The only places we want to visit are the ones no one’s ever heard of


Jawai, in Rajasthan, which is described as ‘India’s coolest, newest leopard-spotting destination’

Never heard of Amadubi? Parule & Bhogwe? Hankon, Damro, Garamur, Jawai, Manipat, Urakam, Poppalwadi or Neduncheri T Puthur?

Me neither.

That’s the point, according to Conde Nast Traveller. They represent tourism’s inverted pyramid – so good because they’ve never had a chance to be bad. Or be ranked. Or listed. Or written about.

Anyway, Traveller insists that you can boast about these 10 new travel ideas precisely because no one’s heard of them. So far. “Go before they go mainstream,” the piece exhorts. Click here to read the story. It’s got ‘wish-you-were-here’ postcard-perfect photographs too and descriptions aimed at whetting the jaded palate. In Neduncheri T Puthur, for instance, “Marvel at the rich Chola tradition and get your fortune read by a parrot”.

Hankon is described as suitable “for the eco-conscious adventurist”.

And visit Garamur, Majuli, in Assam “now, before the Majuli gains world heritage status and the tourists arrive.”

Which is, one would’ve thought, precisely the point of writing a travel piece. Except that it’s ostensibly selling a paradox – the pleasure of visiting remote places in a popular media outlet.

It’s one of the oldest marketing tricks in the world – giving the customer what they want before they know that they want it. And doing so by creating a mythology around the offering. It’s why, in the 21st century, when the world is too much with us (as Wordsworth wrote of his less frenetic times) the only places we want to visit are the ones no one’s ever heard of.

Jack Kerouac

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
– Jack Kerouac