Today, we are sitting with Danielle and Anna, known as ItsVaBene, a couple and LGBTQ Travelers, before they’re off to Italy. We discuss caring for yourself while traveling, being LGBTQ travelers, and fun traveling topics such as food, packing, and favorite destinations.
You live in Miami together, but please tell us where you are from.
Hi there! Danielle was born and raised in Miami, but Anna is from Rome, Italy. She moved here just about a year ago!
How and when did you meet each other? Were you already traveling?
We met back in the summer of 2015 when Danielle was studying abroad in Rome. We were at a dinner organized by a mutual friend one night, and about 15 minutes after we were introduced, Danielle invited herself on a trip Anna had planned to go ziplining the next day...and the rest is history!
After becoming official, did your travel goals or any life goals change?
We were both always into traveling, so having our life center around travel was only bound to happen! Being that Anna is from Italy and Danielle from Miami, we had to decide where we wanted to start our life together. After much thought, we decided to move to Miami together.
How do you pack? Lightly? Heavy? Do you share anything like skincare and hair products?
Anna packs just the right amount of things, but Danielle is definitely an over-packer! We share basically everything (dresses, make-up, skincare, etc.) except shoes, as Anna has a much smaller foot.
While traveling, how do you care for your skin versus being home?
It can definitely be a bit tough taking care of your skin while you are traveling. Danielle has always suffered from very sensitive skin, so any drastic change in weather, temperature, etc., has an effect on her.
We both try to stick to our skincare routine even when we travel, but most definitely keep our faces hydrated during long flights!
What has been the biggest challenge and the greatest joy of traveling?
The greatest joy is being able to experience new things together! As for the biggest challenge, we would have to say is trying to see everything. We’ve learned that a lot of the time, there is never enough time spent in one location - we always want to stay longer!
So we try to take a step back and discuss what is most important to experience in a certain location, and then if we don’t get to everything, it just means we’ll have to come back one day!
How do you decide where your next destination is?
We love to get travel advice from our fellow LGBTQ+ travel buddies! So in choosing our next destination, we either consult with other travelers, or we revert to our *very* long bucket list that we’ve accumulated over the years.
What is your favorite place and why?
Danielle: Italy for sure! Puglia, Sardinia, and Sicily have some of the most amazing beaches on this planet. Whether you’re in the mood for the beach or the mountains, you have them just a couple of hours away from you at all times.
Anna: My favorite place is Italy as well. Not only is my home country, but having traveled a lot around the world, it has everything I look for!
Love the mountains both in the winter for skiing and in the summer to explore around. Plus the food and wine are the best! Second place, I would say Australia, third Curacao for the beachy vibe.
Where did you eat your best meal?
Danielle: A little restaurant in the heart of Rome where you can eat the best carbonara!
Anna: There is this family-owned, small restaurant where you can take out food too, and one family tradition is to take out the “lasagna di Rosa” every now and then and eat all the amazing lasagna together.
Have you been anywhere that made you feel uncomfortable or was forbidden to be an LGBTQ couple? If so, how did you navigate?
Thankfully we’ve never been to a place where we felt uncomfortable being who we are. Yes, we have experienced people saying ignorant remarks to us, but we’ve always felt safe enough to be ourselves.
What’s one of the many traits you admire in each other?
Danielle: I love Anna’s passion. Her passion for life, travel, family, and her career is remarkable.
Anna: I love how caring Danielle is. She is always there to cheer you up and love you no matter what. And I love how she can still surprise me!
What does pride mean to you?
Pride is all about supporting our LGBTQ+ community and amplifying the voices of those in our community who have paved the way for us to be where we are today.