Have you ever been somewhere, and wish you had not? It has happened to me a few times. I have also avoided some places at the last minute, like the Ukraine.
The Impulse Traveler listed ten places to never go back. “Never Go Back” was a movie with Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. Here is their list, though I agree and do not agree on a few places.
- Rio de Janeiro Yes, they have a plethora of favelas, but the other parts of Rio are amazing, fun, interesting, and very different. The food is great, the beaches are astounding, the bikinis are tiny, and the people are friendly. I would go back anytime!
- Paris I would heartily agree back in the 70s and 80s, but it has gotten better. Stick to the countryside if you want a real French vacation. I loved both Champagne and Bordeaux, as much for the wine as the people. And it is a great place to cycle (in the country, not the city).
- Stockton, CA Often referred to as the “armpit of the west”, I spent four years here in college. It has improved dramatically, but my four years there seemed like ten! I guess it never outgrew its reputation and personality as a port city with all the bad things that go along with that moniker.
- Texas Yes, I once spent a month there one weekend. I went to the NCAA Final Four and Springsteen concert in Dallas. But even those great events could not make up for being in Texas. They will never overcome Dealey Plaza, and the Texas Book Depository.
- Camden, NJ Having been in Jersey only once, I can only tell you that it appears everything ever said about Jersey is true.
- Morocco An interesting place, but very different from anywhere I have ever been. They don’t treat women very well, and they love to pick on tourists. I don’t know what was worse, the camel rides or the snake charmers.
- Honduras Native Hondurans seem to love immigrating to the US. And they seem to be unquestionably happy about it!
- Dubai Never been, never plan to go, you can have it to yourself.
- Hollywood/LA If you pick and choose your spots, LA can be okay, not great. Yes, they have lots of sports, famous restaurants, nice beaches, and way too much traffic and smog. I personally like Little Tokyo (downtown LA), Newport Beach, even Disneyland. But even the carpool lane is a parking lot here.
- Egypt My relatives are headed there in May. I have heard nothing but bad things about how they treat tourists. But I would imagine the countryside, the pyramids, and the upper Nile might be interesting.
Where would I never go back?
Russia, Myanmar, Machu Picchu, the Vatican, Flori-duh (as my friend Ric B. says), African safaris, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Which countries do I plan to avoid?Belarus, Moldova, Bosnia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Israel, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Paraguay, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Greenland, and Antarctica.
Where do I want to go?
Crete, Sicily, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovenia, Finland, Estonia, Tasmania, western Australia, Bolivia (Uyuni Salt Flats), northern Japan (Hokkaido), and perhaps Okinawa.
And with the recent train accidents, I may have to rethink my rail travel. In particular, the train from Athens to Thessaloniki, the exact route of the accident. In fact, I already have a ticket for that trip in May. Now, I plan to fly both ways! I guess Japan is safest place for rail travel.