In my travels, I noticed how most travellers are attracted by inhospitable places and most of them would go to a great extent so that they can later brag to their friends about the awesome thing they’ve seen. And I started wondering, why do people travel to inhospitable places?

I’ve put together a shortlist of inhospitable places, and I tried to point out the things that make them so inhospitable and to understand why people would spend so much time and money travel to such places.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places  Atacama Desert in Chile
Photo by Sam Power on Unsplash

The Atacama Desert in Chile – a desert at over 2400 meters above sea level, where no plant or animal life can survive.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places  Danakil Depression
Photo by Jorge Tung on Unsplash

Danakil Depression – One of the hottest (+50°C) and lowest (-130 m) places on the planet, 1,000+ square km of salt deserts, sulfur fields.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places Death Valley, California
Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash

Death Valley, California – The highest temperature ever recorded by a weather station is 134.1 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius). Tourists have fun by frying eggs on asphalt.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places Mount Everest
Photo by Giuseppe Mondì on Unsplash

Mount Everest – 8 848 meters above sea level. At 8000 meters, the so-called death zone begins.

visit Chernobyl nuclear plant ukraine Why do people travel in inhospitable places
Geiger counter to show us radiation levels in the closest point to the power plant

Chernobyl and Pripyat – The largest man-made disaster. In 1986, one of the 4 nuclear reactors of Chernobyl power plant exploded and many died instantly from the radiations, while others developed cancer and other serious health conditions. The contaminated area will have to remain inhabited by people for thousands of years.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places antartica
Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

Antartica – The world’s southernmost continent, it’s also the world’s highest, driest, windiest, coldest, and iciest continent.

Why do people travel in inhospitable places the sahara desert
Photo by Wolfgang Hasselmann on Unsplash

The Sahara Desert – It is the largest hot desert in the world, and it occupies entire northern Africa. It has a total area of 8,600,000 square km. 

Why do people travel in inhospitable places?

I haven’t been to all of these inhospitable places, but I’ve been to one of them.

The closest and more accessible to me. But the one that is probably the greatest tragedy in the history of our species. I’ve been to Chernobyl and it’s clearly a place of dark tourism. There were huge crowds and countless busses driving foreigners around.

Locals don’t even want to talk about that place, but foreigners pay money to visit it. Why? Why are people so drawn to inhospitable places? Or why are some people are attracted to such places?

When talking about a normal destination, tourists seem to be attracted by culture, architecture, gastronomy, infrastructure, landscape, events, or shopping.

But what are the attraction for dark tourism?

Apparently, it is called extreme tourism, and it attracts some people, not all people. But the question remains. Why?

Only some people are attracted by in inhospitable places?

Yes. Some people are are attracted by in inhospitable places.

It is more important to look at the people who travel to inhospitable places to understand the Why, because it’s their why, and it doesn’t apply to all of us.

Some people are genetically wired to be actively seeking adrenaline, which psychologists call “novelty seeking”. Simply put, this personality trait turns some people into risk-takers, and this can develop in many ways, depending on the individual

Some acquire a taste for extreme sports, other binge drink, while others travel to inhospitable places to get a bit of rush.

Our brains are to blame for this. We all react in a specific way when we enjoy something. Our brain gets the addictive dopamine secreted when we find pleasure in something. Some get dopamine when exploring hard to reach and inhospitable place.

It’s like they are some sort of extreme travel junkies.

The conclusion is that we are all different, but somehow the same. We all enjoy doing different things. But no matter what are the different things we do, the reaction in our brains are the same and drive us to the same result.

For some, dopamine gets released by binge eating, while for others it happened when they transcend fear.

All in all, it’s not all bad. Yes, some places are not considered to be touristic atractions, but I am a strong beleiver that we need to visit destination because of the needs WE need to fulfil, but for the sake of it. And that’s why I don’t believe that all places are for everyone. And that’s why the perfect place to travel to, doesn’t exist. What’s perfect for me, it will not be perfect for you.

And that’s ok.

Our world needs all of us, to exist just the way we are. Because progress doesn’t happen when everything is simple and all is the same. It happens when we are challenged.

Why do people travel to inhospitable places? #ExtremeTravel #inhospitable #inhospitablePlaces #Danakil #DanakilDepression #MountEverest #DeathValley #Antartica

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a traveller and her obsession started in her teenage years. Her aim is to discover as much as possible from this world and to inspire others to do the same! The ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth is travelling and this is what she discovered after years of depression. Now she shares her stories here. Describing experiences for others who might need them.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello Julia

    Nice block

    I am the one that took the desert picture

    Our reason for the trip was the beauty and the quietness of the desert.
    4 days off walking, some camels for the baggage the guide, the cook and one to lead the camels.
    The inhospitabilty is inavoideble but we would loved to spare the smal tent or the heat….
    Using an 4 by 4 would have made it more comfortable but the quietness would be lost and to experience the desert you need to walk it. So you are right, People are different and find joy in different things.
    Honestly we would not make that trip again even it was a grate experience.

    Regards

    Wolfgang

  2. Great list thank Iulia! I have been lucky enough to visit Death Valley as its a short drive from Las Vegas. It’s a Beautiful place and great for any Star Wars fan as many scenes were shot there. I like the term “Dark Tourism”, very interesting!

Tell me what you think!

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