What’s a Booty? Here’s the low-down:
With a half empty wallet and against the pleads of my mother, I arrived to Hong Kong for my first backpacking trip at age 19. I instantly discovered my craze for ‘wandering aboot’ in developing countries on a budget.
Over the past 7 years, as I shape-shifted into the Booty I am today, my travel style transformed as well. It shifted from the ‘eat-sleep-rave-repeat’ party-oriented mentality to the ‘go with the flow’ personal growth-oriented mindset. As a vagabonding soul-seeker, my passion is to immerse myself into local cultures in emerging countries, and to continuously improve my mental & emotional well-being in order to live a more peaceful life 😌.
If you’re wondering about my nickname, I’ve got loads of ‘em — abu, booty, abooty. They’re plays on my monkey-like mannerisms, my love for booty-shaking, and my last name. For now, I’ll stick with ‘Booty’.
I started this blog to:
- remove my mask;
- reveal my unconventional self to both the conformist community I live in & the corporate world I previously worked in;
- share my inner insights from this whirl-winding journey;
- show my authentic self and live freely!
The full story of how Booty came to be:
I was raised in an orthodox Jewish family in LA… and it was religion full-on! I went to an all-boys orthodox Jewish high school (‘Yeshiva’), where we prayed for 2 hours/ day. My family observed the ‘Sabbath’ every week, meaning: From Friday eve to Saturday eve, we did not use money, we did not work (that includes writing, studying, cooking, creating, etc.) and we did not use electricity (that includes lights, phones, oven/ stove, cars, TV, etc.).
I was expected to disguise myself as an average religious Jewish boy, find a wife as early as possible, get a secure job, and start pumping out grandchildren.
As a child, I adopted all of the beliefs instilled in me by the Jewish community. However, I never truly felt like I was in the right place. I never felt like I was accepted. I felt misguided, and I didn’t have the knowledge or ability to express myself at the time. I falsely disguised myself in order to pass a functioning member of the community.
When I was 17 years old, my family moved to Montreal, where I started college and emerged from the bubble I grew up in… and it was glorious!
I began learning how to express myself, particularly under the influence of alcohol. Yep, I partied my booty off in college with all my new friends, and began exploring my fluid sexuality. Alcohol abuse was my closest companion throughout these formative years.
I discovered my thirst for budget backpaking at age 19, and then traveled the world on a party rampage. I was proudly the epitome of a party animal. Needless to say, religion became secondary.
After college, I entered the corporate world, and buried myself into my career as an accountant (believe it or not, I was an accountant!).
After a few years of the “work-eat-poop-sleep life,” I met myself in a depression… I was broken into hundreds of little pieces. I didn’t know who I was anymore, who my friends were, what my beliefs were, what my interests were, what I liked/ disliked, or who my family was! I lacked meaning and connection in all aspects of my life. Since I wasn’t practicing Orthodox Judaism anymore, I didn’t have any spiritual beliefs to turn to either.
Eventually, I began the arduous process of gathering all these pieces together, and building myself back up piece-by-piece, like assembling lego blocks.
Ultimately, my depression sparked me on a journey of self-discovery and mental well-being. I’d do it all over again for the insights and growth I’ve gained on this path of transformation.
Why did Booty create this blog?
I can openly confess that I’ve trotted down my path of self-discovery with a mask on…. the mask of shame. First & foremost, I created this blog to TAKE OFF MY MASK!
Allow me to explain:
As I overcame my depression, I discovered my passions, followed whatever excited me, learned more about myself, and began developing my personal beliefs around life.
Yet, I noticed myself concealing my personal experiences throughout this exploratory phase. I felt ashamed of the things I am doing in my life, not because they are immoral (far from it!), but because they’re totally unconventional. They’re beyond the conventions imposed on me by my childhood community, and they’re outside the cultural norms of the corporate world I worked in.
I had fears of what people would think of me if they knew… “They’ll think I’m ‘crazy’,” “they’ll assume I’m some sort of spooky ‘gypsy’!” I was suffering from this constant ‘need’ to hide in fear and shame. Yet, I was the only one bestowing this shame onto myself… so only I have the power to remove my veil of shame!
I mean, shit, why should I feel ashamed of the things I’ve done when I find them to be so absolutely incredible?!
So now, I confidently share with you:
From enjoying the life of bucket showers & no toilet paper in remote villages, to reciting a gratitude prayer before each meal; from my passion for budget vagabonding travel, to my passion for self-betterment through meditation, free-form movement, & quitting alcohol…
I love the unconventional me that I am, the full spectrum ❤️🤲
Here’s the gist: I started this blog to share my true-self so I can live a life in view of the public without a mask on 😌. Thank you for giving me this opportunity 🙏🏼