Sara: We first met in Myanmar, which was 2017, right? Do you remember how we met?
Leonard: Yes, I remember, we met the Hostel in Yangon. It was during Songkran. (Water festival)
Sara: You travel around the world a lot. How is it for you to get to know new people, countries, and cultures again and again?
Leonard: Talking to locals and other travels come easy, all you have do is open up and talking to them. I know that's not a common thing to do in Germany, but it works. Currently, I've traveled to 113 countries and deputed territories. In my experience, the poorest countries are some of the friendliest. Everybody wants to be recognized and treated equally. Opening your mind and trying to understand is the key. You may agree or disagree but knowledge, understanding, cultures, and people, sharing views is the best way to get along.
Sara: What is your profession?
Leonard: I'm a photographer; I use to work in fashion but later started to shoot Travel.
Sara: You take beautiful photos of your travels. What is your favorite motive? Excluded cats this time!
Leonard: Thank you, my motive is to share what I've seen and show how beautiful different places and cultures are.
Sara: You grew up in Canada. How was your childhood there?
Leonard: Growing up in Canada shaped who I am today. Some people say Canada is a new country, and it has no culture, but In my opinion, it has the best culture in the world. It has the world's culture in one. In high school, my friends where Canadian but their ethnic origins are from everywhere. My friends did not care.
Sara: What was your favorite food as a child?
Leonard: My favorite food growing up was Chinese (Dim sum) Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Romanian, Persian, and Caribbean.
Sara: And what dishes do you miss on your travels or what do you long for when you are far away?
Leonard: When I travel what I miss most is good ethnic food diversity.
Japanese (Soba, Raman, Sushi, izakaya, tonkatsu), Vietnamese (Pho, vermicelli bowls, Thai (Papaya salad, anything with Thai basil, Thai omelet with rice), Italian, (fresh Pasta, NYC Pizza.), Caribbean, Jerk chicken, Trini Roti, and Doubles). Chinese (Dim sum, pretty much all dumplings). I love (Polish/ Ukraine perogies).
Sara: How do you think the food of your childhood and youth influenced you, how you eat today, and which preferences do you have?
Leonard: Omg, having access to great authentic food from around the world at your doorstep! I get so bored eating the same thing every day. I have a lot of friends who just eat anything brown, meat and potatoes, chicken fingers, french fries; no sauce on anything! I'm so glad growing up with so many good options.
Sara: To put it bluntly: what is your favorite food?
Leonard: In order, I would say my favorite Asian, Italian, and the Caribbean.
If someone asked me if I can only eat one type of food for the rest of my life? Without hesitation, I would say Japanese. Most people think Japanese is just sushi and ramen; it's a lot more than most think.
About Leonard Fong:
Leonard Fong has spent much of the past decade photographing and trekking through more than 108 countries on all 7 continents. He is a professional photographer. His portfolio displays a vast array of captivating portraits, exotic landscapes and intimate looks into cultures. During his time in NYC, He has assisted photographers Steven Meisel, Annie Leibovitz, Sebastian Kim. Leonard currently is working remotely.
Sara: Do you cook yourself? Does that even go on journeys?
Leonard: When I had a "home" NYC, I use to cook maybe 3 times a week. Does making granola for breakfast count for cooking?
Sara: Haha, for sure. Mixing ingredients somehow count for cooking already. Hence, maybe not the most skillful one.
Leonard (goes on): I use to work on set we always had breakfast and lunch catered to us.
Sara: Do you sometimes long for a conventional home and a fixed center of life?
Leonard: You mean living in the suburbs and having kids working a 9-5? Not at all!
Sara: What would you say about me, if you had to describe me?
Leonard: Is this really a question, or are you fishing for compliments?
Sara: Well, well, well... let's skip that. Where can someone follow your travels and beautiful photographs?
Leonard: I guess on Instagram @Lfong, I'm planning on updating my website this year.
Sara: Thanks for sharing insights into your life. I'd love to meet you again, someday, anywhere out there, around the globe. I wish you safe travels, and always good food!