Bon Voyage! A Fantasy Travel Guide

So, as you may know, AJ tends to take charge as the travel and food guy. Not that he’s not great at it, but here’s the thing: He doesn’t think outside of the box! What about the elaborate cities, the picturesque landscapes, and the exotic wildlife? Why limit ourselves to places that ACTUALLY exist when we could venture into the ones that are FAKE? Amiright?

So let’s go for it: Here are 5 super-beautiful, super fabricated worlds that any real life traveler would die to see:

1. Kilika – Final Fantasy X

ff_kilikapretty

These beautiful little island communities are already phenomenal in practice, but give ’em the fantasy treatment and they’re utterly breathtaking. You’d never want for that nature connection – it’s all around you. And you don’t need a beach when the clear-glass ocean water is just beneath your floorboards. Hell, even their funerals are awe-inspiring.

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

So there’s just one thing. Every 10 years a collosal Godzilla-beast called Sin plows through the town, killing off like half of its population and destroying everyone’s homes. But, come on, every property has its drawbacks. Just look at that view!

Yeah, Tom! Could you retake the photo? A little less debris this time!

Hey, Tom! Could you retake the photo? A little less debris this time!

2. The Shire – Lord of the Rings

lotr_theshireoutside

The great thing about Hobbits is that, for them, everyday is a party. How far removed from real life is it that the littlest folk of Middle Earth are the most carefree? Historically, for humans, short guys are the ones with something to prove. And more often than not, they tend to be bitter little basterds. Hellbent on ruining our good days.

But the Shire is the ideal spot for simple living. It’s so simple, in fact, that it’s hardly detectable. The houses are literally a PART of the landscape. How cool is that? And with the lack of distractions, I could probably write, like, 40 novels in a year!

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

Yeah, everything’s built a bit small. And if it’s fit to scale for Elijah Wood, things’ll definitely be weird. Dude’s gotta legit be like 4’3”.

This is the perfect excuse to get the leg reduction I keep talking about!

This is the perfect excuse to get the leg reduction I keep talking about!

3. Another World – The Dark Crystal

Steer clear of the Skeksis, and there’s not much to gripe about in this happenin’ little place. The thickly inhabited ecosystem is a marvel in itself, and the wildlife ranges from cuddly to crazy-complex. First order of business would be to train a Landstrider for travel. Then adopt a Podling for no reason other than the fact that they’re obscenely cute.

And if you get bored, I’m sure a Mystic could hook you up with something. Those guys are so chill. They must smoke gonge. Or at least know a guy.

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

A romantic stroll through the woods wouldn’t exactly be a casual experience, seeing as literally everything that grows in this place is also mobile. Not to mention the constant chattering would deftly eliminate any sense of peace or privacy.

Someone please make the voices go away...

Someone please make the voices go away…

4. The Alternate Dreamland of Spirited Away

Few images get me quite like this:

spiritedaway_talkontraintracks

The thing that sets this world apart is that it merges a cool setting with a really great cast of characters. These people are freakin’ weird in the best way. And although some can be smelly or douchey (See: No-Face and Yubaba), even they have soft underbellies. If you’re lucky, you may even meet a Guardian man-dragon who also happens to be a River. No, really. It’s a super weird movie.

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

Bath houses can get pretty gross. Especially with this clientele. And your parents can’t really visit, cuz they’d just turn into pigs.

Spence, could you pass the string beans?

Spence, could you pass the string beans?

5. The Emerald City – The Wizard of Oz

I’m a fan of any place that greets you with a musical number, but EC is so much more than that! It represents a progressive, environmentally-friendly industry (it’s GREEN, duh!) And it’s ironically the only part of Oz that a certain wart-faced biddy will never go.

Which may have something to do with all the witch-lynching going on. It’s so bad that, if you rob their corpse and present the evidence, you’ll get the royal treatment. Hm. Maybe it’s not so progressive after all.

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

What do they do all day? Paint horses and sing? I mean, it’s cute at first, but I’m guessin’ that shit gets old fast. And this is coming from a loyal Friend of Judy. It’s also probably not a good sign that the guy in charge is a total scam artist.

Uh, Mr. Oz. We just lost another one to paint fume inhalation.

Uh, Mr. Oz. We just lost another one to paint fume inhalation.

Geez, even fake life sucks.

Ah well, it’s back to writing my script. 8 pages down, only 82 left to go. This’ll be cake.

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