Travel Ideas

Where do Road Junkies Go When the World Ends?

Bird flu, rising sea levels or alien invasions, Road Junky tells you where to go

Any sane, self-respecting paranoiac knows the end of the world is coming and the paranoid road junky is in a privileged position to know where to go when it happens. Indeed, all those plane tickets and visas might have been the best investment you ever made when the shit hits the fan (has anyone ever seen that happen?) and it’s time to head for the hills.

Whether the future is a Mad Max medieval age, a Bladerunner Chinatown or a Matrix cyber-regime, road Junky has the ultimate take on 21st century survivalism.

1. 2012 – the end of the Mayan Calendar

Ask any hippie who knows their Mayan prophecies and, after they’ve told you that you’re a Red Cosmic Firefox and that they’re a White Intergalactic Masturbator, they’ll let you know with utter assurance that the world as we know it is due to end towards the last days of 2012. The ancient Mayans ended their calendar on that date but as they didn’t leave much in the way of footnotes it’s up to us to guess what comes next – an Age of Aquarius, a migration to another dimension or good old-fashioned oblivion.

The only place to be is the Yucatan Peninsula on the last days of the Mayan calendar, preferably high on mushrooms at one of the Mayan temples like Palenque.

2. Stock Market Crash

The recent wobbles in the financial markets with the ongoing credit crunch in America have caused a falling dollar, bankrupt banks and fiscal uncertainty everywhere. What would happen if suddenly all those digits in your bank account meant nothing at all and the paper money in your hand was good only for lighting fires? The obvious answer is instant anarchy with gangs roaming the streets to rape, pillage and loot.

Fill your rucksack with salt, knives and plastic ponchos and head to the Brazilian rain forest to learn to live off the Amazon and trade with the tribes who know nothing about money.

3. Bird Flu

In 1918, the Spanish Flu epidemic killed 100 million people – that’s more than both world wars put together. Flu epidemics are only a matter of time, ultimately and with so many more people on the planet, so much more livestock (the source of all influenza) and plane travel meaning that microbes would spread across the planet in 24 hours, we’re one mutation away from hundreds of millions of deaths. We may soon all be walking around in plastic suits or condemned to our houses, communicating only via the internet… ah, so what else is new.

Head for any decent, civilized island that can quarantine itself well. Iceland would be our bet – they even have geothermal heating for the entire country so the living should be easy.

4. Rising Sea Levels

Humanity has by now almost completely blown the single greatest resource the earth had to offer – oil – and in burning it up we’ve heated the seas to a Jacuzzi. The ice caps and glaciers are melting and soon there may be no fresh drinking water for many places as well as rising sea levels. Do we all build arks or just head for the hills?

Get married to someone Swiss and eat chocolate in the Alps.

5. World War 3

With Bush dying to invade Iran before all the fun of being president is taken away from him and the industrial-military complex dying to try out their explosives on the Iranian mountains, we’re only a couple of steps away from terrifying global conflicts. We’re less likely to see troops stuck in trenches than devastating acts of terrorism bringing society to a halt. And that’s not even thinking about what the other side might do.

If you’re Iranian or Arab, get the hell out of the Middle East and go somewhere that’s never had a war, like New Zealand.

6. Overpopulation

The world’s population grows by 200,000 people every day and there’s only so many resources to go around. More people means more consumption of fossil fuels, less food and water and once the essentials of life become scarce, conflict must surely ensue (in the Hebrew word for war ‘milhmah’ is contained in the word for bread ‘lechem’). Cities will become death traps and only those who spent a good time woofing on perm culture farms will know how to be self-subsistent.

Head for the great open spaces of Canada with a rifle to shoot moose and an axe to build your cabin.

7. The End of Oil

The experts just can’t agree how much oil is left – some say 20 years, others 100 – it all depends on whether you think we can really extract the oil trapped in shale deposits and whether countries are telling the truth when they submit numbers about their oil reserves to the World Bank. Without oil to fertilise and transport crops, it’s estimated we can feed around 1.5 billion people.

Grab yourself some solar panels, hydrogen cells and bags of seeds and go live on an uninhabited Pacific Island where food grows even when you don’t want it too. Take a few cheerleaders or studs with you and start your own utopia. Even better if one of them is a dentist.

8. The Computers Take Over

We all know that the future is A.I and while a rational, responsible and logical entity running the world would be a welcome change, the question is: would computers still need us once they ran the global government?

Any fan of Terminator or the Matrix knows the answer to that one and would be best off traveling to somewhere where there’s no cell phone reception and the wires get pulled down by nature all the time. Try a cave in the Himalayas.

9. Alien Invasion

Don’t laugh – it might already have happened. Anyone who’s heard David Icke’s declaration that evil lizards from another dimension secretly run the world will know that our current mess can be easily explained by blaming aliens.

But maybe we could avoid a war of the worlds by welcoming the aliens to come and live in a city where no one cares where you’re from – like London or New York.

10. The Death of Tom Waits

Alright, it might not be the end of everyone’s world but the editors of Road Junky are going to need some damn good reasons to go on living once Tom is 6 feet under. Still, there’s a professor at Cambridge who reckons we can live to 1000 if we just put in the aging research.

Hold in there, Tom!

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