10 Destinations Not Worth Finding

Here are ten locations you probably would not want to choose for your next holiday. That is unless you like long trips, frostbite, and very few amenities upon arrival. These places push the adage, “It’s the journey, not the destination,” to its absolute limit.

1. Oymyakon

Oymyakon is officially the coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth. Situated in Siberia, temperatures at Oymyakon have been recorded as low as –67 degrees Celsius (–80 °F), the lowest temperature ever recorded outside the Antarctic. It is so cold that the town’s official thermometer, installed by some misguided official as a tourist attraction, broke when the mercury inside it froze.
Oymyakon, meaning “water that never freezes,” is home to a thermal spring, which is probably just as well. Originally built as a stopover point for reindeer herders, who watered their animals at the spring, Oymyakon now has around 500 permanent residents, a shop, and even a school, although this will close if the temperature drops below –50 degrees Celsius (–58 °F). Big softies.

2. Socotra

Socotra lies off the coast of Yemen. The island has been isolated from its neighbors for millions of years and has developed its own unique species of flora and fauna. One of the most startling-looking plants found on the island is the dragon blood tree. It was said to have first grown on the spot where two brothers fought to the death. The blood of the two brothers was said to have nourished the tree, which explains why its sap is a crimson red color. Where dragons come into it is anyone’s guess.
The island, known as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean, is home to over 700 endemic species. Nomadic Bedouin tribes still roam the island, sleeping under the stars in the summer and sheltering from the rain in the winter. However, recent influences from the United Arab Emirates have begun to change Socotra, and the once-remote island is fast becoming an outpost of the UAE.

3. McMurdo Station

McMurdo Station is built on Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island. This is the most southerly piece of solid ground accessible to ships. The station was established in 1955 as a hub for the US Antarctic Program. It boasts a harbor, a landing strip, a helipad, and all the facilities needed to provide year-round support for scientists and researchers working in the area.
The inhabitants number around 250 during the winter but can rise to over 1,000 during the summer months. Ross Island itself contains a number of research stations, a large penguin population, and Mount Erebus, an active volcano.
Hut Point gets its name from the wooden hut erected by the famous explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott. The hut was later used by Ernest Shackleton in his 1907 Nimrod expedition. It is now protected by the Antarctic Treaty as an Area of Special Protection. The area also contains a number of memorials to Scott’s ill-fated expedition, including a cross on Observation Hill to commemorate the explorers who didn’t make it home.

4. The Kerguelen Islands

Once called the Desolation Islands, the Kerguelen Islands’ rebranding doesn’t quite disguise the fact that the islands really are among the most desolate places in the world. Situated in the Southern Indian Ocean, Kerguelen is made up mostly of inhospitable peaks and active glaciers.
The islands are home to large penguin and seal populations, though not many people. Most of the residents are French scientists who are studying the weather and climate change. The islands contain no native mammals, though the marine ecosystems are teeming with life. The whaling ships that were once a common sight in the area have now been banned, and the numbers of whales and seals are increasing every year.
Unless you are a marine biologist or a meteorologist who speaks fluent French, it is unlikely that you will ever visit the Desolation Islands, but as there is little there but marine biology and weather, you probably wouldn’t miss it.

5. Easter Island

One of the most famous and mysterious places on Earth, Easter Island, well off the coast of Chile, is still one of the most inaccessible. It was “discovered” on Easter Sunday 1722 by a group of Dutch explorers, thus ignoring the island’s indigenous population, such as it was. The island once boasted a population of 12,000, but this had dwindled to 111 by the time the explorers arrived, and to 101 ten minutes later.
In 1722, the inhabitants of Easter Island were slowly starving to death. The population had dwindled over the last few centuries, it seems, from starvation due to the felling of the trees on the island. Some of the trees would have been cut down to transport the stones, while others would have been burned for firewood or cleared for growing crops. It is also believed that the seeds of the great palm trees were eaten by rats, which prevented further growth. Unfortunately, the explorers were not to be the islanders’ salvation. Those of the natives who were not shot as the incomers landed mostly succumbed to smallpox and syphilis, and soon, the native population was completely wiped out.
How the original settlers arrived there is a mystery, as is the reason they populated the island with stone carvings that perpetually looked out not to the sea but over the island. There are nearly 900 moai (the local name for the statues) on the island, some of them unfinished. The stones weighed up to 80 tons and were somehow moved from the quarry to their lookout posts around the island.

6. Utqiagvik

Formerly known as Barrow, Utqiagvik, Alaska, is the northernmost town in the United States. It occupies 55 square kilometers (21 mi2) and is 515 kilometers (320 mi) north of the Arctic Circle. Its population totals roughly 4,000 people, mostly Inupiat Eskimos. There are few attractions for visitors who do make the trip, unless they are particularly fond of ice and snow, although there is always the possibility of catching sight of a polar bear scavenging for food around the municipal dump.
However, changes in global temperatures are affecting the region, and sightings of animals previously unknown in these areas are being reported. There are even reports of polar bears and grizzly bears mating, producing hybrid “grolar” bears. It is believed that this is not the first time that these species have interbred. Scientists have noticed similarities in the bears’ DNA structure which leads them to believe that the two species have crossbred in the past when the destruction of their habitats has threatened their continued existence.
Though the wildlife may have adapted to the changes in habitat, the Inupiat Eskimos have sometimes struggled to adjust to the growing economic development of the area, and rates of depression and suicide have increased as a result.

