For some people it me be something as simple and small as an iPod. For others, they might insist on bringing along their favorite pillow. I travel with my lucky underwear!!
But for Alain, The Sojourner, he doesn't go anywhere without his rainbow wig.
What started off as a Halloween costume in 2006 has now become a global movement, with Alain taking the wig to 11 countries and countless cities.
He's even started a photo collection of friends and strangers wearing the rainbow.
'I pose with it in every country I'm going to. I did it in the Great Wall of China, in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York and some other places.
'As a couch-surfer, I've met hundreds of people and hosted some of them. And the good thing is, they're ALL willing to wear the rainbow wig, without really thinking about my sexuality.
Antique train caboose, old school house, general store, yurts and more among Hocking Hills' accommodations!
Not only does Ohio's Hocking Hills region offer breathtaking forests, waterfalls, scenery and unforgettable experiences, but it also boasts a host of lodging options that are truly one-of-a-kind. Travelers can spend the night in a historic train caboose or an old-fashioned gypsy wagon as they experience first-hand just how special a visit to southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills can be. Incredibly affordable, some of these offbeat options are available for as little as $50 per night. Complete accommodations booking and visitor information is found at ExploreHockingHills.com.
Intrepid travelers can "Sleep in History" -- literally -- thanks to the creative preservationists at Historic Host Vacation Rentals. Among this unusual lodging company's offerings are a restored general store/post office, with its original scale, shelving and other vintage touches. The old Dunkle Schoolhouse, a 1926 B&O train caboose and an Ohio early farmhouse are also available for overnight accommodations. Historic Host's Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum, two historic B&Bs and several charming little cottages and cabins in its Fiddlestix Village round out the offerings. Each is lovingly restored so guests enjoy a comfortable yet authentic overnight stay that carefully preserves the rich history of not just the shelter, but the Hocking Hills region itself.
At Boulders Edge Cabin and Tipi Retreat allows visitors to experience the magic and tranquility of camping in traditional Sioux Native American tipis, reminiscent of "Dances with Wolves." Each tipi sleeps 10 comfortably, sits on a wooden deck and has a wood-burning stove inside. Guests provide their own sleeping gear cot or mattress, sleeping bag and chairs. But picnic tables, fire rings and a solar shower are provided.
It’s “All Aboard!” for guests Lazy Lane Cabins' Caboose at Steep Woods, an antique train caboose hidden in the woods. A huge hit with kids, railroad buffs and anyone seeking an unusual escape, the caboose has been transformed into a fully equipped cabin that sleeps five and features kitchenette, full bath and a cozy fire pit just outside the door.
A Mongolian yurt offers yet another option for visitors seeking to sleep in the unusual. Salt Creek Retreats' cabins and yurt sits on 60 secluded acres near miles of private trails, a fishing pond, scenic overlook and a river for swimming. Dog friendly and fully stocked with dishes, utensils, pillows, chairs, heater and a grill, the yurt sleeps up to six.
As if nearby Ravenwood Castle's Medieval Village, castle rooms and Fairytale Village Cottages are not enough, for just $59, visitors can tuck into a cozy reproduction British Romani Gypsy Wagon, equipped with double-decker beds, kitchenette and a bath house down the wooded path.
A traditional Scottish hamlet, complete with Old World-style crofts and cottages, is part of the charm of The Glenlaurel Scottish Inn, which transports guests back to Medieval Europe, yet retains today’s modern conveniences. Glenlaurel’s fine dining and authentic Scottish Links Golf help visitors truly immerse themselves in a historical Scottish experience.
Beyond quirky, a number of Hocking Hills lodging operators have taken luxury to a wild, new level. The brand new Majestic Oaks Lodge is one of the dozens deluxe lodges in the Hocking Hills that are fully loaded with far more comforts than most homes. With space for a whopping 44 guests, this stunner boasts 9,000 square feet of indoor living space; 4,800 square feet of gorgeous outdoor decks with two eight-person hot tubs; a heated, indoor pool; eight full baths; a dazzling gourmet kitchen and 18 acres of woodlands and trails.
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the zipline capital of the Midwest, with 55 ziplines being offered via four distinct guide services. Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available www.ExploreHockingHills.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).
GAY COUPLE DEPARTS CHICAGO FOR YEARLONG EXPLORATION OF THE USA.
