Expert opinion: Robin Esrock and the bucket list

Expert Opinion

Robin Esrock is the author of The Great Global Bucket List (Affirm Press, $29.99), a personal journey to more than 100 countries in search of the world's best experiences. 

Q. In your travels, is there anywhere that is so perfect – and so unspoiled – you'd rather keep it a secret?

A. Many years ago there was a hit book and movie called The Beach, about a secret backpacker paradise.  It was set in Thailand, but was actually inspired by Bacuit Bay in the Philippines.  Perhaps the author felt the travel writer's dilemma: if you find somewhere special and write about it, will it lose what makes it special in the first place?  This appears to be the case with some destinations I've written about in the past, like Jericoacoara​ (Brazil), Vang Vieng (Laos), and Arambol​ (India). Although they're much busier than they used to be, I'd still keep them on the bucket list. Their beauty and value have much to do with their natural surroundings, and let's face it, they will always be a long way from Disneyland. I don't keep any destinations secret as I'd like to think I inspire readers to approach them with the same respect I do.   Perhaps that's naive, but a career in travel inspires that sort of optimism.