Leila was born in the northwest of Iran in a city called Ardabil, surrounded by beautiful countryside. Her grandparents had lived on a farm, where she spent her childhood climbing trees, swimming in the river and guiding groups of children on local walks. Close to her parents' house was a magnificent Sufi shrine with a lovely garden where she spent most of her after-school time with her friends. She was always keen to talk with tourists who visited the shrine. As a young girl Leila used to join these tourists to wander around the Bazar and nearby lake, which sometimes resulted in her receiving small tips and souvenirs. Leila decided to study English Language at university and in 2002 achieved her cultural guiding license, and later went on to study nature and mountain guiding.
Q: How did you fall into tour leading?
A: I was always keen to explore from a young age. I grew up with the dream to visit many places and meet new people. When I graduated from high school, I took tour guiding courses to make this dream come true.
Q: What do you like most about tour leading?
A: I like people to feel like they are having unique experiences and are not just tourists with cameras, who are sightseeing and staying in hotels. For me it doesn’t who people are, where they are from, or how old they are – what matters to me is the experience they have and how happy they are.
Q: Where is your favourite part of the world?
A: For me, the silk road is a wonderful place - a rainbow of cultures, history and landscapes.
Q: What’s the one thing you couldn’t travel without?
A: One thing for that that I cannot travel without is my adventurous and flexible soul.
Q: Which famous person would you most like to travel with?
A: I want to travel with Morgan Freeman because there would be so much to talk about. I am sure he has not been in Iran, and it would be such a great trip.