In 2012 @Twobadtourists Turned Their One Year Vacation Into A Relocation To Spain And They've Never Looked Back!
What is GAFFL?

GAFFL connects solo travelers from with similar itineraries to explore destinations together. Whether you are backpacking in Asia, road tripping in Australia, or exploring national parks in the US, simply type the destination you are traveling to, find travelers who are going there at the same time as you, connect with them, plan trips, meet, and travel together.

14th Jul | 4 min read

Auston grew up in Phoenix and worked as an engineer for years before moving to Madrid where he now works in marketing. David also grew up in Phoenix and worked as a microbiologist for two years in Chicago before setting off to travel the world. When he's not traveling, he's busy teaching English in Madrid. You can follow Auston and David’s adventures on their blog, Two Bad Tourists, and you can also connect with them on GAFFL.

How We Were Inspired To Travel The World

The idea of our travel adventure started in 2009 with a decision to eventually leave our home in Chicago and relocate to California. Upon leaving, we knew we would have to find new jobs after arriving to the west coast. That’s what sparked the thought: what was the hurry to move and find new jobs immediately? Then in 2012 after three years of planning and saving, we set off on a one-year adventure that took us across five continents and to more than 35 countries. After the trip of a lifetime, we never returned to the US, but instead landed in Spain and never left.

We Have Met Some Great People From Our Travels

We’ve been traveling the world for 8+ years and have met many great people along the way. Some of our closest friends we’ve met on the road include our friend DJ, who’s based in Berlin. and also happens to run a travel blog. We met on a blogger trip to Belgium 6 years ago. We also met our good friend Dan through our travel blog and he’s based in London, though frequently visits Madrid to escape the dreadful London weather.

How We Choose How To Travel Next

There’s no set approach that we use. Although we may have a few bucket list type places at any given time, we generally travel more based on what opportunities present themselves and what seems convenient at the time.

Not including the 2020 pandemic, we typically travel somewhere every 2-3 months. Most trips are under a weeklong these days, however, we got our start when we sold everything we owned in 2012 and traveled continuously for a year. It was an amazing experience, but it’s definitely nice to have a home to come back to in between trips and not always be on the road. 

How We Approach Traveling To Countries That Aren’t LGBT Friendly?

This is actually easier than most people might think. If you don’t give people a reason to question you, you probably won’t encounter challenges. This basically comes down to being cautious with public displays of affection. It’s important to point out though that while it’s easy for us to do this, it doesn’t mean all LGBT+ can do it. Some travelers may feel that they can’t “pass” as straight and choose to avoid places, which is perfectly fine. This is particularly applicable to members of the trans community. We’ve published a number of gay stories over the years that explain some of the things we encountered on our travels, specific to being gay in questionable destinations. 

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One Of Our Best Travel Memories

One summer we traveled to Stockholm and decided to volunteer with their pride organization to set up prior to the start of the pride event in August. It was such a unique way to get immersed in a new city and we ended up meeting so many great locals and made new friends. A couple of years later we visited again and got to see all the great people again while enjoying one of our favorite cities in Europe. 

Some Things That Prevent Us From Traveling More

It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has affected tourism all around the world. This has been tough for us because we rely on travel to maintain our blog. We’ve had to adapt to the types of content we publish in 2020 because for much of the year, international travel was simply out of the question.

Things We Still Have On Our Travel Bucket List

We’ve still never made it to Egypt and that has been a top destination on our list for years. On our round-the-world trip in 2012, we had originally planned on including Egypt in our itinerary but unfortunately, we had to cut it out due to time and money constraints. 

Advice To Other Travelers Looking To Explore The World

The world is actually a less scary place than you might think. Not to say you shouldn’t be smart and safe, which of course is important. However, we found that we were very surprised at how welcome and safe we felt in almost all places we traveled. Sometimes the only vision of a country is what we see on the news, which only shows a specific version of the story. We would encourage new travelers to do their research, but don’t let fear or anxiety of visiting a place dissuade you from going to a particular destination. 

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