Consult the guru

Posted on 10 May 2013 at 9:45am

GayTravel.com guru Bryan Kosarek may live in Austin but admits he loves Dallas

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You know the old joke: “I just flew in from Miami; boy, are my arms tired.”

Well, that’s sort of Bryan Kosarek’s actual life now.

The transplanted Texan (a Chicago native) has been winging it for more than two months, and still has nearly four more to go as the GayTravel.com “guru,” a position that sends him from spots like Southern California all the way over to Thailand and back to the U.S. … especially his home base in Austin.

Kosarek is no stranger to the Lone Star State, having attended college in San Antonio; for the past five years, the 31-year-old has lived in Austin, where he works in real estate by day and writes the blog GayInAustinTexas.com — a social/relocation guide about the queerpeal of the state’s capital — by night.

Last fall, just as a relationship was ending, Kosarek decided to enter a contest held by GayTravel.com to find their new travel guru — a paid position where one lucky journalist criss-crosses the world, blogging and vlogging about the gay scene from Sonoma to the Caribbean. And he won. (Best news of all for Texas: The runner-up was also from Austin.) Since then, he’s been traveling a lot, with occasional breaks back home to recuperate and recharge.

Even though he’s been an enthusiastic cheerleader for gay Austin, Kosarek admits Dallas has its own draws, which he experienced late last month. Kosarek landed in Dallas (a city he already knew somewhat) but got to explore it with new eyes.

SisuAnd what an adventure. He stayed in the gayborhood at the Warwick Melrose Hotel, and got to hang out (alongside me) with the gay filmmakers and celebs at the USA Film Festival; was able to meet restaurateurs like Abraham Salum and dine at Dish and Nick & Sam’s Grill (and partake in one of mixologist Leann Berry’s signature cocktails at Komali, pictured above); walked through the Dallas Museum of Art (seeing the Coco Chanel exhibit was the highlight, he says); and got to see for the first time Lisa Lampanelli (he was suitable offended and delighted). And he got to whoop it up at the Purple Party, from seeing the Rose Room girls perform alongside Drag Racer Chad Michaels to sunworshipping at Sisu (pictured below).

If lounging by a pool sipping cocktails surrounded by hunky men sounds like your idea of a dream job, keep in mind: Kosarek spends about half of his time in locations writing and editing, and jet-lag has become a way of life. It’s not all roses.

Then again, Kosarek isn’t complaining — at least not yet. Over a beer at the Katy Trail Ice House, Kosarek ogles the crowd, taking in the stylish variety the city has to offer. After visiting the men’s room, Kosarek even tweets this little missive: “Everything isn’t bigger in Texas. Everything’s just bigger in Dallas.”

We try, Bryan; we try.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

You can follow GayTravel Guru Bryan Kosarek’s adventures until August by signing up for his blog at GayTravel.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 10, 2013.

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