You might as well watch the end from a beautiful location.
While carefully planning for a dream vacation, one’s thoughts naturally turn to the threat of total nuclear annihilation on a global scale. Who wants to have their sun-soaked stay in a beautiful locale ruined by a skin-melting blast that lays waste to everything in a 10-mile radius? There you are, soaking up the sun while sipping a cocktail named after a confusing sex act when all of a sudden you have to deal with the ravages of radiation poisoning. You deserve better than that. Here are the safest, most glamorous spots to relax, soak up some sun, and whisper quietly to nobody in particular as you stare at the blinding horizon.
Lord of The Rings, beautiful scenery, mountains that might offer substantial cover from a nuclear blast–these are just a few of the things for which New Zealand is known. When was the last time New Zealand was in the news due to geopolitical hostilities? Nobody wants to vaporize the beautiful Fjordland National Park or the penguin-filled Milford Sound. An afternoon taking in the enormous glaciers of South Island is the perfect excuse to put your phone down and stop scanning your Twitter feed to gape at picture after picture of devastation in non-New Zealand places.
Switzerland has … so many chocolate-related things. I really can’t stress the amount of chocolate you could stuff into your maw while visiting the world’s most legendarily politically neutral nation. Lodged in between France, Germany, and Italy, the only thing that’s likely to disturb your visit (and taste-test!) at the Maison Cailler chocolate factory in Gruyère is if one of Switzerland’s neighbors became involved in an atomic slapfight between superpowers that had the potential to eventually envelope the body politic of Europe itself. The mountains in and around the country are both breathtakingly vast and logistically nonsensical for world leaders with heavy button-fingers to drop a bomb on.
Nobody in the history of the world has ever grunted, “The time has come to drop the hammer on Fiji” in a darkened Situation Room. This enclave of secluded islands lies smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and it features jaw-dropping lagoons beaches straight out of a mid-90s screensaver. Take a day cruise around the sparkling Dravuni Island, gaze at the extensive coral reefs, and watch the sunset melt. At least it’s probably a sunset. You’re pretty sure it’s a sunset.
Bjork will outlast us all, cackling and singing like a shaken angel, and do you know why? She’ll be hiding out in her native Iceland when the bombs come down. Iceland is geographically isolated from the rest of the world, which makes it the perfect place to do some serious sightseeing. You’ve got volcanos! Glaciers! A full head of hair due to a lack of radiation poisoning! Whale-watching! The activities are endless, especially if you’re the outdoorsy type and you don’t mind a bit of cold.
The Chilean city of Punta Arenas, located at the southernmost portion of the country, has an incredible array of wildlife and things to do in addition to being the furthest possible geographic location from any country with nuclear capability. Gawk at palatial estates, the historic City Cemetery, and the glacier-heavy Torres del Paine National Park, and if things get a little too hot in the civilized world, you can always go on a short jaunt to Antarctica.
Malta is home to, allegedly, the ruins of the oldest buildings in recorded history–with a survivalist pedigree like that, is it any wonder that Malta would be a perfect place to cool your heels while the sky falls and God weeps? The Mediterranean island nation is too small to be of any tactical interest, and really, who could look upon Malta’s peaceful fishing villages and sun-kissed beaches with the intent to blast it all into the abyss? There’s a wonderful public transportation system as well, so you won’t need to bring your car with you when you leave your entire life behind to while away the days at one of many of Malta’s outdoor summer concerts.
Unexpected, right? Ireland has a long track record of military neutrality during worldwide conflicts, and what’s more, it has an incredible art scene. In Dublin alone, you can take in original vintage posters at Gallery 29, daring contemporary artwork at The Paul Kane Gallery, and brash urban art at The KEMP Gallery. You’ll need something beautiful to look at to remind you that there were once good things in the world.
Forget all the post-apocalyptic Mad Max imagery–the nation’s relative safety from the threat of a nuclear strike (due to its lack of nuclear weaponry and reluctance to jab nuclear superpowers in the eye) is matched only by the sheer variety of its tourist attractions. Perth, for instance, features lush botanic gardens and beaches, the three-centuries-old St. Mary’s Cathedral, and a geographic location that makes it one of the most remote metropolitan areas on earth. Just because you’re hiding like a frightened mouse from the wild boot of humanity’s hubris doesn’t mean you need to hang out in some forgotten bunker.
Listen to me: You’ve got soccer, you’ve got an enormous rock called Sugar Loaf, you’ve got Carnaval, you’ve got absolutely no reason to rain down hell on Brazil if you’re a world power once the Doomsday Clock hits midnight. The Amazon Rainforests are a majestic reminder of how truly small we are, and they contain a wide panoply of unique ecosystems that have not yet been reduced to a homogenous hellscape of rubble and ashes. In particular, Manaus features the world-famous Teatro Amazonas, an opera house designed in the style of the Italian Renaissance. There’s truly something for everyone here, and you’ll have all the time in the world to explore Brazil’s natural marvels because what else were you planning on doing? The rest of the world has become a cruel child’s science fair project.
Isle of Lewis
Never heard of it? Neither have the four horsemen of the apocalypse. The small Scottish island contains An Lanntair (a combination art gallery/movie theater/concert hall/dance studio), a truly crazy amount of wild birds, and mysterious stone circles that were probably put there by druids or wizards or something. They also have an enormous arch made from the jawbones of a blue whale that washed up on the beach once, so there’s that. You can admire the Whale Bone Arch with your eyes that still work due to not being within 10 miles of a nuclear attack, and when you’re done, pop on over to the Loch Croistean Coffee Shop for some tasty pastries and a warm cup of coffee.