Stefan and Sebastien are a cute gay couple been together since Feb 2009 and travelling around the world since October 2013. You need to read and check out the “Nomadic boys” blog because they have one mission: seek out and showcase unique romantic, culinary and outdoor adventures to inspire you to travel to places beyond the pink comfort zone. Now go for it buddies!
Everything has a beginning.
“Throughout our 7 years relationship, we’ve always loved travelling together. We used to have comfortable 9-5 jobs in London, Stefan was a lawyer and Sebastien an IT consultant. Stefan studied law and after qualified worked as a litigation lawyer for 5 years in London. Sebastien studied economics and IT programming and worked as an IT consultant at Bloomberg and other financial firms in London. But we just weren’t passionate or in any way driven by about our jobs – they were more a means to an end, which paid the bills. Our dream was travel and discover the world. So after several years of planning and saving, we left in June 2014 for our big trip in Asia where we’ve been ever since”.
They decided to create Nomadic Boys blog just before leaving to a long trip all over the world so they could record and laugh about their adventures, stories and discoveries with friends and family. It has since grown a lot, particularly within the gay travel community and Stefan and Sebastien are loving every second of it.
“We saved money for several years back when we were living and working in London and have been to date living off the back of this”.
Stefan was around 14 years old when he started to appreciate he had “different” feelings but he came from a very traditional Greek Orthodox and sadly homophobic upbringing, so he had to suppress this. It was when he was 20 years old and went to university that started to experience sex with men and finally came out.
“All my friends and sister have been extremely supportive. Sadly in my family it’s not well accepted as Greeks have too much influence from the very backwards Greek Orthodox church”. For Sebastien he had a more open minded upbringing than Stefan and started experimenting with men from around 14 years old. “I came out to my family when I was 18 years old when they accidently stumbled on a porno mag in my closet. There were tears at first, but this quickly subsided and completely accept me and most importantly, my relationship with Stefan”.
When travelling their plans usually evolve as they are on the road.
“For our Asia trip, we had a plan almost in our minds before heading off. Stefan always dreamed of travelling on the Trans-Siberian railway, so this became logical way to enter the continent into East Asia (Mongolia and China), heading to South Asia (Nepal, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka) and ending with South East Asia (Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines)- Along the way we fell in love with Bangkok as a home base – it has an excellent gay life, the lifestyle (food and rent) is incredibly cheap and has good internet. So we kept returning there to settle down for a while. The same has happened for our big trip across Latin America. We started South and slowly headed North”.
About their wildest experience travel without to hesitate they mention The Komodo National Park in Indonesia particularly that blew them away with the largest reptiles in the world – the famous Komodo Dragons, the underwater world and some of the best scuba diving they’ve ever done, with a plethora of tropical fish, sharks and turtles in every dive. Also the scenery around Mongolia’s Gobi Desert felt like they’re on another planet. It’s like nothing they’ve ever experienced before, ranging from sand dunes to dramatic limestone cliff formations. The same with the landscape across the Himalayas during the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and coping with the altitude at 5,416 metres (17,769 feet) up high. Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka blew their minds in terms of food. The Sri Lankans make a curry out of anything, whether it’s a pineapple, jack fruit or aubergine and unlike Indian curries, use less ghee so it’s not as heavy. Vietnamese noodle dishes set us into a culinary frenzy and of course Thai street food is renowned for its fiery curries, salads and pad Thais. Of course they still didn’t eat peruvian food. Yummy!!!
Top friendly cities
“Outside of Europe, which we consider home (so London, Madrid, Maspalomas, Barcelona and Berlin), we’d rate Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Sao Paolo and Taipei. We’ve not yet experienced North America, but Stefan’s been to New York city which he loved a lot”.
Meeting the locals
Since Nomadic Boys has grown so much over the past year, it has started to make money via sponsorship, advertising, affiliation, commission arrangements and sponsored posts. They also do consultancy work unrelated to the blog. Of course they love to make new gay friends and experiencing the culture and gay scene from their perspective.
“We use the gay dating apps to meet locals and set up a Grindr account specifically for this purpose. In countries where being gay is illegal like India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, etc, there is no gay scene, no bars or hangouts anywhere. Instead, the local gays use the dating apps like Grindr to connect and have underground hidden gatherings. If travelling to such places, having a profile in such apps helps immensely to connect with locals. We love discovering the gay scene in every destination we visit. We are an exclusive couple and don’t seek out gay saunas. We love seeing gay people enjoying their sexuality and for this reason really appreciate destinations like London, Madrid, Barcelona and Buenos Aires. Sadly in places like Delhi where being gay is illegal, gay parties are underground and usually broken up by the police who use the anti gay laws as an excuse to get bribes from the club owners”.
