Six “Dream” Destinations That Look Like Anxiety-Ridden Nightmares

by Lucas Witherspoon

As someone with a heavy interest in traveling, I spend a lot of time examining other cultures and subliminally plotting future travel locations, which has led me to find some truly incredible places that aren’t cliché tourist traps. That being said, in a cruel twist of irony, I also happen to have severe anxiety. I mean, usually two or three glasses of wine is enough to curb it to brace me for social interaction, but some places I’ve seen are enough in pictures alone to make me feel like I need a Xanax or six. That in mind, here are six supposed “dream” destinations that are actually my tribulation.

1. Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort, Maldives
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The bad news about this hotel: you’re trapped in what amounts to an underwater coffin with god knows how much atmospheric pressure bearing down on you. But at least you get to wake up to a fucking whale shark staring you in the face, right? The good news: they have over 20,000 different bottles of wine, which is convenient, given that’s what it would take to make me even consider stepping foot in this place.

2. Kolarbyn Eco Lodge, Sweden
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You’re probably looking at this thinking, “It looks like a hut built into a mound of dirt, but surely the inside looks better than the outside.” Sorry to break it to you, but the inside isn’t any better. Do you know what this place would do to me in terms of my claustrophobia? First of all, if I inhaled fresh air, I would probably suffocate from the purity of it. Secondly, forgive me if I don’t want to pay to sleep like a gopher or an extreme survivalist for a night.

3. First World Hotel, Malaysia
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This place has 6,000 rooms, 500,000 square feet of indoor theme parks, shopping centers, food courts, a casino, and that’s not even what leaves me teetering on the verge of a panic attack. Too. Many. Colors. Christ, it’s like an LSD dreamland, sans the LSD. Compound that with the fact it doubles as an amusement park and I’m already reaching for my imaginary inhaler.

4. The Aurora Express, Alaska, USA
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A part of me has admittedly always wanted to go on a proper train ride, which, at first, may make you think I’d find a train ride across Alaska appealing, but let’s look at it pragmatically: it’s days on end stuck inside of a train with nothing to look at other than snow and trees. After the first two hours of snow, shrubs, and saplings, I’d be either going stir crazy or cleaning the bar out in an effort to retain my sanity.

5. Hotel Parador de Ronda, Spain
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If I saw this hotel alone, I’d think, “Oh, that place looks quaint.” However, pan out and my initial acclaim becomes, “HOLY FUCK, I THINK I JUST LOST CONTROL OF MY BOWELS.” The fact the hotel is described as “a stone’s throw away from the beautiful chasm” is really just a polite way of saying, “You’re only ever a few steps away from plummeting to your death!”

6. Huvafen Fushi Resort, Maldives
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Upon first glance, this looks like a completely tranquil, idealistic vacation spot. While that may be the case with most people, in my mind, I think back to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Could you imagine if a random natural disaster happened here? You’d basically just have to throw your hands up and wait to be swept out to sea, if you didn’t drown before you had the chance to be ravaged by sharks.

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