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By @ 11/07/17 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Key West, Travel

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley was recently in Key West, Florida. He had planned to post a collection of short interviews he did with the people he met. Then Hurricane Irma happened. He did manage to organize two interviews: One with an openly gay man who ran a small tour company. And another with a woman who’s been tirelessly working to promote Key West for years. Here’s Dennis’ report.

Cody White, passionate Key West resident

One of the people I met and interviewed while I was there was Cody White who until recently ran a small tour company with his husband RyanListen to the podcast here. In the wake of Irma, the pair decided to focus on other endeavors … but I spoke to Cody before the storm over blizzards at a Dairy Queen not far from the gay resort I was staying at, The Equator. We talked about how he ended up in Key West, what it’s like to have an Airstream trailer, Key West’s passion for costume parties, how tourists react when they learn he’s gay and why Key West is the place for him. Listen to the podcast here.

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCarol Shaughnessy, Newman Public Relations, Key West

Met lots of awesome people on my trip to Key West, FL in August for Man About World magazine. One of them was local writer and publicist Carol Shaughnessy. Listen to the podcast here. Over breakfast with our small group of journalists, she regaled the table with the story of Mel Fisher, the legendary treasure hunter who spent 16 years combing the waters around Key West for treasure from a Spanish ship that sank in the 1600s.

It was such an amazing tale–complete with a $450 million ending–I asked Carol to tell it again on the podcast. We also talked about the giant rainbow flag that went from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Mexico down Key West’s main boulevard and the spirit of Key West and how the community supports people in their dreams, no matter how out there they may be. I’ve heard from Carol since Irma and she said that Key West’s motto of “One Human Family” if in full display as everyone works together to get back to normal. Listen to the podcast here.

More from Dennis Hensley on ManAboutWorld here.



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By @ 06/09/17 in Berlin, Correspondent, Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

Bike tour in Berlin with Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineOne of my favorite ways to get to know a new city is to take a bike tour. You get a lay of the land, are able to cross off some major tourist attractions of your to-do list and are able to justify any and all tasty treats you eat before, during and after, because hey, you’ve been pedaling all day. On a gorgeous spring day in late March, I took the 3 and a half hour, 15-kilometer “Berlin’s Best Bike Tour,” one of several tours offered by the company Berlin on Bike. Annd I’m so glad I did. Story and photo by ManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley.

The bike tour set off from the Kulturbrauerei, a charming complex of red brick buildings that during the Industrial Era was home to a beer factory but now houses restaurants, beer gardens and theaters. The sites we saw and learned about on the tour included a preserved section of the Berlin Wall complete with watchtower, the Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, the Spree River, Tiergarten Park, the Victory Column, the hauntingly powerful Holocaust Memorial and the oh-so posh Hotel Adlon where Michael Jackson dangled his baby Blanket out the window. Along the way, we took a rest stop at a currywurst stand where I sampled Berlin’s most popular street foods, the currywurst, and a bottle of Club Mate, a trendy cold tea-like drink that packs quite punch.

The facts our guide Sebastian Becker shared about the city were fascinating and surprising, like that Chancellor Angela Merkel just lives in a regular apartment with neighbors above and below her, not a fancy government building. But what really made the tour special were the personal stories he shared. When he was a child, Sebastian’s parents were taking the family into the GDR (communist East Germany) to visit relatives, which you were allowed to do on special occasions and they snuck in a Monopoly game as a gift. When they got to the checkpoint, the GDR guards searched their car and found the game. Not only was it confiscated, but Sebastian’s parents had to be interrogated and body searched for hours in a private office while the children waited outside. I guess when you consider how Monopoly is all about American-style capitalism, it’s so surprise the GDR authorities didn’t want their citizens exposed to it. But you can bet the enjoyed playing it themselves.

The tour I took costs 21 Euros, 17 with the tourism board’s Welcome Card, which I highly recommend as it allows you to take public transportation and has many discounts for museums and so forth.

After the tour, Sebastian agreed to let me interview him for my Dennis Anyone podcast over lunch at a nearby sidewalk café, Pane e Vino, where you can get a delicious pizza or pasta dish for under 4 Euros.

You can listen to the podcast here.

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By @ 02/01/16 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel
Paddleboard yoga prep with Dennis Hensley in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Paddleboard yoga prep

I love to take yoga classes when I travel especially if the setting is somewhere really unique, like a skyscraper in Dubai or a beach in Zihuatanejo. My favorite travel yoga experience to-date came courtesy of Sup Fit on the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. What made the class special was not just the gorgeous locale — near the Marriott resort beach — but the fact that we were on paddleboards. [This story is written by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, Dennis Hensley, who is shown in these photos posing up a yoga storm.]

After getting a quick lesson in how to navigate, our teacher Katie paddled with us from the beach to an anchored rope line in the bay where we attached our boards. Then the class proper started with no gongs, no Enya, just the sound of the wind and the waves and Katie’s expert instruction. As a semi-experienced yogi, it was interesting to discover what poses were feasible on a paddleboard and what had to be modified. You’re thinking, ‘Please don’t go into Crescent, Katie. There’s no way.’ Luckily, there was no Crescent but we did do a twist of Warrior 2 on one knee with a foot hooked over the board’s side that I kind nailed. I fell in five times while my yoga pal Scott only fell in once but when the water’s that gorgeous and refreshing, falling in is half the fun.

