Louis Lafata

The favourite places of Louis Lafata

Born in New York, this “travelling man” took a hiatus from his 9 to 5 job to follow what he loves to do most: travel, exploring new cultures, cities, languages and learning about LGBT life abroad. Mr Hudson speaks to Louis about his passion for travelling, his blog dedicated to LGBT travel advice, wolfyy, and some of his favourite places.

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What is your blog about?

I’ve written more than 100 gay travel guides to destinations worldwide that talk about everything from hotels and gay nightlife to local travel tips. I’m always working on adding more, too!

Tell us about yourself

While I’ve been a gay travel blogger for many years, my professional background is in civil engineering and real estate development. I’m from New York City and love living here. However I will say that taking a couple of years to travel full-time was refreshing for my soul. Visiting different corners of the world has been such a thrilling, culturing experience.

Tbilisi, Georgia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

“Now more than ever, LGBTQ+ travelers these days are seeking personalized information and local tips to make their journeys easier”

What is the best hotel you’ve stayed at?

The Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay really takes the cake. Staying here was truly magical. Every single staff member was upbeat, helpful and genuinely wanted to provide the best experience to guests. You can’t beat the private plunge pools, either! I’d go back in a heartbeat.

Is there still a need for LGBTQ travel content?

Absolutely. Now more than ever, LGBTQ+ travelers these days are seeking personalized information and local tips to make their journeys easier. They’re concerned about safety in the more unfamiliar destinations of interest, and they want to ensure they’ll get an authentic experience in places that are well-known.

LGBTQ travel bloggers help travelers around the world to discover what destinations are like while keeping our community’s concerns and interests in mind.

Guadalajara, Mexico

What is your perspective on Instagram and other popular social media platforms?

Instagram always needs to be taken with a grain of salt, especially with so much hypersexualized content within the gay Instagram community. But aside from that, I personally like using Instagram to explore what potential travel destinations look like first-hand. Whether I’m checking out beaches or hotels, Instagram makes it pretty easy.

What is it about travel that you enjoy most?

The best part about traveling, especially solo travel, is being able to leave behind everything that you’re familiar with in exchange for immersion in a new culture and landscape. After spending time in a new place, my mind feels centered, I feel happier, and my worldview expands that much more. Overall, I enjoy how much travel helps me grow as a person.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan

“I always advocate for LGBT travellers to explore gay scenes in destinations that no one else may know about”

Any recommendations for fellow gay travellers?

I think gay travellers should always be willing to try lesser-known destinations. Many gay men specifically tend to crowd into some of the most well-known destinations. And while those types of trips definitely have their place, I always advocate for LGBT travellers to explore gay scenes in destinations that no one else may know about.

Where did you go on your latest trip? 

My last international adventure was to South Africa. I spent two weeks visiting Cape Town and Johannesburg. Cape Town was mind-blowingly picturesque, and the city was a great introduction to African culture (it was my first visit to the African continent!). There was so much to do and see, from the local African Penguin colonies to super-fun gay bars and drag venues.

Table Mountains, Cape Town, South Africa | Photo: Thomas Bennie

What is your best-kept travel secret?

Believe it or not, I have this habit of doing very little research about a destination before I go there. While I do a general check of what a city or town is like and get opinions from friends, I tend to find things to do once I arrive! I think it works out pretty well too because I end up meeting locals and taking their recommendations!

What destination has lived up to the hype?  

Maspalomas in the Canary Islands in Spain. I went for Winter Pride and would definitely recommend others do the same! Gran Canaria is warm and sunny though November, plus it’s a great destination to meet other travelers.

I made a few friends from France and Switzerland during my trip who I ultimately met up with a few months later in their home cities.

What destination hasn’t?

I’d have to go with Shanghai. It’s fascinating in its own way, but I personally didn’t enjoy the city as much as some other gay travelers mentioned they did. I much preferred my experience in Hong Kong as opposed to Shanghai.

Pyramid of Tirana, Albania

Cape Town, South Africa

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

I met this incredibly kind (and frankly, handsome) local gay Serbian man on a beach near the Montenegro-Albania border. I was traveling with my German friend Martin, and we quite literally crossed paths with this guy while walking near the shore.

As someone who wasn’t out to his friends and family, he gave us an inside perspective of gay life in the Balkans. After we got to know one another and had dinner at one of his favorite local restaurants, the three of us ended up spending another two days together before Martin and I returned home. The entire experience was pure happenstance. I always think about how lucky I am to have met another gay man in an area of the world not known to be LGBT-friendly.

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