Itineraries / Spiritual Teachings / Travel Advice

Apocalypse Travel Guide: Where In The World To Go Before It’s Gone Forever

You’re probably all aware that according to the Mayans, the world is ending next week.

I feel foolish if I choose to believe this. There is little physical evidence that the apocalypse is coming. Then again, I feels foolish not to believe it a little bit. If I ignore it and then the Mayans turn out to be right, I don’t want to spend my last  week on Earth going about life like a soul-less robot, do you? I was thinking about this the other day as I was sitting on the subway, mindlessly staring into my I-phone, quickly clicking  between my e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then I looked up and saw the sun (which had been absent for about a week in New York) shining down on an expansive stretch of Brooklyn’s sultry, industrial skyline. It was beautiful, and I considered that if the world were to end in two weeks, I’d want to spend more time looking at it than at the artificial world of my I-phone.

We could always use a reminder to live our days like they are our last. I’ve been reading Osho heavily the past few weeks, particularly his teachings on courage. I’m very inspired by his belief that we should live fearless of death.

osho

In Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously, Osho writes:

“There are many fears, but fundamentally they are only offshoots of one fear, branches of one tree. The name of the tree is death. You may not be aware that this fear is concerned with death, but every fear is concerned with death…

…If death is the basic and the fundamental fear, then only one thing can make you fearless, and that is an experience within you of a deathless consciousness…

You were never born and you never die. You are always here. Forms come and go and the river of life continues. Unless you experience this, the fear of death will not leave you.”

I’ve decided to consciously cultivate more courage and deathless consciousness. With the Mayan calendar’s end approaching, you might want to consider doing the same. Why fear the end, when we could instead celebrate the life we’ve had and the planet on which we can live for at least one more week?

Just for fun, let’s imagine the world is really ending on December 21st and there’s not a drop of fear in our hearts. How would you live? What would you do? I think I’d spend today robbing a bank, or taking out obscene amounts of Sallie Mae loans and the next eight days traveling around the world in a lightning-speed helicopter that cuts flying time between continents down to nearly zero minutes (it’s kind of like a teleporter). Here’s my itinerary:

Day 1, North America

Thunderstorms from Bright Angel Point - Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon PC: Al_HikesAZ

I’m not exactly patriotic, but I would like to start by seeing and saying goodbye to my own country before I die. New Orleans LA, Austin TX, Portland OR, Seattle WA, Boulder CO and The Grand Canyon are all places in my home country I’ve still never been to and would like to see before they’re wiped out by the apocalypse.

Day 2, Ethiopia

School in a Konso village Ethiopia

Ethiopia PC: Eric Lafforgue

If I learned one thing in the Black History course I took in college, it’s that “we are all from Africa!” Paleo-anthropologists theorize that the first Homo Sapiens arose from Ethiopia, millions of years ago. I think it would be meaningful to experience the land where mankind originated before we’re gone forever, not to mention see some amazing African animals in their natural environment.

Saint Basil's Cathedral

Cathedral of St. Basil, Moscow PC: Kaan Ugurlu

Day 3 and 4 , Moscow/Minsk Russia and Odessa, Ukraine

If I’m going to discover my human roots, I also want to explore my family roots. All four of my great grandparents immigrated to New York from Russia.  They come from the cities of Minsk and Odessa (Odessa is now part of Ukraine but was part of Imperial Russia in the 19th century).

I have no idea what I would do in these places or how freezing cold it might be there this time of year, but since this is a completely fantastical, hypothetical travel itinerary, I’ll spend a few days in each city discovering shocking truths about my family history that will give me a totally new understanding of my identity. And because my ancestors didn’t live in very interesting places and I’ll already be in Russia (and traveling by teleportation), I  might as well pay a quick visit to Moscow to see the Cathedral of St. Basil. I also read that in Moscow they are selling “apocalypse kits” which include a bottle of vodka. I just might have to have a drink and a laugh about that.

Day 5, Rome and Florence, Italy

There’s nothing deep about this one. I just love pizza. Before the world ends I want to taste the best pizza in the world. So far I believe it to be in New York, but Italians have often angrily begged to differ. I’ll spend a couple days roaming Rome and floating around Florence tasting as many pizzas as possible.

Day 6 and 7, India

Varanasi

Varanasi, India PC: Pau Bou

Let’s get serious, now. By day 7 of my itinerary, the world will be ending in two days. I’ve had my fun with safaris, vodka, and pizza, but it’s time to get real and say goodbye to the Earth. I’ll want to move into a spiritual space within and outside myself, so where better to do that than India? I’ll spend a day meditating in the city of Varanasi, which is considered the holiest of the seven sacred cities in India. Lonely Planet calls it “the beating heart of the Hindu universe.” After that, I’ll want to get away from all the tourists and explore the countryside. Any suggestions?

Day 8 (DOOMSDAY)

After the Snow II, Brooklyn Bridge at Night, NYC

I’ll be home for Doomsday. PC: Andrew Mace

Like many others, I’ve decided that I want to spend the last day of life on Earth celebrating! But where in the world to do this? There will be parties everywhere. I considered Rio Del Janiero, so I could check South America off my list, have been to 6 of 7 continents in my lifetime, and spend my last day of life partying in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I considered Mexico or Belize, to honor the Mayans for predicting the end in one of their proper origination places. I did some Googling for festivals and parties in those places, but nothing really appealed to me.

Then I realized, I want to spend the last day of the world with the people I love the most, right here in New York. So I’ll hop in my lightning-speed helicopter-teleporter and fly home. I’ll hug and kiss my mom, dad, sisters, niece and nephew one last time. Then I’ll head up to New Paltz, NY where most of my best friends live and are conveniently planning an epic celebration full of meditation, live music, dance, and art. Goodbye, Earth! Thanks for a beautiful life.

**Featured image PC: Pau Bou

What places would be on your apocalypse travel itinerary? What are some ways you are celebrating life this week? Leave a comment 🙂

6 thoughts on “Apocalypse Travel Guide: Where In The World To Go Before It’s Gone Forever

  1. Even if you could teleport, that’s a lot of places covered in not a very long time. But I’d be up for coming along on that adventure!

    Ps. Bet you $1mil that the world’s still around for Christmas 2012.

    • Hey, Ian! It’s true, it will be an exhausting week. “Sleep when I’m dead,” right? And even if I had a million dollars, I’m not sure how I’d pay you post-apocalypse if I won the other end of the bet. Thanks for reading! 🙂

  2. “No day but today” – one of my favourite quotes, but sometimes easy to forget to put into practice! Maybe we should make a new one – “Live today like the apocalypse is in one week”!

  3. Those are all brilliant destinations and reasons for going there! I’m a fan of Eat Pray Love and I believe everyone should have this kind of ‘spiritual awakening’ itinerary, even though the world didn’t end! For me, it’s: New Zealand, Iceland, Thailand, Australia. and Mexico. It sounds random, but like you, I’ve my (super-secret) reasons. Anyway, good luck with your travels and happy new year!!!

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