Yoga paddleboard requires balance, strength and focus, as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

These yogi make it look easy!

My favorite part was at the end when you lay there like you’re dead AKA savasana. You’re facing the sky with your hands dangling in the water while Katie says a few inspiring words about the “ebb and flow” of life and it just doesn’t get any better than that. Scott told me after that a fish brushed up against his hand during savasana as if to remind him exactly where he was. I tried not to be jealous.

So if you find yourself in St. Thomas—perhaps on a cruise—and want to do something unique for your body, mind and soul, check out Sup Fit VI paddleboard yoga. Our class was $29 for 75 minutes and they also offer a Sup Fit resistance training class that if that’s more your thing. Getting touched by a fish is extra.

Yoga paddleboard requires balance, strength and focus, as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Upward facing dog

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Ready for your own yoga paddleboard experience?:



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By @ 05/12/15 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel
On deck on my first ship, The Royal Princess in St. Thomas, circa 1987

On deck on my first ship, The Royal Princess in St. Thomas, circa 1987.

Our correspondent Dennis Hensley is a multi-hyphenate: writer, filmmaker, entertainer … but he’s just added one more: audiobook author. Here he talks about his latest project, creating a mini e-book for a brand new imprint by Ponies + Horses Publishing.

A little over a month ago, I was approached by a writer and editor named Aefa Mulholland about a e-book she was going to publish through her new company Ponies + Horses. She asked if I would like to write a true travel-related story related for a compilation called “6 of 1.” I said yes. 

The result is Mariner’s Club Mixtape, a 6,500-word mini e-book about my days as a cruise ship dancer/cruise staffer in the late 80’s and early 90’s and the songs that take me back to that time.

The virtual jacket blurb describes it this way:

In Mariner’s Club Mixtape, Hollywood writer, performer and filmmaker Dennis Hensley puts together a mixtape that soundtracks a flotilla of romances and relationships, friendships and first times, hookups and letdowns from his five years working as an entertainer on cruise ships in the ’80’s and ’90’s. From a one-night stand in Hong Kong to stowing away for love in British Columbia to surviving Alaska, Dennis recounts his adventures, with a little help from George Michael, Janet Jackson and, of course, Madonna.  

The whole thing happened so fast and I was a little raw when I wrote it so it’s a little edgier and more vulnerable than my past work but hopefully, there’s a few laughs in there, too. I like to think of it as a virtual valentine to a magical time in my life and the people and places that were a part of it.

Check out lots of cruise stories (and get great cruise-planning information) in our March 2015 issue.

Buy it here. Click below to read more about “6 of 1” and Ponies + Horses Publishing



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By @ 06/01/14 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel

DennisVienna

Dennis Hensley first caught travel fever when he was working as a dancer/Assistant Cruise Director for Princess Cruises in his early twenties, shuffling off not only to Buffalo but nearly every continent on earth. Since then he’s penned the novels Misadventures in the (213) and Screening Party, written and/or directed the short films RubdownReunion and If We Took a Holiday,and worked as a staff writer for the TV shows Fashion PoliceLovespring International and The Big Gay Sketch Show.

As a journalist, he’s written for such magazines as TV Guide, Cosmopolitan, Out Traveler, Glamour, The Advocate and Time Out New York. He lives in Long Angeles, where he is the creator and host of the long-running comedy stage hit The MisMatch Game. His weekly podcast “Dennis Anyone?” is available for free on iTunes.

In 2013, his career came full circle when he began writing and directing murder mystery comedy shows for Princess Cruises. The first, The Dangerous Hour, is currently being performed on several ships around the world and the second,The Love Ahoy Mystery Hour, will premier in 2014.

Follow him on Twitter at @HensleyDennis and check out his website DennisHensley.com.

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By @ 05/30/14 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Travel, Vienna

Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 6.05.04 PMBy Dennis Hensley

Imagine getting to Vienna and finding out you had just missed “Gay Christmas.”  That’s the nickname local entrepreneur Bernd Seiser, founder of the website Gay In Vienna, has given to his favorite TV event of the year, the 59th annual Eurovision Song Contest.  “I always remember watching it, even as a little boy,” muses Seiser over a cappuccino in the historic and very gay Café Savoy, home to the two largest single-pain mirrors in Europe (Just imagine the cruising refractions there.)  “We all come together to watch,” he says of the contest, whose past winners include Abba (1974) and Celine Dion (1988).  “It’s like gay heaven.”

This year was especially heavenly because the winner was one of the Viennese gay community’s own, Conchita Wurst.  (Click here to see the winning video.) The bearded drag queen and powerhouse vocalist took it home for Austria with the James Bond-esque empowerment anthem “Rise Like a Phoenix,” written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas.  “When she won, you could hear people outside in other houses screaming like it was a football game,” recalls Seiser, who credits her triumph to a perfect storm of talent and timing.  “It was one of the best songs and she had the best performance of all the contestants.  She even designed her own dress.” 

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