Travel Tales: Johanna Leggatt

Name: Johanna Leggatt

Age: 41

Current job?: Travel writer, journalist and copywriter. You can find me at www.johannaleggatt.com.au or on Twitter/Instagram @johannaleggatt

Joh in her happy place: India

Favourite travel destinations and why?: India. It’s one of those places you either love or hate, and I fell head over heels the minute I landed at Delhi. It’s so full of life, colour and humanity — in all its forms — that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.

Best sunrise/sunset?: Darwin sunsets are legendary and I saw some pretty spectacular ones in Santorini, but the most memorable was watching the sun set in Iceland. A group of us were camping and we pulled up at the coast just as this blazing sun was grazing the surface of the ocean. Although, because it was summer and the sun never completely sets at that time of year in Iceland, it was more of a ‘sun dip’ than a sunset.

Best museum or gallery?: I would have to say the Louvre because it is home to so many works from DaVinci who is my favourite painter. It’s also home to my favourite painting of his, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the serene expression on St Anne’s face, that grace, is breath-taking.

Joh enjoying a cuppa in Tokyo

Best meal you’ve had while travelling?: There have been so many! The food in Japan is incredible, and I have a soft spot for anything served up in Italy,  but the meal I ate with my close friends and family in Penang, at Seven Terraces’ Kebaya restaurant, was memorable for so many reasons.

One food/drink people should avoid at all costs?: I definitely have an aversion to sweet cocktails, which are everywhere in South East Asia, and am not a great fan of airplane food, if you could even call it that. My advice is to pack your own cheese and biscuits.

Best/scariest/funniest drive?: It was both the best and the scariest drive of my life when my partner and I hired a car in Oman and I drove through the streets jetlagged, lost, in the middle of the night trying to get a handle of the four-wheel drive, the local laws and find the hotel all at the same time. Should have booked a cab!

Exploring the ruins of Hampi rural India

Best/weirdest/worst place you’ve stayed?: There was this bizarre spiritual hotel we stayed in the middle of rural India, that was filthy, but staff insisted that guests could not drink or smoke on the grounds. At that point, that was all that was stopping us from going insane so we checked out the next day.

Biggest ‘wow’ moment in your travelling life?: Tough one! It was probably walking through the freezing streets of a town outside of Niko, in Japan, and feeling that I was in one of the most exotic places on Earth. That I had stepped into another dimension and nothing felt or seemed familiar. It was exhilarating.

Number one travel tip?: Never skimp on hotels. They are part of the experience.

One thing you’d never leave home without?: My Stilnox prescription. Not everyone swears by sleeping pills, but they certainly help me in the early days of jetlag.

Next destination?: Sicily! One of my best friends is living in Rome at the moment and we are meeting up at a villa in Sicily in March. Cannot wait!

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