My Berlin Story – How I Became an Ex-Pat

Author: , April 18th, 2014

Adam Groffman in BerlinRecently I rediscovered my love for Berlin. If you’re following me on Instagram, you’ll have seen about a gazillion photos of springtime (Fruehling) in Berlin. In today’s blog entry though, I want to share my story as a Berlin expat…

I came to Berlin in the summer of 2011 while on my trip around the world. I’d been traveling for about a year at this point. After spending a month in Vietnam and with my bank account dwindling, my tax refund from my previous year of employment showed up. It was with that last little splurge of cash that I booked my plane ticket from Hanoi to Berlin. And it was that money which I used to fund my short-lived Eurotrip. Because while my original plans included a summer traveling around Europe, after spending one week in Berlin, I knew that this was the place for me.

Berlin is my home now. I love returning here after a trip. And while you’re reading my blog about my various trips around Europe (and further abroad, on occasion), know this: the vast majority of the time I’m really just here in Berlin. Living my day-to-day life and doing all those oh-so-Berlin things which have come to define me. The city might not always reciprocate its love, but Berlin is mine. My home. My love.

Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.

See Adam’s full blog here.

Click here for gay travel resources in Germany.

Eating Out – Philadelphia

Author: , April 18th, 2014

Philadelphia - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Tourism officials will tell you the restaurant-rich area at the heart of downtown is called Midtown Village, but that moniker hasn’t entirely caught on with the locals.

The good news is that it doesn’t matter what you call it. Philadelphia food-lovers just know 13th Street – which runs through the center of the neighborhood – as a vibrant area chockfull of great eateries and wine bars, a place to get anything from artisanal pizza and gourmet vegan to Asian fusion and modern Indian. And don’t forget the freshly made prickly-pear gelato for dessert.

While the city boasts many foodie destinations – from Fishtown in the north to East Passyunk in the south – Midtown Village is the most centrally located, sitting in the shadow of City Hall between the Liberty Bell and tony Rittenhouse Square.

Authored By Kathy Matheson – See the Full Story at Edge Boston

Click here for gay travel resources in Philadelphia.

Gay Music Festival Coming to Austin in September

Author: , April 18th, 2014

StargayzerCouldn’t snatch a ticket to Coachella this year? Save your dollars and your feathered earrings for the biggest queer music festival in the country. In the tradition of GayBiGayGay, Austin’s Stargayzer Festival will take place the weekend of September 12-14 in a private, 20-acre ranch on the banks of the Colorado River.

Our Stargayzin’ friends have passed on the official 2014 lineup, which includes today’s hottest LGBT artists like SSION, Cazwell and JD Samson.

Fresh off a Kylie Minogue collaboration, SSION will headline the Stargayzer Fest along with synth pop act Austra, Canadian electro group Trust and avant-garde duo Xiu Xiu. Former LCD Soundsystem member Gavin Russom’s latest venture Crystal Ark will also have the guys and gals busting a move under the Texan stars, while favorites like Christeene, Cakes Da Killa, Big Dipper, Double Duchess and Yo Majesty round out the list.

Authored By Oscar Raymundo – See the Full Story at Queerty

Click here for gay travel resources in Austin, Texas.

Planning Your Visit to Cuba

Author: , April 18th, 2014

Cuba FortressFor a minute, let’s remove those Cuban stereotypes – you know, Castro, communism, and Teddy Roosevelt riding through Santiago, Cuba like the mustached maven portrayed in Night at the Museum. For decades, while America upheld its embargo on Cuba, millions of tourists from Canada and western Europe have flocked to the white sandy beaches at Jardines del Ray, or strolled the cobblestone streets in colonial Trinidad.

But things are rapidly changing: already, in the first third of 2014, Cuba’s seen more American tourists than Germans, Brits, and French visitors from all of last year, accounting for the second highest tourism earnings behind Canada. But that doesn’t mean traveling to Cuba from the U.S. is suddenly easy: the U.S. still holds a fifty-year trade embargo on the communist nation, and, without the guise of a foreign passport (or perhaps a fake Canadian accent), navigating those 90 miles south of Florida requires careful planning. Here’s how to do it…

Recent enactments allow Americans more ways to legally travel to Cuba. According to the revamped restrictions, Cuban-Americans can travel back to their home-country as long as they have proof of familial residency. But what if you’re not Cuban-American? Technically speaking, it’s illegal to travel to Cuba for “tourism” purposes, so tourists must travel through a permissible “People-to-People” program, which holds an official license from the U.S. State Department.

