GA Voice


- Helmut Domagalski, founder of The Gayly Dose

Whether your fall has you in the colorful leaves of our mountains or escaping to the coast to catch the last bits of summer, your travel can be anything you want it to be: an escape or a recharge. For me personally, travel is one of life’s best opportunit­ies to challenge myself, make dreams a reality, and level up.

Last summer, I took a trip to Greece with 15 gay men after the pandemic (postponed by COVID-19). I enjoyed some of my most elevated meditation­s on my purpose, my future aspiration­s, and my role in my gay community through intentiona­l reflection, camaraderi­e with these men, and the beauty of the Earth there.

This summer, I fulfilled a longtime dream of taking my daughters through the romantic countries of Italy and France. I felt this would ensure they had these moments to set a benchmark for themselves, we would bond more deeply as a family, and they would awaken more to other ways of living.

I worked my ass off for those travel stories, but you don’t have to go to Europe to do these things. Hiking in Blue Ridge, Georgia or Cashiers, North Carolina with friends, visiting charming Charleston or Savannah, or simply strolling down the Chattahooc­hee can all render you changed if you only use your travel to elevate your mind and your life story!

Here are some tips for maximizing your vacation’s impact and making your trip the best it can be.

Tip #1: The first part of travel is the piece everyone underestim­ates: earning money! That’s right, we work to earn that vacation! And the rule is: Choose your pain, choose your pleasure. For most of us, exciting travel means putting in the hours and employing smart saving techniques.

Tip #2: Give travel the respect it’s due and DREAM about it. What about the world, your country, your city or even your neighborho­od do you want to experience or see? Without a vision, your travel can have meaning, but it won’t be as savory.

Tip #3: Ask yourself what experience you want? Will you be deepening your communion with nature, learning about another culture, or releasing yourself from life’s burdens with a mental health respite? Perhaps this trip is to strengthen a bond with family or friends or yourself. Travel can change you if you allow it to.

Tip #4: Plan. I am a believer in some spontaneit­y, but the best trips are those where I have put some time in to understand my options and laid out a good mixture of what I love to do. Balance some spontaneit­y into segments of your adventure, but don’t miss out on views, sights, tastes and sounds because you didn’t plan ahead. And ask friends who have been before you!

Tip #5: Enjoy!

Helmut is the founder of The Gayly Dose, an Atlanta-based podcast that elicits vulnerable and honest dialogue about everyday and taboo topics that LGBTQ people aren’t having with each other ... but should. Purposeful­ly candid and brutally honest, the cast speaks on a range of topics, including gender norms, monogamy, body issues, coming out, dating apps, lesbian breakups, and growing up gay in the church. Listen and watch at thegaylydo­ Follow @ thegaylydo­sepod.

 ?? COURTESY PHOTO ?? Helmut Domagalski sets sail.
COURTESY PHOTO Helmut Domagalski sets sail.

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