When we asked her these questions, she revealed how big a foodie she actually is – here’s more about Leah Martin.
Where from: Essex, England.
How old were you when you first left the country: I think I was 3, but I might have been younger.
How many countries travelled: 12, I think.
Favourite place/country: As childish as it sounds, my favourite place on Earth is Orlando, Florida (because of all of the theme parks). But if you’re looking for a more sensible answer, it’s New York.
Why? A lot of people turn their nose up at Orlando, because they see it as ‘just Disney’, but there really is a theme park for everyone. If you want high-speed thrills, for example, there’s the two Universal Studios parks, and if you’re more of a water baby, there are plenty of water parks to enjoy. Personally, I couldn’t love the Disney Parks more! I’ve been seven times, and each time they’ve brought me an equal amount of joy, because you can lose your inhibitions, forget about your worries, and just have fun and be silly!
And when it comes to New York, what is there not to love? There’s food, entertainment, a great combination of concrete and green space and just so much to do! I personally loved the Greenwich Village and Soho areas. They were, of course, pretty busy, but less overwhelming than Time’s Square or 5th Avenue. I’d definitely recommend going in the summer to really enjoy everything New York has to offer. I loved strolling around back streets, popping into the odd quirky shop, and enjoying a leisurely lunch in Central Park.
Next trip? I’ve already booked a trip to Florida with a friend for a post-graduation celebration, but my boyfriend and I are also planning (or trying to plan) an eight-week-long trip to Asia. We know we want to start in Vietnam and end in Indonesia, but all the bits and bobs in between are still undecided!
Bucket list? Not as such, but I’m definitely always thinking of places I want to visit. I want to try to visit as many European countries as possible before leaving the EU, starting with Hungary, the Czech Republic and Moldova. I’d also love to go further afield and go to New Zealand and Fiji. I’ve also been dreaming of visiting South/Central America for a while now, but have been told I need to take some Spanish classes first! I’ve already spent a lot of time in the States, but I’d still love to go to Texas and Tennessee for the music and the food!
What stops you from travelling? Lack of money is definitely an issue when you’re a student. It’s a pain really. Right now, I have the time to travel, but not the funds, and by the time I have the money, I won’t have the time!
Best food you’ve eaten in another country? Oh my God – I’ve eaten so much good food! While living in Munich, I had some incredible dishes like turkey schnitzel as big as my head, incredible healthy and huge falafel salads, and vegan dark chocolate ice cream, which, despite the lack of dairy, was the best, richest, chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had in my life!
Paris is also a fab spot for food. They have incredible brunch places that offer everything from huge pancake stacks, to healthy acai bowls. I think my favourite place to eat in the French capital is L’as Du Falafel – a falafel restaurant in the Jewish quarter of town, which offers huge mixed plates of goodness (falafel, hummus, salad, chicken, chips, roasted veggies, olives etc). There’s also a cute little restaurant called Marcel. It’s in a residential area, sort of close to the Moulin Rouge, but more secluded! It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a really cool vibe.
If you’re heading to Zurich, I’d definitely suggest Hiltl, which is a vegan/vegetarian buffet restaurant, but doesn’t have the tacky vibe of most buffets. In fact, it’s pretty fancy (and so are the prices, sadly), and there’s so much to choose from! The city also has a cool ‘healthy eating’ spot called ‘b. good’, which offers more nutritious twists on classics like burgers and fries.
No. 1 road-trip song? It depends where I’m going! I obviously listen to Disney songs on trips to Orlando (who wouldn’t?), but other than that I don’t really have any set songs. I like to try to listen to the music of the country I’m visiting; for example, there’s nothing better than chilling in a Spanish tapas bar while listening to some Latin-style acoustic music.