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I caught up with Bailey Mills, also known as The Gay Globetrotter, to talk travel.

Where did you go on family vacation?

As a child, I didn’t get to travel. We’d go camping in the summertime most years, a 3–4 hour drive away from our life in Vancouver, Canada. This is where I learned to fish, hike, and connect with nature.

When was your first grown-up vacation?

I was 18 when I left my life in Vancouver to travel for the first time. I booked a ticket to London, and flew halfway across the world on my own. A couple girlfriends from high school were on a backpacking tour through Europe, so they met me in London. We flew down to Athens, and hopped onto a ferry to Mykonos. One of the most memorable trips of my life!

Ever had any travel disasters?

I almost died in Mykonos. I remember being locked in a closet while texting my mother that if anything happens to me, I love her. Gun fire was going off outside of our hotel. I tell the whole story here.

Which have been some of your favourite destinations to visit?

Thailand was definitely my favourite trip to date. Every time I visit, I meet such amazing and genuine people and get to experience so many things I can’t experience anywhere else.

Which have been some of the romantic destinations that you’ve visited?

Mykonos tops this list for sure. Watching the sun set over the Greek islands while sipping a pinot grigio with the classic white and blue architecture behind you is definitely a moment for the books. I wish I didn’t do it alone!

Are you a good travel companion?

I like to think I am a great travel companion, but don’t we all? I’m a very ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ type of traveller, so it makes it easy for anyone travelling with me to create their perfect itinerary. I can be pretty impulsive when I travel though. If a local recommends a spot on the other side of town, you better believe that I’ll find a way to see it before I leave.

I think travelling with one other person is the perfect mix. You can compromise and see everything you both want to see, without it getting too overwhelming to try and cram everything in. That being said, I’m more than happy travelling solo, and have done so many times.

Do you pack light, or do you take everything?

I do my best to pack light, but that is an uphill battle for me. I actually had to buy a smaller backpack so I wouldn’t be tempted to over-pack. If I’m going somewhere like London or Los Angeles and staying in a hotel, I’ll take a suitcase and pack every article of clothing I own. If I’m backpacking in Southeast Asia or Africa, I do my best to keep it light.

Which destinations are on your wish-list in the months ahead?

South America, for sure. I’m planning a solo backpacking trip through countries like Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Chile. I’ve heard good things about gay men being accepted in South America, and I’m so excited to see what that part of the world is like.

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Meet the vegan body-builder

Alexander Kosztowny is building mass without harm.



Alexander Kosztowny (image supplied)
Alexander Kosztowny (image supplied)

I caught up with aspiring bodybuilder Alexander Kosztowny to talk fitness, food, and life as a vegan body-builder.

Were you into sports at school?

No. Growing up, I was a heavy-set kid, and not very active at all. In school, I was very academic, and focused mainly on my studies rather than athletics. I didn’t dread gym class, and always worked hard and enjoyed certain sports like tennis and volleyball, but the lack of variety of activities in gym class limited my view on the variety of types of activities out there. If I’d tried a weight lifting class, or yoga, or karate, my attitude may have changed earlier in life. My sister was always active, but I come from a family who are not very big on physical activity or sports. Of course, like most, I wish I’d started earlier, but better late than never.

Can you remember what your first experience of a gym was?

I lost a lot of weight in high school with the onset of puberty, and with the gaining knowledge of nutrition, portion control, and cardiovascular activity. When I went to college, I found myself putting a lot of the weight back on, and knew I had to prevent that. I joined a gym, and hired a personal trainer for the first time to help me get back on track.

I absolutely fell in love with pumping iron. I was able to coordinate working out into being a part of my schedule, as opposed to limiting it only to ‘when I have time’ and having a trainer not only motivated me and taught me technique, but also kept me accountable for my actions. He helped me with adding strength while paying attention to form, and meal planning, The excess weight fell off, and I became addicted.

Now I’m in the gym every day, pushing my body and transforming both my health, my appearance, and my outlook.

When did you decide to get serious about your fitness and bodybuilding?

About four years ago. But I’ve only been super-serious for about a year, and I’ve only been extremely strict in terms of diet for about six months. I’m still a beginner.

What’s your aspiration as a bodybuilder?

To get huge. That’s it.

As someone who’s plant-based, I’d also like to show others what’s possible on a non-traditional diet. That there are other forms of nutrition and protein, and you can build muscle, look great, and have tons of energy without harm.

What’s the difference between your body as it is now and the way that you want your body to look?

I’d still call my self thick or chubby-muscular. The interesting thing about bodybuilding is that there never really is an end goal. You just lift and grow bigger and you’re never quite big or strong enough. I’m just trying to push myself as far as I possibly can. It’s exciting to see the changes you can make that way.

What’s your work-out regime like?

I’m in the gym six or seven times a week. This seems excessive to some people, and I know others who only go three or four times a week, and that works for them. For me, the gym is therapeutic and a stress reliever, as well as a hobby.

I usually spend about one hour doing weight lifting — machines and free weights — and then I wrap up with about 35 minutes of cardio. I focus on one body part per day. It’s a traditional bodybuilding split, so muscles have a chance to rest. This routine works for me — I know some people have luck doing high-intensity, full body workouts, but I like the focus of working each muscle group in isolation.

Do you have a work-out buddy?

Not currently, but I’ve always enjoyed it when I do. It really is vital for really heavy spotting, and the dependability is nice if they’re as motivated as you. If anyone is in Los Angeles and wants to train with me, hit me up!

How important is controlling your diet?


Controlling diet is extremely important. It makes or breaks your progress in the gym. if you lift but don’t eat right, you won’t get anywhere. I’ve seen this happen both for myself and others. When I finally got on the right meal plan, the results happened in no time at all — abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

I eat about five times a day, and I’m plant-based, just like Tom Brady. My diet consists of lots of legumes, lentils, tofu, peas, broccoli, peanut butter, protein shakes, and other natural, nutrient-rich foods that contain protein without resorting to animal products.

Besides the ethical and environmental sides of going vegan, I find I have more energy, need less time to recover, and am less sore, as well as having clearer skin. I count my macros — calories, carbs, proteins, and fats — and eat the same foods every day to stay on track. I’ve pretty much eliminated bread, gluten, alcohol, refined sugars, and beverages besides water from my diet, except for special occasions. I’m super-strict, but do let myself enjoy food.

Are your friends and family supportive of your bodybuilding aspirations?

For the most part. They’re always impressed at my progress and dedication, but I need a lot of willpower when I have a family who loves to cook, bake, and tempt me with treats. That’s why having a partner or workout buddy who is on a similar plan is helpful, if you’re lucky enough to find one. It keeps you on track.

Are you competing?

Nope, and no plans to either. But that may change as I grow bigger.

What are some of your priorities for the months ahead?

I’m currently in the best shape I’ve ever been in, so I want to just keep on progressing. It’s a slow process, and takes a lot of time, so you have to be patient.

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