Travel

Stinky like a dead cat: the smell of freedom in Paris

published: January, 26, 2017 Written by // Matt Levine Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Mental Health, International , Travel, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Matt Levine

Travel notes on his first vacation in a decade: Our San Francisco writer Matt Levine was a free man in Paris and he brought some of that back home with him.

Stinky like a dead cat: the smell of freedom in Paris

A month after my return from Paris a tangy, acrid smell hung over my apartment. A cross between a dead cat and dirty socks, it smelled vaguely familiar, mysterious. Opening the refrigerator, the aromatic culprit was exposed. Cheese, raw cheese, goat, sheep, cow brought home from my vacation. I’m an art fag, been one forever. But this 55-year old Gustave Courbet loving, Cezanne worshipper had never experienced the magic of Paris except for one day while changing trains in 1979. Like a show t

Going on vacation

published: November, 21, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // Gay Men, Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Bob Leahy - Publisher

The simple act of saying that he’s going on vacation in the US raises multiple issues for Editor Bob Leahy, from guilt to politics to religion. (When did life get this complicated?) But he’s going anyway.

Going on vacation

Live oaks with Spanish moss, typical South Carolina scenery It’s odd but whenever I talk about my vacation plans I get pangs of guilt. It shouldn’t be this way, I know. Vacations, post-HIV infection and more importantly post-U.S. election, should be a break from everything that irks, not a source of irk. (Is that a word? Hang on. It’s a verb not a noun. Close enough!)  The vacation itself isn’t terribly grand or expensive. Twelve days. A two-day drive down to Hilton Head, South Caro

Video: Mark S. King aboard the 2016 HIV cruise retreat

published: November, 16, 2016 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Travel, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Mark S. King

"I support anything that builds important community among people with HIV, and that includes vacations that have real value beyond the perks and the destinations," says Mark

Video: Mark S. King aboard the 2016 HIV cruise retreat

The spirit of the annual HIV Cruise Retreat (also known as “the Poz Cruise” but not associated with POZ Magazine) can be summed up in one enlightening story. Matthew had some bad luck as he boarded the ship for our 8-day tour of the Caribbean. His luggage didn’t make it. He literally had his carry-on bag (which included his meds, thank goodness) and the clothes on his back. At the opening reception for our 250 cruisers, we made an announcement about Matthew’s plight. Instantly, clo

Three vignettes from the past with lessons for the future

published: October, 27, 2016 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Aging, Social Media, Gay Men, Travel, International , Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

Félix Garmendía shares three stories from different parts of his life, each of which taught him something

Three vignettes from the past with lessons for the future

Anthony I worked as an art teacher in the public school system of NYC for fifteen years. Thousands of children crossed my path. I have many pleasant memories or let’s say, I choose to remember the pleasant ones. For my last ten years or so, I worked in East Harlem, NY. It was an impoverished community and the children were for the most part African-American and Latino. Today for some reason I was thinking about one of those students. His name was Anthony and he was a very special child. I

My time in a gay paradise

published: August, 31, 2016 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Social Media, African, Caribbean and Black, Gay Men, Travel, International , Opinion Pieces, Félix Garmendía

You'll wish you were there as our NYC guy, Félix Garmendía, tells of his time in the San Blas Islands

My time in a gay paradise

Many years ago I visited The San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama. This was a very beautiful experience. As part of a gay cruise we made a stop to see the Panama Canal to visit the Kuna people who live on the San Blas Islands. They came to pick us up in their canoes and in less than 10 minutes we were in paradise. On our way there, we even saw a beautiful baby dolphin playing around our canoe, greeting us in a very charming way. Once we arrived at the islands, the Kuna people greeted us w

Durban Diary - the postscript

published: July, 28, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // International AIDS Conference , Travel, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy was in Durban, South Africa for AIDS 2016. Back home now, he reflects on what he learned about the worth and privilege of a trip half way around the globe like this

Durban Diary - the postscript

I’m back, tired - no, exhausted beyond words – but happy to be home, to see my dogs, my partner and to have survived what turned out to be a sometimes harrowing but hugely adventuresome trip of a lifetime. A friend of mine who lives in Durban warned me when I met up with him on my first day, “South Africa is not for sissies.”  There is danger on the streets – one of my fellow Canadian delegates fell victim to that fact – life is hard for many who live there and the nation has a h

Kindred souls along the road

published: July, 26, 2016 Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, Spirituality, International , Travel, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces

From country to country our cultures are so different, but how different are we really as people? How different are our interests? The answer can be surprising, as David Phillips relates.

Kindred souls along the road

Almost 15 years ago, in the wake of the 9-11 attacks on the United States, I shared a meal with three friends which others thought transgressive: a Roman Catholic, a Protestant, a Buddhist, and a Muslim sampling dishes together at a Kosher restaurant. Despite different backgrounds and experiences — and they were all heterosexual -- we were kindred emotionally and spiritually. We agreed that spirituality concerned, for us at least, those beliefs and qualities that bound us to all other person

Durban Diary – Day three

published: July, 16, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // International AIDS Conference , Travel, Living with HIV, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Our editor Bob Leahy is in Durban, South Africa this week, filing daily reports from the International AIDS Conference. Day three is a day off – the calm before the storm – as Bob gets his bearings, registers for the conference . . .and goes to the beach

Durban Diary – Day three

I shouldn’t feel guilty about days not spent with my nose to the grindstone while away on conference business, but given yesterday’s 30-hour exhausting travel marathon. I reckon I earned it. Besides I will be working hard for the next seven days straight.  So how does one spend a day in a city like Durban that is entirely foreign to you? Here is how.  I’m staying in a residential part of town in North Durban, 13 km from the city centre. So after a very English breakfast of bacon and

Setting the problems aside

published: July, 14, 2016 Written by // Patrick Italo Ettenes Categories // Social Media, Gay Men, International , Travel, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Patrick Italo Ettenes

From mid Mediterranean cruise, Patrick Ettenes explains the value of just getting away for a while.