DJ Doran and Joe Morales embark on a year long trek across the USA aboard their 33’ vintage 1979 Bluebird Wanderlodge Motor home named “Priscilla” to discover Gay America and write and film about their experiences for their web show The Adventures of Joey & DJ
Chicago, October 1st, 2013- DJ Doran and Joe Morales the stars of the web based travel and adventure show “The Adventures of Joey & DJ” and seen on Out n About TV have departed Chicago on their 52 week journey to discover and explore Gay America aboard their 33’ vintage 1979 Bluebird Wanderlodge. The first part of their route will take them across the northern part of the country to Buffalo New York and Niagara Falls.
The second leg will be through Vermont and New Hampshire and then down the eastern coastline to Washington DC. From there they will head west to intersect the infamous Route 66 and follow its legendary path to LA before heading north on The Pacific Coast Highway to Oregon and Washington State. The final legs of their adventure will have them zigzagging their way to down from the Pacific Northwest to the Gulf Coast and Florida.
“We will have the chance to experience the USA aboard “Priscilla” in a way that allows us to take our time exploring the places we visit and get to know the Gay and Straight people that we meet during our adventure in a much more personal way ” says Doran.
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Stockholm has an excellent reputation among international LGBT travelers, and has been ranked in the past few years as one of the world’s gay-friendliest destinations. In conjunction with Pink Christmas Week in Stockholm, Stockholm Visitors Board and Visit Sweden will be focusing on a social media contest to attract more international LGBT travelers to Stockholm.
“Pink Christmas is an annual highlight in Stockholm, with a number of Christmas events. We hope to use the campaign ‘A Pink Christmas’ to highlight the fact that Stockholm has tons to offer gay and lesbian travelers during the Christmas season, too,” says Christina Guggenberger, project manager of the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network in Stockholm Visitors Board.
The Pink Christmas campaign can be found at facebook.com/
Pink Christmas Week will be from December 9–15 in Stockholm, and is organized by Stockholm Gay Life. Over the course of the week, there will be Christmas markets, concerts and pink offerings at gay bars and clubs, as well as lectures and the Rainbow Fund’s prize presentation. One of the highlights will be the crowning of Lucia, followed by a “Pink Lucia” procession through parts of the city ending up with a big party.
PARISIANS can’t remember when it all began. At first, the appearance of the locks was nearly imperceptible. Soon, though, they felt like a statement. On some of the city’s most iconic bridges, thousands of visitors left small padlocks, neatly attached to the metal railings.
Once discreet, doing their deed at night, visitors soon acted in broad daylight, in pairs, photographing each other in front of their locks, and videotaping the throwing of the keys into the Seine. The Paris town hall expressed concern: what about the architectural integrity of the Parisian landscape? One night about two years ago, someone cut through the wires and removed all the locks on one of the bridges. But in just a few months, locks of all sizes and colors reappeared, more conspicuous than ever.
The public displays of affection have unchained loathing among coldhearted locals. Some gripe that the locks are no better than graffiti, defacing the city's landmarks. Rust and pollution are concerns, too. Think of the keys littered on the bottom of the Seine "with cars and cadavers," says Sylvain Louradour, a baby sitter who lives near the Pont des Arts.
True, the locks are causing major damage to Paris’ bridges that are literally cripping under the weight of all our love. The thousands of padlocks that coat the bridge have authorities saying that there is risk of a “fatal accident.” According to Forbes: “The situation in Paris has become more critical, though, and according to local newspapers, the Paris Council worries that so many padlocks have been snapped on the Pont des Arts that the railings risk crumbling under the weight and crashing into the river. The scenario some of them fear is not only of people tumbling into the river along with the railings but of the heavy metal enclosures landing on passengers on the many tourist boats that ply the river under the bridge.”
Everyone got into the spirit of Curaçao Pride week and looks forward to next year’s events.
Hundreds of Curaçao visitors and residents celebrated the island's very first Pride Week, September 25-29th, 2013. The Caribbean island of Curaçao has always been welcoming to the LGBT community with great accommodations, events and attitude, but Gay Pride Week took the island's commitment to the LGBT community to another level.
Hundreds of people showed up at The White Affair event at the Floris Suite Hotel, host property of Curaçao’s first Pride Week, transforming the hotel into “Pride City” for the week. In addition, hotels and restaurants contributed with gourmet food and drinks in support of Pride Week. They included the Hilton Curaçao, Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Kyoto Restaurant, Tempo Doeloe Restaurant, Pirate Bay, Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel and others. There were also events at the Rainbow Lounge, neighborhood bar, Williwood, and after parties at The Gallery Lounge in Punda, with almost 700 people in attendance across all events. Parties, street fairs and educational seminars rounded out what organizers called a very successful Pride Week. Curaçao encourages travelers to save the date and start planning for the South Caribbean Pride Week in Curaçao, Wednesday, April 30 to Monday, May 5, 2014. It is expected to be one of the biggest LGBT celebrations in the region. Please visit www.GayCuracao.com for more information.
