Top 5 Places on my Travel “Chuck-it” List
Muz and I are feeling the itch to travel, so we began discussing our travel bucket list. For those unfamiliar with the term, it’s a list of places (or things) you want to see before you “kick the bucket,” or die. Kind of morbid, I know, but you ARE reading the blog of someone who visits crypts for fun, so…
Anyway, our bucket list is a mile long. We’d need two lifetimes to see it all. Instead, I thought I’d make a “chuck-it” list: a list of places that I never want to see. If you gave me a free ticket to go to these places, I would chuck that ticket in the trash–and choose to have dental surgery instead.
RHOB’s Top 5 Travel Chuck-it List:
5. The Pacific Trash Vortex
Something with names like “Pacific” and “Vortex” seem appealing, until you realize it’s a vortex of garbage. About 15 years ago, researchers discovered a mass of plastic and garbage floating in the Pacific. The mass is larger than some countries–roughly twice the size of Texas. Currents carry plastics and other forms of man-made garbage to this area between San Francisco and Hawaii, where they float just beneath the surface. Clean up is difficult and expensive because the garbage has broken down into tiny particles that can’t be caught with a simple net. Birds and fish eat the garbage and often perish as a result. Basically, what would begin as a gorgeous sailing trip in the Pacific would become a voyage to see one of humankind’s worst havoc on nature. No thanks.
4. The Arctic Tundra, Alaska
I know, it looks great. Look at those open skies and verdant fields. Stunning! But I’m only going to see it through photos, and it’s not just because I hate cold weather. See the pretty birds in this photo?
They’re not birds. They’re mosquitos.
The Arctic tundra has the highest density of mosquitos in the world. And if there’s something I hate more than cold, it’s mosquitos. Seriously. Did you know there is, scientifically, no reason for them to exist? And yet they live here in vast numbers. It’s recommended that visitors cover every inch of skin to protect themselves from these useless insects. And even then, it doesn’t seem to keep them at bay. Check out this guy:
Would you visit him? I didn’t think so.
3. Pripyat, Ukraine (Chernobyl)
I gotta admit, I struggled with this one. I mean, it’s a post-nuclear ghost town! Some people still live there, amidst the rusting rubble of a once-vibrant(ish) city. You can take tours of nuclear facilities and examine buildings where all activity stopped after April, 1986. Still, the constant assurances of “minimal” radiation exposure are a little nerve-wracking, as are warnings I’ve read about eating produce and fowl from the area. Plus, there was that gross horror movie about Pripyat. I’m sure it’s just a story, but I’ll stick to sightseeing in Kiev.
2. Verkhoyansk, Siberia
Remember reading that I hate being cold? This is the coldest (inhabited) town on earth. It can reach -60 degrees F. People eat frozen pony liver as a treat. However, you’ll see stunning landscapes if your glasses haven’t frosted over. This amazing article says everything I want to say, but better, since the person actually braved the elements to go there and I will not. Tip of the hat to you, good sir. Besides, I’ve just managed to teach people that I lived in SERBIA, not Siberia, and I really don’t want to have to explain the difference all over again. (Hint: they’re totally different!) PASS.
1. Christmas Island, Australia
My, doesn’t that sound lovely! Christmas Island! Well, ho ho ho, because the joke’s on you. This is Christmas Island:
Every year, the island experiences a mass migration of its–wait for it–43 million red land crabs. These crabs don’t exactly respect boundaries–you can easily find videos of people sweeping them out of their homes. Oh, and by-the-by: there are 13 OTHER species of crabs on the island, including the largest crab in the world, the coconut crab:
It’s a good thing this crab likes coconuts, and not cash. Because I would throw my wallet at that thing and run away like the wind. Seriously, I’m going to have a nightmare about this crab.
As if it couldn’t get better, Christmas Island is also known for its guano (bird, seal and bat feces) mining. Amazing! But no thanks on that invitation to Christmas Island. I have, um, a very important thing to do instead. That doesn’t involve giant crabs and poop.
Ah, who am I kidding? I’ll go anywhere with a free ticket. As long as I can properly defend myself from cold/crabs/mosquitos and dieting travelers. Readers, what’s your chuck-it travel list?