LA: This week we’re chatting with a familiar voice, Women Who Travel contributor, body image advocate, and sexual wellness expert, Laura Delarato. Next Tuesday she officially adds another role to the mix as a published author, her book, My Pleasure: An Intimate Guide to Loving Your Body and Having Great Sex, will be in bookstores starting March 29, so today we’re talking all about travel, sex, and self-love. Hi, Laura.
Laura Delarato: Hello. Wow, I feel so happy to be back.
MC: We are so happy to have you.
LD: Back, back, back again.
MC: Exactly. I wish we had the rights for (singing), but we definitely do not have the money to insert that, so you just get to have my fun voice singing to you, but I want to kick it off by asking how travel and self- love intersect for you personally.
LD: I grew up as a really shy kid. I grew up in a bit of an unstable environment and for a lot of my life, I spent it feeling very landlocked and feeling like I didn’t deserve to travel, or I couldn’t be a person who traveled. And when it started to become a thing that I really wanted to get into, I realized that when I actually did it, when I actually booked trips and I actually went on these adventures—my adventures were like go to Portland for four days, go to Chicago for three days—it made me have to rely on myself and every decision that I made.
And when I got back home, I realized that everything that I thought was terrifying, didn’t scare me anymore. Every single, I’m going to ask someone out on a date; every single, I’m going to ask for a second opinion at the doctor; or, I’m going to ask for a raise, was less terrifying because I just was in a city, alone, by myself with only the information I have about that city’s metro, which is often very little and travel is a way for you and for well, for me specifically, to understand a different place, how people live and how that can be reflected back into my life when I’m back in New York. And it just has made me feel significantly more confident as a person to travel.
LA: One of those stories that you [wrote for us] touched on dating abroad and when you are traveling, what’s that journey been like and what learnings about yourself did you garner from those experiences?
LD: Truly the best date I’ve ever been on was in New Orleans. I went to New Orleans and I had this excellent date because I asked this person, I was like, “Show me something that I would never see as a tourist. Don’t show me the French Quarter, show me something else.” And this person took me to a hole in the wall, super cool burger place and then another really cool music venue that was not on any single list I’d ever seen. I saw this really cool electronica band that I didn’t know existed. I remember leaving at the end of that date and just being like, this is a true travel experience that no travel blog would ever hand me. So I think that it allows me to get to know a person in their city on their home turf, get to experience a part of—in this particular case—New Orleans from a completely different point of view and have that bit of intimate fantasy of everything. You’re a new person in a new place and depending on how you feel, and depending on how I feel, I often go into those scenarios being like, I’m going to communicate with this person that this is a one-time date because I don’t live here, PS And I can be any version of myself that I want to be on that date. I think as long as I am communicative and keeping that person’s heart safe and I’m keeping my heart safe in that, it has made again, like coming back to New York and dating and communicating and all that stuff so much easier because now you ‘ve had this template, this roadmap in this TBD, WIP, every other workplace-