Round Trip Ticket's Will Wikle in Mexico. Ay!
Will Wikle is Logo’s very own Carmen Sandiego. Each week you kind of wonder “Where in the world is he going to be taking us?” as he hosts the channel’s mad gay travel series Round Trip Ticket. Season 2 kicked off last Friday and there are 12 more totally fresh new episodes coming your way, taking you to such sassy destinations as Montreal, Bangkok, Portland, Tokyo and Rome. And this time around, Will gets to leave the studio as he travels for a bunch of the installments, sampling the flavors of cities like Buenos Aires and Mexico City.
The Big Brother 5 veteran also stays busy here in NYC, hosting his own show on Twist Radio, working as an R.N. in the emergency department of the super-famous Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. And he’s boyfriends with the CBS News on Logo anchor Jason Bellini (awwwwwww…). And somehow, with all of that stuff going on, Will found time to answer 10 questions from me about the new season of Round Trip Ticket, his travel faves, and how to jet-set around with your significant other!
So, what can we expect from the new season of Round Trip Ticket?
Last season we hit all the basics: New York, London, Paris, etc. This year, we really wanted to try to suss out the gay wildlife in places you might not have expected like Rotterdam, Germany and Cairns, Australia. And I was just so excited to actually be able to travel this year that "Round Trip Ticket: Afghanistan" would have sounded great to me. "Hey gurl, do you have that burka in any pastel tones?"
Where did you travel to this season? And which place was your favorite—and why?
I have to say, Buenos Aires is probably the best recommendation I could make to any traveler, whatever your budget. The culture is intoxicating, the people are drop dead gorgeous, and it is CHEAP, ya’ll. Seriously, a three course dinner (with wine) costs about $20-$25 US dollars. If you go, please check out Bar Ses and stay somewhere in the Palermo neighborhood. The thing that shocked me most about BA is that it is common practice for boys to make out with several people in one night in an attempt to
'get to know" one another. I had a boyfriend when I was there, but as you can imagine, several crew members really enjoyed participating in this hospitable tradition.
Why do you think gay people are such avid travelers?
Well, I keep hearing all these things about “large, expendable incomes” but I sure don’t know too many sisters who have piles of C-notes lying around the house. Traveling is a sure-fire way to feel completely alive. As gay people, we’ve been told “we can’t” for so long. Traveling is one way to make our everyday lives more brilliant and spectacular, simply because we can.
Where are you dying to travel personally, just for fun--without a camera crew?
Ever since I saw Under the Tuscan Sun with Diane Lane, I am dying to move to Tuscany with my pregnant lesbian friend where we will raise her child and renovate a villa on a hill. Also, I am dying to visit Tel Aviv and float on the Dead Sea.
What's your next trip planned (whether it's a big one, small one, or for work or play)?
I have several small trips planned over the next year, but I’m most excited about the two-week vacation that Jason and I are taking in August. We’re going hostel-style and staging a hardcore European hit.
What's something you never leave home without?
My summer travel packing list: iPod, pillow, jeans, American apparel shirts, Speedo, sandals, and sneakers. DONE!
You're part of a couple... Do you guys travel well together? If so, what's your secret? And what's good advice for traveling with a boyfriend/girlfriend?
In my opinion, traveling offers a very telling compatibility litmus test. A successful trip is all about compromise because no two people ever have the exact same expectations from a location. My only advice? Make sure your cell has international capacity in case you really need to bitch about him. No matter how compatible a couple is, there's always the "Oh, no he didn't…" moment.
What do you think is the gayest place on earth?
I love that almost every coastal community all over the world now has a gay beach. Jason and I recently went to Puerto Rico and finding the gay beach was at the top of our list. We were staying at a primarily straight resort and I was SO OVER the weird looks when we held hands. If you can’t tell which stretch of the beach is gay, just look for the spot where the Speedo ratio is 90% or greater.
What's a place you never get tired of?
Just like Madge, I LOVE NEW YORK. There’s no better feeling than touching down at JFK.
Now just give us a run-down of your favorites:
City? New York
Restaurant? Supper Club in Rome
Beach? Ocean Park in Puerto Rico
Gay scene? Rio
Sporty activity? Running in tropical climates
Hotel? Shangri-La Hotel in Cairns, Australia
Destination in the U.S.? SXSW MusicFest in Austin, Texas
Airport? Heathrow in London
Bonus: What's the most important thing to remember when traveling?
Leave yourself completely open to the experience. I think the best travel mantra is from the Crosby, Stills, and Nash song “Southern Cross”: When you see it, you’ll remember why you came.
Catch Will Wikle on new episodes of Round Trip Ticket every Friday night at 11pm. Then catch re-airings all week long. Will’s first on-location adventure wil air on Friday, May 5th. He’s in Mexico City (duh—it’s Cinquo de Mayo!)!