There are many different types of holiday to choose from, but for us, the only thing that really matters is to come back a different, better person.
Here is a list of places where you will certainly not feel like a tourist. These destinations help you reconnect to your wild side!
Sleeping among the trees assumes a literal meaning at Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicom Beach, Canada. One of the most interesting aspects of this truly unique holiday destination is the fact that your room swings freely with the motion of the trees (thanks to elastic bungees that hold the spheres off the ground). Here the trees really do rock you to sleep.
If you have ever dreamed of leaving it all behind, this is the perfect destination for you. Rick Joy’s “Desert Nomad House” is located in the middle of the Tucson desert, near … err… nowhere. That’s right, there’s really nothing here (apart from the saguaro cacti). The design of the house is minimalist, with a bathroom of 72 square metres, a lounge, a kitchen and a dining room. The bedroom is 40 square metres in size and the office measures almost 200. If you need some solitary living, this is the place for you.
George Van Tassel is an ex-aeronautical engineer and test pilot. He once worked with people like Howard Hughes, the leading expert in UFOs. He took 18 years to build the Integratron, which he describes as a time machine. Tassel insists that the place allows him to enter into regular contact with extra-terrestrials, and is prepared to share the experience with guests. To avoid misunderstandings and disappointments, the massive dome also offers sonic healing sessions, and travellers from all over the world view it as a Mecca for physical and spiritual healing.
“I always used to wonder why gardens around the world focus only on the healing properties of plants rather than on their ability to kill. I was sure that most of the children I knew would have been far more interested to learn how plants can kill, how long you would live if you ate them, and how terrible your death would be,” the Duchess of Northumberland, founder of the Alnwick Poison Garden, once explained.
Notices on the garden gate warn: “these plants can kill”. Visitors are recommended not even to smell them. Alnwick is home to around 100 lethal plants, including Atropa belladonna (the deadly nightshade), Strychnos nux-vomica (the strychnine tree) and Conium maculatum (hemlock, just a few grams of whose fruit can kill a man). Alnwick is an extremely popular destination because its castle was used as the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in many Harry Potter films.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Hundreds of people have abandoned Caribbean cruises in favour of a trip to the Pacific Ocean’s huge floating garbage patch. For around 10,000 dollars each, various American companies organise cruises to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the infamous island now half the size of Europe, made of plastic waste, chemical sludge and detritus. The Gyre currents carry waste from all over the North Pacific to this one place. The tourists who go on these cruises help collect the waste that is slowly but surely killing off the marine life of the entire planet.
Carrying a gas mask is mandatory (there really is a law that imposes it) on the Japanese islands of Izu. These small islands lie along a chain of active volcanoes that often expel toxic gases. The islands, however, are also renowned for their luxuriant and unspoiled nature, which makes them a favourite destination for courageous travellers with a love for the wild and no fear of strong smells.
At Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland, you can live with the Inuit people amid the incredible fauna that surrounds the Igloo Village. Dog sled travel, frozen fjord crossings, deserted villages and a night in a cave of ice are just some of the experiences you can enjoy here. Just keep your fingers crossed that a polar bear doesn’t take a fancy to you!
In Chinese, “Tianzi” means “daughters of heaven”. Though often enveloped in cloud, these “vertiginous peaks” in the north-west of China’s Hunan province are among the most incredible places on Earth. A cable car takes you to the village of Huangshi, but from there you have to proceed on foot, along the breath-taking paths that wind through the rocks. It comes as no surprise to learn that these mountains provided the inspiration for the floating hills in the film Avatar.