Selected as one of The 10 Best Caribbean Snorkeling Spots’ for 2013 by Frommers, Favorite Caribbean Destination’ for 2012 and 2013 in About.com Reader’s Choice Awards and a ‘2012 Honeymoon Hot Spot’ by Condé Nast Traveler, Curaçao is a unique Caribbean island paradise, boasting 35 uncrowded beaches, and an eclectic mix of history and culture. Explore the vibrant, culturally diverse capital city of Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its distinctive architecture, museums, monuments and world-class shopping. Indulge in Curaçao’s vast selection of flavorful restaurants, with a mix of sophisticated international and tasty local cuisines. Discover Curaçao’s abundant natural beauty, pristine dive sites and spectacular snorkeling at secluded beaches. Curaçao offers idyllic weather, situated on the outer fringes of the Hurricane Belt. To learn more about Curaçao please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our newest information brochure at www.Curacao.com/brochure
North Carolina is among 29 U.S. states with constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Six other states, including Pennsylvania, have laws that do so.
Local officials in Pennsylvania and New Mexico, which has no law banning or approving same-sex nuptials, have begun issuing marriage licenses to gay couples since the June 26 high court ruling.MEANWHILE....
A South Carolina mayor has sparked the ire of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community after expressing her opposition to same-sex marriage in a Facebook status referencing "queers."
As Fox Carolina is reporting, West Union Mayor Linda Oliver took to Facebook in response to a North Carolina county official's decision to defy his state's ban on same-sex marriage by accepting marriage applications from LGBT couples.
While the mayor's controversial post has since been deleted, Towleroad quotes Oliver as having originally written:
What's it gonna take to get these queers to realize they don't need a piece of paper. God will not bless their union because he plainly speaks against queers in the Bible. Want to cover your queer with insurance? Buy a policy. Want your queer to get your stuff when you die? Make a will.
DID YOU KNOW -Your passport is not always valid right up to the expiration date?! Russia, China and the U.A.E., among others, require that a passport be valid for AT LEAST 6 MONTHS past the date of your flight home. 26 European nations require that passports be valid for AT LEAST 3 MONTHS past the date of your flight home. You can check the State Departments website for entry and exit requirements. travel.state.gov
Time wasting - So you cut corners and are staying at a hotel with no concierge. And you are trying to figure out on your own, how to find a doctor, how to get tickets, how to write a note to your Czech driver instructions on where you need to go ... no worries - walk over to the nearest 5 star hotel and go to their concierge! They are always happy to help anyone in need - even if you are not a hotel guest. It's nice to give them a tip for their help!
Bring a travel first aid kit
with you - saves you time hunting around a city for first aid needs: Pseudoephedrine (nasal decongestant, helps with "ear pop" from planes) ibuprofen (or other pain killer), decongestant,
NyQuil, bandages, pepto bismol, imodium, hydrocortizone cream. You will not believe how often
it will come in handy.
VIP PERKS - Traveling and celebrating a special occasion? Make sure your hotel knows that! Many hotels give free upgrades to milestone birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Hotels want your stay to be memorable.
Credit Card Fee's out of the country - many credit and debit cards add on a 3% foreign transaction fee. Not so much anymore. Capital One started waving fee's a while back - now Chase has 10 travel-rewards credit cards that waive surcharges and can even include free checked baggage. And they are FREE for the first year.
I Can't Carry On my Carry On? - More and more the overhead bins are exploding as travelers try to cram everything they have into a carry on, to avoid checking luggage. Many people also put valuables, jewelry, designer belts, cameras and tablets in the carry on, to keep them safe. So what happens when the bins are full and you are told you must surrender your carry on?! Keep all your valuables together, in a small bag, inside your carry on, that can easily be grabbed out at the last second and stored under your seat.
I start packing 2 weeks before I leave. The second you think of packing something, PACK IT. If you wait, you will forget.
Chicago for the Holidays!
