As I landed in Hanoi, wandering the narrow, noisy streets and negotiating my way through the crowds to find my first coffee of the day, my senses were overwhelmed and instantly intrigued to what this country would have to offer. From that very first moment I knew I would be overtaken with passion for Southeast Asia.
My career in travel started in 2009, where I eagerly wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with others, in helping them plan there very own tailored adventures around the world.
My most recent travels have allowed me to extensively delve into the deepest jungles of Borneo, and experience lavish luxury in Bali. I have a deep appreciation and love for these countries and the indigenous people that still occupy them.
When I am not trying to capture that perfect photo of an orangutan, you will find me enjoying the local food and aromas of the countryside.
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Q&A with Leanne
What's your most vivid travel moment?
The sunlight had faded and the Kinabatangan River was being lit by the bright light of the moon. The light vibrations from the boat’s engine were propelling us forward, in search for any movement in the trees. The rustle of the leaves and sudden heavy snaps of the branches were a strong indication that something was close to us in the area. As we turned the corner we saw a family of orangutans, headed-up by the fully flanged male, keeping a sharp eye on his family. This was spectacular to experience alone but the bright torch light from the guide was still scanning the water for small reflections of eyes that could be watching from below. Just on cue, a saltwater crocodile appeared in the water, elegantly swimming alongside the boat. Orangutans high in the trees, the prehistoric crocodile cutting through the water effortlessly, and the sounds of the rainforest in the background was certainly just one of the highlights of Borneo.
Where would you love to travel next?
Kenya. The vast open plains, inhabited by animals I only dream of encountering. To be welcomed into their home and to capture the perfect photo of a lion's eyes locking with my camera lens, would make this destination top of my list to travel to next.
Which book, film or artwork captures Borneo the most?
Whilst on my travels in Borneo I purchased a book called ‘White Man Returns.’ The pages of this book bring to life the true story of the indigenous people of Borneo and how they returned to the land after World War II. The account describes what this looked like to them and the struggles they faced in this beautiful country. It opened my eyes to what the economy has been through and just how tourism has made such a positive impact to the local people getting their lives back on track. I loved the book and it just added to the many reasons why I fell in love with the country and the people.