Good and Bad
“The nicest people we’ve met are the Filipinos. The Filipino hospitality is well known throughout the world and this made the Philippines particularly special to us. The most dangerous places to be gay are destinations where sadly religion has a strong impact on the law of the land. Places like Indonesia, India, Malaysia etc have too much influence from extremely backward minded religions and as such locals gays have to be extremely discreet and closeted so as to protect their jobs and families.In countries like Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, India, being gay is criminalised. But in reality, as a foreigner, you are left alone. At no stage during our travels anywhere in Asia did we ever feel threatened or in danger for being gay”.
“Peru is not as progressive as say Argentina or Uruguay, where marriage has been legal for years. It’s on the cards and soon this will happen but it’s one of the more conservative countries in the continent. However, place Peru in perspective of the rest of the world and it’s an extremely progressive country! Firstly, being gay is legal in Peru and there are gay bars and hangouts in the big cities. In most countries in Asia and Africa, this is far from reality where being gay can get you a prison sentence”.
They are extremely excited about visiting the modern Peru of 2016 later this year and discovering the gay scene. Stefan visited Peru in 2005 and as well as falling in love with the country, loved the gay scene in Lima and Cusco.
“We are so excited to visit Peru later this year, especially Sebastien as it will be his first time. Stefan went in 2005 and even back then, found it to be a lot of fun. There were a handful of bars/discos and he had an excellent time. There was back then even one gay bar opening in Cusco. We really are excited to see how the gay scene in Lima and Cusco has since evolved”.
Supporting LGBT business
“The money you spend on gay friendly / owned businesses helps them flourish in a society, which is likely to be fighting to close them down or make their life difficult. You don’t need to go out there with a rainbow flag, screaming wildly. Your very presence there supporting local LGBT businesses is more than enough to help them flourish”.
They have been together nearly 8 years and still waiting for the perfect moment to marry. Travelling together has been quite intense as we are always together. But at the same time this has also brought us a lot closer together and made their relationship a lot stronger. The most difficult challenge has been managing theirtemperaments during travels as they move from one extreme to the other, but this has served to make them stronger together and tighten the bonds of the relationship.
“We have learnt to appreciate our temperaments better and this has brought us closer together. We appreciate when the other needs alone time and try to make as much time for this wherever needed. The main arguments usually arise when one of both of us is either tired and/or hungry”.
Tourism is big business so foreigners will be treated differently from locals despite repressive LGBT laws. At the Four Seasons Langkawi in Malaysia for example, they enjoyed a romantic lovers’ spa ritual, where the masseurs chant and throw petals on you after the treatment. It was a very romantic moment and quite progressive for a country like Malaysia.
Homophobia and violence
“Sadly yes – but mainly online. We collaborated with a high end hotel on Boracay in the Philippines to promote their “Rainbow Package” and our image was picked up and shared by a homophobe in Sri Lanka criticising 2 men wearing a lunghi (sarong – worn by men publically throughout South Asia and places like Myanmar). He said the “existence of men wearing “cheeththa” (equivalent to lungi but for women) is the cause for the destruction of a business”) Otherwise, we are considerate, discreet and respectful to the local culture when we travel, so we’ve not invited the opportunity for outright homophobia. At worst, people think we are brothers travelling together and don’t bat an eyelid. The most annoying is the whole “are you sure you want a double bed??!! We’ve experienced elements of homophobia where we’ve had to tiptoe around the evil GAY word (!). For example, we were interviewed by a government owned radio station in Malaysia where the DJ was well known as being out and was hilariously camp. However, we had to avoid any reference to being gay when on air. It led to a lot of tongue in cheek humour and innuendoes, but it still had to be constrained and carefully “managed”.
They reveal me that the most romantic, beautiful and unique place they made love was in a Mongolian ger in the middle of the Gobi Desert to the backdrop of one of the most incredible sunsets they’ve ever seen. OMG!
“We are aware that we have a few followers who find us attractive, but we are generally quite shy about this. Beauty for us is an open mind and wanting to embrace everything with an open mind. We have excellent feedback across our social media and really enjoy interacting and engaging with our audience on a daily basis. We get the occasional homophobic comment, but are then humbled by the plethora of support in response and in our defense by our followers”.
I could not avoid to ask them who the sexiest man alive in the world? For Sebastien it is Stefan. For Stefan, it is Sebastien…and Colin Farrell (who Stefan thinks resembles Sebastien).
Ah please according to the Nomadic Boys you should never forget to carry on this stuff: Battery backups for electronics, plug adapters, elastic bands for all those wires and a pen! You always need a pen when you don’t have one. No condoms?