These words probably resonate well with travel enthusiasts. Travelling is good for the soul: it gives a peace of mind; it provides real-life education; it brings fun and above all, it creates lifetime memories.

But not everyone has the complete freedom to pursue the wonderful gift of travel.

LGBTQ people’s burning passion for travel is often extinguished by the rules and laws governing their intended destinations. The mere fact that they don’t conform to human-constructed norms of sexuality thwarts their dreams of travelling the world and experiencing the joys that come with stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

To this day in the 21st century, it’s still jeopardous for LGBTQ people to visit some parts of the world: they run the risk of incarceration and in worst cases, death. Imagine being flogged or stoned to death merely because a particular country can’t tolerate your existence as a human being – how horrendous!

Be responsible

A handful of countries that base their laws and rules on barbaric scholasticism shouldn’t stop you from travelling. Travel responsibly and make sure your destination is a safe space for LGBTQ people. Use features that alert you to laws relating to LGBTQ rights in different countries. For one, Tinder – an online dating App – has recently introduced a feature that aims to keep LGBTQ people safer across the world.

Prioritise invulnerability

Travelling as an LGBTQ person should be as stress-free as it is for the straight community; unfortunately, this is not the case and one should always be on the lookout for danger especially in non-native lands. Here is how you can stay safe:

  • Be open about your whereabouts. This will come in handy should tragedy befall you as your loved ones will be able to locate you.
  • Avoid harassment. Even in countries where homosexuality is legal, public display of affection may still be a taboo and can invite nuisance. Avoid it as much as possible.
  • Familiarise yourself with the laws of the country you want to visit. The human rights you have in South Africa as a member of the LGBTQ community will not be applicable in another country.