Travel Experts: LGBTQ Family
I didn’t have a chance to get on a plane again until I was in my early 20s when I went to Puerto Rico to visit my best friend. It was through him that I learned to love the travel experience, he had moved to different countries several times during his life. Eventually, I started writing for a local magazine in Florida, where I lived and when I moved to New York in 2003, I started to focus on my career and put writing aside. Eventually the itch to write and travel were bugging me so when I met Jose in 2004, I remember our first Christmas together I gave him a plane ticket to Las Vegas, which we used on our first Valentine’s Day. 12 years later, and countless of countries and continents later, we are still traveling the world, only we now do it with our children. We’ve been traveling with our kids since they joined our lives in 2011 and I’ve been documenting our experiences for Connextions Magazine, The Handsome Father blog and other magazines. I remember when we were single, we would seek out gay-friendly and romantic places. Jose loves history and I love photography, so we would seek places that had a lot of history attached to them, which was good for him and I would of course, photograph these places. But once we became parents, we traded the romantic dinners and gay clubs for family-friendly restaurants and kid-friendly adventures. We are big kids at heart, so it’s cool for us too. CM: As an LGBTQ traveler, what is the most important piece of advice for other gay travelers? MVP: I am a firm believer in always being yourself, but always be aware of your surroundings. Try to tap into your intuition and try to feel out the locals and see whether or not it’s a welcoming place. The use of dating apps to meet locals is a great idea, it’s not just for hooking up. Just be careful when meeting others, make sure it’s in public places and that someone knows where you are at all times, have friends check-in on you even if virtually. ConnextionsMagazine.com
CM: Do you prefer to travel alone or with others? MVP: I have traveled alone and with others. I remember when I was younger I traveled to Europe on my own and it was such a growing and maturing time for me, because I was able to get “lost” and live the adventures. I had very little connection with friends and family back home, but I did that on purpose. My mother had just passed away and it was my “get-away” from reality, so I needed to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and to feel completely alone, in order to realize that I was strong enough to make it on my own. I remember not having anyone to talk to in France because I didn’t know anyone, thankfully I speak some French, and I was able to get around. When I went to Italy, I relied on friends to get me around and communicate. Years later, I went back to France and London, but this time was to study and it was a much different experience. Now, traveling without my family is unthinkable. As a Travel Writer, I get invited to lots of places to visit and it’s great because sometimes they want my family to experience all of the events, so my kids have been traveling since they were very young and hopefully it’s something they’ll continue to enjoy as they grow up. CM: Name any awards received. MVP: I feel I am blessed. I love what I do and to be recognized for it is just icing on the cake. Connextions Magazine has received several awards and I am extremely thrilled of everything we have accomplished in such a hard industry. Publishing is considered by many to be a “dying” trade, I hope not! Hopefully, we are just morphing into other venues, and trying to utilize all of the technical advances we have available. For example, we are now using videos in our magazine, which is a huge step forward for the digital publishing industry. We have been recognized for our diversity and inclusion efforts, which is a dream, because we are one of the very few gay media outlets who
Connextions Magazine issue #22: Travel Heels takes a closer look at the World’s Top LGBTQ Travel Experts share their secrets: David Duran, H...