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Miss Vanjie Reveals Her Favorite Travel Spots Plus One Nightmare
Miss Vanjie says it’s all about the girls and kiki when it comes to choosing a club for the night.
RuPaul veteran Vanessa Vanjie Mateo (nee José Cancel) competed memorably on Drag Race finishing in fifth place in season 11 but stealing the show in season 10 with her meme-worthy walk-off finish. It was her performance on RuPaul’s Drag Race: Vegas Revue, though, that sent her career soaring. Miss Vanjie also admirably raised the ire of conservatives in 2019 when she appeared in a social media campaign for Chips Ahoy! Cookies.
Out Traveler: So you're traveling all around the world these days. What has been your favorite place to visit and why?
Vanjie: I love going to London, there's a club it’s called G-A-Y, and it’s really fun. They have a great promoter, and the people are, they love drag, and the show is fun. You get to sit and watch a strip show contest, and Kiki, and have a good time. So I love that one. I love, I love Texas, I love Dallas, but they don't really bring the girls too often, like us for the club. But they have a, I've got booked there once. They have an amazing stage, with the full fantasy, and the fan, makes you feel like Beyonce, so I like that, I like that, too. And I also just like going back to Orlando, Florida, or Florida in general, cause that's like my, where I kind of started doing drag, and so it's always fun to go back and show them, “Look how I look now.”
Southern Nights, Tampa, and Southern Nights, Orlando, I love going. Roxy works at the one in Orlando. It’s an amazing play there, they love drag over there, they tip the dolls, and it's a Kiki.
Have you had any travel experiences that were just absolute hell but it's funny looking back at them now?
Mm, no. Knock on wood.
I mean I haven't had too many bad ones, but maybe when the flights are late, and then your stuff are missing and something breaks in your suitcase, and spills, and you have to do the show. I've had that happen once. And then another one was recently like I was trying to travel, like it was far, a far destination, I can't really say. And then it was like a lot of out of the country, trying to go towards Africa area, like Morocco and all, it was just disbanded. And it was the first time since the pandemic and all that, and oh my goodness, it was a nightmare, just because so many flights were delayed, and then I would miss my connection. I had to stay in the airport the whole night, or the whole day, until like. That was like the first time I almost started crying at the airport, cause the people weren't trying to be helpful.
It was like, there were some places they just I'm like, I guess the USA died. I don't know, they were just not the nicest and the most friendly, and I was like, “Oh, I’m gonna be stuck, I don't even wanna go no more.” (laughing) Oh, I was miserable, oh, I was miserable.
Yeah, it was just, it started with the first one, it was delayed, so then I was like. Then you know you have other people involved to try to figure out for you, and it was not helping. Then I got, eh. And it was like four connections, and I was like, three of them were delayed. I didn't get there until the next day at night, cause I had to stay there at one of the places, and then you know, it's a foreign country. It was scary, and it was.
That only happened once, thank God.