Cleveland+Akron, Ohio, expects to welcome more than 10,000 participants from more than 65 countries. The 2014 Gay Games is about fun, games and culture too. The founding principles of Participation, Inclusion and Personal Best mean the Games are open to everybody regardless of sexual orientation, gender, transgender status, religion, nationality, political convictions, age, physical condition or athletic ability. Register, volunteer, donate or simply sign up for the e-newsletter.
Then in 2018 - PARIS won the bid for the Gay Games 10. Organizers report:
The international delegates and board of directors of the Federation of Gay Games voted at the end of a three-day meeting featuring site inspection reports, question-and-answer sessions, committee reviews and, a highlight of the event, the oral presentation by each bidding organization. This meeting was held in Cleveland, host with Akron, of the 2014 Gay Games, presented by the Cleveland Foundation next year from 9-16 August.
David Killian, co-chair of the FGG Site Selection Committee, noted some factors that may have influenced voters in their choice: “The vote is the result of dozens of individual choices, but some points stood out for many voters. Paris proposed a wide range of sports in quality venues, many of which offer good visibility for the event. French LGBT sport organizations already have a great deal of experience hosting international multisport tournaments, and their LGBT community presents outstanding cultural events.
They are already well advanced in planning, for example, with the designation of a dedicated sports manager. They arrived with demonstrable political support, including Minister for Sport Valerie Fourneyron and five-time Olympic fencing medalist Laura Flessel, who were part of the presentation team. And of course Paris is a great destination to visit or revisit.”
A central committee tasked with the status of expatriates will look into the proposal when it convenes on November 11, Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, has said.
“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he said. “However, we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states,” he said, quoted by local daily Al Rai on Monday.
Homosexual acts are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC member countries. READ MORE
Ben Stoviak wrote on Facebook:
Last night, a group of men attacked me
and my boyfriend on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. After yelling, from
across the street, "Faggot!" at us, I replied, "yes, we're faggots!"
Immediately after, the group of men ran across the street and began
hitting, kicking, and stomping me. The mark on my right cheek is a
bootprint. Aaron threw himself on top of me to discourage them from
continuing the assault, but they began kicking him in the head, as well.
To the women who saw the ordeal, wrote down their license plate number, and stayed to talk with the police, thank you.
Three of these men have been arrested since the assault. Aaron and I were in the hospital until almost 10 am so that the doctors could take MRI, CT scans, and x-rays to make sure there was no internal bleeding.
EVER GLANCED in exasperation at travel photographs wondering why yours taken of the same landmarks or subjects never turn out as stunning?
Great travel photographs share a few similarities even though their subjects may be as different as a sweeping landscape or a brooding portrait.
There are some great tips here.
I like photos that are thoughtful - and funny! These are clever ways tourists used statues to create a neat photo!
For those who don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, from tomorrow, you can book and enjoy the same facilities through www.behotel.com.ar
Taiwan is one of Asia's most progressive countries as far as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights are concerned, not only since the government attempted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003 (which stalled without passage), the first country in Asia to attempt to do so. Taiwan is also described as the most liberal after approximately 65,000 attended the Taiwan Pride parade in 2012, making it the largest LGBT event in Asia.
This weekend, Same-sex couples in Taipei, Taiwan symbolically tied the knot down the road from the presidential palace Saturday in a symbolic mass "wedding banquet" intended to push the government to recognize same-sex marriages.
From Focus Taiwan:
A mass wedding that attracted over 1,000
people was held in downtown Taipei on Saturday, amid a push by local
civic groups to legalize all forms of civil partnerships, including
same-sex marriage, in Taiwan...
The alliance also hoped that the banquet would drive up support for an amendment that would legalize gay marriage, civil partnerships, and the adoption of children by diverse families in Taiwan.
The proposed legislation is set to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan later this month.
Participants sat around tables decorated
with red cloths printed with the Chinese character for “wedding”, as
they had dinner and watched a video recording of local celebrities
showing support as well as live performances in a makeshift banquet
venue in a square outside the presidential office in Taipei.
“This looks likes a traditional wedding scene and even if it’s not real, I think a picture is worth a thousand words and I hope we will get more public attention and support for same-sex marriages,” said Richard Chen, a 22-year-old student from Taipei.
According to The China Post, a poll from the United Daily News shows that 55 percent of the population are in favour of same-sex marriage, with 37 percent opposed. Though that same poll also pointed out that 61 percent of respondents would not accept their children if they were gay.
"Taiwan is considered one of the more liberal countries in Asia in terms of homosexual issues and hosts one of the largest gay pride parades in Asia each year," according to The China Post.