Using some otherwise useless Georgian coins (as a currency, it’s pretty unloved), Leslie is scraping one country at a time from her scratch-off map. So far she’s up to about 20, including Georgia, Brazil, Turkey, China, Costa Rica and most of Western Europe and Southeast Asia.
A recent graduate of Stanford’s international relations program, Leslie gets a daily phone call from Dad: Why haven’t you gotten a PhD yet? Maybe because she’s been busy on foreign reporting stints — chatting up hungry Syrian immigrants in Istanbul’s restaurants, frolicking through vineyards in Thailand to explore budding Asian wine and going under the needle to get a magic tattoo in Cambodia. (If that last one doesn’t satisfy her father, what will?) The former OZY intern primarily covers Southeast Asia.
Leslie half-speaks too many languages — and her lifelong linguistic goal is to be a polyglot for uncommon ones. She’s currently trying to get a handle on Thai, Turkish and Igbo. She loves loves loves street food, is trying to figure out how to make Vietnamese-Nigerian fusion food actually taste good, and runs half-marathons.
A third-culture kid whose first language is Vietnamese (she spent elementary school in ESL), she grew up in Latino neighborhoods but ate Nigerian and Vietnamese food at home. Leslie is Texas-bred but keeps it a secret. She will, however, shout her love for Malaysian Airlines from any rooftop.