Authored By Tommy Burson – See the Full Story at Sherman’s Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Cuba.

Isla Mujeres, The Isle of Women

Author: , April 17th, 2014

Isla Mujares

Apple Maps

Cancun gets all the attention in Mexico. She’s the sophisticated older cousin with the glitziest hotels, name-brand malls and an over-abundance of casinos. Isla Mujeres is quieter, less mature when it comes to glitz but older and wiser when it comes to gracious hospitality. She’s more like your best girlfriend who loves spending time with you, sharing meals that stretch on for hours, strolling and shopping and strolling some more or lying on the beach and enjoying yet another massage together…

The island is 8 miles (13 kilometers) off the northeast coast of Cancun, serviced every half hour by ferries from pre-dawn to midnight. The Spanish graced it Isla Mujeres – Island of Women -because of the many goddess images left there by the Mayans who viewed the island as the sacred home of Ixchel, goddess off childbirth and medicine. Coincidently, it’s also the shape of a mermaid.

To the east of the island lies the Caribbean sea, rough and windy and the best place to view consistently spectacular sunrises. To the west is Cancun, which can be seen clearly on good-weather days. For visitors to Cancun, it’s the perfect day trip. For those who want to escape the glitz and see and be seen atmosphere of Cancun, it offers charming hotels, delish restaurants and exquisite beaches.

Authored By Julia Rosien – See the Full Story at Go Girlfriend

Click here for gay travel resources in Quintana Roo.

Traveling With Kids – My Vacation From Hell

Author: , April 17th, 2014

Frank Lowe & BiggsI absolutely love to travel. Everything about it appeals to me. My day-to-day life is extremely routine, and truthfully it drives me crazy. Nothing is better than packing up for a week and getting the hell out of Dodge. I will plan a trip ahead of time down to the fucking second, so when we get there, I don’t have to think about anything. This includes making very detailed itineraries and lists of outfits we are going to wear. Wes Anderson would be so proud. The only thing I can’t plan is everything going apeshit, which happened on our very first vacation with our little man.

Our son, Briggs, was 18 months old when we decided to do our first real vacation as a family. We chose Puerto Rico as our destination and booked the trip at a luxurious resort on the beach. Our logic was that he was too young to appreciate a true “children’s vacation” but old enough to appreciate hanging out at the beach all day. Fuck, were we wrong. This would be Briggs’s first flight, so I did ample reading on the subject and spoke to my doctor. He advised us to try Benadryl so he would slumber peacefully for the duration of the flight. In my head, I imagined him passing out nicely in his seat while his daddies sipped champagne. What the doctor didn’t mention is that Benadryl will have the reverse effect on some babies and cause them to become wired and overly cranky. That was what happened to our baby.

About an hour into our four-hour flight, it became obvious that he was really pissed off and was going to stay wide the fuck awake. He was screaming at the top of his lungs, and we didn’t know what to do. There was no consoling him, and the stares from the other passengers were borderline hateful. I wondered how many of them thought, Oh, look at the two dads who don’t know how to take care of their baby? We were so desperate to keep him quiet, we tried every trick in the book. At a certain point, we just bit it and realized it would be a hellish journey. I kissed the ground when we landed in Puerto Rico.

Authored By Frank Lowe – See the Full Story at The Advocate

Click here for gay travel resources.

Discovering Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City

Author: , April 17th, 2014

Vietnam - Google Maps

Google Maps

I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam. Both friends and family spanning several generations brought up the war, one of the only things they identified with Saigon. Many had advised me to trek somewhere else in Southeast Asia considering the stigma that remains with the war that occurred fewer than 50 years ago.

