Few people on earth travel as often as professional athletes. With On the Road, the GQ Sports Travel Questionnaire, they’re weighing in on everything from room service to flying comfortably to their favorite chain restaurants.
At 24 years old, with a Defensive Rookie of the Year and two All-Pro selections already to his name, Micah Parsons is on a steep upward trajectory. Anytime you can set a single-season record for the Dallas Cowboys—one of the most illustrious franchises in professional sports—you’re doing something right. Parsons shattered the team’s rookie record for sacks in 2021 by bringing down the quarterback 13 times, and followed that up with another stellar season in 2022, making him a household name for football fans. The pass rush extraordinaire has used his swelling celebrity status to partner with Hugo Boss for the company’s NFL clothing collection, which offers lifestyle apparel for a new generation of fans. That gained Parsons entrance into the fashion world for the first time, but he’s also been jet-setting on his own dime, flying all over the globe to see some of the international cities that football doesn’t bring him to.
Before training camp got underway, GQ got Parsons on Zoom to get his thoughts on all things travel, something that pro athletes are extremely accustomed to. Even though the 2023 season will be just his third year in the league, he’s already been and done a lot and formed hard stances on the nitty-gritty things that comprise any trip. Though he’s never played in one of the NFL’s overseas games—and isn’t that eager to—he’s been across the pond a few times and already discovered his new favorite spot. Parsons also has some strong feelings about a certain tropical city in the US, where the Cowboys will play a Christmas Eve game in a few months.
Parsons: I’m stepping into a new world! I’ve always been kind of a sweatpants-hoodie guy. When the line dropped and I got to put on sweats and stuff, I was like, This is great! This is perfect for a guy like me.
Are you going to get some nice suits out of this too?
Oh, yeah, I definitely got a few nice suits. I actually was just in Europe, and I used some of the pieces they sent me already. It was real nice, I was excited to wear them. For me, Boss was, like, an original. Growing up, Boss was always around. It’s widely known, and I like it because it’s not as expensive as a brand like Gucci or Louis [Vuitton]. Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I’m for the people.
What’d you get into in Europe?
I was in Lisbon and Madrid. It was just purely a vacation. I was out there for five days. For me, it’s all about experiences, seeing the culture, being in the city. So, I did a lot of stuff like hitting the food markets, seeing the architecture and what life is like. It’s cool to ride the scooters on some cobblestones. That was a great experience. I was in Europe in March, too. So this was like, Let me go to two new places and see what they’re about.
Right now, my two favorites have to be Lisbon—that was amazing—and Barcelona, for sure. I think that would be my favorite place. The food, the night life, the beaches, the soccer—I went to El Clásico [Barcelona vs. Real Madrid]. I still gotta hit Amsterdam. That’s one that if I don’t hit, I’ll be pretty upset.
What’s your favorite American city to visit?
That would definitely be Vegas. Anytime I’m in Vegas I have like two days max, because it’s so fun that it’s too much. But it’s the most live two days, and I’m talking about it for the rest of the week. Like, ‘Yo, you wouldn’t believe what happened yesterday!’ Anytime you hit another city, like Miami, they’re just taxing you the whole time. The restaurants are expensive, the outings are expensive. Vegas, if you’re looking for pool vibes, street vibes, shopping—they have the best shopping, tax-free—gambling with your friends. It’s just so much more that Vegas has to offer for a group.
Do you have a favorite casino game?
It’d probably be craps. I feel like there’s no better energy than being with eight of your friends at a craps table and y’all taking turns shooting dice. Unless you guys are all losing. But usually when the energy’s high, it doesn’t really go like that.