I’m a ‘Dark Tourist’ and I love to visit places that might possibly be considered a bit tricky, even a bit dodgy for holiday purposes. In my time I’ve been skiing in Iran, week-ended in Chernobyl, wandered around North Korea, camped in the Syrian desert, hung out in Rwanda, I once even spent three days in Benidorm… but never again.
With the latest terrorist tragedy in Tunisia however, ordinary Brits are looking at their holiday itineraries and realising that totally “safe” destinations are becoming increasingly scarce. So I thought I might use my vast experience in these things to help out. I’ll go through some options and have a look at a couple of places that you might be considering for your next break. I’ll be like the Foreign Office but… better.
Firstly – “hot” destinations tend to be dodgier than “cold.” There is just something about a beating sun and high humidity that brings out the inner car bomber in you. So strike the entire Middle East off the list- Lebanon, Syria (duh), Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Libya (obviously), Iraq, Tunisia and Morocco are no-gos for starters. Don’t even think about anywhere near the Gulf- especially Dubai which is my guess to be the next big target. Turkey is probably dodgy as one mistake with the sat-nav and you’re driving into Syria. Cyprus is probably not great-Turkish/Greek clash always a possibility.
Greece could be good – you could definitely get your money’s worth if you happen to be there when they leave the Euro. You might even be able to buy an island or two but their security has always been a bit lax and will only get worse in economic chaos.
What about the Balkans? Croatia is nice but maybe a bit too near Bosnia/Herzegovina. Nobody really chooses to go to Bulgaria and also you’ll find people hiding in your boot for the return journey- so scrap the Balkans.
Maybe Europe? Holland, Spain, France, Germany, Scotland all have angry fundamentalist factions? Portugal? Too many golfers. What about Italy? No, they have the boat-loads of immigrants pouring in every day that upsets Katie Hopkins.
How about Scandinavia? Norway had that nutter white supremacist killer, Sweden and Denmark have rogue cartoonists who might anger some. Finland is the suicide capital of Europe…
What about North America? According to Presidential hopeful Donald Trump it’s full of Mexican rapists and the people who support him shoot up innocent church goers. Canada? I go there, so please leave it alone. South America and Austria should be OK but there might still be Nazis about so watch it. Central America is attractive but still a tad too revolution happy.
What about Asia? Thailand is a bit unsteady. Cambodia – full of Gary Glitters, Burma – angry Monks, Indonesia… just feels dodgy.
Australia? Too hot, too far and too uncultured. New Zealand should be alright though, as long as you don’t anger the Maori biker gangs who scared Ross Kemp.
Africa as a whole is probably just a bit too scary. China – too polluted, Russia – too corrupt? India – too populated?
So where on earth do we go?
Here’s my suggestion – Iceland. It’s too cold for terrorists. It’s too expensive for lager louts. It’s strangely beautiful and very different from anywhere else. Also, it’s only two and half hours flight-time away from the UK.
So that’s sorted then. Book a flight to Rekyjavik and spend your summer in Iceland with a bunch of very nice Geysers. Just make sure Bjork isn’t in town. She is known to get quite aggressive at airports.
Dom Joly’s new book ‘Here Comes The Clown’, published by Simon & Schuster, is out now