NMDN conference—a day of panels, workshops, food, and more—as well as celebrating the anniversary of the beloved travel tribe that she started four years ago with no blueprint and barely even a plan.
“I didn’t know what it was, so I know they didn’t know what it was!” she says referring to the group of 40 individuals who, back in 2011, showed up at Horus Café in Manhattan’s Alphabet City for their first meet up. This was three weeks after the official launch of the tribe, mind you, and after weeks of engaging conversations with stand out personalities, Robinson was determined to meet these people who, like her, had a insatiable appetite for travel.
“When I saw how many people came out just at a call of action to meet one another and, how like a family, just meshed together naturally, I realized that we were on to something, and we were on to something big.”
That’s exactly the best way to describe the Nomadness Travel Tribe—a family. Except unlike those pesky cousins that come around looking for a handout, the tribe is all about extending hand ups. They plan vacations together, meet ups, offer places to sleep in their respective countries, and, in times of struggle, even a shoulder to lean on.
“One of my members is terminally ill and I haven’t seen her yet,” Robinson says. “She opened up to the tribe about it and I want to see her while she’s alive. She was given a very short time period, so I’m making it a priority to see her so on my way back I’m actually stopping by her house to spend some time with her before I head back to New York.”
Growing up in Poughkeepsie, New York, Robinson never imagined that she would one day build a family separate from her own, and certainly not one that was centered around travel. The extent of her jetsetting as a kid were 14-hour road trips during summer breaks from Long Island to Camden, South Carolina to visit her paternal grandparent, and Montego Bay to visit her stepfather’s family. While she may not have caught the travel bug from her relatives, her fascination with other cultures came from her mom’s side of the family, due, in part, to what she describes as her “culturally ambiguous” look.
While many African-Americans struggle to trace their family lineage, ironically Robinson can easily link her father’s family back to 1800s (they even have their own cemetery), but with her mom growing up in the foster care system and having limited contact with her own relatives, the topic of her ethnicity is one that she can’t avoid nor quite answer, all she knows is that her grandmother was of Western European descent—a blend of Irish, Dutch, German and Italian.
“To be honest with you, I think there is a part of me that, on that side of the family, I’m kind of searching for some insight on it, because I don’t know them. So I think that kind of goes into my whole quest for different cultures, too.”
If you thought she wouldn’t go all out to find her family, guess again.
“I would totally be the one to pop up at some random cousin’s house and be like ‘hi, you don’t know me but we’re family, so let’s figure this out!’”
One thing about Evita is that she’s fearless—it’s evident in her approach to business and to traveling. After graduating from Iona, College with a degree in television and video production, she signed up for a filmmaking workshop with the New York Film Academy and jetted off to Paris the summer after graduation, crashing in a small flat with her best friend who was also studying abroad in the City of Light. The experience sparked her interest in travel, and she was determined to bridge together her art and her inner nomad.
It wasn’t until three years later when she got laid off of her freelance television gig that she had the opportunity to revisit the thing she fell in love with in Paris years prior. Turning her crisis into a convenient excuse to get back into traveling, she applied for a teaching abroad position in Nagasa, Japan, and in 2009 packed her bags and hopped on a plane to Asia. Although it was an experience of a lifetime, Robinson doesn’t sugarcoat the struggles of living abroad in a foreign country where the only thing she had in common with the locals was their inability to communicate with one another.
“You have to think what it’s like to not have a fluid conversation with somebody over the course of a 24-hour period. It starts to play tricks on your mind,” she says. “I had a girl that was in my area, that became one of my best friends while I was out there, we would talk for like two or three hours every day. And I remember one day I was like, why do we do this, every day? And it hit both of us, it’s because we haven’t been able to just talk to anyone fluidly all damn day! And I swear if it wasn’t for her, we would’ve lost it. We would’ve lost our minds out there.”
It was part of the reason why Evita felt the need to share her experiences with others. She grabbed her camera and started shooting footage of herself traveling around Japan. Like the Nomadness Travel Tribe, she would launch her Nomadness web series with no real plan but to capture her journey as a 20-something Black girl living alone in Asia. Check the Nomadness website and you can still see early Evie documenting her life abroad. “It’s like a time capsule for me,” she says.
[Tweet "It’s very important to never really lose touch with where you come from."]
A couple of months after returning from Japan she was cast on a travel web series called Jet Set Zero—it was like the travel edition of the Real World, where she would live and work in Thailand and Cambodia for 90 days with three male roommates and a camera crew capturing her every move. A month before completing the filming, she was stung by a mosquito and caught dengue fever, spending two weeks in and out of the hospital before finally returning back home to the states.
But she didn’t return to the loving boyfriend who saw her off just months prior, instead she came back home broke, sick, and to a relationship that was in shambles.
“There was a lot of shit going on. And I was like, I need a community where I feel like I can talk to people about this. None of my immediate friends travel, none of my family members travel. I need people that understand that this isn’t just a thing that you do every once in a while, this has now become a part of my lifestyle. Travel is always going to be something that I do.”
Evita did what any entrepreneur would do and created a solution to her problem. She had already launched the “Nomadness” web series, but now it was time to take it to the next level and build a platform that was beyond just sharing her personal experiences.
