WRITTEN BY FAME NEAL OF DESTINATION ELEVATED
FAT NUGS UNDER BIG SKIES TOUR.
Fat Nugs? Big Skies? That sounds like a canna-lover’s dream. Your dream, that is, because The Traveling Cannabis Writer is living her reality of touring U.S and international cannabis festivals, farms, and shops. The Fat Nugs Under Big Skies Tour is the latest in Veronica Castillo’s tour collabs and she’s taking Destination Elevated with her for the journey—metaphorically speaking.
Destination Elevated centers BIPOC & Latinx U.S. Travel Destinations so naturally we had to keep up with the only Traveling Latina Cannabis Writer we knew.
As I type this Vee, as her family and friends know her, is in Puerto Rico surrounded by tropical greens and island vibes contemplating her next move to—wait for it—Montana. That’s right, The Traveling Cannabis Writer will head to Montana to kick off the Fat Nugs Under Big Skies Tour in Missoula, Montana for the 420 Block Party.
But before we get into all that, let’s get to the bud-dum of why you’re here.
Why Should You Care About the Fat Nugs Under Big Skies Tour?
The Traveling Cannabis Writer comes from humble upbringings in Miami, Florida but has always had a traveling spirit. After enduring chronic migraines and finding relief in cannabis she decided to “focus her pen” and leave her newly-built house behind to become: The Traveling Cannabis Writer.
Vee believes the powerful Cannabis plant will inspire more BIPOC consumers to travel to and experience more outdoor spaces. As recreational cannabis use becomes more widespread and accessibility initiatives that bring people of color into the great outdoors continue to grow, one can only imagine the high correlation between the two.
It’s a fact that cannabis has the power of bringing people together—some you’d rather not be in the cypher but nevertheless it’s a powerful unifier. And as much as we try to fight it: THE OUTSIDE IS FOR US MELANATED PEOPLE. While traveling from the Northern U.S. to the South the differing perception of “being outdoors” is as apparent as the Mason Dixon line. Born and raised Northern city-dwellers of color are (statistically speaking) less inclined to venture outdoors. I don’t know if it’s the 6-7 months of wintry weather or the fast-paced lifestyle that leaves little room for fitting some fresh air into our schedule.
The third option—which is always true—is that BIPOC folk simply don’t frequent colonized spaces. In a Latinx Republic article Flor Chavez Barriga points out that disposable income and leisure time is something that is required to theoretically participate in outdoor activities. During the Jim Crow Era, even campsites bore the infamous Whites Only signage. Outdoor spaces are naturally, less regulated and therefore less frequented by people of color (POC). “Decolonize” (you fill in the blank) campaigns are springing up all over social media and why should the outdoors be left out? As travelers of color begin to reclaim their rights to go anywhere we damn well please on this earth, systems that protect travelers and hold discriminatory tourist destinations accountable are becoming a growing necessity.
As POC continue to relinquish the shame of self-medicating poured onto us by the racist “War on Drugs” and become more intentional and empowered in our use of the plant, we have started to build bridges between communities—especially in outdoor spaces.
Cannabis and the Great Outdoors.
Recent generations are (re)discovering the indispensable human connection with nature and for cannabis consumers this means: we’re smoking more fatties under starry skies. The Traveling Cannabis Writer will be sharing her Fat Nugs Under Big Skies tour experiences with us throughout her journey, but first she gave DE the exclusive background on her collab with Fat Nugs Magazine.
The Exclusive Interview.
Destination Elevated: How do people react when you tell them you travel and consume cannabis for a living?
Veronica Castillo: So many people love it! Many say I have the dream job. Others want to know what that means exactly. The older generations ask if it’s a paying job.
DE: How did you get hooked up with Fat Nugs Magazine for the Fat Nugs Under Big Skies tour?
VC: The founder and I have been connected since pre Fat Nugs Magazine. We have been very supportive of each others pens, Dustin wrote a LinkedIn article about my work, I’ve collaborated with his team to cover an event and so… when Montana made the request for a writer to come travel the state and put it in a magazine, I asked to be the one and to publish with Fat Nugs.
The tour was born after one meeting. I followed up by email after facing a blunt and said we should name it Fat Nugs- bc it’s a canna tour being published in Fat Nugs Magazine, big skies because Montana is known as Big Sky Country.
DE: Tell us about the tour. Where will you go? Who will you meet?
VC: The tour starts on 4/20 in Missoula at the 420 Block Party. From there I head east across the state to meet with and tour: cultivations, dispensaries, transportation services, testing labs, and so much more. I’m checking out landmarks, national parks, and where to eat vegan. Montana has mountains, rivers and lakes. Many say it’s the greenest state with water so clear it could be a mirror.
DE: Who planned/selected the destinations for the tour?
VC: It’s a collaborative effort. I’ve traveled through Montana but don’t know Montana so, James with Sinful Beverages provided a list of metro areas across the state that have a cannabis scene and are great places for travelers. James introduced me to some cannabis businesses in those areas. From there, I planned and organized the route and the stops.
DE: What are you looking forward to the most while touring?
VC: Bringing to light the hidden gems! Being able to report back to the BIPOC community about a place we don’t think about when we are thinking about vacations. Meeting the people, seeing the places, feeling the love for the plant, and of course smoking the plant.
