David Paw is a writer and editor based in London, covering food, restaurants, art, and travel.
Which country or location most inspires you?
I think inspiration and understanding go hand in hand – understanding the history behind which a destination has become what we perceive it as today should be the bare minimum in helping us navigate whatever precious time we have there, as well as being able to contextualise culture and how we choose to engage with it. I could spend the rest of my life learning about Southeast Asia – where I was born – not just for its natural beauty and diversity of cultures, food, and human history, but also because it’s a region made up of multiple nations, ethnicities and languages that somehow must collectively figure out (or not!) how to coexist in between two massive global powers while maintaining their own sense of identity.
Where would you go back to, and why?
I remember travelling through Mongolia and the Gobi Desert by train and watching the shadows of clouds bob and swoop over the dunes like ships in the sand. I do miss overground travel a lot, for the slow going and pleasurable sense of captivity that forces you to take everything in.
Top insider tip for London?
A very simple but very enjoyable tip: Have lunch at Rochelle Canteen. Don’t skip dessert.
What journey would you most like to go on?
It would be nice to be able to write more extensively about Burma, where I was born – about its regions, geography, people, and its cuisines – or help facilitate some kind of knowledge transfer to better connect diaspora communities with the homeland, so to speak. As of 2022, it doesn’t look like a trip with that hope will be possible for a while – but so long as the resistance continues, I think there’s hope.