Tag: Nomadic

Gay Florida Keys – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys - The Nomadic Boys

We’ve travelled the world extensively, and can hands down say that when it comes to stunning sunsets, the Keys of South Florida is the best place to come. There are of course many other reasons to visit the Keys: the terrific gay scene of Key West, the diving in the many coral reefs, beautiful beaches, and of course the star culinary highlight, the divine Key Lime pie! But for us, those magnificent sunsets stole the show.

The Florida Keys are a string of thousands of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles (193km) off the southern tip of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The word “Keys” comes from the Spanish word “cayo”, which means ‘small island’.

The Keys begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles (24 km) south of Miami. They then extend from Key Largo, all the way to Key West, which is the westernmost of the inhabited islands.

This is our gay travel guide to the Florida keys, where we set out the best gay hotels to stay, our favourite gay hangouts and top things to do.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Florida Keys Travel Resources

Gay Abu Dhabi – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Abu Dhabi

Gay Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and second-most populous city in the UAE after Dubai.

Initially, Abu Dhabi began as a magnet for the oil industry, but over the last decade, it grew massively in popularity as a tourist destination.

Whilst crime is very low in Abu Dhabi and it is a safe destination to visit, for the LGBTQ community, the reality is a lot different. Homosexuality is illegal here, so just like LGBTQ rights in Dubai, you run the risk of being arrested and/or deported if you get caught being open! Despite this, many LGBTQ expats (who are mainly cabin crew for Etihad) live here without any problems and have even created their own underground gay scene.

We visited Abu Dhabi during our travels in the UAE and give our take on whether we think Abu Dhabi is safe for gay travellers based on our first-hand experience. To be clear, we are not advocating Abu Dhabi as a gay haven, simply an honest account of what it was like for us.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Key West – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Key West - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Key West - The Nomadic Boys

Conch! It’s quite a quirky word, satisfying, yet it sounds like you’re cursing… “you CONCHhead!” or “you’re such a CONCH!”

Giggles aside, over in the gay island mecca of Key West, a conch is a legit nickname given to the locals. And this bunch of conchers sure know how to live life to the fullest!

Key West is famous for its relaxed, tolerant and queer inclusivity. Historically it’s always been different, helped by the fact that it is the southernmost point of the USA mainland, slightly cut off from the rest of Florida. This has allowed Key West to thrive as a mixed haven for an eclectic blend of people ranging from Native Americans, Spanish, freed slaves, pirates, and of course, the LGBTQ community. It has also been a bedrock for artistic talent with the likes of Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway and Judy Blume all making this unassuming island their home base. Key West even has an official motto of “One Human Family“.

We absolutely loved Key West. There are so many things to do here with a really exciting gay scene along Duval Street. We’ve been to Key West several times and always had a ball on each visit. We’ve put together this detailed gay guide to Key West to include our experience trying out the best gay hotels, partying in the bars/clubs, inspiration for things to do, and more.

Gay Key West

The gay area of key West is based around the busy Duval Street, between Angela and Petronia Streets. There is a permanent Rainbow Crosswalk here so you can’t miss it! This small intersection forms the gay neighbourhood of Key West, largely centred around 3 large complexes forming a sort of triangle. The 3 large complexes are 801 Bourbon, Bourbon St. Pub and Aqua. Each one has around 3/4 separate bars/clubs inside which we summarise in detail below.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Key West Gay Travel Resources

Gay Sarasota, Florida – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Sarasota, Florida - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Sarasota, Florida - The Nomadic Boys

This is the home of Siesta Key Rum, the Siesta Key beach, the massive Ringling Circus Museum, and so much more! Sarasota is a destination that most gay travellers to Florida are likely to overlook. 

We’ll be very honest, before coming to Sarasota we knew very little about it. However, it turned out to be the hidden gem of our trip, a place we would definitely love to return to. As well as being a cultural hotspot of Florida with so many things to do, Sarasota also has a small fun gay scene worth checking out, with annual events like the “Harvey Milk Festival”and “Sarasota Pride”.

Following our trip, we’ve put together this detailed travel guide to Sarasota featuring the best gay bars, events, things to do, gay friendly hotels to stay, and more.

Gay Sarasota Neighborhood?

The Sarasota gay scene is very small with only a handful of gay hangouts spread around the city. As such, there is no official gay neighborhood in Sarasota. The focal point of the city where you may want to consider basing yourself is by the pretty Bayfront Park. It’s close to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens as well as a few queer-friendly bars like the Pangea Alchemy Lab and the Westin hotel rooftop bar.

