In 2003, I spent a month travelling in Myanmar (Burma) during an era when the military junta ruled the country, killed those protesting its rule and held Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest. After a brief period of partial democracy starting in 2016, the February 2021 coup has reinstalled…


Every year on Fat Tuesday, dozens of people line up in Praça de Espanha on the periphery of central Lisbon, waiting for one of the infrequent buses heading to Sesimbra.

On that day, the small coastal town comes alive with a Carnaval parade complete with floats, drummers, exotic dancers in…


‘For the traveller who comes in from the sea, Lisbon, even from afar, rises like a fair vision in a dream, clear-cut against a bright blue sky, which the sun gladdens with its gold’ — Fernando Pessoa.

Lisbon ‘rises like a fair vision in a dream’. Photo: Nick Leonard.

The first person to emerge from Lisbon’s coronavirus lockdown was Fernando Pessoa, who…


Marrakesh, Morocco 🇲🇦

The Djemaa el-Fna, the enchanting square at the heart of Marrakesh, assaults the senses at all hours: by day, the sight of snake charmers and their hypnotised serpents and the fragrant smells of the spice stalls; by night, the sounds of traditional storytellers and beating drums under a blanket of…


‘You’re not going to Colombia, are you?’

Perhaps this phone call home from Panama City in mid-2005 had not been the best idea. My mother was concerned, and I could hardly blame her. Colombia was embroiled in a four-decade civil war and was the epicentre of the world’s cocaine industry.


During my first international trip in Europe as a 21-year-old in 2001, each city seemed more amazing than the last. My dispatches home to Australia reflected this feeling to such a degree that my declaration of a new favourite city virtually every week — first Paris, then Berlin, then Prague…


For centuries, the history of Lisbon has unfolded against the backdrop of a sound-and-light show that has defined the city as much as anything else.

The Easter massacre of 1506 began with light — a disputed reflection inside a dim church — and ended with the deadly sound of heads…


With many of us in lockdown, flights largely suspended and future plans up in the air, where do we turn to satiate the travel bug?

Travelling in the age of coronavirus has been reduced to daydreaming, and as I look around my apartment in search of inspiration, my gaze falls…


With many national governments taking measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus, hundreds of millions of people around the globe have been ordered to stay home.

Nick Leonard

Compulsive traveller, Camino de Santiago pilgrim, Olympic journalist and light-chasing photographer.

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