I don’t blame anyone for having one singular perception of this bustling city or for trying to derail me, war related or not. Saigon is not the most obvious destination in Southeast Asia. It doesn’t have an Angkor Wat (Siem Reap), a Petronas Tower (Kuala Lumpur), or tropical paradise (Phuket). It doesn’t brim with a large ex-pat community (Singapore), boast ancient temples (Ubud), nor is it home to the happiest people in the world (Bhutan). Saigon lacks an identity, more so because it’s relatively new in existence and still evolving. And so, when it came to expectations, mine were expectedly low. During my trip, however, I discovered what made Saigon unique.

It didn’t need an iconic attraction, exotic thrills, or Eat, Pray, Love to make it alluring. It didn’t need centuries-old history, futuristic skyscrapers, or Michelin-rated chefs to make it a top destination. In fact, Saigon is perhaps Southeast Asia’s best-kept, under-the-radar destination. It has tons of charm, modesty, and a progressive pace that’s mostly organic. It’s not swarming with mass tourism (double-decker buses are thankfully few), so expenses are still considerably low. There’s just the right amount of quality street food, shopping, and top hotels, all of which offer visitors a well-rounded experience without rushing, jostling, or stressing. An added bonus for LGBT travelers is that there is a gay scene in this burgeoning city.

Authored By Jimmy Im – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine

Click here for gay travel resources.

Record Numbers Expected for Phuket Pride

Author: , April 17th, 2014

Phuket Pride 2014 FVAsia’s most picturesque resort is set to embrace the LGBT community during the upcoming Phuket Pride Week in what is likely to be a record for Thailand tourism.

GayAsiaNews reports that Although Thailand does not recognize marriage between same-sex couples, Phuket is being promoted as one of the best places in the world for gay people to marry, Pride organizers say.

Tourist packages designed for the gay community have already started during the holiday season of Songkran, Thailand’s New Year April 13-16, the country’s most important cultural festival.

See the Full Story at

Click here for gay travel resources.

Outside of Gay Tel Aviv

Author: , April 16th, 2014

Usually, a vacation in Gay Israel consists of visiting only Tel Aviv. It’s true that Tel Aviv is by far the most Gay friendly, open minded, liberal and hedonistic city in Israel, and that all major Gay events, including Gay Pride Tel Aviv, the annual Gay film festival – TLV Fest, the Lesbian film festival – Lethal Lesbian 3, countless parties and after parties and almost any other Gay event which comes to mind, take place in the city, but still, there are some worth seeing spots outside of the vivid city.

If time is on your side, take it and use it to visit at least one or two unforgettable spots, which will give a deeper angle to your Gay Israel vacation, The first spot you really should visit is, obviously, the holy city of Jerusalem. The controversial, beautiful, hypnotizing city, on which so many words were written and tears were shed, is waiting for you within an hour drive from Gay Tel Aviv’s center. Whether you go on a Gay group tour Israel‘s gay travel agencies are running, on a regular tour or on your own, you will undoubtedly be amazed by its historical ruins, special atmosphere and breathtaking views, not to mention its colorful markets and excellent food (some of the best hummus restaurants are located in Jerusalem). There aren’t so many Gay events or Gay bars in Jerusalem, and Jerusalem pride is not as huge as Gay Pride Tel Aviv, due to the immnese oposition of the Orthodox Jews, populating most of the city, but still, you can always find what to do even in here, or you can quicly come back to Tel Aviv. 

JERUS 3

Another most popular destination is the Dead Sea and Masada area. Located in the south of the country, at the Judaean Desert, where you can visit the ruins of Herod the Great’s fortress, which is a sign and a symbol for the long lost Jewish society, who fought the Romans till death, Then, you will reach the lowest point on the face of Earth : the Dead Sea; floating on its water will leave you awed by the wonders of nature. Take the time and treat yourself with a healing mud bath or any other spa treatment you wish, and fix your mood, body and soul, just before heading back to Tel Aviv, to continue your fantastic vacation in Gay Israel

DEAD-RESULT

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: My Gay Friendly Italy

Author: , April 16th, 2014

My Gay Friendly ItalyPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

As a gay Italian, I can take you to all the hidden places in Italy, and provide gay friendly lodging off the beaten path in this beautiful country.

See My Gay Friendly Italy’s Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Italy