Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is an unusual or unique place in the world that you would like to visit and why? This can be a place that not many people have traveled to and is off the beaten path or you have a weird connection with the place or any other reason you define as unusual or unique, really.
I've always wanted to visit Sweden because my favorite American Girl doll growing up was Kirsten, and that's where she's from. My adult self wants to visit Sweden because I really like IKEA. So I've basically never had a GOOD reason to go to Sweden but it seems like a really cool place I'd like to visit.
Iceland. Ever since I discovered their police force’s Instagram page I have wanted to visit Iceland.
I'll break my answer into three lists.
1. Normal But Likely
- There's a decent chance I'll get to go to Denmark sometime next year. My maternal grandmother was of Danish ancestry, and Denmark has some of the best city planning in the world, so there are plenty of reasons to keep it at the top of my list.
- Someday, I'd love to go to Iceland too. It's got fascinating geography and from what I've heard it's not too expensive to get there either.
- I'd be happy to travel anywhere in Spanish-speaking Latin America, but from all the stories I've heard, Costa Rica belongs at the top of that list.
- The North American Pole of Inaccessibility (the point in North America furthest from an ocean) is just a two-hour drive from the place I'll be vacationing with my parents next month, but I don't think we'll make it out there.
- Lost Dakota was a crazy geographical fluke. It's tucked in an inaccessible corner of Yellowstone, but I'd brave the bears to say I'd been there.
- The Juan Fernandez Islands and Easter Island were technically in my mission, but only a couple missionaries ever made it out there. I've heard a ton of stories and I'd love to see the islands in person.
- Ascension Island is one of the most isolated islands (and one of the only islands, in fact) in the Atlantic. I had a weird obsession with it as a teenager and some weird obsessions deserve to become real.
- Kyrgyzstan, for literally no reason other than that it has the best name.
3. Not Gonna Happen
- The Kerguelen Islands are some of the most isolated islands in the southern Indian Ocean, but they have no civilian population - it's all French scientists and military.
- I would love to visit Chernobyl. It's an abandoned city! But also I don't want to die!
What can we learn from this? Apparently I love extreme places that are more notable for their extremity than for anything about the place itself. Of course, I've barely even explored the place I've been living for the last two years, so I should probably start with that first.
I want to go to Roatan and Malta, mostly because I follow a blogger who has been an expat in both places and they sound pretty great. If you Google "expat Roatan" or "expat Malta," there are some dreamy (and informative) posts to sift through. I'm also super interested in those gorgeous white buildings in postcard Greece, plus Garance Dore is from Corsica and she writes about in a beautiful way. Oh, also Morocco. Sigh.
I just want to go live on a farm in Europe for a couple months. Hopefully near Copenhagen.
I want to go to Finland again.
I’ve got a strange connection to Tipperary County, Ireland.
My current top-5 wishlist destinations right now:
- Algeria (Mountains! Desert! Berber languages!)
- Kyrgyzstan (Mountains! Horses! Tents!)
- Albania (weird Communist era bunkers! Mountains! Medieval villages!)
- Mongolia (Horses! Tents! Eagle hunters!)
- Madagascar (Lemurs! Baobabs! Beaches!)
I don't know whether you'd count those as sufficiently unusual or unique, but I don't know many people who have been to those places, but they're at least a little bit off the beaten path.
The 600th floor of the Empire State Building. Or the largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island in Canada, though I'd have to hire a helicopter to get there.
But for places I'd actually go... I guess Taiwan. My dad lives there, and I haven't seen him since I was ~7 years old.
Norway because my ancestors are from there. And part of me thinks that when I step onto Norwegian ground, my DNA will instantly connect to my homeland, I'll start spouting off Norwegian, and my eyes will slowly turn bright blue. Or something like that.
-guppy of doom
I have this weird desire to someday go on a vacation to South Dakota. Badlands National Park! Wind Cave National Park! Devil's Tower! Mt. Rushmore! All within a few hours of each other and a couple days' drive of where I live! It's a different kind of natural beauty than you'd get in Yellowstone or Yosemite, but it would be cool to see in its own way...yeah, my wife isn't convinced either.
I'd love to climb to the peak of the Grand Teton. Actually, I'd just love to get to the peaks of mountains all over the world.
I want so, so, so very badly to travel to Myanmar, Congo, Iran, and North Korea. Myanmar and Congo have really special places in my heart simply because I spent a lot of time studying them in college.
I want to go to Iran and North Korea and get more than just the reported and stilted information that I find in books and articles. I want opportunities to talk to the people and see the places and experience what they experience. I recognize that this isn't a realistic dream, but I guess that's what dreams are all about.
The Soulful Ginger
My off the beaten path dream destinations include...
- Batu Caves in Malaysia
- Incan ruins in Ecuador
- Easter Island
- Torres del Paine
- The Balkans (especially Croatia)
My reasons for wanting to go to basically all of those places is just "because they're beautiful," which is good enough for me.
Currently accepting donations for the "Help Alta get to her dream travel destinations" fund.
Mammoth Cave National Park. It's the longest cave system in the world, and it's less than 9 hours away!
Your list is beautiful and has directly influenced mine, also, thanks for always highlighting such beautiful geographical ephemera both here and elsewhere on the web.
Places I would like to go Someday but probably won't:
- Pittcairn Island, Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, Bouvet Island. All pretty remote and most could be visited with a bit of plane moneys, but I almost certainly won't visit Bouvet Island, the world's remotest island, which I read about as a child.
Places I would like to go Someday and might actually:
- Yemen sounds cool and has sweet architecture. Also a civil war, but things change.
- The South Pole Station of Antarctica would be a cool place to work a season, though I have few employable skills. Maybe I will submit my application this year.
- The Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, which partly borders China, would make for some sweet trekking. Ideally I would learn a bunch of Dari beforehand to be able to chat with people.
- Papua New Guinea, because rainforests. Also I know some people there.
Places I am wanting to go Soonish and Might Actually:
- Kongou Falls in Gabon's Ivindo National Park. Unfortunately, visits to Central Africa's highest and most powerful falls are priced out of my peasant reach.
- Dzanga Bai:This forest clearing in Central African Republic is a great place to see forest elephants.
- Brazzaville, Republic of Congo: the journey appeals far more than the destination.
- Lobeke National Park, Cameroon. Gorillas. Maybe.
But let's be real, here. I'm just kinda making this up as I go.
--Ardilla Feroz, from unfortunately pricey Libreville, Gabon. A smoothie is $9?!? Bread it is.