How often do you travel?
I’m on a plane around four times a month. I’m based in Los Angeles at the moment, so I travel between London and the US regularly. I’ve also been travelling a great deal around the States. I’ve been to Ohio, Minneapolis,New York, and San Francisco, as well as Palm Springs, California.
What do you need for a perfect holiday?
The sun, a beach and time to relax.
Your earliest memory of travelling abroad?
Karachi in Pakistan from the age of about seven to my early teens. My mum and dad sourced fabrics from there for their business, so we would go there for about a week to 10 days every couple of months. They also took us to New York when they started buying fabrics, there, so I was a well-travelled child. My mum is from Wales and we used to spend weekends with her family in Barry Island, too. She always wanted us to see as many places outside of London as possible.
The most remote place you’ve been?
A turtle sanctuary on the coast of Mexico I visited about three years ago. I remember driving for hours along dirt roads, through small villages before we arrived at the place. I was there for just over a week, helping out at the sanctuary, and we also went horse riding and saw a few other animals in the area, including zebra, antelope and crocodiles.
Have you ever been on safari?
No, but I’d love to do a safari break in South Africa. Animals are a huge passion of mine and I have my own animal sanctuary in Brentwood, Essex. I would love to work at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand or Bali. I have been to a horse sanctuary called Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Texas a few years ago, which was very interesting.
Your most relaxing destination?
Langkawi, off the coast of Malaysia. I stayed in a beach hut on a stunning island there.
Best holiday ever?
Turks and Caicos. I stayed at an amazing resort called Amanyara for 10 days. The people were so friendly and the beaches were amazing. I also went diving and saw some incredible marine life.
Amanyara. It has a minimalist style and a homely feel. It was very comfortable, with really fresh food.
Berlin. My boyfriend is German, so I’ve been there many times. It is a very arty city with a lot of interesting cafés that cater to vegetarians like me. I love the nightlife, too – the club Berghain has one of the best sound systems in the world. We tend to stay with friends when we’re in Berlin, or the Das Stue hotel, which is a short walk from Berlin Zoo.
Best city for music lovers?
Nashville. I visited the city for a few weeks about three years ago. I just wanted to spend some time there, being around amazing writers. The scene is quite country music-based, but it had a really good vibe and I wrote a couple of songs there that are on my third album.
Most memorable place you’ve performed?
Sardinia on a stage set against the backdrop of the ocean. It was so beautiful. I also got to perform in a huge classical concert in Malta.
Sabai, a Thai restaurant in Brighton. It is a family-run place – their coconut rice is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.
Favourite placefor a drink?
The Spare Room at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It has a little bowling alley and is a fun place to meet friends.
Best city for nightlife?
Apart from Berlin, New York. In Los Angeles, all the venues close so early, but in New York it is the opposite.
Worst travel experience?
I was booked to perform for Goodluck Jonathan [former president of Nigeria] on the anniversary of Nigeria’s independence in 2010, but it was cancelled because of a terrorist attack. It was really difficult to get out of the country because the airport was full of people wanting to get away.
British Airways. Its new aircraft seem quieter and it is trying to cut down on carbon emissions. I usually fly business class.
Best beauty tip for travelling?
Keep hydrated. I don’t eat much on long-haul flights. I think your body copes better.
In the next few weeks I’ll be travelling to New York, London, and then Florence, where I’ve never been. And I hope to visit South Africa soon, where I want to try shark cage diving.
Leona Lewis’s new album, I Am, is out now.
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