Interview With Gay Travel Blogger Carlos Melia

Author: , August 30th, 2014

Carlos Melia

Last year, we reported that LGBT tourists spend more money on vacation than their straight counterparts. And in May, the New York Times (quoting LGBT market research firm Community Marketing Insights) estimated the economic impact of LGBT travelers in the US at $70 billion annually.

Few people know the LGBT travel industry as well as Carlos Melia. His website describes him as a “luxury travel curator,” with sidelines as a travel agent, travel blogger, and concierge. He has more than twenty-five years of experience in crafting custom travel experiences for LGBT clients, so we thought: Who better to ask for tips on traveling in style?

dot429: Besides going to LGBT-friendly places, what makes LGBT travelers distinct from straight travelers?

Carlos Melia: I’ve found gay travelers to be well informed and more savvy about the destinations and experiences they’re looking for. They move mainly by word-of-mouth, and they base their decisions on people like me, who report their own experiences free from any editorial bias or hidden interest.

My clients, who are in their 40’s, have travelled the world openly gay meaning they look for gay districts, take part in circuit parties, go to clubs and find exclusive gay hot spots. Now they also look for true local experiences, using suppliers who really cater to the affluent gay and lesbian community.

See the Full Interview at Dot429

Living As a Gay Traveler – It’s the Little Things

Author: , June 2nd, 2014

Adam GroffmanThis morning I woke up more than a bit nostalgic. Nostalgic for a life I haven’t lived in a long time. I woke up with a familiar craving — my typical Sunday morning routine from years ago when I was living and working in Boston. I remember waking up, cooking some breakfast, picking up a copy of The New York Times and reading it for hours. I’d take the newspaper with me to the nearby park, and along with the grandmas and grandpas of my neighborhood, I’d sit on a park bench reading the paper all afternoon. I’d start with the news headlines, but would eventually find myself skipping over stories and making my way immediately to the NYT Magazine. I’d read that one nearly cover-to-cover. Maybe later in the day I’d have a picnic, or I’d go for a run around the nearby lake.

My Sundays were lazy but productive. I didn’t spend much money because I was saving for my big trip…but I always made sure I was doing things. I had a routine and I liked it. Then I took $20,000 and changed everything. Everything.

Sometimes I wonder if taking my big trip around the world was the right thing to do. I left behind a life in Boston. And while I was coming to terms with my sexuality, I definitely abandoned some friends in the process. Eventually I even abandoned my city. Boston had been my home for seven years. It was where I became an adult, albeit slowly. And while I don’t regret my 15-month trip around the world, I do wonder what would’ve happened to my life otherwise. If I hadn’t taken all that money to spend on a trip around the world, where I be now? Would I have fallen in love with the world? Would I crave travel? Would I still be a book designer?

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

See Adam’s full blog here.