Heathrow airport. I just arrived after an amazing time in London. I saw most of the main sites and had my fill of beans and eggs for breakfast, tea in the afternoon with fish and chips and beer in pubs for dinner. The highlight though, was spending time with my amazing family. Now, I’ve been through this airport several times on transfer flights. So knowing that my CAD dollar is half the value of the British Pound, I opted not to buy anything and make my way to the Departure Lounge. As I waited for my flight to Prague, in walks two men holding hands. I had to take a second look. Not because they are gay, but because I think I know them. Yes, yes it’s Stefan and Sebastien, from Nomadic Boys – a gay couple travelling the world seeking out unique romantic spots, local culinary dishes and outdoor adventures. I’m a huge fan. So I make my way over to say hi and talk travel…
• How do you incorporate the romantic adventures of a gay couple into your travels. How do you prepare? Can you give us some tips?
We love seeking out romantic and unique experiences wherever we go. This is something that appeals to our readers a lot, but most important of all, we enjoy them. We love the same things that any other couple would enjoy, gay or straight, but we especially love unique and different experiences, along with the cheesy obvious ones. Our favourite to date was our recent Nomadic Boys luxury gay cruise to the Galapagos islands in Ecuador with some of our readers.
In terms of tips, we are slaves to TripAdvisor and swear by it. We use it to research the best activities for each new destination we visit and a starting point for inspiration.
• Share one of your favourite travel stories? How do these type of experiences change you as a person?
We absolutely love the Philippines, in particularly Boracay island – Why? Cause you can dress up and learn to swim like mermaids there of course! Swimming like a mermaid is actually hard work, involving a lot of core movement and upper body strength as the legs are essentially ‘tied’ together. The legs need to remain straight but not locked and your arms stretched out in front of you. Swimming like a mermaid is perfected by moving with a subtle ripple like wave effect through your entire body from your legs, through the core and all the way to your arms. By the end of our mermaid swimming class, we were exhausted and welcomed the chance to just relax and pose in the sun. The Korean tourists watching loved it – seeing these two silly foreigners dressed up as mermaids and wriggling so clumsily in the sand!
Learning to swim like mermaids, Boracay, the Philippines, June 2015
• What are your top 5 travel rules that you follow every time you travel and why?
1. Keep a spread sheet of daily spending: important for keeping track of the budget
2. Have a backup credit card for those emergency situations
3. Get your smart phone unlocked and buy a local SIM as soon as you arrive – this is invaluable as bloggers when you need 24/7 internet access, but also allows you to keep in touch with local friends better
4. Pack for 1 week max: in theory you will do laundry once a week and anything more you’ll be over packing
5. DROPBOX! Have it on your phone and put screen shots of your important documents on there and make them available offline for important occasions.
• What are your top 5 travel hacking tips and tricks?
1. Google Maps: get the app on your smart phone and check the destination you’re going to before you arrive so it saves it as an offline version. This is invaluable if say you want to supervise a Delhi tuk tuk driver who’s trying to take you to the wrong place!
2. Research the accommodation on TripAdvisor then contact them directly for the booking. Normally they will give you a discount if you contact them directly cause that way they avoid paying the 10-20% commission to Booking.com/Agoda.
3. Cooking classes: we love collecting recipes on our travels (http://nomadicboys.com/category/travel-with-food) and cooking with locals, so always try to do one in each destination we visit.
4. Body circuits/jogging: we try to keep fit as we travel so if we can’t find a local gym, we head to a local park and go jogging or do series of body weight exercises, weather permitting. We use the Nike+RunClub app for jobs
5. Triposo do some excellent free apps you can download for almost every country which you can then view offline.
Food fight during cooking class in Kathmandu, Nepal, September 2014
• What are your top 5 travel things you must bring in your carry on, purse and/or satchel?
1. Bluebie is the recent addition to the Nomadic Boys carry on after joining us in the Galapagos Islands. Bluebie is a cuddly toy Blue Footed Boobie – birds in the Galapagos Islands which mate by the males showing to the females how blue their feet are as a dance. They are the cutest birds ever!
2. Elastic bands: all those electronic wires need to be organized and elastic bands the best way. We carry a lifetime supply of them.
3. A pen! So obvious but you always need one for the landing card or in a long immigration queue when you forgot to fill in a box and don’t want to re queue up and no one else around has a pen at hand! And for postcards.
4. Camera/smartphone: It’s the 21st century afterall and these are so important, especially as travel bloggers. 10 years ago when we were travelling, internet was limited to sending emails in internet cafes, cameras involved rolling in negative films and forget smart phones – we had brick phones back then!
5. Sunblock cream! When you need it it always ends up being twice the price you’d normally pay back home and it’s so important to protect yourself from sun rays/prevent melanoma.
Bluebie admiring the Quilotoa Laguna in Ecuador, Nov, 2016
• What is your most prized souvenir you brought back from abroad and what’s its story?
Our ponchos from Argentina our one of our favourite souvenirs. They were given to us as gift when we were travelling in the country promoting gay travel in Buenos Aires earlier this year. These ponchos have the characteristic chakana Inca cross pattern – a nod to the Inca influence in the country.
• Where are you off to next and what are hoping to experience, eat, see and/or learn?
We are currently on a big trip in Latin America for the next few years. We travel slowly, basing ourselves in places long term and doing short trips nearby. We are in Ecuador at the moment till Christmas and then we’ll spend a month in each of Peru, Bolivia, then south to Argentina/Chile for Patagonia. We plan to head back North to Central America in 2017, but have yet to flesh this out.
Just as they were about to talk about Central America, we hear their flight number being called to gate 22. As we say our good bye’s they leave me with their social media networks to pass on to you. So be sure to check them out, they are a lot of fun.
Nomadic Boys Social Media Network:
Using the latest travel apps, technology and gear, I take a city; see the sights, taste the food, smell the roses, hear the stories and feel the love. All in 48 hours. Then, using videography & editing, photography and writing I retell and share those stories with my readers and viewers. I'm Christopher Rudder and welcome to Rudderless Travel.
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