If this is your first time hearing about Let’s Go Together, the first podcast from Travel + Leisure, welcome! Every week our podcast introduces listeners to people around the world who are redefining and reshaping what it means to be a traveler. We’ve heard from folks with physical disabilities who refuse to accept them as limitations, like Jesse Billauer, a man who climbed Machu Picchu in a wheelchair. And we’ve heard from widowed women who are embracing solo travel, plus-sized travelers, and every type of person in between.
On this week’s episode, host Kellee Edwards — a game-changing traveler in her own right — is joined by Gabi Meit and Shanna Sciara, the New York-based couple behind the popular LGBTQIA+ travel blog, 27 Travels. Gabi and Shanna travel the world together, documenting their journeys to help other LGBTQIA+ people experience travel as well.
Gabi and Shanna’s journey began after the couple met at Cubbyhole, one of the last remaining lesbian bars in the U.S. The two quickly bonded over their mutual love of travel and, after six months of back and forth, finally set off on their first trip together to Philadelphia.
“Since Gabi is a photographer and… I'm a videographer and video editor, we just were naturally like, you know, taking pictures and filming things on our first trip,” Shanna told Edwards. During this trip, back in 2016, the pair realized their skill set was adding up to something bigger. “We were like, oh my God, maybe we should just… make a separate Instagram, just like post our travel stuff,” she recalled. “That's kind of how 27 Travels happened. It happened actually right after our first domestic trip together.”
Now, over four years later, 27 Travels has evolved into a great travel resource for all travelers, but specifically for members of the LGBTQIA+ community. In the episode, the pair share some of their experiences traveling together as a lesbian couple.
“I think that traveling as a lesbian couple, we just always have a heightened awareness about our surroundings and the people around us,” Gabi said. “I mean, even just as women, that's something that we're really conscious of because if we're traveling somewhere, whether it's in our country or abroad and we don't know how people treat women there specifically, that can also be something that's an issue. And that we have to be really careful about.”
Over the course of the episode they also discuss some of their favorite destinations, what it’s like traveling in places that are not so accepting, and why it’s important to see those places in addition to popular LGBTQIA+ destinations.
“We don't necessarily only want to go to places that are like LGBTQ friendly or LGBTQ inclusive, we will still go to places like, for example, in the Philippines that, it's not as LGBTQ friendly as some other places, because there are people there who are LGBTQ,” Shanna said. “They have experiences that are just as valid as anyone else. And really we should be able to go everywhere in the world.”
Hear more from Shanna and Gabi on this week’s episode of Let’s Go Together, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
Tanner Saunders is the Associate Digital Editor of Travel + Leisure. He loves to travel with his boyfriend.Follow along on Instagram @Tizanner.
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