Episode 16: New York Times List of 52 Place to Go in 2016

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Illustration by Rafael Lopez for the New York Times

In this episode, Ines and Kathy discuss the New York Times’ list of 52 Place to Go in 2016. The list is an annual compilation of of what the NY Times believes will be 2016’s hottest travel destinations. Per the usual, the ladies have a lot to say about this. They discuss where they’ve been and where they’d like to go, as well as the selection criteria and points of contention with how the list shapes up.

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Of the 52 places covered, the Ines and Kathy have visited a few of them. Here’s what they have to say:

Ines

  • Toronto, Canada In my ongoing love affair with Canada, Montreal is the sophisticated husband I’ve always wanted…but Toronto is the smooth jock you have a fling with. Stimulating, fun and more diverse than you think.
  • San Sebastián, Spain After a sleepless 36 hours in Pamplona, chilling on the beach of San Sebastián for an afternoon was like receiving a gift from god. The beautiful landscape was all I really got to enjoy but that was simply enough.
  • Barcelona, Spain My plan was to spend three days here and I ended up lingering for an entire week. Artsy! Cosmopolitan! Dramatic! Barcelona is so darn easy to love, it almost seems like a cop-out to include it.
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s included, if only because it probably means that the city has seen some major improvements. When I went, there were hints of its past glamour and potential but these were sadly obscured by the ongoing disarray of Cambodia’s capital. Maybe it’s time for a return trip?
  • Sydney, Australia Another city that made me question my life choices. Sydney probably includes everything I could ever want in a location: tons of cultural offerings, friendly locals, and a pretty solid beach lifestyle. I may have looked up Australia’s immigration policy after my trip. Just sayin’.

Kathy

  • Kansai, Japan Kansai is actually a region in Japan, not a city. During my Japan years, I frequented Osaka, its major city, quite often. Kansai is famous to Japanese people for having three things: hilarious people, a unique dialect (Kansai-ben), and okonomiyaki, a savory, egg-based pancake.
  • Mexico City, Mexico Mexico City had a distinct, city-that-never-sleeps vibe – and it wasn’t just because I visited during Day of the Dead when the ghosts come out to play. A hot art scene and an amazing food culture make this Latin American hub a must-visit.
  • Ubud, Indonesia I visited Ubud many moons ago, and was convinced even then that it’s already pretty well discovered by the Aussies and Europeans who’ve vacationed there for years, not to mention the, ahem, Indonesians. It’s a nice break from the parties and garbage of Kuta beach (actual garbage, not human garbage) and is a major center of arts and culture.
  • St. Louis, Missouri Finally St. Louis gets its due! I have been hyping St. Louis for years. It’s cheap and easily accessible from Chicago with tons of things to do – art, culture, sports, breweries, you name it. It’s definitely one of my favorite  – and most underrated – Midwest destinations and I’m glad to see it get the kudos it deserves.
  • Beaufort, South Carolina My family used to visit Beaufort when I was a little kid. My memories consist of Hunting Island State Park and climbing to the top of the lighthouse there. Apparently now there are bike lanes, festivals and art galleries, things for which eight-year-old Kathy had no use but present-day Kathy would most certainly appreciate.

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