Adam Groffman

The favourite places of Adam Groffman

Adam Groffman is a professional travel writer, blogger, and influencer who quit his job as a graphic designer to travel the world, writing his blog along the way. He has lived in Berlin, Tel Aviv, London, Sydney, Boston, and Dallas—but since early 2018, he lives in Brooklyn. He talks to Mr Hudson about his passion for travel, and some of his favourite places.

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Tell us about yourself

I’m a professional travel writer, blogger, and influencer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2010, I quit my job as a graphic designer and spent a gap year travelling around the world during which I started my travel blog – travelsofadam.com – and have since turned it into my full-time career to travel and write! As an early/original blogger, I’ve grown my site into one of the few that regularly still covers LGBTQ travel around the world.

What is your blog about?

On my site, I have a series of “Hipster City Guides” – which were some of my earliest popular guides. I found while backpacking and travelling, a lot of the existing LGBTQ travel guides didn’t have tips for other millennials like myself. A lot of LGBTQ guides focused on luxury travel or topics that weren’t relevant, so I started my hipster guides as a way to showcase affordable and hip/interesting and unique things to see & do. I also share a lot of personal stories and essays, as well as regular travel tips – because those are the stories I enjoy writing and sharing. And on my social media, I’ve found being very open and honest (and sometimes a little *too* personal) resonates the most with other travellers that follow my story.

How has your content evolved over the years?

I started as a writer; it’s what I had studied for a while in college, but these days I’ve gotten a lot more visual. Blame Instagram for that! Gay travel is still a bit of a strange industry for me to be covering because I don’t see a lot of the stories or images I identify with, in most other publications; that’s why I put it up on my own site.

“I think LGBTQ travel is still very important – there’s more to it than just gay hotels or gay saunas”

Is there still a need for LGBTQ travel content?

Definitely. There are so many aspects to LGBTQ travel, and there are even fewer and fewer publications that publish real stories – and not just sponsored content. I try to work with brands and destinations that will let me share the stories I want to share – not just the essential gay travel tips which have been covered a million other times. I find when I look at gay Berlin travel guides (I used to live there for 7 years), they tend to cover the same places as every gay travel guide that’s existed since the 1990s. Gay Berlin has changed so much since then, but too many guides don’t know the newer, more hip scenes that exist. That’s why I think LGBTQ travel is still very important – there’s more to it than just gay hotels or gay saunas – it’s become so diverse and interesting, and at the moment, there’s a big lack in personal essays and stories around the subject of travel/tourism.

“I am hoping the influence of Instagram on travel/tourism will diminish over time, and there’ll be a resurgence in storytelling through words”

What is your perspective on Instagram and other popular social media platforms in relation to travel?

To be honest, I pretty much hate Instagram! I find it very toxic and very limiting in its perspective on travel. In LGBTQ travel, it’s come down to staged photos of couples in luxury hotels, but LGBTQ travel is so much more interesting than that! The travel industry has become so commercialized and objectified, it’s hard to cover it any other way. I am hoping the influence of Instagram on travel/tourism will diminish over time, and there’ll be a resurgence in storytelling through words ~ with imagery.

Where did you go on your last trip? 

I just returned this week from my very first gay ski weekend. I was in Tremblant, Quebec, where it was a cool -9 degrees (Fahrenheit) each morning! Ha! I tend to go to warmer destinations, but now that I’m living in New York City, I’m also focusing on more accessible destinations for short weekend trips, and Quebec was very close! It was my first time for a ski weekend, and it was so much fun! The town was buzzing with people from all over, and I was amazed at how open and friendly everyone was.

“My best childhood travel memories are from taking very early flights or having to sleep in an airport because of a missed connection. That’s what made me realize travel isn’t all glamour, but it’s exciting!”

Describe a favourite childhood holiday memory

I’m lucky that I grew up with a lot of travel opportunities in my life. My dad works in the airline industry so we got to fly on planes quite a bit as a kid – nowhere too exotic when I was that young, but being able to fly regularly definitely made me grow with a love and appreciation for airports and airplanes. While travel days can be really stressful getting from point A to point B, I also really enjoy those moments of transit – that excitement you feel on the way to a new place, the sadness of a trip ending. My best childhood travel memories are from taking very early flights or having to sleep in an airport because of a missed connection. That’s what made me realize travel isn’t all glamour, but it’s exciting!

What is the best hotel you've stayed at?

I’ve been lucky to stay in a lot of great hotels, but over the past summer, I had the chance to stay in a hotel suite here, in my home of Brooklyn at the William Vale. With a corner view of the Manhattan skyline and a wrap-around balcony, it was one of my favourite nights out.

I lost my heart in… 

India is a very special place for me; I first visited in 2010 and stayed for three months. It wasn’t always very easy to travel there, but the more time I spent there, the more respect I had for the place. I returned to India about two years ago for another 6-week vacation, and it’s pretty much always the country I dream of returning to again and again. There is just so much to see and experience there.

Photo: VED

“I’ve shaken hands with at least three prime ministers of foreign countries, but the best people I met were other travellers who you end up bonding over a shared travel experience”

Have you ever stolen anything from a hotel?

Ha! I once stole the sheets from a hotel because they were just so damn comfortable and I didn’t think they’d notice.

Who is the most interesting person you've met while travelling?

I’ve met so many interesting people while travelling it’d be hard to pinpoint one. I’ve found myself in strange and lucky encounters, where I had tea once with Sir Ian Mckellen, and I’ve shaken hands with at least three prime ministers of foreign countries, but the best people I met were other travellers who you end up bonding over a shared travel experience.

Any recommendations for gay travellers?

I travel mostly as a solo gay traveller, and my favourite tip for those looking to meet other gay travellers or locals is to always head to a bar with a drag show if you can. Those are some of the most social experiences and the easiest to make friends.

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