Setting the problems aside

So I’ve tried everything to write an article and I feel like I’m losing my mind and my gift to write. Yes, yes; dramatic but that’s me. So I’ll just spill. I find throwing everything out of your pram and just blurting out everything sometimes helps. I’m currently on a cruise, a Mediterranean one. It’s my birthday gift from a friend. “Good friend you say?” Yes, he is. I started this journey to try and find the other piece of that puzzle to add to my life. I’ve been through a

My quest to ease the pain of loss through music and a tribute to Prince

published: July, 13, 2016 Written by // Samantha Categories // Social Media, Arts and Entertainment, Mental Health, Events, Music, Travel, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Samantha

Our Samantha on the joy of healing through music."For about two weeks I spent every spare minute, sometimes sitting for hours listening to Prince’s music"

My quest to ease the pain of loss through music and a tribute to Prince

On the same day Prince was found dead, on April 21, 2016, I experienced a personal loss. Experiencing two losses in one day was so painful I did not know how to sooth myself. I paced up and down, had no concentration, couldn't sleep, eat or remain focused on anything to distract myself from the feelings that come with loss. For about two weeks I spent every spare minute, sometimes sitting for hours listening to Prince’s music and a few other artists and it was the only activity that eased m

Durban Diary – Day one

published: July, 13, 2016 Written by // Bob Leahy - Publisher Categories // International AIDS Conference , Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Bob Leahy - Publisher

Our editor Bob Leahy is in Durban South Africa this week, filing daily reports from the International AIDS Conference. Day One finds him departing from his rural Ontario home for a long flight half way around the globe.

Durban Diary – Day one

Wednesday July 13 I don’t particularly like flying so today (and tomorrow) is going to be a bit of a challenge. My flight leaves at 2.40 pm from Toronto, about a two hour drive from here,  to Washington DC where I transfer to another plane to take me to Johannesburg, then a third for the relatively short leg from Johannesburg to Durban. I arrive there at 8.05 pm tomorrow (Thursday).  How do people do this? I mean no amount of in-flight movies, iPhone games or reading 1,000 pages of War a

Five things I learned aboard the Poz Cruise

published: December, 30, 2015 Written by // Mark S. King - My Fabulous Disease Categories // Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Mark S. King

Mark S. King "Each year, several hundred people living with HIV – primarily gay men, with a happy sprinkling of straight women and our supporters – embark on the HIV Cruise Retreat (“The Poz Cruise”) for a week of fun and frolic on the high seas. "

Five things I learned aboard the Poz Cruise

The event started with a group of HIV positive friends and has grown enormously over more than a dozen years. The week is organized by one travel agent and a team of dedicated volunteers (and that includes me as one of the hosts and MC).  The days and nights are packed with exclusive shore excursions, private parties and all the perks of being aboard a large passenger ship — but nothing can compete with the freedom of making new friends without fearing HIV disclosure or stigma.  Here are

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

published: December, 16, 2015 Written by // Félix Garmendía Categories // Gay Men, International , Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Population Specific , Sex and Sexuality , Félix Garmendía

On a trip to San Francisco in 1994, New Yorker Felix Garmendia visits “The Church of Phallic Worship and Orgasm”.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

Adult Content Place: San Francisco  Year: 1994 Destination: “The Church” Attire: Leather (I know, not very holy of me.) It was a Friday night in San Francisco, the temperature was balmy, the city was vibrating with adventure and I was enjoying every second of it. It was my second time in San Francisco, and I was glad to be back. San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart, it was like a friend of mine once said, “Gay Disneyland”. After going shopping at the leath

Great Expectations

published: December, 15, 2015 Written by // Michael Yoder Categories // Activism, Gay Men, Travel, Opinion Pieces, Population Specific , Michael Yoder

Michael Yoder says ”I've started to wonder whether or not I am a three dimensional being or a cardboard cut out.. . . Am I only a community worker, or am I Michael?”

Great Expectations

"These are but shadows of the things that have been," said the Ghost. "They have no consciousness of us."  Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol  I've started to wonder whether or not I am a three dimensional being or a cardboard cut out. In my work I organize and attend activities, I make sure people living with HIV are meeting others and connecting, but where am I in this? Am I only a community worker, or am I Michael?  I think that when we're involved in the work, we're often seen as the

Another working holiday?

published: November, 24, 2015 Written by // Wayne Bristow - Positive Life Categories // Hobbies, Travel, Lifestyle, Living with HIV, Wayne Bristow

Wayne Bristow visits with PositiveLite.com editor Bob Leahy on Bob’s home turf and says “in a small town there are no strangers, just friends you haven’t met yet”.

Another working holiday?

When it comes to holidays, I don’t have the world wide adventures to tell like others do. I recently wrote about taking my first flight at the age tender age of 61, the destination a mere two hours from where I live. Everywhere else I have been could be deemed as a ‘stay-cation’. Even during my final years in the factory I acquired five weeks paid vacation time but when holidays came up, I would work at least three of them. The other two weeks I would wait to take them in the fall when

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