These guys know how to get around.
During college in 2005, David Brown, 30, and Auston Matta, 35, met in Phoenix, Arizona before relocating to Chicago for work in 2008. And in 2013, they traded in their Chicago digs for Madrid. That’s right, Madrid; the capitol of Spain.
Today, David and Auston make up TwoBadTourists, a travel guide for gays on-the-go.
This spring the boys are heading out to London, Berlin, and Toronto. They’re also dreaming of Egypt. Needless to say, the couple are elite travelers, so we wanted to hear their recommendations firsthand.
GayCities caught up with them before collecting their next passport stamps.
How did you meet?
We met in 2005 when we were both attending Arizona State University. We quickly started dating and got married in 2010. In 2008, Auston was offered a job in Chicago, so we moved and started planning our ultimate escape and our trip of a lifetime.
How did Two Bad Tourists begin?
Six years ago, we were about to embark on a one-year, round-the-world trip and we wanted to share our story with family and friends and keep a personal record of our travels. After a while we realized we have a lot to offer to other readers and we really enjoyed blogging. Travelers face a lot of challenges on the road and have endless decisions to make so it’s always helpful when you can provide a tip, an opinion or insight. We also found there were not a lot of travel blogs geared towards the LGBT community, so we thought it was important to be open and honest about who we are.
And what’s the inspiration behind the name?
Our style of travel is not typical of the average tourist. We prefer to travel slower and experience more by visiting less. We’re not bad travelers, per se, but we don’t really appreciate the hyper-sightseeing approach when visiting new places. We’ve also been known to skip out on morning activities and instead sleep in after a night of partying….and in some cases, we’ve even missed a few flights, trains or bus connections as a result. Oops.
Favorite travel destination so far (where in japan so you can link)
David: Kyoto, Japan – the culture, food and history was simply amazing. But my top favorite in the US is definitely San Francisco.
Auston: I also loved Japan as well for all the same reasons, but Cape Town, South Africa ties for first place. The natural landscapes, wine country and wildlife are amazing. Second on my list in Europe is probably Lisbon. Ironically, I hated it the first time I visited and now it’s one of my favorites.
Worst travel experience?
Auston’s encounter with two Venetian mosquitoes probably tops our list of worst travel experiences. It all started with a nice, home-cooked dinner while staying at a bungalow just outside Venice. We each got a few bites that night but thought nothing of it. Fast forward to ten days after we arrived in Athens and Auston’s bites were so swollen and infected he could barely walk to the clinic. Thinking he would get some antibiotic cream or pills, Auston was startled when the doctor casually said he would have to cut the bites open and clean them out. After six more days of doctor visits for cleaning the wounds, it finally started healing and stopped ruining our trip.
Dream travel destination
Auston: Faroe Islands (Kingdom of Denmark) David: Madagascar
Tell us about your “trip of a lifetime”
In 2012, we sold everything we owned and embarked on a round-the-world trip, with nothing more than a backpack on our backs. After three years of planning and saving, we wanted to see it all and made it to more than 35 countries. The experience was once in a lifetime. Auston always says it was the best experience he’d never do again. There’s nothing that can compare with that year, but visiting so many places in such a short time can be exhausting and overwhelming.
What are your favorite gay hangouts?
We love visiting a city during the local gay pride celebration. May not exactly a “hangout” per se, but we love the unique view of the city that you get and the fun interaction with locals during the celebration. We haven’t yet planned our summer and pride travels but we will definitely be at home for Madrid Pride, the largest and best (we’re biased) in Europe!
How do you relax while on vacation?
Beach. Sun. Cocktails. Repeat. One of our favorite places in the world is Sitges, Spain. Our ideal summery holiday would be spending four or five days there and soaking up the sun at Platja de la Bassa Rodona. A close second is the gay beach in Ibiza called Es Cavallet, which is about 15 minutes south of Ibiza Town.
Where do you find affordable flights?
Kayak Explore. With a flexible schedule, set your hometown and see all the flights available to any destination in the world and sort by the lowest price. You might be surprised to find a fun and unique destination has a really low price in a certain month that you may not have previously considered. We also just learned about Dollar Flight Club. Their flight-hacking-obsessed team finds the cheapest deals on international airfares.
Anything else we should know?
We try to learn how to say “cheers” in each country we visit. It’s about the only effort we put into learning the local language since we find ourselves having drinks so often.
You can follow Two Bad Tourists online for the latest LGBT travel info, advice and tips and even sign up to win a free $200 travel credit from misterb&b to use in one of more than 135 countries.