Leona Karayan

Leona Karayan

Travel Advisor

How did you get interested in travel?

I always loved history and geography in school. Both my husband and I are travelers. We love seeing the world and meeting people from different lands.

Favorite city or country? why?

Every time we return from a wonderfully interesting place, having thoroughly loved every minute of the trip, we count our blessings to be living in California USA.

Best or most interesting travel experience

Turkey. Fro the first time I visited 31 years ago it has fascinated me: its history, landscape, people. It is an open air museum. My father-in-law was born in Gaza Eintep near the Syrian border; maybe that has something to do with the attraction.

Ever met anyone famous? Yes, Harry Belafonte, and meeting him was a pretty crazy experience. I was very starstruck when I bumped into him in a Vegas casino. All I could say was, "May I have your autograph?" I had no paper and no pen. He was so gracious. He tore a corner of paper off something and asked a waiter for a pen, which promptly fell apart. He wound up signing his name with the cartridge. I still have that little piece of paper.

Likes: Real people, traveling, decorating

Loathes: Prejudice, impatience, people who make fun of others because they are different

Favorite food: Can't decide between Italian and French. And of course chocolate!

Favorite restaurant: Little restaurants in out-of-the-way villages in France, Italy and Spain. At home, it's Le Papillon.

Something interesting that people might not guess about you

I used to do lunchroom fashion shows.

A place that you could visit over and over again and not get bored? why? Hawaii because to me it's the most relaxing place. For some reason whenever we land at Honolulu airport I feel relaxed. I guess it's the fragrances, the temperature. Even with the crowds in the airport, I feel relaxed.

Most unforgettable view you’ve ever seen

Iceland's Thingvellir National Park -- Continental drift which you can walk through, The European and North American tectonic plates are moving apart and will someday split Iceland in half.

A place you’ve never visited but really hope to get to -- Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands

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