The Back Story of an Annual List

Here are some frequently asked questions about how we chose our 52 Places to Go in 2018:

Q. What made New Orleans the top choice?

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A. In a year that seemed particularly traumatic for many around the world, we look to a place where centuries of trauma have yielded something magical. New Orleans is unlike any other city in the world, largely thanks to its ability to synthesise that history — and the myriad populations that participated in it — into a place full of joy and wonder. New Orleans is also turning 300 this year, so there’s no better time to celebrate that history, whether it be through anniversary events, food, music, art or simply wandering this amazing city.

Q. How do you start the process of selecting the list?

A. We ask our regular contributors, many of whom live overseas or roam the globe, for ideas. We get hundreds of them and pare things down from there.

Q. What do you look for in those ideas?

A. First, why now? That is, why is this the year to go to a particular place? We also aim for a geographic and thematic diversity. And we look for a mix of destinations both well-known and off the beaten path. (That means we often exclude the very obvious spots; even though cities like London, Paris and Tokyo are always exciting, they didn’t make this year’s list.)

Q. How do you narrow it down to the final list?

A. A marathon-length meeting, in which we discuss each idea. We get pretty punchy toward the end but are always happy with the final list.

Q. My favourite destination didn’t make the list. Why not?

A. The 52 places we select are, of course, just the start. There are thousands of wonderful destinations to consider. Use the #52Places2018 hashtag on Instagram to suggest yours.

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