It’s that time of year again when men around the world throw caution to the wind and (if they are anything like me) perform some kind of tragic pogonic voodoo which involves ignoring your shaver for 2 weeks and staring in the mirror at your woefully un-manly facial bum-fluff, at best achieving a poor imitation of a “Tony Stark”, while your younger brother rocks a full beard. Yes, it’s Movember! But facial frivolity aside, this is also a serious time of year, where awareness about men’s health issues – particularly testicular and prostate cancer, and mental health – the latter I’ve had my own struggles with, particularly while traveling alone. With greater awareness of these issues should come empowerment for men to face these challenges, knowing they are supported by their peers and wider community without judgement or stigma, and a lasting change in the state of men’s health worldwide?
As we speak, Raymond from Man on the Lam is driving a big campaign to raise awareness of Movember and what it means to men around the world, and is getting other bloggers (male and female) to join in the fun. I was tagged by the lovely Lola to carry on the chain of #ManlyMoments bucket lists. So seizing the opportunity to elevate myself from my testosteronally challenged status (not even “MANgolia” could help me much), here goes nothing…
Work out my ass HARD on Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro
It was hot on my first visit to Rio in 2012. What made it even HOTTER were the fine specimens of prime quality man beef working out along the sea front, tops off, in tiny swimsuits; others muscles rippling as they played volleyball or soccer, or jogging along the famous pavements, tank tops soaked with sweat. I’m going to return to Rio – hopefully one day soon – and I swear next time, I’m going to be one of those guys. Ipanema Beach Point 9 won’t know what hit it!
Rock a Mohawk
Sometimes after an extended period of travel, my hair has gotten a bit wild and there is nothing I want to do more than just chop it all off. I did that coming back from Mongolia and it was a drastic change, but I loved it and the clean, fresh feeling it brought. The only reason I don’t keep it really short is that I suffer from seborrhoeic dermatitis which means my scalp can get quite red and irritated, especially when stressed.
Here’s a secret I’ve not told many people: I’ve always wanted to get a Mohawk, but I’ve been too self-conscious to do it up until now. And then Glee happened and the awesomeness known as “the Puck” burst onto the scene. With me imminently about to leave India, I feel this (or at least a fairly enthusiastic chop) is something that is now inevitable.
Dance on the Big Stage
At first this doesn’t seem very manly, but tell that to Channing Tatum who oozed masculinity in Step Up. Still a lot of guys would quake in their steel-toed boots when faced with such a task. For me however, I’ve dreamed of taking dance classes since I was a teenager, and as soon as I find myself settled in one location, I’m signing up for classes. Movements and music without a hint of femininity, using the application of both strength and flexibility, held together with musicality and tight mathematical rhythm …and perhaps getting a bit of toned musculature on display. Sounds macho enough to me, right?
Powerboat around the Caribbean
Or possibly sail, which is less likely to see dolphins and sea turtles turned into sushi as I float past. I think I’ve definitely been influenced by Tasha from Turf to Surf after meeting her at TBEX in Toronto. While channelling my inner Jack Sparrow, I’d want to learn to dive, fish and surf, explore some wrecks, find a secluded desert island and row ashore. And maybe discover some buried treasure. The Caribbean is one place I’ve never been and I’m keen to visit Great Blue Hole off the coast of Belize among other places.
Base jump from the top of Angel Falls, Venezuela
If you haven’t seen the Angel Falls, they’re HIGH. In fact, they are the highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, dropping right of the edge of a sheer plateau and taking so long to fall the water is a fine spray by the time it reaches the bottom. In fact, it is about three times as high as the Shard in London, which to me is ridiculously high as it is! Whether or not I actually grow the balls to brave such a feat is another question, but the view will certainly be worth possible incontinence on the way down.
Anyone can get involved, whether you are a blogger or a reader:
- Read along as Raymond attempts to complete his Manly Bucket List at MadeMan.com/Movember
- Follow along on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtags #Movember and #ManlyMoments
- Go to Movember.com to find out more about men’s health issues, support a Mo Bro or Mo Sistah, or to register to become one yourself.
- Check out the schedule for the Made Man Movember Mo’asis Bus Tour and come on by if you are in the neighborhood for free shaves and tons of great activities.
- Last but not least, DONATE!
OR can make your own #ManlyMoments Bucket List! All you need to do is:
- Choose five activities you’d like to do and create your own #ManlyMoments Bucket List – they can be something you commit to do during Movember, or simply something you’d like to do before you kick the bucket. (Ladies, this is open to you too!)
- Nominate five bloggers to create their own #ManlyMoments Bucket List.
- Include a link to Movember to encourage people to register or donate.
- Tweet and share your posts with the hashtags #Movember and #ManlyMoments
Also for every Tweet, Vine, Instagram, or post to Facebook with your manly photos, or text using the hashtag #ManlyMoments, the folks at Made Man will donate $1 to the Movember cause. You’ll also be entered into a draw for a Trip for Two to Las Vegas to experience your very own Mancation, which includes the Top Gun Experience from Sky Combat Ace. And as a young Tom Cruise lookalike, that sounds good to me!
And now to pass the baton and call on some blogger friends to throw their hats into the ring…
- Jaime at Breakaway Backpacker
- Alain at The Sojourner
- Jason at Hiatus4Life
- Carla at Traveller Soul
- Tasha at Turf to Surf