• Caitlin Hart

Queer Travelling - Introducing 27 Travels


© Photography by 27 Travels - @27travels


Meet the lesbian bloggers guiding LGBTQ+ people around the world.


INJECTION spoke to Gabi and Shanna, the couple behind lesbian travel blog, 27 Travels. 27 Travels is most well known for LGBTQ+ travel guides, showcasing queer spaces and events around the world.


Where did it all begin, and what inspired you to start travel blogging?


Shanna - So for us, travel was something we talked about on our first date actually! We were talking about how much we both love to travel and we have best friends that live internationally so even on our first date we were like ‘oh my god we need to travel together!’


We went on our first trip, I guess six months after we had started dating, we went to Philadelphia just for a quick weekend trip. Gabi is a photographer, and I’m a videographer so we naturally were just taking pictures and filming things while we were just on our trip. Then we made our Instagram account, 27 Travels, way back in 2016. It was just supposed to be a place for us to put our travel memories and look back on, it was a private account, and no one was meant to see it. Then some of our friends ended up finding it and we were like ‘okay I guess we’ll make it public’ and from then on we started getting messages from people.


We didn’t really realise that we could actually be helping people with it until people started messaging us and then we were like ‘oh my god we can actually help other people travel’.


Were the LGBT travel guides something important to you when you started out, or did you pick it up along the way?


Gabi - I think both. We went to Costa Rica and looked up gay things we can do in Costa Rica and we wound up going to a beach that was really for gay men and it was all men there and we quickly realised that finding tips on the internet for queer women was really hard and didn’t really exist. We knew that since we were traveling we wanted to be able to help other people who wanted those kinds of tips be able to find them so I think that’s something we’re really passionate about as well.


© Photography by 27 Travels - @27travels


Do you think your experiences traveling as a lesbian couple differ from straight couples or people that travel solo?


Shanna - Definitely for sure. Just in terms of laws, there are still over 70 countries where homosexuality is illegal, there are still even countries where homosexuality is punishable by death so that’s something that we always have to research whenever we go to a country. We have to look at the laws of that country, but also, it’s not always just the laws, even in the United States, where we’re protected legally in terms of LGBTQ rights, we’ve been to some places where we didn’t necessarily feel welcomed or included or we could be ourselves.


I feel like the research is one part of it but we don’t always necessarily feel safe showing that we’re a couple even in places with legal protection. We always try and show that we’re a couple so that we can get a real and authentic experience before giving tips to other people but there are places where we don't necessarily feel safe and we always have to consider our safety as the number one priority. It’s really small moments too, like moments where you’re in a taxi or an uber where a lot of questions come up that are mostly people trying to be friendly but we have to decide in those moments are we going to say that we’re a couple and expose our sexuality here or not. There are a lot of moments where we have to consider our choices and also our safety a lot more than other people have to do.


Gabi - I often think that this is true whether you’re solo traveling or traveling as a couple like obviously us traveling as a couple outs sometimes that we are queer and it kind of lets people know without actually having to come out, but I think that there are a lot of people too who can’t pass and people look at them and assume they’re queer and they also are going to have a completely different experience from us. I think that every traveler has different experiences and needs, particularly traveling as an LGBTQIA person.


Shanna - I also think for us, when people see us they mostly assume first that we’re just two women, and sometimes that can also be a disadvantage in certain countries where women are not as equal to men or we’re seen as more vulnerable. We also have to think about not just our safety as two queer women, but as two women in general.



There are a lot of places that you can’t travel to, or that you can’t be yourselves when traveling to, how does that make you feel?


Shanna - For us I feel like as of right now those are the laws of certain countries and that’s how it is but our goal is to not ever have to look up the laws of a country or to never feel unsafe while traveling. We want a world where LGBTQ people can travel anywhere and be safe and have fun without having to worry about the kind of things we have to worry about.


We’re also of the mindset that there are LGBTQ people everywhere, even in countries where there are laws that don’t protect those people so we still would go to those countries even if we are not protected, we might just have to be a little more careful.


Gabi - I do think to a certain level it is an upsetting thing to have to be aware of but at the same time that’s what fuels us, it makes us even more passionate about what we’re doing. It is our norm, and a lot of other people’s norm to have to worry about your safety and think a lot before you travel about the choices that you are making. It is really eye opening, especially if we meet straight couples sometimes they are unaware of it and they don’t realise that in a certain way they have the privilege of being able to travel in a way that we can’t, but I think that it’s like that for every group. I think it’s important to think about how other people have to navigate the world, especially when it comes to travel.



© Photography by 27 Travels - @27travels


Is there somewhere that you haven’t been to yet but you are desperate to visit?


Both - Everywhere!


Shanna - Anywhere that we haven’t been yet we want to go to. I think for us we haven’t seen a lot of Asia or South America so we definitely want to explore more of those countries. They were in our plans before the pandemic hit so we are just looking back into visiting those places because I think the restrictions have been a little bit more relaxed in the last few months so those are definitely places that we want to visit next.


What is your plan for the future of 27 Travels?


Shanna - We just want to keep doing what we’re doing, keep traveling the world, and keep giving tips to LGBTQ people and I think as our following starts to grow we will be able to reach and help even more people. We have a bunch of trips coming up and we’re always on the go and traveling.