Purple Rhino is the main gay bar of Sarasota, which is located around 10 minutes taxi ride south Bayfront Park. Even further south is the Oasis club, which is close to famous Siesta Key beach.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sarasota Gay Travel Resources

Gay Manchester – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Manchester - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Manchester - The Nomadic Boys

My coming out story started out in the late 1990s when the British Queer as Folk version first aired on our screens. Back then, a confused and extremely repressed young teenage Stefan watched in awe as 3 gay blokes, Stuart, Vince and Nathan, went about their daily lives in Manchester’s Canal Street Gay Village. 

I was flabbergasted! Stunned!

This was the first time I had ever seen “normal” gay guys popularised on screen. It was also the first time I had ever seen gay urban life dramatised in such a way that it felt so real! Finally, that “feeling” that up until this point I had been forced to suppress by the society around me was, in fact, something totally natural. What a relief! I wasn’t ill or abnormal. I was in fact part of a large LGBTQ family that also felt the same way. As that young teenage Stefan continued to watch Queer As Folk, he also dreamed: maybe, just maybe, I could grow up and be just like Stuart, Vince and Nathan living so freely in the gay streets of Manchester…

Gay Manchester

Fast forward a few decades and I’m galavanting down those same historic gay streets, with Seby to hand, together exploring one of the coolest and most progressive places in Europe. 

I will always love Manchester! 

As well as having a special place in my big gay heart, it has an exciting gay scene, one of the best gay Pride events in the UK and is one of the few places in the world where I feel comfortable walking the streets holding hands with my Seby. It’s also super close to London (just 2 hours by train), which makes it ideal for a weekend trip.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

England Gay Travel Resources

Gay Santiago – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Santiago - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Santiago - The Nomadic Boys

Fresh out of Santiago’s International Airport, excited to practise our Spanish which we’d spent months perfecting, only to encounter…Chilean Spanish…

As our sweet smiley taxi pickup driver tried to welcome us in Spanish we both looked at each other wondering if we’d arrived at the right place…What was this strange language?!

Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but Chilean Spanish is the hardest Spanish dialect to pick up. Even native Spanish speakers have trouble understanding Chileans. For example, they cut off the end of every other word, connect words together so you don’t know when one word starts/finishes, and they speak at such a rapid pace… Then there are the Chilean slang words thrown in to confuse you even more, especially “weón” – randomly placed in every other sentence! It’s actually quite a beautiful sing-songy dialect to listen to. 

Santiago is certainly the perfect base to get your head around this quirky dialect. The gay scene here is massive, particularly in the Bellavista neighbourhood – probably the largest in all of South America outside of Sao Paolo. The city is also home to an exciting wine culture with world-class wineries to visit, lots of impressive city street art to awe at, tons of outdoor adventures like paragliding to try out, and natural hot springs to relax in – remember the city has the Andes mountains right on its doorstep.

And then there are the boys! Smokin’ Hot gorgeous Latino looking Chilean studs everywhere you look…

Trust us when we say you WILL have a fantastic time in Santiago! 

And we’ve got you covered right here with our detailed gay guide to Chile’s capital city. We’ve put together all our practical tips from our firsthand experience travelling in Santiago as a gay couple, including the latest info on the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, parties and events, which we always keep updated thanks to the help of our local gay friends in Santiago.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - The Nomadic Boys

Kool-krazy-kat-Kota-Kinabalu, the capital and gateway of Malaysia’s Sabah region on Borneo island. This is the city where treks up to Borneo’s highest mountain (Mount Kinabalu) begin, the tropical waters of the Gaya islands are right on your doorstep, lots of different magnificent experiences can be found, and, the coolest nickname ever for a city: KK!

Whilst most travellers will skip out KK, using it just as a transport hub to enter/leave Sabah, we think you should spend a few nights here. We visited KK during our trip around Malaysia and loved it. It’s a relaxed, modern place that offers so much. It also has a large LGBTQ community and sometimes even a gay bar – ie it closes/reopens a lot (more on this below)!

We’ve put together all our findings from our trip in and around gay Kota Kinabalu in this article. We’ve included important practical safety tips for LGBTQ travellers, gay friendly hotels we tried/loved, queer friendly hangouts and some of our favourite things to do which we hope inspires you.

Is Kota Kinabalu safe for gay travellers?

On the whole, yes, but as long as you’re careful to avoid PDAs. Malaysia is not on par with some of the places in the Middle East, but it’s obviously no Bangkok here!

