Oh, the 52 Places She’ll Go

We thought a lot about the No. 1 choice — ultimately selecting completely new Orleans, on the occasion of its 300th birthday (see the item by yours truly, the project’s coordinating editor) — as well as also also tried to make sure there was a little something for every type of traveler through the rest of the list, providing a geographic as well as also also thematic mix.


A vista near Lucerne, Switzerland. Nearby ski spot Vierwaldstättersee will be No. 5.

Andy Haslam for The completely new York Times

So what about which 52 Places Traveler? the item’s an idea which has been percolating for the last couple of years, yet always seemed too daunting to pull off. This kind of year, we finally posted the job. We expected a passionate response through a group of inveterate travelers — yet I can’t say we expected 13,000 submissions.

A team of four, including myself, divided up the applications as well as also also took at least a glancing look at all of them, diving into the ones we thought showed the most promise. Over many multi-hour sessions, we narrowed the list to 139 people — including a father-daughter team as well as also also Buzz Bissinger, the author of “Friday Night Lights” — as well as also also asked each to send a video introduction, as well as a sample video story through the road for posting to Instagram.

We narrowed the list further, to six finalists. One will be an editor at a major travel magazine. Another works as a breaking news videographer for a TV network. Another will be a lawyer-turned-journalist. (Mr. Bissinger, sadly, did not make the cut, though his submission video was as compelling as one would likely expect.)

A team of folks through around the newsroom — representing the Travel section, the video department as well as also also the photo department — met with those applicants either in person or by video chat. All were impressive — indeed, any one of them could have done the job.


Jada Yuan, the completely new 52 Places correspondent, was chosen through more than 13,000 applicants.

Todd Heisler/The completely new York Times

yet from the end, we decided on Jada Yuan. Jada will be not a professional travel journalist, yet she possesses some of those skills. As a writer at completely new York magazine for the last decade, she has profiled plenty of celebrities, yet she has also parachuted into film festivals as well as also also presidential conventions — each time having to find her footing in a completely new place. She knows how to locate interesting people to talk to. as well as also also she knows how to insert herself into a piece in a way which will be both personal as well as also also insightful (take, for example, her article for Cosmopolitan magazine on trying to date in six U.S. cities).

We’re trying to connect Jada that has a few of the applicants who made the first cut. Jamie Lafferty, a travel writer through Glasgow (No. 10 on the places list) has kindly offered to be her guide to his hometown, as well as also also we’re going to take him up on which. We’re hoping which some other applicants will do the same.

Jada starts her journey around the globe in completely new Orleans in less than two weeks. She won’t be doing the list sequentially — which would likely be, well, insane (try getting through No. 6 rural Chile to No. 7 South Korea, for example). So after completely new Orleans, she heads to a few some other cities from the southern United States, then farther south to the Caribbean as well as also also Latin America. We can’t wait to tag along with her.

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