An award-winning LGBTQ+ travel blogger, Meg Ten Eyck has been sharing her adventures since 2012, as she’s explored 60+ countries, some in which simply identifying as LGBTQ+ can lead to arrest.
Her blog, Dopes on the Road is frequently cited as one of the most popular queer women’s travel blogs in the world. Eyck recently founded the publication EveryQueer Magazine to highlight LGBTQ+ people of all identities around the world.
She’s been recognized as one of the top experts in travel for queer women by The New York Times, Curve, Diva, and Go Magazine. Eyck serves on the board of the hospitality brand Belmond in the capacity of LGBT advisor, is the international LGBT brand ambassador for Contiki, and was awarded the title of International Woman of the Year for Facebook's initiative with Girl Gone International in 2019. That year she also joined Hospitable Me as a facilitator of LGBT-inclusive professional development training for tourism and hospitality brands around the world.
In this exclusive interview, Eyck shares her advice, travel tips, inspiration, and #TravelFail.
Why is travel important to you?
Travel is important to me for a wide variety of reasons. The most obvious reason to travel is because it’s an opportunity for me to see life through the lens of other cultures and communities. I travel for my own personal growth, but I also travel for my community. Queer women are one of the most underrepresented groups in media but particularly in the world of travel media. I travel because as a young girl I never heard about women boldly seeking adventure let alone queer women. I travel because there are millions of young women like me who are eager to explore beyond their borders. If nothing else I’ll serve as an example of what is possible for their future.
People are ready to get back out into the world again. What’s your advice to them?
My advice is to be mindful of your destinations and to use precautions when exploring. Wear a mask in public, thoroughly wash your hands, get tested regularly, and avoid high-risk areas.
What’s your biggest travel inspiration right now?
Lately, I’ve been traveling vicariously through local adventures on Tiktok. It’s a new platform that sprung to life during quarantine but it’s an incredible opportunity to showcase corners of the world visually in ways we haven’t seen before.
What fall or winter LGBTQ+ event/destination are you most looking forward to?
I’m really hoping to make it to my first Aspen Gay Ski Week this year (January 16-24, 2021) in Colorado. I’ve been trying to make it for a few years in a row. 2021 will definitely be my year.
If you were a guide for a friend’s next adventure where would you take them?
I would absolutely love to do a grand tour of some of the Western U.S.’s most beautiful national parks. Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Arches National Park, Big Sur, Glacier, Yellowstone — the list of opportunities for socially distanced natural beauty is nearly endless.
What is your favorite LGBTQ+ welcoming destination and why?
Thailand has been and probably always will be on of my favorite destinations. They’re arguably one of the most queer women-friendly travel destinations in the world with a strong emphasis on the safety and inclusion of transgender and gender nonconforming travelers. Thai culture is welcoming and affirming of all people but is particularly friendly to our community. It’s a nearly perfect romantic travel and honeymoon destination for couples looking for a tropical getaway.
What travel tip should every out traveler follow?
This is probably not as glossy and glamorous as many other people’s answers but I’d say it’s more important than ever to have reliable travel insurance. It’s a small expense in the grand scheme of vacation planning but it is incredibly valuable when borders start opening and closing and many travel brands are struggling to continue operating.
What’s the greatest thing about traveling while LGBTQ+?
The best part of traveling while LGBTQ+ is getting to meet queer people all over the world. While our communities are different in other countries we share the common bond of our queer culture and the belief that our love is equal. I love chatting with folks in different corners of the world and learning about the differences and similarities in our worlds. Meeting queer people globally is hands down the best part of my job.
What’s your worst #TravelFail and how did you recover?
My biggest travel fail was forgetting to pack an extra outfit into my carryon on a business trip to Antigua last year. I was stuck for 4 days in the same dress when my luggage was lost. I ended up swiping my card at the Four Seasons Boutique to get some last-minute outfits for my meetings but it wasn’t without a hefty price tag.
What is your top resource for LGBTQ+ travel?
Increasingly social media is my ultimate travel resource for queer women. Using Facebook groups like Lesbian Travel or reaching out to travel influencers online to see their recommendations for the best of a destination.