Meet Leonardo Wen, a photojournalist from Brasília, Brazil.
After graduating from a photography degree and working for a local newspaper in São Paolo, Leo got his first taste of international travel when he was awarded a scholarship to do his Masters in London in 2008. Coupled with a year living in Madrid, Leo explored a lot of Europe during this time including trips to Ireland, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Nowadays, Leo lives in Rio de Janeiro but whenever he has the opportunity to travel for work, he always tries to extend his travel for some days or weeks. “That's how I ended up in Turkey after a week working in Qatar!” he says, where we happened to cross paths.
We ended up spending several days together exploring Turkey by car, where his right-hand lane driving experience was a real plus for us Aussies! It was a pleasure to get to know him and to observe someone so passionate about capturing the world we live in, even when not on official assignment.
Here’s what Leo had to say about his life and travel.
1. Where are you now and what are you doing?
At this exact moment I'm at Doha airport, waiting for the next flight back home, after 10 days in Qatar and 3 weeks in Turkey.
2. How heavy was your baggage at last check-in?
30kg on the dispatched bag plus 12kg on the hand luggage. It's too much!! Well, I did some shopping in Turkey, and I had to bring a lot of photo gear to make job in Qatar. Heavy stuff like tripod, lenses, a second camera and so on. Of course I didn't use half!
3. Apart from your passport, what item can you not travel without?
My camera, of course! I need to buy a smaller one, was quite annoying to carry my DSLR camera all the time.
4. What was the first foreign country you ever travelled to?
5. What has been your favourite destination to date?
It's difficult to say… I prefer to spend a lot of time in each place, instead of being in a lot of spots for a short period. Then I can take long and no-direction walks, with no hurries, and be in contact with the atmosphere. So I think each place has its own special thing. But I really liked Berlin, for example.
6. Preferred accommodation: Hotel? Hostel? Randoms’ couch? Other?
I normally stay in hostels, but I always choose private rooms if possible. I'm getting old…
7. Given an unlimited budget, where would you most like to go?
I would love to cross the whole of Latin America, from Argentina till Mexico!
8. What do you most like about travel?
The feeling of freedom we have. It's great to see how the world is big and how we're small.
9. What do you most dislike about travel?
Airports! I hate them!
10. What is your most memorable travel experience?
In 2010, I went to Chile for a month vacation. Halfway through my holiday, there was an earthquake. I was in Valparaíso that day. Immediately I called the newspaper I used to work for, and they sent me to Concepción for a few days, at the epicenter. After these difficult days, I was about to go to Bolivia, but the flight was cancelled because the airport was also damaged. Then I headed to Iquique, a city in the north of Chile. I rented a car and took a long trip through the desert and beaches. Really amazing landscape! I finished my travel in Montevideo, Uruguay.