DE: Do you have any BIPOC destinations planned for your tour?
VC: I will definitely be covering BIPOC owned in Montana while on this tour and any tour. I’m definitely interested in Montana’s indigenous past and present.
DE: Why was it important for you to emphasize BIPOC Travel for this tour?
VC: BIPOC is always a focus. On this tour and all of them, my goal is to always highlight BIPOC owned and/or highlighting places for us to visit and dope things for us to check out. Mainstream doesn’t always look out for us in this way and I want to see US traveling more. Part of what I do is to report back to US, to inspire bro and/or sis to: BOOK THAT TRIP.
DE: How many tours have you done since you got started?
VC: A lot. and they all looked different. I’ve traveled the country for five years back and forth and all around by flight, car, and train. I’ve traveled to all regions, coasts, and corners. I’ve toured the industry in states like FL, MA, VA, NY, MI, MO, OK, CA including the beautiful Emerald Triangle; I’ve explored the industry and culture in NC, PA, WA, IL, NV, AZ, CO, Puerto Rico, NM, and even lived on cannabis farms in OR.
DE: What are some of your most memorable moments on the road?
VC: Sleeping at the rest stop on Death Mountain, my car catching fire in Montana, the faces that light up when they catch the scent of cannabis, the places that I feared that actually gave me the warmest welcomes. Seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Seeing a whale while on a ferry ride in the Pacific Ocean. Witnessing with my eyes and in the flesh things I only read and dreamed of seeing around the country: mountains touching clouds, 60 degrees in the summertime when high in elevation, seeing and hugging a redwood, seeing cannabis plants growing out of the dirt as big as trees. Sleeping under the stars along lakes and rivers… so much!
DE: As a solo traveler, does it get lonely? What are some travel safety tips you keep in mind?
VC: I’m not always alone. I travel with my boo(s), or other creatives, or in a group. When I do travel alone- I love it! Me time is so important to me and sometimes, I’ll travel alone simply because I need that time with self. I’ve been in Puerto Rico on my own since Jan and it’s been great!
As for safety—I always recommend sending your whereabouts to a few people. Send your location, the address to the BnB you’re staying at, name and location of the hotel. I never recommend hitchhiking. Just like back in the day- watch your drinks even at airports. Human trafficking is a pandemic not being discussed and so I never recommend flying into Miami and accepting a boat ride from someone trying to mac; Miami is down in waters that will take you out the country in less than 90 miles. I always recommend keeping your phone charged and not telling people your business; no one you just met needs to know your business.
DE: Describe your connection with nature and cannabis.
VC: My loves! Nature is therapy. Nature soothes and heals me. Nature returns the love I give to the world. Nature also nourishes my mind, body, and soul through her abundance of apples, oranges, cucumbers, potatoes, pineapples, malanga, avocado, and so on. Cannabis healed from chronic migraine and gave me the reason I picked up my pen: to educate, inform, and destigmatize. It’s me and plants until the death of me.
DE: How do you travel and consume cannabis safely?
VC: I consume oils, edibles, and a blunt pre flight and always consider the time in between that and my landing sesh, my tolerance break. We all need them and so, those are mine. My travel is usually focused on cannabis and so, I’m always surrounded by her.
DE: How do you keep up with cannabis laws from one locality to the next when you’re traveling?
VC: I’m going to be honest, I smoke cannabis wherever I go. Cannabis has been around way longer than me. There isn’t a place in the world that a cannabis smoker isn’t getting lit as I type this sentence. We have never really needed legality, to get lit. Some things I do consider in states like California where there are a lot of federal roads (national parks are federal), my plant is legal in the state of California, but is still federally prohibited and therefore not legal to transport on federal roads.
DE: Any projects or people on your team that you want to shout out?
VC: I want to give a shout to my tribe of sponsors that make my moves possible. I have a big tribe of sponsors that vary: website sponsors, travel sponsors, column/content sponsors, product sponsors, and more. Together, we stomp the pavement in this country and others.
DE: What’s your idea of a perfect day?
VC: Every one of my days is perfect. I live the life of my dreams! I used to be sitting at my desk when I worked for a large insurance company, and I would cry about the visions I had of my days like this. I always saw myself here, and knew that the vision was the life I deserved. My days are sponsored, my life has a beautiful purpose and story, and I am loved and supported. It’s all…perfect!
NEXT ON THE TOUR.
While Vee was vague about the details she reassured us that Summer 2023 is off to a great start. The First official stop will be the 420 Block Party in Missoula, Montana.
After that, The Traveling Cannabis Writer will be headed to Maine for a state dispensary tour and we’ll keep you posted on all the dreamy details. In Conclusion: We Outside.
Connect with The Traveling Cannabis Writer on social media or veetravelingvegcannawriter.com.
ABOUT THE TRAVELING CANNABIS WRITER.
Veronica Castillo, also known as The Traveling Cannabis Writer, lives on the road covering all things cannabis/ hemp/ and overall plant medicines. She is an industry writer, collaborator, connector, and trusted partner of cannabis tourism brands like Bud and Breakfast.
READ NOW: The Traveling Cannabis Writer on RAW’s Recent Lawsuit.
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