Leon is a writer, filmmaker and adventurer from Northern Ireland. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a recipient of the 2017 Neville Shulman Challenge Award.
He has cycled 14,000 miles from New York to Hong Kong, walked the length of China, and ridden across Patagonia on horseback. 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.
Much of his recent work has been seeking out these stories of humanity and nuance in parts of the world that are often demonised (or misunderstood) by Western media. To this end, Leon has walked a 1000 mile loop through the Holy Land, from Jerusalem to Jerusalem via Jordan, the Sinai peninsula, Palestine and Israel, and this year has travelled on foot in Kosovo, Armenia, Iraqi Kurdistan and on the Yemeni island of Socotra in search of unique stories and perspectives.
Leon has made three independent feature films and written two books, the latest of which was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Awards. He has shot one TV series, and has another on the way. His work has featured on National Geographic and the BBC, and in publications such as the Guardian, Sunday Times and Telegraph. He is currently a featured contributor to adventure.com and, if not walking and talking someplace, he is likely to be found in London or Ireland.