Bally Collective

Bally Collective

Creative perspectives on the holiday season.

David Prior

@davidprior @prior

David Prior is a “traveling storyteller” by heart. The New York-based Australian was a former food, culture and travel writer for several magazines including T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Vogue before founding Prior, a community for savvy travelers. His ultimate dream is to make connections between visitors and places, championing a new world of travel.

What are your traditions for the winter holidays?
I usually return to Australia for Christmas. All Australians, religious or not, take Christmas very seriously because it also marks the beginning of summer holidays. Our Christmas usually involves seafood, sun and a swim around my family home in Queensland.

Do you prefer being the host or a guest? And why?
Host. I like to cook in my apartment in New York and love working with the more sub-tropical ingredients at home. A tray of mangoes is Christmas to me. Or, as cliché as it might sound, so are prawns on the barbie!
What is the most memorable winter holiday? Where? And with whom?
I took all 13 of my family, from eight-months-old to 80, to Japan. It was freezing in Tokyo and we were bundled up wandering the streets and exploring. Japan is a multi-generational dream destination with something stimulating for everyone.

Do you prefer “many small gifts” or “one or two substantial gifts” when it comes to holiday presents?
Small gifts. Everyone should get thoughtful gifts that delight and aren’t hugely expensive. I just think about what would make them smile and also show that I know and appreciate who they are.

What is travel to you?
Travel is the best way to inspire our curiosity and to connect with each other. If we all had the opportunity to travel (and I know that it is a privilege) we’d understand differences and come together more readily to tackle the challenges we all face.

What are your top five tips for making the best travel arrangements?
Always listen (when planning and traveling); take advice; allow for serendipity to happen; go high and low (e.g., visit the local market and a Michelin restaurant); ignore stars and tired benchmarks of luxury—don’t restrict yourself!

Where was your last trip?
Santa Fe. New Mexico is having a moment and it is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the U.S., a real confluence of culture.

Who is your favorite travel companion?
My friend, chef Skye Gyngell. She’s up for everything and has exquisite taste.
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