Though most of us can’t physically travel right now, there’s still a wonderful world out there for us to explore together. Traveling In Quarantine spotlights people and places through which we can escape our sequestered realities… and in the process expand our Traveling IQ.
Traveling In Quarantine: 27 Travels in Curaçao
Gabi and Shanna are a lesbian couple based in Brooklyn, New York. They met during New York Pride in 2015 and realized, early in their relationship, that they both love to travel. Since Gabi is a photographer and Shanna is a videographer and video editor, they created 27 Travels as their shared, creative outlet.
What started as an Instagram account to document their adventures evolved into a resource providing information for all LGBTQ travelers.
So why 27?
Nope, it’s not their ages, or the number of countries they’ve visited or how many trips they’ve taken. And it’s definitely not inspired by the number of dresses Katherine Heigl wore in that 2008 romantic comedy. It’s actually the date of their anniversary. Sweet!
According to Gabi and Shanna: “The number 27 means a lot to us and it always reminds us that every trip we take we learn more and more about ourselves, our relationship and the world we inhabit. That’s also what we want to convey through 27 Travels. Traveling for us isn’t just about ticking destinations and activities off a list, it’s about growing, learning and becoming more and more open minded by experiencing new and different cultures from all over the planet.”
They hope to inspire others to explore more of the world and spread the message that travel is inclusive to everyone–no matter your gender or who you love.
Traveling In Quarantine interviews 27 Travels and together we explore Curaçao:
IQ: Where are you from and where do you live now?
27 Travels: We are both born and raised in New York, Shanna from Long Island and Gabi from Brooklyn! We both live together now in Brooklyn, in our small but amazing apartment with our cute cat Rascal!
How did you meet?
We actually were lucky enough to meet at a famous lesbian bar called Cubbyhole (donate to their GoFundMe to help during the COVID closing) during NYC pride in 2015! We met, talked, hit it off, and then exchanged Instagrams! It’s actually such a funny story, after that we didn’t talk again for another 6 months; and while we were both traveling, we wound up talking through Instagram! Before you know it, we were back in NYC on our first date and the rest is history!
What are three things you’d like readers to know about you:
We would love people to know that the most important thing to us is just being out there in the world and on social media and just be VISIBLE! Just like a lot of LGBTQ people, when we were younger we didn’t have a lot of people to look up to who looked like us or were like us. And we think social media has played such an important role in making more people like us visible and able to connect! Social media, to us, is a huge community we’re so proud to be a part of and we love connecting with our friends and followers on there!
Here’s a fun one: we are actually HUGE nerds!! This is another thing we bonded over when we first met! We attend lots of Comic Cons together and geek out over lots of shows, games and characters!
There are so many reasons why we LOVE travel! We think travel is so important and it opens your mind to whole new worlds you could never have imagined. The people you meet along the way and the places you travel to that are totally different than the places you have known your whole life can completely change your life and your perspective on the world!
How did you get involved in travel?
Our relationship together always involved travel! On one of our first dates we started discussing how much we both loved to travel and how that was something we wanted even more out of our lives and it instantly became something that we wanted to experience together! After we went on a few trips together we had so many fun photos and videos we just wanted to share with the world & we instantly noticed it was hard to find other lesbians who were traveling that we could relate to, so we created 27 Travels hoping to inspire others!
You have such fab photos, how much do you stage, style and plan your content prior to traveling?
Thank you so much! We only stage and style our content prior to traveling to an extent! We always look up locations that might be cool at any destination we are planning to go to, so we have an idea of specific locations we might want to go to if we get the chance! We also then sometimes look up photos other people took there for inspiration or try to think of things we can do creatively! We do however think we are pretty spontaneous people and, while traveling, sometimes we just roll with the punches and take things that inspire us on the spot! There’s nothing like getting creative with your camera and just getting inspired by the world around you!
Describe your featured destination–Curaçao:
Gabi actually has family from Curaçao and it is such a wonderful island with SO MUCH to offer! Gabi has gone to Curaçao 30+ times in her life and Shanna has visited 6 times now!
Read IQ’s Gay Travel Guide to Curaçao
What makes Curaçao unique?
Curaçao is such a small island filled to the brim with culture! Its people are so kind, authentic and welcoming! There are also many languages spoken in Curaçao making it diverse and multicultural! Oh, and did we mention the beaches and views on the island are so wonderful!
What makes Curaçao a place for LGBTQ travelers?
We have always felt comfortable in Curaçao as a couple, we hold hands in public, and have never had an experience where we felt judge or ostracized on the island for being gay!
What are three spots that you love in Curaçao and why?
There are too many places to name but if we had to narrow it down, there are a few that stand out to us! We love visiting a beach called Tugboat beach. It’s this awesome beach area run by a local man, decorated super kitschy and filled with life and color! There are tons of animals, as the man that owns it takes care of and feeds cats, dogs, and iguanas alike. And if you swim in the water nearby and bring your diving mask you will see loads of fish and a sunken tugboat wreck!
Our second spot would be a local restaurant named Jaanchies! This restaurant is a staple on the island and Jaanchie himself comes to many of the tables and takes the orders. This restaurant serves up the best local food on the island! It’s always super fresh and only from what can be locally sourced!
Our last spot would be checking out the Pietermaai District in Curaçao! It is an awesome area, near town, that is currently up and coming. It’s filled with colorful houses and some of the best restaurants and shops! We love frequenting a bar called Miles Jazz Bar, it has an amazing vibe, drinks, games and live jazz music!
What are your favorite LGBTQ places in Curaçao?
Curaçao is a very small island, and because of this, there are no actual LGBTQ bars or clubs, but the island has been so welcoming to us that you can just be yourself pretty much anywhere in the island! We should mention Curaçao also has their own LGBTQ Pride that you can attend as well!
If Coronavirus is magically cured overnight and quarantine ends abruptly, where will you choose to celebrate?
If Coronavirus magically got cured overnight, the first place we would go would be Portugal! We actually had a trip planned there for the end of April for Shanna’s birthday which we had to cancel. So, when this is all over, no matter what month, even if it’s September, we will most definitely be packing our bags and heading over to Portugal to celebrate Shanna’s birthday and check out all of the places we have been reading about for months!
If you could choose anywhere in the world to Quarantine, where would it be and why?
I think in terms of quarantining, we are happy right where we are! We are super grateful to be able to quarantine with each other and our cat in our homey apartment! If we had a magic genie bottle the only thing we would wish is for a backyard or balcony to go outdoors more. And maybe we would also wish to be walking distance to an ocean!
Get in the Caribbean spirit with 27 Travels “Top 5 Beaches in Curaçao”
And plan your next vacation on Curacao.com.
To check out 27 Travels other adventures…
- VISIT the 27 Travels website
- SUBSCRIBE to the 27 Travels YouTube Channel
- FOLLOW 27 Travels on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
Follow the Traveling IQ (In Quarantine) series, highlighting people and places through which we can escape our sequestered realities.