Kwin Mosby, Editor-In-Chief - Vacationer Magazine
What destination do you look forward to returning to?
Prior to the pandemic, I spent a lot of time in Fort Lauderdale and would stay at the gay-friendly, clothing-optional Grand Resort & Spa. It's a great spot to relax and unwind, and the staff knows me by name because I've been there so many times. I would usually go to South Beach, but Fort Lauderdale gives off a more relaxed (less pretentious) vibe and it also has a more vibrant LGBTQ+ nightlife located in the Wilton Manors neighborhood.
In addition to Barcelona, I eventually want to get back to Brazil's coastal city of Salvador de Bahia. Almost eight years ago, it felt good to visit a place where I didn't feel like an ethnic minority or seen as different for being gay. The culture was familiar, the food was delicious, and the people were beyond welcoming. When I was strolling down the cobblestone streets in the city's Pelourinho neighborhood, I bought a painting from a small art gallery, and one of the artists – not the artist of my purchased oil painting – was kind enough to give a tour of the neighborhood, stop by a shop so I could sample handmade chocolate, and offer recommendations for things to do while in the city.
How do you approach personal safety when writing about destinations that might have anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment or laws in place?
I enjoy traveling, but I've traveled enough to know that not everyone has the same values and or beliefs. It's ok to be your authentic self, but as a traveler, you should also be mindful of the local customs, traditions, and laws. For example, the Maldives was the first Muslim country I visited. I did some reading about customs, which included traditions such as using only your right hand to eat.
Prior to my visit, I knew how anti-gay Muslim countries could be; I was very careful to turn off my dating apps prior to my visit and just enjoy the resort. Yes, the Maldives is a popular destination for many people, including LGBTQ+ couples, but I felt safe on a resort-owned island.
In general, I always believe common sense and basic knowledge about your destination is a necessity whenever traveling, but in this case, a little more legwork and advice from friends who've been there is helpful in staying safe in uncharted territory.
What is a story you've always wanted to tell? This is so hard. There are so many stories out there I've yet to discover and that's the excitement of being a journalist or storyteller, uncovering those untold stories that readers have not been exposed to seeing or hearing firsthand. My goal is to commit to telling more stories about People of Color in the LGBTQ+ community, including the transgender and lesbian niche communities. Why? Because they travel, too, and their perspectives are often omitted in general discussions about the broader community of travelers.
What are your go-to sites, social media feeds, or media for planning a personal trip?
For inspiration, my go-to is usually Instagram because I follow influencers, writers, and bloggers who specifically speak to me as a Black and/or LGBTQ+ traveler. Facebook groups have also been helpful in helping me plan trips, ask questions, and inquire what I should expect when visiting a specific destination. In addition to using Facebook to connect with other travel writers and Black and gay travelers, I've also been able to connect with Black ex-pats and LGBTQ+ ex-pats as I consider moving abroad. The specific answers you can get from people in these groups are so helpful.