In Conversation With Gabi and Shanna

Exclusive Conversation with Gabi and Shanna: Exploring the World with LGBTQ Adventures

Gabi and Shanna, the dynamic duo behind 27 Travels, as they share the inspiration behind their journey. Through their passion for photography, videography, and advocating for LGBTQ inclusivity, they document their adventures and highlight the significance of the number 27 in their story, aiming to make a positive impact in the travel community


Hello Gabi and Shanna, can you share a bit more about the inspiration behind starting 27 Travels and the significance of the number 27? 

Early in our relationship, we started to realize that we both loved traveling and how much we wanted to travel together. Since Gabi is a photographer and Shanna is a videographer and video editor, we made 27 Travels as our creative outlet. It started as an Instagram account in 2016 where we would document our trips and adventures. We also started to realize how little information exists for LGBTQ travelers and we wanted  to help change that. 

People always want to know where the number 27 comes from. It’s not our ages, or the number of countries we’ve visited, or how many trips we’ve taken.  It’s the date of our anniversary! The number 27 means a lot to us and it always reminds us that every trip we take we learn more and more about ourselves, our relationship, and the world we inhabit.  


How do you incorporate your creative talents as a photographer and videographer into your travel experiences?  

We are two people that love creating things, our skills in photo & video is something that  has been so helpful in our careers as travel influencers. We always loved creating beautiful things for ourselves and documenting our lives & that is something that’s really translated into what we do now! We love being able to use what we do to create things and make people happy.  

What challenges have you faced as LGBTQ travelers, and how does 27  Travels aim to address these challenges? 

There are so many challenges that  LGBTQ+ Travelers face every single day, for people who aren’t aware there are many countries in the world where we are not treated equally, and even where it is illegal to be an LGBTQ+ person or punishable by death. 

We always aim to address these issues by traveling as a couple and sharing all of our experiences good and bad. It’s important to us that we experience things and share our tips so that we can help other people travel safely and to places where we know that they will have a good experience and be able to travel the world.

Could you elaborate on the importance of inclusivity in travel, regardless of gender or sexual orientation?

Inclusivity in travel is so important and it’s something that we should always be striving for. There are many people that don’t  realize that travel isn’t inclusive to all. It’s not inclusive to LGBTQ+ people, people of all sizes and people of color. 

Not only are we not shown in most travel marketing materials,  but a lot of times people travel, aren’t treated equally and are made to feel unsafe and not welcomed. It’s important that inclusivity is worked towards as all people should be able to experience travel equally. 

How do you choose destinations for your travels, and what factors do you consider in making those choices? 

There are so many different ways that we decide what our next destination is going to be! Sometimes we work with certain destinations to showcase what they have to offer and they send us. Other times we choose places we have always wanted to travel to, or find a cheap deal for somewhere we have never been before and choose our next travel destination that way. 

Can you discuss a memorable experience from one of your trips that had a significant impact on you or your relationship? 

Recently we had the experience of being able to go to Sydney, Australia for World Pride & it was such a great experience for us. It was an incredible trip and not only did we get to experience it with so many of our close friends in the LGBTQ+ community that we have made through our platform, but we also decided to elope while we were there! Since we met at NYC Pride in 2015 we thought that eloping at World Pride was a full circle moment, so you could say it was life changing! 

What advice would you give to other LGBTQ travelers who may be hesitant to explore certain destinations?

The best advice I could give is to do your research, follow people who look like you and remind you of yourself online. Take advice from people who travel a lot, and understand what it’s like to travel as an LGBTQ+  person in the world. 

Always decide where to travel to based on your comfort levels & do what is right for you. Not all destinations are suited for all people, and you should pick your destination based on how comfortable you are traveling as a queer person. 


In what ways do you hope 27 Travels will contribute to greater awareness and understanding of LGBTQ travel experiences? 

Representation is so important! It’s something that both of us feel like we didn’t really have growing up, and that would’ve positively impacted us if we had. What we care about most of all is being loud and proud and putting ourselves out there, online and in the world so that we can help to inspire people in our community that want to be able to travel the world the way that they deserve to.

We hope to inspire others to explore more of the world around them, and to spread the message that travel is inclusive to everyone no matter your gender or who you love.  

How do you balance documenting your travels for 27 Travels with simply enjoying the moment? 

This is such an interesting question and something that we think about a lot! It’s all about balance in anything you do, I would say there’s certain kinds of experiences that we document and other ones we keep to ourselves and enjoy in the moment. After a while of content creating you realize what things you need, what looks good on camera, and what you simply don’t need to document at all. 

Since Shanna and I both have a passion for photo and video, it’s something we really enjoy doing in the moment, especially together, and most of the time it doesn’t even feel like work, just a part of loving to make things together during our adventures. 

Have you noticed any positive changes or shifts in the travel industry regarding LGBTQ inclusivity since starting 27 Travels? 

Absolutely! When we first started 27 Travels it was partially because we didn’t see anyone out there like us,  giving the advice we needed and were looking for for our own travels. The industry has changed so much and is moving in a better direction! Since we started we see so many creators online of all parts of the LGBTQ+ community being active, sharing their experiences and documenting their own travels. The more people are representation for others the better, and the more inclusive the industry will become as people realize how important it is. 

Could you share any upcoming projects or initiatives that 27 Travels is working on?

We are always working on the next thing! We are so passionate about what we do and we just love it so much, we are always planning our next travels and figuring out what more we can do to make the world and the travel space a better place.  

Looking ahead, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future of 27  Travels, both in terms of personal growth and impact on the travel community?

In terms of the future, we have so many hopes and aspirations for us as a couple, continuing to travel and for our brand! Last year we had our own travel show  Driven To Discover on MSG Networks, and we realized that being in front of the camera even more is something that were passionate about! In the future, a dream we have is to have our own travel show together. We always hope that what we do helps the travel community to continue to become more inclusive to all people!

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