My travel life: Adam Liaw, cook and food writer

THE TRAVELLER

Adam Liaw, cook and food writer, who's the culinary ambassador for Chatswood Year of the Rat, which takes place from January 20 to February 8 in celebration of the Lunar New Year. For the full festival program, see visitchatswood.com.au/lny2020/.

NUMBER OF COUNTRIES VISITED:

I've never bothered to count. Maybe 60?

MY WORST PASSPORT MISHAP WAS.

letting my son's passport expire before a family trip. Luckily, he also has a Japanese passport we were able to travel on, but it did make getting back into Australia a difficult process.

I GOT MY FIRST PASSPORT WHEN I WAS

aged two in 1980.when we were migrating to Australia [from Malaysia].

MY PASSPORT PHOTO IS

nothing to worry about. Nobody who sees it cares one iota how I look.

I CAN'T STOP GOING BACK TO

China. It's a country that changes faster than we can imagine. I've been travelling there regularly for 30 years now and it's a different place every single time.

MY LAST TRAVEL DESTINATION WAS

Japan for around two months for work during the Rugby World Cup and a Traveller tour.

MY NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION IS

Vietnam. I'm shooting a documentary on underprivileged children for SBS TV.

I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO

seeing a new side of things. Travel is the best way to challenge your perspective.

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WHAT I REALLY WANT FROM MY NEXT TRIP IS

to get a better understanding of the challenges facing children at risk. Most of us live comfortable lives in Australia and I think it's important for us to see that for many people that just isn't the case.

I LOVE TO TRAVEL BECAUSE

it gives me a better understanding of how the world works. Too often we lock our perspectives into own personal situation in our country, city, tax bracket or neighbourhood. We forget that the world is so much bigger than we are.

MY TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY IS

food is the best way to experience a place. No matter what languages you speak or how many times you've been somewhere, you can sit down to a meal and experience a place the same as someone who's lived there their whole life.

THE ONE TRAVEL MISTAKE I ALWAYS MAKE IS

trying to do too much and exhausting myself.

THE ONE THING I REALLY DO GET RIGHT WHEN I TRAVEL IS

packing. I am a very light packer (and expert hotel room clothes washer).

IF I HAD TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE SEAT THE OTHER PASSENGERS I'D WANT ON EITHER SIDE OF ME WOULD BE

anyone small, quiet, hygienic and preferably also invisible. Honestly, I don't care who I'm sitting next to. I still wouldn't try to make conversation. Air travel is for quiet, personal time.

THE ONE FAMOUS TRAVELLER I REALLY ADMIRE IS

[Scottish novelist and travel writer] Robert Louis Stevenson for his quote "There are no foreign lands. It is the traveller only who is foreign." I think that is a perfect perspective on travel.

THE ONE FAMOUS PERSON I'D LIKE TO TRAVEL WITH IS

[British actor, comedian, producer and TV presenter] Joanna Lumley. She seems so genuinely intrigued by the places she visits.

AIRLINE FOOD IS

unfairly criticised, but also in need of a new approach. Airlines should stop trying to deliver white tablecloth-style food when people on a plane mostly just want something simple.

AIRPORT SECURITY IS

important, but needs a bit more common sense.

HOTELS ARE

getting better and better as they move away from unnecessary luxury and toward hospitality.

I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO

Russia. It seems like a fascinating place but I've never been.

I'VE NEVER WANTED TO GO TO

Ibiza. It's probably very lovely but the idea of going somewhere to go to clubs is totally outside my interests these days.

AISLE OR WINDOW?

aisle for easy exit on short flights, window for privacy on long flights.

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