Top 10 places not to visit this new year

In the last issue of the Reporter, I mentioned the first five places on the list of ten destinations NOT to visit in 2017: North Korea, the local landfill, ULAS J0744+25, prison, and Delaware. Without further ado, here are the rest of the places that never should’ve been on your bucket list to begin with. For your own benefit, please take the following suggestions into serious and thoughtful consideration.

6. 66.382365, -94.785700

For the outdoorsy type, the temptation may be strong to visit these remote geographic coordinates, located in the territory of Nunavut in northern Canada. Nothing quite says getting away from it all quite like being roughly 160 miles from the nearest human settlement, especially if that human settlement is a place called Gjoa Haven, population 1,446 (according to the official Nunavut Tourism website), located on King William Island.

This is an adventure beyond the level of your average boy scout, however. Unless you’re a hardcore survivalist, you may find it difficult to enjoy your isolated stay in the raw Canadian wilderness. A little pre-trip research on obtaining food in the unforgiving, treeless tundra may prove handy, as would some basic knowledge of shelter-building methods. Close encounters with the local polar bear population are not encouraged. [Nunavut Tourism].

The recommended season to visit is summer, as temperatures hover around a brisk -30 degrees Fahrenheit, according to weatherspark.com. Early summer is ideal as it permits extra time to manage your escape.

Individuals considering visiting 66.382365, -94.785700 are recommended to first consult their sanity. While it may prove to be a trip of your lifetime, bear in mind that it will likely also prove to be the end of a lifetime.

7. Meade, Kansas

The official website of Meade, Kansas, arrogantly proclaims that it is “a friendly place to visit, a great place to live.” Do not be fooled! Meade will only leave you disappointed. Be informed – don’t fall prey to such cunning advertising techniques. What they don’t tell you is that when you arrive in Meade you will likely say to yourself “I drove all the way to southwestern Kansas for this?”

There are many reasons that you will regret your trip to Meade. Upon driving in town on Highway 54, one of the first things you’ll notice is Bob’s Drive-In. As Bob’s – or any other restaurant in town, for that matter – hasn’t received any prestigious international ranking nor been featured in any major publications, it makes one seriously question the quality of food in Meade. Similarly, the town’s three lodging establishments – Moon Mist Motel, Dalton’s Bedpost Motel, and the Circle O Motel and Camps – have not received any significant international recognition.

Oldmeadecounty.com explains that Meade’s main attraction is a rickety old house (known as the Dalton Gang Hideout) with an underground tunnel, which as “legend has it […] was used by the [infamous 19th century Dalton Gang] to come and go undetected by the law.” This unsettling legacy of criminal activity is another great reason to steer clear of Meade.

Meade is not known to have any trendy hipster neighborhoods and there is no cool indie music scene to speak of. In fact, it is surrounded in all directions by miles of agricultural fields. In addition, Meade apparently is not home to any major professional or university sports team. In fact, the highest level of competition in the town is the Buffaloes, the high school team.

In conclusion, Meade’s reputation of gangs, sketchy local dining and lodging institutions, and lackluster attractions directly contradict its assertion that it is “friendly” and “great.” Rest assured, the best kind of trip to Meade is the one that is never made.

8. The Hadal Zone

On the surface, visiting the Hadal Zone may seem like a cool idea. But roughly four miles beneath the surface, it may not seem so cool anymore.

Much like Meade, Kansas, the dark and foreboding Hadal Zone is a place that you most definitely don’t want to find yourself in this year. A YouTube video by RealLifeLore entitled “The Ocean is Way Deeper Than You Think” explains that the Hadal Zone – named after Hades, the lord of the underworld in ancient Greek mythology – begins at 6,000 meters (about 20,000 feet) below the ocean’s surface. It is shrouded in utter darkness, populated by a variety of mysterious sea creatures, and experiences a level of pressure 1,100 times greater than that of the surface. Not exactly the kind of place for a pleasant family vacation, huh?

Hadal Zone tourism information is seemingly nowhere to be found on the Internet. I strongly recommend against planning a trip to the Hadal Zone in 2017.

9. Museum of Bad Art – Dedham, Massachusetts

Need I say more?

10. The Bahamas via the free cruise that you “won”

Thinking of taking up that automated voice recording on those two free tickets for a cruise to the Bahamas? Before you dial in those credit card digits, think again! That cruise, much like unicorns, fairies, krakens, and other such mythic creatures, is not real.

I would advise you not to go, but it wouldn’t really matter because you wouldn’t have been able to go, anyway. It’s okay. You probably didn’t want to spend a week out of your January on warm, sandy beaches, anyway. Keep telling yourself that – it will help.

Just think of all the things that could have gone wrong. The cruise ship could have become a modern Titanic and capsized in the ocean. A foreign spy could have mistaken you for an enemy operative and taken you out. Maybe you would’ve run into an old acquaintance from high school and had to awkwardly say hello and make small talk. The Bahamian government could’ve been toppled by an unexpected coup d’etat while you were there, leaving you helpless in the ensuing chaos brought on by the violent military dictatorship.

You wouldn’t want any of that, would you? No, of course not! Aren’t you thankful now that it was a scam?

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