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Meet James Leithart, the American who will tell you everything about Albania

More than 40 Youtube videos revealing the truth about living in Albania

James Leithart

He packed his entire life into two suitcases and moved to the other side of the globe to start another life. He didn’t know the language, he didn’t know where this country was on a map, but somehow it still was a good decision to make. This country in the midst of Balkans happened to be our Albania. Little did he know, he would start discovering the beautiful landscapes and natural wonders of the country, take amazing photographs, shoot videos and promote Albania to everyone who hasn’t heard about it before.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Meet James Leithart!

1.When did you visit Albania for the first time and what made you come here?

The first time I came to visit Albania was in April 2017. My dad was asked to give some lectures at Nehemiah Gateway University in Pogradec, and he asked if I wanted to join him.

2.What’s a wrong opinion/thought you had before coming here?

Honestly, I didn’t have any opinions about the country before coming here. It’s a bit sad to admit, but I was one of the many people that had no idea where Albania was on a map. But I sure am glad that that’s changed!

3.What has surprised you most about this country?

I think one thing I definitely wasn’t expecting was the diversity of this country. In many ways, but most specifically in regards to the landscapes and natural wonders of Albania.

James Leithart photography

4.How are you documenting your journey in Albania?

I have made around 40 YouTube videos in which Albania plays a big part. I also try to take some photos as well, some of which I post on Instagram.

5.The strangest Albanian superstition in your opinion?

Oh boy… There are so many superstitions in Albania that seem strange to me, it’s hard to pick just one. One that is especially strange is that it’s bad luck to wish someone a happy birthday before their birthday.

6.What is your favourite and least favourite Albanian food?

My least favorite by far is fasule. I don’t mind it in small amounts, or on top of some pilaf, but I don’t want to be served a giant bowl of only fasule. As for my favorite, it’s hard to say exactly, but I really enjoy lakror – especially with onion and tomato.

James Leithart photography

7.What is the most romantic city or village in Albania in your opinion?

Most romantic? I don’t know the first thing about romance, especially in Albania. But I’ll say Krujë, because I’ve always liked it there and it seems like a perfect place to watch a sunset. Sunsets are romantic, right?

8.I have noticed you use the drone very often, which is the best view you have captured so far?

I think one of the best views I’ve caught on the drone is from a campsite on a beach in the south. It was just after sunrise and you can see the coastline and Ksamil a bit in the distance.

Ksamil by James Leithart


9.What is the best genre of music you listen to while traveling? Mention a song

I’m not sure what genre you would call it, but I like calming and acoustic music when I travel. I like songs that evoke some level of nostalgia so that when I listen to the songs later it reminds me of that experience. For me, Hollow Coves hits all the right vibes when I travel, especially their song Coastline.

James Leithart photography

10.The sea – on it, in it or stay on dry land?

Ideally be in the sea, underwater more specifically. But since I don’t live near the sea I’ll settle for Lake Ohrid on a day-to-day basis.

11.What’s your favourite way to travel?A. Airplane B. Train C. Car

I really like traveling in my van. I have everything I need in there and I can stop whenever and wherever I want. Not to mention that I can take just about any road I want, which isn’t something that trains or planes allow.

12.The most annoying question people ask when it comes to travel?

“Why did you move to Albania?”

13.What would be the title of your biography?

“Why I moved to Albania”

James Leithart photography

14.Do you have to be single to travel?

No, absolutely not. Sometimes it’s easier or more spontaneous, but I don’t think it’s a necessity at all.

15.What was the most challenging thing you ever did?

Definitely one of the more challenging things was packing my entire life into two suitcases and moving to Albania. I knew very few people here, I didn’t know the language, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s not easy flying to the other side of the globe to start another life.

16.What rules or laws have you broken so far while traveling?

For the most part I try to follow the laws of wherever I go, especially in places I’m not familiar with. That being said, there are probably a few minor rules that I don’t always follow. For instance, I almost always turn my phone on before the flight attendants announce that it’s okay.

James Leithart photography

17.Can you show us the silliest photograph you have taken during your trips?

I don’t take many silly photos, and if I do, I don’t think I’ve kept any. It’s rare for me to be taking a photo of myself, or any people for that matter and I’m not sure landscapes can come out as silly…


Us, at Albania360° are happy to introduce you to the best travel experts of Albania. You will meet them through interviews, their photography, their videos and their advices. Follow us in FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM and tag us if you discover a beautiful place in Albania!

Safe travels! 🙂