I am not a big fan of “lists of [places] to see before you die”. As a self-styled traveller, I don’t quite fancy why a magazine or travel site should be dictating to its readers on what is worth seeing before one dies.
The latest one is Yahoo! Travel’s “10 Islands to Explore Before You Die“. So far, I have been to 4 of the places on the list , and apart from them, the only other one on this list that I’m interested in going is Chiloe. But my interest in these places has nothing to do with this or any other “list”. Sure, lists like these highlight less obvious choices which may not be on a regular tourist’s radar. But I felt that the short descriptions of each island in this Yahoo! Travel list don’t do that much favour to the islands it is describing. For example, “Galapagos” is not an island, but an archipelago of islands (considering that the list is about “10 islands”). And the description of Penang makes me wonder: did the writer only visit Kek Lok Si while he was there? And would a Penangite even only recommend Ayer Itam market for food?
I’m sure word count and the need for grabbing readers’ attention are essential to commercial travel writing. But for me, I prefer reading about personal favourites, untainted by the need to increase readership or promote travel packages.
What is your personal favourite? Which islands would you think are worth exploring?