Why this gay girl quit her boring office job to travel the world
| My name is Dani Heinrich and I’m 36 years old. I’m originally from Germany, but haven’t lived there since 2006.
After stints in Austria and Spain, I fell in love with London and moved to the UK for four years. Then I canceled my lease there to travel the world for a year with my (then) partner.
About six months in, I decided I didn’t want to go back to my boring office job and instead I decided to become nomadic and earn money while traveling.
My partner and I had started a travel blog (GlobetrotterGirls.com) which we used as a platform to find writing gigs, social media work, and other random freelance gigs, such as itinerary planning or creating travel guides for apps.
It wasn’t easy to get to the point where I was able to making a living as a freelancer, but nearly eight years later, I still haven’t returned to a regular job.
These days I spend most of my time in New York, and am only nomadic part of the year. After chasing summer for nearly a decade, the thought of having to stay put during a harsh East Coast winter is something I am yet to get used to!
‘I don’t keep count of the countries I’ve been to…’But I think I’m at around 60. There is so much of the world still left to see! I’ve so far done Europe, North and South America and Asia. My most recent trip was to Cuba [above]. Israel, hands down! Israel has the hottest people, hands down! No matter if I walk into a lesbian bar there, hang out on the beach in Tel Aviv, or sit in a coffee shop – every girl is eye candy!
But I can’t possibly pick only one single destination as my favorite. But I can narrow it down to five places. Guatemala, for the stunning scenery and fascinating Mayan culture.
Then there’s Cambodia. It’s one of the most fascinating countries I’ve ever been to, with scrumptious food, stunning beaches, and spectacular ruins like Angkor Wat. And seeing the country re-define itself while recovering from the Khmer regime is remarkable.
‘I can’t get enough of Mexico.’The beaches, the food, the culture, the welcoming people and the beautiful and diverse landscapes…
Italy, meanwhile, is one of the most scenic countries I’ve ever been to – and I keep going back! Tuscany and Amalfi especially have stolen my heart. And all the food, of course.
Finally, the US. Since I love road trips, the US has to be on this list. The country is so big and diverse, I’ve done quite a few road trips here, and no two have been the same.
From the desert-scapes of Southern Arizona to the swamplands of Louisiana, the California coastline, the Oregon wine trail, the vastness of Nebraska and the lush forests of Vermont – there is just so much to see! In the above picture I’m at the The Oculus at the World Trade Center in New York City.
I didn’t dislike any country I’ve been so far. Some were less memorable, for example El Salvador and Malaysia, but I wouldn’t call any place my least favourite destination.
‘My most romantic trip was a weekend in Paris. Cliché, I know!’But walking hand in hand through the lit-up streets of Montmartre after dark, sharing a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and having a picnic by the Seine is as romantic as the movies make Paris out to be.
‘I grew up in East Germany – as a kid we were only allowed to travel to Communist countries in the Eastern Bloc.’My grandparents took me on my first international trip when I was three years old – to Czechoslovakia, the part that’s now the Czech Republic. But I have to admit that I don’t really remember this trip, I was too little.
As soon as the wall came down, my parents drove down to Tuscany, Italy every summer. We’d get in the car in chilly Germany and emerge in a different world ten hours later; sand-colored hilltop towns glowing golden in the light of the late afternoon sun.
‘I’m not sure if there really are “tried-and-tested” destinations for gay women.’But if I wanted to go on a lesbian-specific trip, I’d travel to one of the lesbian festivals.
For example, Dinah Shore in Palm Springs, Ella Festival in Majorca, Spain, or the International Eressos Women’s Festival in Greece.
Another option would be joining a lesbian cruise or a lesbian tour with Olivia Travel for example, a lesbian-focused tour operator.
I feel like a trip like like one of those has a much more of a lesbian angle to it than simply heading to an LGBTI hotspot like San Francisco or Costa Rica, where, despite those destinations being popular with LGBTI holiday-makers, it’s not guaranteed that I’d meet other lesbian travelers there.
I do like the idea of LGBTI vacations though. Especially for LGBT families to connect with other LGBT families. Or simply to enjoy a massive lesbian party, such as the Dinah Shore weekend.
‘I’m not keen on visiting places like Russia or Jamaica.’I would avoid certain countries because of the laws there. Russia, Jamaica and all the African nations that are strongly outspoken against gays and lesbians, or have anti-gay laws in place, for instance.
That said, I’ve heard more homophobic remarks in the US and my native country of Germany than anywhere else.
‘This year I really want to go to Morocco.’My top three places I’m hoping to travel to this or next year are Morocco, because I want to spend a night under the stars in the Sahara desert, then Vietnam – I’m addicted to Vietnamese food and I’ve traveled around South East Asia extensively, but for some reason, I never made it to Vietnam. It’s time to finally fix that!
Finally Nepal. The three week Annapurna Circuit, a long-term trek through the Himalayas. It’s been on my travel wish list for a long time!