In 2010 she launched her Facebook group, and soon after, the Nomadness Travel Tribe, which quickly amassed a large following, going from a humbling 100 members to close to 11,000 members to date. About a month after their first meet up, Nomadness launched their first Kickstarter campaign for their first travel series “Nomad-Ness Travel Series: Berlin or Bust,” raising over $6,000 to shoot the pilot for the 15-episode series. To put it in perspective, this was back when Kickstarter was used for more than just paying people’s dental bills or for get-out-of-jail-free cards. To successfully initiate a crowdfunding campaign five years ago when it was still relatively new was a testament to the amount of authentic support Nomadness has garnered, and to the power of grassroots marketing.
It also showed Robinson that Nomadness was more than just a fan club, but a legit business. She began monetizing the brand through merchandising, events, advertising and sponsorships for the various programs that they would do throughout the year. In 2013 she raised over $25,000 to image-wrap an RV and drive to seven HBCUs speaking on the importance of travel and diversity, stopping in major cities along the way to meet fellow tribe members.
Being at the forefront of Black travel put Robinson and her nomads on the map, capturing the attention of major publications such as Ebony, Essence, Marie Claire, and more recently, the New York Times. The notoriety has opened up doors for additional projects, including her partnership with Issa Rae for “The NOMADNESS Project” web series.
“Issa’s one of those people who’s doing amazing things, and she’s not so far into everything that’s coming her way that she’s forgotten what it’s like to be starting. She’s so supportive of creatives, and you see it across the board. You see it in the way that she deals with you and the people that she brings on, down to the contract—allowing you to keep 100% creative control over your content even with her co-executive producing. She really, really understands what it’s like for the artist, and we absolutely couldn’t have partnered with anybody better for online.”
With more eyeballs tuning into the urban travel movement, I ask Robinson if she thinks more travel shows dedicated to people of color will soon make its way to cable television. She believes that the change is coming soon and says production companies are definitely interested, but how soon will be determined by the networks ability (and desire) to capture Black people in the most positive light.
“We all know what the images of our people are right now in mainstream media. And my whole thing is, I’m not saying to completely shift to the other side of the paradigm, what I’m saying is, can we balance it out a little bit? Give us something that shows us in an educated manner. And that’s been my big hang up with this.”
Robinson has no plans to sell out just to sell her show. Though she’s been approached by production companies and networks, she’s firm on maintaining her integrity and upholding her brand of showcasing beautiful, intelligent, and well-traveled people. To be clear, Robinson is first and foremost an artist, and she’s sensitive about her shit—especially when it comes to the perception of her tribe.
“I have to be able to look in the mirror and know that my integrity is in tact in a way that when I look back at myself, I’m okay with that person,” she says. “My background is television production, so I know the game. I’m not new to this camera stuff. Nothing about this phases me. You’re not going to railroad me—not in your content nor in your contract, either.”
[Tweet ""I have to be able to look in the mirror and know that my integrity is in tact." - @evierobbie"]
Well there you have it. You won’t be pimpin’ this boss chick for the paper.
In the meantime, she plans to continue building and refining the Nomadness brand. The team is currently working on developing an app as well as a new site to mimic the community that has been built of Facebook.
Although it appears that she’s living the good life, jetsetting and living on her own terms, the 31-year-old also knows the importance of balance. Though she’s not currently tied-down, she definitely interested in dating, and believes she will find her future husband in one of her fellow tribe members, which would be most fitting given her active lifestyle. And by active I don’t mean hopping on every hot guy that she encounters across the globe.
“Being an entrepreneur is difficult. I think, for me, there’s this thought pattern with guys where they think they know what my life is like, but it isn’t like that. I don’t hook up randomly when I go abroad. And because I’m in a space where I’m really looking for a relationship; I want my husband. So I’m not doing anything casual, whether it’s abroad or in the states. I’m really looking for something special and something long term.”
And for the guys who write her off just because she’s her own boss and they assume she doesn’t have the time for something steady, she has this to say:
“Women are natural born multitaskers. If we want to, we will make time for the things that are special and important in our lives. Point, blank, period. So this premonition that someone doesn’t have time before giving them a chance I think hinders certain men from even saying anything, and I think that’s unfortunate. But then I also think it weeds a lot of the weak one’s out. Because if you can’t even approach me, then I just feel like you wouldn’t be able to handle me once you were in it.”
In other words—go hard, or go home.
For those who are ready, she enjoys spas, journaling, and the occasional trip or two for some really good food and good people, whether it’s Pata Pata in Johannesburg or Jamboree on a Friday night in Barcelona.
In fact, it’s the people that she’s met along her journey—outside of the tribe of course—that have greatly impacted her life. She remembers back to her last night in Paris when a director from the New York Film Academy program pulled her aside after a film screening.
“He was like listen, I don’t know what your whole life plan is; I know you’re young, but I just want to let you know that you have it. Whatever that “it” factor is that they talk about, that’s kind of not tangible and you don’t understand what it is you just know it when you see it, you have it. And don’t ever lose it.”
For a young girl from a small city in upstate New York who had only just begun to dream of travel, it was all that she needed to hear to follow her heart and be who she was destined to be—a fearless nomad who would become one of a few pioneers of the Black travel movement.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy