Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The 5 Places I REFUSE to Visit

41

Sure, it’s fair to say that my life is consumed by wanderlust.  But what about the opposite of wanderlust?  What about the places that revolt you to your core?

Here are the five places where I will never, ever travel.  Just thinking about them makes me shudder!

Komodo Island


Image: airflore

This Indonesian island is the only native habitat of komodo dragons — beasts so strong that their tails can whip you off your feet and so poisonous that their bite victims die within days.

And yet travelers flock to this island to get up close and personal with the dragons.  No, thanks.

Circus Circus


Image: rbglasson

This Las Vegas hotel is old, rundown, far north of the Strip, and tailored to families.  Could there be a worse place in Vegas for me?  I don’t think so!

Darien Gap

Image: 9.81 meters per second squared

The Darien Gap, a lawless stretch of land that spans the Panama-Colombia border, is one of the most dangerous places in the world.  Kidnappings are more likely to happen than not, and even hardcore trekkers refuse to touch it.

Save me a seat on the boat to Cartagena.

The Bottom of the Ocean


Image: SteelCityHobbies

I will never scuba dive.  I have personal reasons for that, and I’d rather not get into them here.

Pattaya, Thailand

Image: nogoodreason

I’m not a sixty-something white man, nor am I a teenage Thai girl.  Pattaya has no use for me.

Meanwhile, the thought of watching those two get it on makes me physically ill.  Therefore, I plan to stay far away from Pattaya.

What about you?

Where are the places you refuse to visit?

Comments

41 Responses to “The 5 Places I REFUSE to Visit”
  1. Shannon OD says:

    At this point I will go most anywhere but plan to stay well clear of the Middle East – I have no plans of traveling there any time soon, and *certainly* not as a solo female – I second you on Darien’s Gap too!

    • Kate says:

      Yes. I really want to visit Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon (primarily Beirut), and likely will as a solo female, but you will NOT find me in Iran on my own. Those hikers are still imprisoned. I doubt Bill Clinton will be flying over to free them.

      • Steph says:

        Kind of random but I just saw this old post on twitter. Here it is a year later and Kate rather violently ended up on Komodo Island and Shannon has been to Jordan! Guess it’s a never say never kind of deal!

        • Seriously! I think it was a sign I wasn’t meant to go there…

          • Gareth Relph says:

            Hi Kate,
            First of all if there is anywhere you would prefer to avoid then you are not as adventurous as Adventurous Kate should be and I think you should change your name to Will do almost anything Kate but not everything.
            I aim to go to the deepest part of the sea one day. I have been to Pattaya and its different, I think if some old fat fart wants to feel better, younger by spending time with an unfortunate sad poor thai girl who just wants to provide for her family in the only way she can, then sobeit. This is the world we live in and our life is short. Spend it how you like but dont get to the end and look back saying I wish I had tried a few things more.
            Gareth.

          • Is this the first post you’ve read, Gareth?

            I did attempt to go to Komodo Island in March 2011.

            I ended up in a shipwreck. I lost almost everything I owned.

  2. Adam says:

    What an interesting idea. The Nazca Lines in Peru are on my list. I just had no interest in seeing them. Thought they may be cool, but to make a trip down there just for that and spend the money it costs to see them just didn’t seem worth it to me at all.
    I know I don’t have kids yet, and this may change, but I cringe even thinking of ever having to go to Disney World. I’d rather be kicked in the family jewels.
    I know there were several more that we passed up while on our RTW, but I can’t seem to think of them right now. I’ll keep thinking and come back. I’m very interested to see what others have to say.
    .-= Adam´s last blog ..Everything Happens for a Reason =-.

  3. Maggie says:

    Yay! Someone else who refuses to scuba dive! I really thought I was the only one.

    People like to give me a hard time about it because I’m a licensed skydiver, and they think that means I’m willing to do just about anything. (Which is partially true.) And yet, I have absolutely no desire to strap on an oxygen tank and throw myself at the mercy of the deep, dark ocean.

    • Huong says:

      You don’t know what you’re missing when you say no to scuba diving! I love to sky try sky diving too but there’s no comparison to the feeling of peacefulness and wonders when you are at one with all the sea creatures around you….

  4. Jenna says:

    This post made me laugh. :-) I went scuba diving once and will never do it again!
    .-= Jenna´s last blog ..Same blog, new look, new name =-.

  5. Karen says:

    I feel the same about scuba diving and Circus Circus!

    Looking forward to hearing about Beirut, however, if you do make it. I was hoping to get there myself soonish.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Light and Dark in the Øresund =-.

  6. clarke says:

    the disturbing thing is you see the Pattaya-like stuff in Hong Kong as well. Not usually teens, but most definitely biz travelers wondering around with Thai/Indo girls, who can’t communicate with each other. It’s as if the biz travelers, don’t think anyone notices….(just the same, “what happens in vegas, stays in vegas” is utter B.S.)

    Don’t want to go to Israel/Palestine, the war has been going on for years, I don’t get it(fighting over religion) & don’t want to be bombed/shot.

  7. Monique says:

    I am so with you on those. Gigantic lizards, um, no thanks. I’m kinda claustrophobic, so the deep dark ocean ain’t for me either. But Circus, circus, come on, that doesn’t sound like fun?

  8. Amy says:

    Don’t hurt me, but I have no desire to visit:

    1. China
    2. India
    3. The Middle East – I’d like to see the ‘cradle of life’ b/c I’m an archaeology nerd but these countries are just too dangerous
    4. Thailand/Cambodia/Vietnam region – bugs, land mines, scariness
    5. the vast majority of Africa, save for Morocco, the Pyramids, and Capetown
    Honorable mention: the island of Kiribati (read The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost and you will know why)

    I also have already been to Mexico and feel no strong need to return. I experienced Cancun, the beautiful blue water, and the amazing, awe-inspiring Chichen Itza (which everyone should visit in their lifetime), but now that I have, there are many other places to see. Essentially, if the water is undrinkable and/or I need to take pills beforehand, it’s going to take a lot to get me to want to visit. It may sound awful but that is how I am! There is so much of Europe, Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Iceland, South America (yeah I know you have to take the pills but I want to go someday), and in our own country that I want to see or return to that the rest seem extremely unappealing.

    • Chris says:

      Dude doesn’t sound like you wanna leave your bedroom

    • Richard says:

      India ..

      Just been to India (3 weeks in the north and 3 in the south) .. not for the faint-hearted ..

      I would describe it was .. interesting but challenging …

      So many people 1.24billion .. I think I met them all ..

      Happy traveling …

  9. Kirsten says:

    With you on every one of those but the scuba diving. Although, I like snorkeling enough that I am not running out to scuba tomorrow. It would probably take an AMAZING location that can’t be experienced via snorkeling in order for me to learn to scuba.

    On my list of places I have no desire to go: Cambodia, Vietnam, some parts of the Middle East (like somewhat obviously where the worst of the constant fighting is), Pakistan, North Korea…

    • Kate says:

      Cambodia and Vietnam?! I can’t wait to visit both of them! (I do hear they’re hard to visit, though…the amputees in Cambodia, the pushiness in Vietnam…)

  10. Kirsten says:

    I also have to real desire to go to Iowa. I am not sure why but it is one of our 50+ states that just seems as if it would bore me to tears.

    • Jenna says:

      Come, now! I am from the Los Angeles area and spent four years in Iowa for college. There are several towns there which are essentially experiments in municipal-level socialism/energy sustainability and huge proponents of the arts and alternative lifestyles. Look up Fairfield or Grinnell. Iowa City is home to the most sought-after creative writing program in the country and has a long history of churning out brilliant writers. Des Moines has the cleanest urban environment I’ve ever seen.

      Sure, there are lots of cornfields and whatnot. But the people are kind-hearted and hardworking. It’s not exactly a vacation destination, but it is also my wholehearted belief that no place is boring in itself, and with no expectations you will be surprised at what you find.

      Cheers!
      Jenna

      P.S. Now, Oklahoma, on the other hand…. =)

  11. Colleen says:

    Africa. After reading The Poisonwood Bible and realizing that EVERYTHING want to kill you there I decided I never want to visit.

  12. Jenna says:

    Kate, I second your interest in Vietnam. I teach ESL and my students, about 30% of whom are Vietnamese, do a presentation called “Great Destinations in My Native Country.” I am always amazed by the incredible array of amazing places and nature in Vietnam. And the people are SO wonderful!!

  13. Valerie says:

    The places I do not want to travel to are as follows:
    1. Anywhere too close to Columbia. The place just freaks me out.
    2. Anywhere north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle. I hate even the thought of being that cold.
    3. Most of the continent of Africa. Exceptions would be places in the north like Egypt or Morocco, or South Africa. Just not interested.
    4. The more dangerous parts of the Middle East.
    5. Agreed- not interested in the bottom of the ocean. At all. It terrifies me, to be honest.

  14. I’m kinda surprise that Pattaya is in the list. LOL. Though it is one of the worst red light districts in the world, I think there are far more worst places than Pattaya. That lady in black dress talking to that fat guy could be a lady boy. You don’t even want to imagine if those two starts to get it on.

  15. Katie says:

    Just reading this now and find it so ironic that you listed Komodo Island first and then you got shipwrecked there!

    I’m with you on scuba-diving…absolutely never.

    I don’t have a huge desire to go to SE Asia in general – no real reason, just other places appeal to me more. I’m sure I’ll still get there eventually.

  16. Priscilla says:

    Be careful what you wish against…I said, “Heck no, won’t move to Arkansas, Mississippi or Texas.” I’ve now lived in Texas 9 months of the year for 17 years! Don’t jinx yourself the way I did!

    Also, was really deathly afraid of scuba diving and snorkeling. Went to Hawaii and made myself snorkel. Was so happy to rid myself of my fear, show my kids to conquer my phobia and do something out of my comfort zone. Baby steps…still too freaked to scuba, but at least my head’s in the game.

    Cheers,
    Priscilla

  17. Lindsey says:

    I spent two weeks in Pattaya as the final part of a TEFL course. While living costs were low and the surrounding areas were quite nice, the city of Pattaya is somewhere I will never return! It’s full of creepy old farang men and their questionably under-aged Thai girlfriends, not to mention ladyboys galore! Disgusting! In fact, several expats approached me during my stay telling me to move away from Pattaya, calling it “the scum of the earth.” Again, yuck.

  18. I would have to add Somalia to the list, at least for a few more years.

  19. Richard says:

    my top five ..
    Bodrum – Turkey .. seriously down market
    Kuta, Bali .. exploited to its limits
    Patong, Phuket – noise, noise, noise and endless vacation tourists
    Langkawi, Malaysia – seriously boring place
    Mekong river trip to Luang Prabang (Ok for a hour ..) .. Mekong Delta in Vietnam .. extremely disappointing

    and the two most annoying places are Malaysia and Indonesia as the price you see is not the price you pay .. it is always ++ … even Starbucks in KL .. cappuccino displayed price 10:20 .. had to pay 12:10 ..

  20. Gary Thomson says:

    The vast majority of travellers in Pattaya are actually Russian Families on short package holiday deals. Pattaya is home to the Central Festival Shopping Mall which is the biggest in Asia.
    Pattaya’s Walking Street is home to huge dance clubs like Insomnia and MIXX which attract internationally renowned DJs from around the globe. The patrons of these clubs are not 60 year old men but young Australians and Europeans.
    The Asian Golf Open takes place in Pattaya as does International Tennis Tournaments featuring the worlds top players.

    To sum up instead of just jumping on the Pattaya Stereotypes maybe you should actually visit the place. Who knows you might even like it.

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