Much of his recent work has been seeking out stories of humanity and nuance in parts of the world that are often demonised or misunderstood by Western media. In the last few years, Leon has been exploring the ways in which moving slowly and thoroughly affects the stories that we hear and tell. His idea is that by approaching storytelling at three miles an hour, let’s say, reporters can find new narratives and meaning, and are perhaps afforded more time to experience and disseminate a deeper human connection.
To this end, Leon has walked a 1000-mile loop of the Holy Land, crossed China from north to south, and travelled on foot in Kosovo, Armenia and on the Yemeni island of Socotra. He has also cycled 14,000 miles across three continents, walked through the Empty Quarter desert, and ridden across Patagonia on horseback. These journeys have led him to a mountaintop with the world's oldest ethno-religious group, to jungles with a band of treasure hunters, and to an Arctic archipelago in pursuit of a legacy of exploration. Leon also works as a trail development consultant and in 2019 he co-led a project to design China's first long-distance hiking trail. He is currently working on a new trail in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Leon has written two books, the latest of which (The Land Beyond - now available in paperback) was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Awards. He has presented a one-hour film for the BBC on the legacy of the explorer Lord Dufferin, and an episode of the 'Real Stories' strand about the Israelite Samaritans. He has also made a 4-part series for National Geographic and produced three independent feature films. He has bylines for National Geographic, New Scientist, BBC, The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph. He has also reported for the BBC's 'From Our Own Correspondent' from the West Bank, Iraq, and Socotra. He is currently a featured contributor to Adventure.com and, if not walking or talking someplace, he is likely to be found in London, Iraq or Ireland.
Buy 'The Land Beyond: A Thousand Miles on Foot Through the Heart of the Middle East' now