My latest outing for Lonely Planet has hit the bookshelves. I covered Rajasthan – one of India’s most popular tourist destinations – for both LP’s Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra, and India, the 16th edition of one of LP’s most epic guidebooks.
Researching a destination like Rajasthan presents a different set of challenges to other guides I’ve done. Despite what the internet may tell us about the declining state of the printed guide, India is a country where it still very much holds sway – backpackers don’t refer to the Lonely Planet guide as ‘the Bible’ for nothing. For the writer, that means that any hint that Lonely Planet in town instantly brings out the touts hoping to get their business in the book. While I normally use my discretion as to whether I tell people what I’m doing (it’s useful in some circumstances, less so in others), Rajasthan is one place where it’s essential to keep a vow of silence. It’s easier said than done of course, and there were still several occasions where I was rumbled and had to change travel plans to avoid welcoming committees at train stations when I arrived in a new city – something that happened on more than once. At times I felt more like a spy than a travel writer! Luckily, India is a country where the rewards of travelling more than outweigh the challenges, and I’m happy to be able to help guide others around some of its sights.