Traveling to a new place, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and traditions. All this might sounds exciting but is not always easy. Specially, when you’re LGBTQ. Travel for work or leisure is still easier for a LGBTQ person. The real task is to backpack across the country. Backpacking is one the best ways to explore the place. It is also a great way of meeting new people and eating exciting food. But for some it is not always as easy as it sounds.
Backpacking comes with a tight budget. Fancy hotels and posh areas might not always be a good fit. That is when hostel are saviors. Many areas around the country offer hostel facilities. People can book beds at cheap prices. This is one of the best ways to meet new people. As someone from the LGBTQ community, this could be one of the hardest parts. Not everyone is acceptable to LGBTQ people. Those who are, it easier to come out to. But it is safer to take it slow and know your crowd before you decide to come out.
If you ever decide to backpack to places, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Picking the right place while backpacking
Firstly, choosing a place to stay is the most important. LGBTQ people are not always accepted in all places. So, when you decide to travel, make sure you pick the right hostel. Look for reviews online to find out friendly areas. A lot of reviews mention the treats of violence in certain hostels. It is best to avoid these places. As LGBTQ people have a greater risk of violence. It is also better to be safe than sorry.
Being queer can attract a lot of attention in places. However, if you’re okay with spending a little extra, there are certain gay districts that would be more preferable. It is also more comfortable and safer. Do some research before heading. You will be able to find a lot of places suitable for travelers.
Being a little cautious while coming out
It is a gamble for queer people to come out to everyone and see how they react. Straight people find it more easy to mingle. It is probably the most annoying things for most LGBTQ people. But as a backpacker you should be open to everything.
It is okay to have to go back to the closet if you feel uncomfortable. Not everyone understands. You should come out when you feel is the right time.
You might also come across people who would get too personal. Some ask about your relationship and sex. It is completely alright to avoid answering those questions that make you feel awkward. These are those people who come from small cities and don’t know many LGBTQ people.
There are also some countries that think being LGBTQ is illegal. It is best to avoid such countries. But if you are still keen on exploring such countries, it is always best to be on the down low. Just be extra cautious when talking to strangers about your sexuality. You never know how people may react. But there are countries like Australia and parts of Europe that have hate-crime laws. At least you know you have the law on your side when you visit such countries.
Be open to meeting new people.
Traveling is all about meeting locals, getting to know more about their culture and traditions. Experiencing their way of life. Sounds fun and spontaneous? It also come with a few risks.
Most important is to not open up about where your staying currently. Lets not be rude to someone who asks. But just tell them the area in general. Unless you are really comfortable with the people you are conversing with. Go with your gut feeling. Do what feels right to you.
Take precautions when it come to sexual health.
A study shows that 37% of travelers do not use protection while having sex with a new partner. This could be dangerous to all involved. It is quite exciting in the coolest parts of the country to use Grindr, tinder and other dating apps to find sexual partners. You can find many queers in the distance. But be sure to communicate with them first to get to know them better. Most importantly, be sure to use protection in such cases.
In countries, it might be hard to find healthcare services. Things could get extremely dangerous. Moreover, countries have laws that might prevent you from getting the services. They might charge you with hefty bills that your insurance cant cover. Condoms are not very expensive. And some bars also give them out for free. So, why take the risk when you can get things easily.
Another thing to keep in mind is to let your trusted friends know where you are. Keep them posted about you whereabouts during the time of hookups. It makes it easier to be tracked when you go missing for long hours.
LGBTQ people have to be just a little extra careful when traveling or backpacking to different countries.
Next read: 12 Must Try- Gay Bars Around the World