In this Celebrity Travel Addicts Q&A my friend Gareth Leonard of Tourist 2 Townie talks about his life as an adventure capitalist who prefers to immerse himself into every destination to really learn about its culture. From Bhutan to Brazil, Gareth believes that living in each destination makes you travel deep within yourself. Without further ado here is Gareth Leonard with what fuels his wanderlust, some tips for Japan and where he’s off to next.
How did your passion for travel get started?
On a whim, I decided to study abroad my Junior year of College in London. That was my first real taste of life outside the United States, and I was completely hooked.
How many days/weeks are you traveling in any given year? What are the types of places do you like to visit?
I am usually traveling for 6-8 months per year, but my focus is on slow, meaningful travel, so I may only visit two or three countries within that time. I love anywhere off the beaten path.
What is it that you want audiences to gain/ learn from your work videos and photography?
There is another way to travel beyond the backpacker trails and tourist attractions. Dive deeper into a place to learn from the people and culture that define it.
Name your top three destinations you’ve traveled?
Colombia, Brazil, Nepal… and now Japan!
Give us your ‘Top 5’ list for one of these destinations, like a mini-guide or to-do list of sorts
I’ll talk about Japan, because that’s where I am now… here are my “Top 5” things to do:
1) Get weird in Tokyo
2) Wake up early in Kyoto
3) Eat your way around Osaka
4) Experience the islands off Okinawa
5) Ski and Spa in Nozawa Onsen
How many countries have you visited so far?
Your top three favorite cuisines?
Mediterranean, Mexican, and Japanese
Favorite restaurant in the world?
That one in the basement of a Taipei train station, with no sign on the door and incredible soup dumplings.
Your favorite travel movie?
Favorite international airport?
City with the friendliest people?
Your favorite traveling companion?
Best way you kill time while traveling?
Talk to locals
What is the most exotic place your career has taken you?
Your best bit of travel advice for someone who is about to embark on a life of travel?
Document as much as possible, and also know when to put your camera or phone away.
What are 4 things you could never travel without?
2. Exofficio Underwear
3. Google Maps
4. Positive Attitude
What is your ultimate dream destination?
Philippines, Morocco, and the Maldives… at the moment.
Your favorite travel quote?
“Travel Deeper.” – Gareth Leonard
You were just in Japan, give us three reasons why you love it!
The food, the fashion and most importantly… it is a parallel universe – like nothing else I have ever experienced before in my eight years of traveling this planet!
Where to next?
Upcoming travel looks like Costa Rica, Italy, Iceland, and Mexico!
My name is Gareth Leonard, a marketing director turned adventure capitalist on a mission to “travel deeper” around the world. I have a passion for slow, meaningful travel, and my goal is to transform from “tourist” to “townie” everywhere I go. See what I mean on my YouTube Channel, Instagram and Tourist2Townie.com