“Travel Stars” is an interview series created to get to know people in the travel industry who are making a difference; writers, influencers, producers, and travel executives.
In this article, we have the joy of interviewing Stefan and Sebastien from Nomadic Boys.
Stefan and Sebastien are a dynamic French/Greek gay couple hailing from London. They have been traversing the globe for over a decade, immersing themselves in diverse cultures and sharing their adventures on Nomadic Boys, their captivating gay travel blog. Their mission is to inspire others, showcasing the wonders of the world through their firsthand experiences while providing invaluable travel advice and highlighting the vibrant LGBTQ scenes they encounter.
Check out this amazing interview with Sebastien and Stefan.
Tell us a little bit about yourself – where are you from? Where did you grow up? Etc.
We are a gay couple, Stefan and Sebastien. Stefan is British/Greek Cypriot, and Seby is French. Stefan grew up in London, Seby in Lyon.
Nomadic Boys is our gay travel blog, which turns 10 years old this year. We started it on the back of a big trip we did in Asia as a place to keep our friends and family updated with our trip. After a year, we noticed traffic to our blog started to spike, and it all took off from there.
Can you remember what first got you interested in the world of travel? and why?
For Stefan, it was stamp collecting as a young child and connecting with other stamp collectors around the world, and exchanging/learning about different countries through the world of stamps. If I couldn’t get any geekier, I’ve always loved Eurovision, so growing up, I could place random places like Macedonia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia on the map, which also created a wanderlust to visit them. I also get inspired by reading historical fiction novels – my favorite was Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden.
Seby was always curious about learning about other cultures. He used to spend hours watching travel documentaries on TV, following the stories of journalists going on crazy adventures around the world. Seby also loves the underwater world thanks to Jacques Cousteau, the famous French marine biologist. Through his ocean exploration documentaries, Cousteau brought the mysteries of the sea to millions of people into their living rooms. Seby was one of them, glued to the screen. He inspired Seby to study marine biology and learn scuba diving.
In the next year, If you could only visit one place for one week, where would it be?
What are some of the top places you enjoyed visiting the most? Why?
We both love Thailand. It ticks all the boxes – an incredible gay scene in Bangkok, a rich culture, especially in Chiang Mai, some of the best beaches on the islands, the people are tolerant and welcoming, and the food is delicious. We try to go to Thailand once a year, usually around New Year.
Can you share a funny story that happened to you while traveling?
In Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, we set out one Saturday evening to find the only gay bar. We learned about it by connecting with locals and worked out directions to find it – hidden amongst an unassuming grey Soviet-style block of apartments. Once inside, we saw a man dressed as a swan frolicking around the stage, giving a hilarious drag performance of Swan Lake to the adoring crowd. The drag act turned out to be Zorig, the charismatic owner of Hanzo gay bar – and LGBTQ activist in Mongolia. Such an inspiring man doing great things for the LGBTQ community in Mongolia, but we will never forget watching this butch Mongolian guy all dolled up with a tight white dress and a swan head on his head and he stomped around on stage – it was one of the funniest things we’ve ever seen!
What was one of your more popular posts in the last year? And why do you think it caught on?
We wrote an article about gay coming-out stories and first-time gay experiences – and reached out to various other online LGBTQ personalities we adore to get their story as well. Quite simply, it’s inspiring. Some of these stories are beautiful, others sad, others shocking – but most importantly, they are inspiring to read.
How has Nomadic Boys evolved over the years, and what challenges have you faced in creating content that resonates with the LGBTQ+ community?
Over the years, we’ve improved how we present our voice in writing and also across imagery on social media. The biggest challenge we’ve faced to date was Covid when online travel searches dropped to almost zero.
What are some important factors to consider when planning a safe and enjoyable trip for LGBTQ+ travelers, especially in regions that may not be as accepting?
The first thing is to research the destination and ascertain if it’s legal to go there as a gay person or if there are challenges you’ll likely face. In this situation, you can choose either not to go, or if you do go, set your social media to private, avoid posting anything online before/during your trip, and consider going back in the closet for your own safety.
As a gay couple, we need to be confident that the place we are staying is welcoming to gay couples, so we always seek out gay-owned or gay-friendly accommodations. When unsure, we call/email ahead and bluntly ask them if they’re ok to host a gay couple. Usually, the answer is an emphatic “yes!” But you’ll be surprised at some responses we received from hotels in places like Romania or rural Greece – usually along the lines of “Yes, we are ok with it, but remember, we also have children staying in this hotel”!
What are your top 3 gay-friendly destinations? And why?
- Thailand, we both love it. It’s very gay-friendly and beautiful and has the best beaches, islands, food, gay scene, and people.
- Spain is fantastic. It has some of the best gay destinations in the world – Sitges, Gran Canaria, Madrid, and Barcelona. Climate, good food, and welcoming people also play a role.
- Argentina. It’s famous for paving the way for LGBTQ rights in South America, but also offers so much, from the exciting gay scene of Buenos Aires, stunning treks in Patagonia, the wildlife of Chubut, the wine hotels and vineyards of Mendoza, and gems like Foz de Iguana.
Where are you planning to travel next? and why?
We want to do a big trip to Australia and New Zealand and are working on this for Stefan’s birthday in September. We’ve always wanted to go, but neither of us have been, and it has been top of our joint Bucket List for years.
What are you doing now (or about to do) that you are excited about? Do you have any new projects?
Right now, we are in Manhattan, NYC celebrating Seby’s birthday. It’s his first time in the Big Apple, so we’re being complete tourists and hitting up all the big sites.
Thanks for joining and sharing with us your journey, Stefan and Sebastien!
If you want to follow Stefan and Sebastien, you can find them here: