That Time I Wondered Where I Don’t Want to Go

As every traveller knows, each time you tick a destination off your wish-list you seem to add several more…

This trend is one that comes up regularly when I’m discussing travels with fellow like-minded friends, particularly in the case of me and my good buddy Ben, who will have managed to hit a fair few countries himself by the end of this year.

Yet it was during a recent conversation with another amigo that a different question was thrown into the mix, and it was one that stopped me in my tracks for a while…

“So, where don’t you want to go?

It took a fair bit of thinking about to answer this – but it also got me thinking that this would make for an interesting post!

I’d like to consider myself pretty open-minded when it comes to travel obviously, after all there’s a massive chunk of the planet that I want to see! Yet there are indeed some destinations that just don’t appeal to me at all, and I imagine everyone has a few places that they frankly just don’t fancy. Whether it’s for reasons logical or illogical it’s understandable – it would be boring if we were all the same after all.

So after a couple of weeks of thinking about it here’s the destinations I currently have no interest in making the trip to, along with my reasons why. I’m not going to pretend that all my reasons make perfect sense of course or are even fair – although none of them are down to the inhabitants of those countries, I must make clear – and please feel free to try and persuade me what I’m missing out on in the comments.

India

The second most populated country in the world was in first place in coming to my mind when I thought about my answers here. It has simply just never held any interest for me, and even survived the attempts of my best buddy trying to sell it to me after he concluded his world travels there (that and all the other amazing tales I’ve read on various travel blogs).

Dear god no! (Image Credit: BBC Food)

Dear god no! (Image Credit: BBC Food)

To be perfectly honest, I’ve simply never really understood much at all about Indian culture or admittedly made much of an effort to, and as such haven’t really had anything to spike my interest in the country. I certainly don’t understand the fascination with Bollywood, but maybe that’s just me!

On a more serious note though, the sweltering Indian temperatures certainly don’t appeal, even having had plenty of experience of the South Asian tropics (43° in Chiang Mai being the hottest). I’m also not sure what I’d eat either, as the memory of pretty much every Indian dish I’ve tried has me dry-heaving – very unexpected for someone who loves spicy food! But I wouldn’t want to go there and be one of those people who heads abroad and doesn’t eat the local cuisine.

Even though India hadn’t appealed anyways, I have to admit to being further put off by some of the events that have happened in recent times regarding violence against women. Bizarre to bring up I know, and also very unfair that the actions of a few disgusting individuals should colour my opinion of a country where the majority are wonderful open people I’m sure. But wrongly or rightly, things as shocking as that just tend to stick with you.

So as of now I can’t ever imagine myself heading to India. I could be making a massive mistake with that, but at this time it just doesn’t feel right for me.

Laos

When booking my South East Asian travels I was keen to divert from what I ended up labelling the “STA Travel” route. Nothing against STA of course, I think they’re top notch, but they do seem to try and send everyone heading to that region on the Thailand – Vietnam – Cambodia – Laos loop – just as they did with two good friends of mine in the months leading up to my own travels.

This is not culture - so cut it out! (Image Credit:

I’m sure Laos deserves better than this (Image Credit: Exploration-Online.co.uk)

Despite making the justified decision to head to Malaysia and down instead, I’d love to check back for Vietnam and particularly Cambodia. The same can’t be said for Laos.

I can’t pretend I’m an expert on the country of course. But when a place seems to be most well known amongst the backpacking crowd for it’s oh-so-cultural activity of getting messed up and going tubing – thankfully now seemingly stopped – then quite frankly I don’t really want to know.

I’m well aware this was mostly in Vang Vieng, but it has notoriously been the most debated and discussed topic when it comes to Laos, both online and in person in my experience. And it’s a real shame that an activity like this has managed to overshadow what is more than likely a fascinating country and give it what’s probably an undeserved reputation for backpacking excess and idiocy. Considering it’s probably the most untouched nation in the region that just makes the stigma even more disappointing too.

As such whilst I’d love to return to South East Asia, I currently have no desire to discover Laos when I do make it back.

Russia

The bizarre entry here. Why? Because it used to be high on my list of places I actually wanted to visit.

Why you so confusing!? (Image Credit: RealRussia.co.uk)

Why you so confusing!? (Image Credit: RealRussia.co.uk)

It’s probably even more odd that I’m thinking like this now that I can even get there with an EasyJet flight. But the overall feeling I have about the epically sized Eurasian nation is that I just don’t think I could ever do it justice. I mean, it’s so damn big that I don’t personally feel I could ever get a proper taste of Russia, and simply heading to the capital just isn’t getting to know a country properly.

The visa situation is also pretty confusing to me too, even though I’ve read up about it enough times. Reading it again as I wrote this made my mind even more muddled! Either way needing an “invitation” before you can apply for the visa doesn’t make it seem particularly welcoming, and to be honest that hassle is a big part of the reason why Russia has slipped onto this list of mine.

Still the “Visa-free period” during the 2018 World Cup may yet swing this one back around…

Australia

Seriously? What the heck is wrong with you Carl?

I know, I know, what kind of Brit am I?! I mean, I don’t want to trade in dull and dismal England for delightful down-under. How does that even work?!

Busy busy Bondi... (Image Credit: Panoramio.com)

Busy busy Bondi… (Image Credit: Panoramio.com)

The truth is Australia – despite being as far away as it could humanly be on this planet – just isn’t “exotic” enough for me.

When I go away I like to experience new tastes, sights and sounds. With Australia I just feel like I would know exactly what to expect. The same foods, the same sports, the same language.

I’ve seen so many local friends head off on a working-holiday visa and love their year down under. And whilst I can’t blame them at all – heck it’s gotta be a lot more interesting than our quiet part of the country here – it’s just always felt like the “safe” option for me. It’s everything we’re used to, just with a generally more favourable climate.

As such for me Australia just hasn’t ever felt like the new experience that I would want a trip like that to be, and it means I’m personally in no rush to ever head that way. After all, I’d probably just bump into someone from my town anyways…

Oh to be fair, Australia is pretty damn exotic in one way I’d forgotten – How many deadly insects and creatures does one country need?! Argh!

So there you have it…

Four countries that I currently have no desire to see, in comparison to all the ones that I’m desperate to visit. Whilst some of my reasons are tongue-in-cheek and some will be plain illogical, these are just my own reasons as to why.

Either way, like I say, let me know where you agree and disagree.

Which countries have never appealed to you and why?

(Featured image credit: EC English.com)

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20 responses to “That Time I Wondered Where I Don’t Want to Go

  1. I can not really think of any country that I would n’t like to visit. Apart from the obvious war torn countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria etc. India never used to appeal to me until I read Shantaram and saw the tv documentary Wild India. I just have to develop a slight like for Indian food.

    • Thanks bud. Yeah I haven’t seen it discussed too much before so I thought I’d throw it out there and see if people had any similar thoughts! Glad you enjoyed.

  2. Decided to jump in here! I get the India comment. fighting my way through the 12 million people of Mumbai doesn’t interest me at all. However there’s a growing curiosity of how a country that’s THAT hot and THAT busy all the time can function successfully.
    Russia is on my list but then again I haven’t investigated the Visa process – if it’s too hard I might end up sharing your opinion.

    Aus: Hmm I can’t share the opinion. UK and Aus have their similarities but they’re hardly the same. Aus has many faces too, it’s not just beach and sun. Somewhere like Kakadu or the multicultural Melbourne can show very different sides of the same country.

    • Thanks for your comment Roma 🙂 I should have made clear that my comment on Australia was my perception of why so many people I personally know seem to have made the choice to go there. I genuinely think some of them don’t realise that Australia has a winter too…

  3. I feel the same way about Australia and Russia… but then again, if someone offered me a paid trip? I couldn’t turn that down.

    I’d probably add China to my list for moral reasons, since they are one of the major factors contributing to North Korea’s continued existence. I just can’t hand over visa fees to a government that will repatriate NK refugees against their will…

    • Haha yeah to be fair I probably wouldn’t turn down a free trip to any of them. Although I still possibly wouldn’t be up for India…

      Interesting point about China. I can imagine others sharing that same viewpoint. I personally would like to go as I’m very curious about it, but I can imagine it going either way, what with some of the rather… “different” aspects of Chinese culture that we’ve all read about.

  4. Come on Carl, my grandma did the Russian visa herself! It’s not that hard! Lol. I actually helped her but she did go on an organised tour. Does the Trans Siberian not appeal? It’s in my top 5 dream trips

    • Haha! To be honest you’re probably right and it isn’t that hard. It’s probably just reading about it that’s confusing me! Still it’s definitely something I just have no interest in dealing with at this point.

  5. Harsh call on my home country of Australia, but I can see your point. The big cities in some respect (especially where the backpackers congregate near places like Bondi) are just like miniature versions of tacky places like Blackpool. But exploring beyond and you will find a fascinating country full of natural wonder.

    For me India is a no go too. But for different reasons: 1. The cultural stigma and neglect of the caste system, 2. The lack of sanitary hygiene , and 3. The mass of humanity ever present (I like my travels with a degree of solitude).

    • Thanks for your comment bud. Have to say that hygiene is another aspect of India that personally puts me off too, although I guess that one is always going to be a struggle with what we’re accustomed to. I just read up about the caste system too following your comment – I knew of the term, but couldn’t say I really understood it previously.

  6. Haww.. am sad that India tops this list for you. 😦 Though I understand your concerns and personal likes / dislikes, I hope that you will change your mind someday and come visit us. As for food and temperature, visit India from Nov – Jan. Best time of the year, lot of festivals (including Diwali) and lot of non-spicey, heavy food options too choose from.
    See you then..
    B.

    • Thanks for stopping by Bharti, and also for the understanding comment. Like I say it’s just a personal feeling really. My best friend went to India and absolutely loved it, but on the flip-side he doesn’t ever want go to China. We all just have different preferences I guess.

  7. Lol, I’m from Russia and I’m going to INDIA today hahahahaha. I wondered which countries would be here and here we go. You made my day:-)

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