Tell us more about you…
My name is Carlos Melia, I’m 43 and born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I was raised literally around the globe. By the age of 13 I had been around the world three times! I guess that moulded my personality as a gypsy, the DNA of my profession.
For the last 25 years I have been a luxury travel agent and travel writer. I’ve lived in Hudson Yards, Manhattan for the last 10 years. Home is where my husband and our Miniature Schnauzer, Bruna are.
How many countries have you been to? How many continents?
I think it is easier to say how many I’ve not been to… My father was a commercial pilot, so planes for me were like jumping on a bus.
Then with my career in the travel and hospitality industry, I have traveled extensively.
So I can say that I have covered all continents and most of the countries around the world – although I haven’t been to Antartica yet. It’s ranking high on my travel bucket list!
What’s your favorite destination you’ve visited and why?
Thailand and Asia overall. Why? It makes me happy, centered and relaxed. I love the Asian paradigm. The culture, the food, the people and the experience overall.
Where was your most romantic trip and why?
Onboard the Belmond Eastern and Oriental Express luxury train from Bangkok, Thailand to Singapore, across Malaysia.
Black tie each night on a two-night journey, in full Baccarat and Lalique heaven, along with my now-husband.
Do you ever travel with your partner?
Well, I have been married for two years now, and we’ve been together for six years. So yes, we travel together all the time either for pleasure or for our work. Rubin is a world-renowned fashion designer with his own [label], RUBINSINGER!
Which country has the hottest people?
To me…the Arab countries.
Where did you typically go on holiday as a kid?
South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Panama, Brazil…..
Have you ever experienced homophobia or discrimination abroad?
No, never. I am very respectful of local cultures and ways of life. That does not mean that I hide the fact of being gay at all, but I think I do know when and how to show it.
Would you avoid a certain country because of the laws there?
Never, unless my safety and wellbeing would be threatened. I have spent long periods in countries like Iran, and this was over 15 years ago. Iran was an amazing experience. I was working consulting for Iran Air the flag[ship] airline. Therefore I was able to get access to the best of the best the country has to offer. But I also love mingling with the locals.
The culture is so rich, refined and intriguing. The cuisine is exquisite. My happiest moments were weekends at the Alborz Mountains in Tehran trying tea houses al fresco. As for the gay life in Tehran – it is everywhere, but it does not identify as a gay scene. So yes, but officially not, if you can read between the lines.
Where did you get married?
We travel so much that we decided to do our wedding in New York. After that we had trips planned to Italy, Thailand and China.
Where would you go on your honeymoon?
Back to Thailand to travel around with an obligated stay at the Four Seasons Tented Camps in the Golden Triangle.
Where were you going the last time you stepped on a plane, apart from home?
I have just got back from Peru – I was there for 10 days. I started in Lima, them off to Arequipa where I boarded the first sleeper luxury train in South America, the Belmond Andean Explorer. We spent two nights onboard with stops in Puno, Lake Titicaca to arrive in Cusco. I have been to Peru over seven times now, so I did not continue to Machu Picchu.
Finally, what are your travel plans for the rest of the year?
In August I’m going to Fire Island in New York and Tokyo, Mt Fuji and Kyoto in Japan. September is Morocco, October is Paris Fashion Week and Moscow, November is St Barth and the French West Indies. Then, in December I’m going to the French Riviera, Santiago de Compostela in Spain and Portugal! Be sure to follow my travels on social media!
For more information visit the Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator website at www.carlosmelia.com.