From travel cost and transportation to danger and jet lag, there are a lot of factors that make traveling a perilous experience. Most of the popular destinations are also packed with annoying tourists. However, despite being somewhat traumatic, death also comes with plenty of free time and freedom from the travel restrictions imposed on mortals. The options are endless, but the following locations simply cannot be missed after you’ve shuffled off your mortal coil.
Shangri-La is a mystical, harmonious valley found in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become known as a earthly paradise, and a Himalayan utopia – a permanently joyous land, isolated from the turmoil of the outside world.
Forget Hogwarts, if you want to see some real black magic, head to the legendary school of Scholomance. The place is rumored to be run by the greatest trickster of them all, the devil, so you know you are in for one hell of a show.
Want to make all your wishes come true? Why not take a trip to Djinnestan, the realm of the djinns, also very popular with lamp traders. Check out the City of Jewels, which is the capitol, as well as the Country of Delight.
Mictlan is another destination that is probably best suited to more adventurous travelers. This Aztec underworld consists of nine levels and is filled with numerous challenges. Expect a four year journey to reach the ninth level as well as scenic mountain ranges crashing into each other and fields with winds blowing knives around along the way.
If you enjoyed the employment you had in life and want to continue indulging in it after death it is best to head to Elysium. Admission was originally reserved for mortals who are related to the gods, as well as other heroes, but these standards were later relaxed. Highlights include great weather and a cool ocean breeze.
For the river ride of your (after)life take a trip down to Styx where the ferryman can give you a guided tour, provided you can afford his tip. A refreshing dip in the river also comes highly recommended as it bestows invulnerability, but don’t make the same mistake as Achilles and leave any spots on your body dry.
To experience rivers of oil, milk, honey and wine take a trip to Cockaigne. It is the ideal destination for lovers of food and leisure as the grilled geese will fly directly into your mouth, roasted pigs stroll around with carving knives in their back and the streets are paved with pastry.
For a chance to witness the splendid works of the divine architect, Visrakarman, visit Alakapuri, said to be the most marvelous city in the world. The locals are best avoided as they are demonic beings, but take the trip up Mandara Mountain to view one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, Chaitraratha.
Although it is not for the faint of heart, Xibalba, which more or less translates to “place of fear” is sure to be more thrilling than any haunted house attraction on earth. In addition to the Maya Death Gods ruling over the place other highlights include rivers, filled with blood, scorpions and pus. Don’t miss out on the houses filled with deadly trials either for the chance to face hungry jaguars, shrieking bats, and razors that move around on their own accord.
For some fresh mountain air it is hard to beat Nysa. A visit of this district offers a great opportunity to check out where Dionysus was raised as an infant under the protection of nymphs. Since Dionysus became the god of winemaking you might even pick up some great tips from Ambrosia, Cisseis, Erato and the other nymphs that call this area home.
If you want some afterlife excitement why not visit Kyöpelinvuori, which literally means “Ghost Mountain” in Finnish. Some say it is a place haunted by dead women, while others claim it is home to mountain witches. You might even be able to persuade one of the witches to take you along on a broom ride when they go on their annual Easter children spooking spree.
12. Brig of Dread
Provided you were not too evil in life the Brig of Dread is a great spot to visit for a scenic view of Purgatory. Evil souls will probably want to give this spot a miss though as they tend to tumble off the bridge and into hell.
For travelers who prefer a leisurely ocean cruise there is always “The Caleuche.” This large ghost ship features three masts of five sails each and there is always a party happening on board. Even more spectacular, this ship is said to be able to navigate under water as well as above.
14. Cedar Forest
Nature lovers will appreciate the verdant beauty of the Cedar Forest where the gods of Mesopotamian mythology reside. It is a great camping spot for those who love the outdoors, but don’t make the same mistake as Gilgamesh and cut down any trees for your campfire unless you want to face the wrath of the demigod Humbaba.
The Egyptian underworld of Duat offers some familiar sites, such as rivers, fields, and islands along with more exotic fare like fiery lakes, turquoise trees and iron walls. Just watch out for the grotesque gate spirits found along the way.
Although it is strictly invite only, if you were righteous enough in life you might get a chance to relax and unwind in heaven. Step through the pearly gates and on to the streets of pure gold when visiting this paradise.
17. Mount Olympus
In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is referred to as “home of the gods”, in particular the Twelve Olympians on the Mytikas peak.
For good food and interesting conversation Valhalla should not be missed. Hours can be spent listening to the tales of past glory told by the slain warriors and the all you can eat boar buffet is to die for.
Not a place for those seeking sunshine and friendly conversation, but Atlantis is still worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and tranquil underwater setting. The advanced, utopian society who originally inhabited this legendary lost continent probably perished along with the exotic wildlife when Atlantis was swallowed by the ocean, but who knows, you might spot a mermaid or two.
20. Fortunate Isles
Want to hang out with the heroes of Greek mythology? Then a trip to the Fortunate Isles, or Isles of the Blessed as it is also known, is a must. In between chatting to the locals about their great deeds you can also stroll around the island to find fruit and birds of every kind or check out the bodies of the monsters that are constantly washed up on shore.
When On Earth Magazine is for people who love travel. We provide informative travel guides, tips, ideas and advice regarding places to see, things to do, what to taste, and much more for world travelers seeking their next dream vacation destination.