In relation to progressive LGBTQ rights in Malaysia, there are none at all. There is even a horrible archaic anti-gay law which carries with it a 20-year imprisonment as well as caning, fines and/or deportation! The reality is that the anti-gay law of Malaysia is rarely ever enforced, particularly against foreigners. However, this gives you an idea of how society regards homosexuality and therefore why it’s best to avoid PDAs.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Quito Travel Guide – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Quito Travel Guide - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Quito Travel Guide - The Nomadic Boys

Panting for breath after walking just 5 steps…that was our first memory of Quito as soon as we touched down at the Mariscal Sucre airport. Standing proud at 2,850 metres (9,350ft) high, tucked away in the Andes Mountains, Quito is the second-highest official capital city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. And bloody hell you certainly feel it!

Other than panting for breath every 5 minutes, Quito packs a punch for gay travellers. It’s not only a cultural gem with a really pretty Old Town to explore, it also has an impressive and vibrant gay scene. The capital city of Ecuador is also located right by the equator line from which it takes its name. Locals nickname Quito as “la mitad del mundo” or the middle of the world.

We spent half a year based in the middle of the world during our big trip to Latin America and fell in love with it. It’s an inexpensive place, extremely pretty, never too hot and never too cold. It’s also a very rewarding destination due to the variety of food to try and the variety of hot guys to meet!

We’ve bundled all our first-hand experiences from Quito into this comprehensive gay guide covering the best gay bars, clubs, hotels to stay, things to do and more.

Is Quito safe for gay travellers?

Quito is the touristic and LGBTQ capital of Ecuador – a country that legalised gay marriage in 2019 and was one of the first in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation back in 1998. The city has a very active LGBTQ community, along with quite a diverse LGBTQ scene and a popular Pride every June that has taken place almost every year since 1998.

As a gay couple, we never had any problems in any of the hotels we stayed in. We always felt welcomed and never faced any issues when asking for a double bed. The only thing we’d say about Quito, which applies to all travellers (straight or gay), there are parts of the city which are a bit dodgy, such as the Old Town in the evening after dark.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Ecuador Gay Travel Resources

Gay Gili Islands – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Gili Islands - The Nomadic Boys

Gay Gili Islands - The Nomadic Boys

Are we having a fabulous time in Indonesia? Gili-Ty as charged!

…we’d even go as far as saying the Gili Islands is one of our topest-bestest-most-favouritest beach destinations in all of Southeast Asia. In all seriousness, it’s a place we always recommend when we’re often asked – “Guys, can you recommend me an inexpensive beach getaway in Asia?”

Why? ‘Cause these 3 small islands combine white sandy beaches, flat clear water, terrific diving sites and plenty of activities (have you ever tried Subwing?). There’s also plenty of partying for when you want it or complete remote island solitude when you just want to be completely cut off from the world. And then there are those phenomenal magical sunsets, every evening!

In summary, the Gili Islands impressed us a lot. They’re nicknamed “the Maldives of Southeast Asia” for good reason. We’ve put together this detailed gay guide of the Gilis based on our firsthand experience travelling here as a gay couple, which we hope inspires and helps you have a fun and safe trip.

What and where are the gay Gili Islands exactly?

The Gili Islands are made up of 3 small islands that lie off the northwest coast of Lombok island.

Gili Trawangan is the largest and craziest of the three with a population of around 1,500 people. This is where you’ll find the parties, most of the hotels, best restaurants – essentially it’s the main “hub” of the three islands. Party gay boys will want to base themselves right here.

Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Lombok, Indonesia Gay Travel Resources

Hiking Sri Lanka’s Ella Rock – The Nomadic Boys

Hiking Sri Lanka

Hiking Sri Lanka's Ella Rock - The Nomadic Boys

Ella Rock is the prettiest desktop background I’ve ever had on my laptop! No joke – the view from up here is absolutely jaw-droppingly stunning!

The trek to Ella Rock is only half a day tops, but it easily ranks as one of the best treks I’ve ever done with Stefan during our travels. And we’ve done some pretty amazing treks together, from the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal to the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Ella is a beautiful small town in the south of Sri Lanka in the Hill country located at an altitude of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft). It’s the ideal base to explore the surrounding hills and take in pretty breathtaking views of the Badulla green valleys. The weather is usually quite humid, with moderate air temperature, sunny mornings, and often rain showers in the afternoon. Ella Rock is a famous cliff, located high above Ella’s village, around 8km (5 miles) from the centre of town – around 4 hours total trekking there and back.

The trek to Ella Rock from Ella town is pretty straightforward if you follow our advice below! Sometimes finding the correct path can be tricky, so we’ve put together this easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to help you on your way.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Sri Lanka Gay Travel Resources