On this edition of What’s The T?, I settle down and have a virtual natter with Jaime of Breakaway Backpacker. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Jaime’s travels have taken him to countries as far-flung as Egypt, India and Nicaragua, and he’s shared his tales of volcano boarding, inappropriate antics on buses, and getting naked in hostels over on his blog. Known for his toe-touch photos around the world, Jaime is a colourful character for sure. Jaime and me talk everything from first trips and gay destinations to using protection and twerking to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’.
1. How old were you when you took your first international trip?
I was just a baby, honestly jaja. My parents are from Mexico so I would spend my summers & most holidays in Mexico. I know most people may not count that, but I think that is what influenced me to want to travel. I was always curious as a kid how crossing a border, an imaginary line could make two places so different. I would always wonder why as soon as I crossed into Mexico things didn’t look like they did in the USA. That’s something that still blows my mind today when I cross any two borders. Anyway as an adult not including Mexico my first international trip was actually my two year trip around the world. My first stop was Costa Rica and that was the first time I had ever traveled alone, backpacked or stayed in a hostel.
2. Have you ever travelled to any ‘gay’ destinations before?
I don’t like calling any destination a “gay” destination because any destination could honestly be gay depending on what you are looking for. For me Cairo is a “gay” destination, but know it’s not for others. Anyway I know what you mean and yes I have I think the most “gay” was Amsterdam and was actually during pride. Oh that was fun!
3. What’s the best pride celebration you’ve ever been to?
Oops should have read this before replying to your previous question! One of the best I have ever been to is Amsterdam’s Pride. It’s just so huge and on floats. I mean it’s a parade on water… so awesome. Plus I’ll never forget the moment a boat came that had a huge banner on it saying “Celebrating 10 Years of Marriage”. When I saw that I got tears in my eyes because I was so happy for them but at the same time felt crushed because here they are celebrating 10 years… A decade of marriage, and back at home the majority of the US we are still fighting for that right.
4. Everyone has a travel romance story to share, but I’m bored of those. Have you ever met a guy where things went disastrously wrong?
Do small penises count as disastrously wrong? Seriously… I’m no size queen, but damn it’s just such a huge turn off when you meet a beautiful man… finally get in his pants and well yeah it’s like WTF… that’s it?
5. Sounds like you’re a size queen to me. Moving swiftly on, are there any destinations that, as a gay man, you’d simply refuse to travel to?
Not really… gay men exist in every country on Earth and unfortunately some are governed by ridiculous governments. We shouldn’t allow a repressive government stop us from visiting any destination. As a traveler you have to be able to separate the locals from the government and try to do your best to understand the situation in each country.
6. Everyone is always talking about ‘hidden gems’ and getting ‘off the beaten path’ when they travel, but what touristy spots have you absolutely loved?
I absolutely love Barcelona and couldn’t care less what anyone thinks. Everything about Barcelona is touristy, but for good reason. Barcelona is an absolutely amazing city filled with so much to see and do.
7. And, erm…what’s your ‘hidden gem’ recommendation?
Playa del Carmen. I know it may not sound like a hidden gem, but I don’t think many people realize how amazing it is. Staying in Playa del Carmen, even if it’s on the touristy 5th Ave, is a million times better than staying in Cancun or in a hotel resort. When you are in Playa del Carmen you are literally a short distance from so many amazing things you can do all on your own by taking the local transportation, “collectivos”. It is also a beach town that you can easily do on a budget. Just walk two to four streets away from 5th Ave and you can eat with the locals and get some great food at cheap prices. This is a city I want to live in one day and think I will.
8. You only have room in your bag to pack one: condoms or lube?
NO GLOVE… NO LOVE. Of course the condoms because you can always use spit as lube! But no seriously you should always use protection so I’d prefer a bag full condoms than lube.
9. You’re known for being completely open on your blog, but have alluded to the fact that you don’t share everything there as family members read your site. Can you share anything here that you haven’t been able to write about on your blog?
Oh man… why did you have to ask that? I do have a few stories I haven’t shared on my blog, because they are like real crazy. Yes more so than my “Hand Job” story. I don’t think I can… I just can’t even!
10. Would you ever consider dating a guy who has no desire to travel?
I kinda already did and am okay with it. As long as he trusts me enough to allow me to travel on my own when I want then I’ll be just fine. I trust myself on the road alone when I am in a relationship. I don’t trust myself on the road when I’m single. Obviously though I would love for him to want to travel somewhat because I would love to share those experiences with the man I love.
11. Tell us your favourite pick-up line.
I don’t think I have one. I always start with “How are you doing?” I know very lame, but yeah just start with that and then go straight for the info I need to know if this will work out or not…lol!!!
12. Has that pick-up line ever worked?
Yes my lame pick-up line has worked. On more than like a lot of occasions…lol!!!
13. You’re also known for your round-the-world toe touches. What’s your favourite toe-touch photo?
I have 2 favorite photos: one in front of the Step Pyramid in Egypt and one in front of Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque) in Turkey. They are my favorite because a friend I met on the road actually took both of them and he’s an awesome photographer. Of all of them they look the best!
14. Have you ever considered a gimmick other than the toe touches? Like short videos of dancing to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Anaconda’ around the globe?
Bajajaja I freaking hate that song & nope I haven’t thought of any other gimmicks. That one happened by accident & works great so will just keep that one.
15. You’re on your second round-the-world trip at the moment. Tell us what you’ve got in store in the upcoming months for us, and how we can follow along!
Well ummm my second round-the-world trip is currently on pause since I have returned home to work for 3 months. This post will explain it all “Yes I am home and no nothing bad happened. So yeah right now I will be in Houston for the next 3 months but don’t worry come January 1, 2015 I will be on my way to South America and continue it.
Thanks for that, Jaime! If you’re keen on following Jaime’s round-the-world adventures, make sure you stay up-to-date with him on his blog, Breakaway Backpacker, follow @babackpacker on Twitter, and @breakawaybackpacker on Instagram. Make sure you stay tuned for the next edition of What’s The T?, when another travel blogger will give you their top tips and dish the dirt.
Tom is the brain, voice and fingers behind travel and expat blog Waegook Tom. Hailing from northern England, Tom left his call centre job back in 2009 and moved to South Korea to teach English. After travelling the world, he's now based in Taipei. Tom loves eating delicious food, exploring new places, meeting interesting people, and taking way too many selfies.