It’s finally Friday, and although I should be writing my comprehensive paper that’s due in two weeks, I wanted to take a break to talk about what’s really on my mind: vacation. (Or yasumi as the Japanese call it). My brother and I are so excited to visit the Pokemon Center and Studio Ghibli museum in Japan, my girlfriends and I can’t wait to party it up in Vegas–even my parents are busy planning their 25th anniversary getaway. So let’s just say senioritis is kicking in full force!
For fun I thought I would share my top 5 fictional vacation destinations: the places that don’t actually exist, but I would book a trip in a heartbeat if they did. And no, Narnia is not on the list–talking beavers and lion messiahs are not my idea of a good time, sorry!
5. Fowl Manor in Artemis Fowl
What Fowl Manor might look like
Boy genius Artemis Fowl lives in a 15th century castle on a 200-acre estate an hour from Dublin, Ireland. It is covered by oak trees and stone walls, along with a state-of-the-art security system. His great-great-great-grandfather added a ton of rooms in the 18th century, but the castle still possesses its original guard towers and walkways. It’s a gorgeous home, and did we mention it comes with your own Butler? That is, Artemis’ family servant Butler, who is a martial arts and weapons expert. Whether you’re trying to escape some evil elves or just have a private weekend with loved ones, Fowl Manor puts most five-star hotels to shame.
4. Howl’s Moving Castle
Perfect for hanging laundry!
Originally a 1986 novel written by Diana Wynne Jones, it was adapted by Studio Ghibli in 2004. Wizard Howl lives in a magical castle that appears to be made of blocks of coal since a fire demon named Calcifer holds it together. The door to the castle actually has a doorknob with four dabs of paint, one for each of its four locations. That’s right, this castle has secret portals to four other places! And Howl can change these destinations whenever he wants, so you’re always left guessing! In the anime, the castle was made to look very industrial, and although it doesn’t quite have curb appeal, you really get the bang for your buck with all its extra locations!
3. Ouran Academy in Ouran High School Host Club
Jealous, aren't you?
If you haven’t read this manga by Bisco Hatori or watched the anime or live-action drama, then you are simply missing out. Ouran Academy is a (fictional) private high school in Tokyo where only the richest students attend. Now although it might be weird to say you want to vacation at a school, just look at that photo from the Japanese drama! Talk about classy (pun intended!) But of course, the real reason to visit is to hang out with the Host Club, a group of insanely hot guys whose only job is to treat their clients like princesses. If all schools were like this, dropout rates would vanish, that’s for sure!
2. Hogsmeade from Harry Potter
I guess the amusement park will have to do!
Hogwarts would be the obvious choice, but there’s room for only one school on this list! Plus, Hogsmeade is just as fun. Nothing sounds better than sipping a butterbeer and shopping ’til you drop at Zonko’s Joke Shop. You can even stock up on all the wizarding essentials: wands, quills, cauldrons, and more! While some cynics might call Hogsmeade a magical strip mall, fans know that this destination exudes warmth and plenty of mystery too. If only travel websites could book the Three Broomsticks Inn, I’d reserve a room pronto!
1. Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings
Paradise, plain and simple
If you know me, my #1 fictional vacation destination is no surprise. Meaning “deeply cloven valley,” Rivendell is located in northern Middle Earth near the river Bruinen. Although it does snow there in the winter, the summers are warm–in fact, many allege that it’s on the same latitude as Tolkien’s Oxford and based on a real village in Switzerland where Tolkien had taken a hiking trip. It’s probably the most beautiful setting I’ve ever seen (on film anyway). Who wouldn’t want to mingle with elves among waterfalls and forests? Move over Heaven, because you have competition!
So where would you love to stay in your imagination? Any literary locations that you want to add to the list?