7. Changtang

Changtang is situated on the Roof of The World. With an elevation of over 4,000 meters (13,000 ft), it covers a large area of Tibet, on the border with India. The area is vast but mostly uninhabited except for the snow leopards, brown bears, blue sheep, and wild yak.
Changtang is home to a few nomadic people who make a living from herding animals through the land. At one point, there were up to half a million people eking a living on land too barren for crops. The weather in Changtang is unpredictable at best, with short summers, bitter winters, and frequent storms, but those who brave it are rewarded with spectacular views and amazing wildlife.
Those inhabitants that there are have managed until recent times without the need for money, having established a sophisticated barter system. However, this is changing due to government regulation and taxation. Ah, progress.

8. Edinburgh Of The Seven Seas

In the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean, on the volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha, you will find a settlement named Edinburgh of the Seven Seas. Its nearest neighbor, Saint Helena (the island where Napoleon was imprisoned) is 2,173 kilometers (1,350 mi) away.
Getting to the island is difficult. Few ships pass that way. Visitors usually catch a lift with polar explorer vessels from Cape Town, which pass around nine or ten times a year. There are around 250 inhabitants on the island, along with a load of penguins, its very own albatross, and a nine-hole golf course that was built by a homesick British official once stationed there. However, the fierce winds and steep slopes make play somewhat tricky and are unlikely to improve your handicap.
The inhabitants of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas are all descendants of the original garrison, stationed on the island to prevent it from being used as a staging post in a rescue mission for Napoleon. After the garrison withdrew, a few men chose to stay behind and started a community founded on cooperation and equality.
However, the community is shrinking, and the islanders have begun to try to recruit newcomers to boost their numbers. They have recently advertised for farmers to join the community and help grow its staple crop of potatoes. Applicants must enjoy their own company and be prepared to give it a good try.

9. Ittoqqortoormiit

Ittoqqortoormiit is the most isolated town in Greenland, a country not known for its accessibility. The area’s inhabitants are mainly reindeer, musk oxen, and walruses, with only the occasional human. It is hard to reach, being cut off from shipping by ice for nine months of the year, and the land is crisscrossed by fjords.
The 450 locals survive mainly by ice fishing and hunting, as well as some tourism during the three months that ships are able to dock. They also seem to spend a lot of time painting their homes in bright colors.
Those visitors who do make it in, come for the wildlife and the scenery. Ittoqqortoormiit is surrounded by national parks and magnificent fjords.
Ittoqqortoormiit is completely dark for two months from mid-November to mid-January; the Sun does not rise at all. During this time, locals mostly sit in their homes and look through color catalogs to decide what color to paint their house next year.

10. Pitcairn Island

Lying halfway between New Zealand and the Americas, Pitcairn Island is one of the most remote places on Earth. Only 10 kilometers (6 mi) long and 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) wide, Pitcairn was first discovered in 1767. The island was famously settled by mutineers from the HMS Bounty, led by Fletcher Christian. The inhabitants of Pitcairn today are descendants of this crew.
Today, there are only a few islanders left, despite efforts to recruit incomers. It appears that no one wants to move to an island with one shop, where orders need to be placed three months in advance. Though the island now has electricity and even the Internet, it is so isolated and barren that its major export used to be stamps. But who uses stamps anymore?
If you fancy a visit, you can either try to hitch a ride with a passing container ship or fly to French Polynesia and then take a 30-hour boat ride. However, even if you do want to visit, you need to fill out an application, which will probably be refused. It seems that the Pitcairn residents are determined to remain cut off from the rest of the world and have adopted their own, sometimes peculiar, way of life.


Homes And Estates Owned By The Wealthiest People In Tech

Nearly a fifth of the world’s 100 richest billionaires made their fortune in tech. And although some of their success stories start off modestly (and most likely in a garage), many tech moguls are taking their millions and splurging on real estate.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Microsoft’s Bill Gates live less than a mile from each other in the waterfront city of Medina, Washington, and own two of the country’s most expensive estates.

Here’s a look at some of the homes of the tech industry’s elite:

Just outside of Seattle is the waterfront mansion of Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon. In the front, there’s not much to see, with the gate and tall hedges blocking the view.

Bezos and his family, which is the richest in the world, live in the tiny city of Medina, Washington, located just outside of Seattle. The sleepy town has long been a haven for tech bigwigs in the area, including Bill Gates and other Microsoft elites.

Bezos in 1998 paid $10 million for the estate, which spans 5.3 acres and includes a 20,000-square-foot house, plus a second 8,300-square-foot dwelling.

The property then underwent a $28 million renovation in 2010, around which time Bezos bought the neighboring 24,000-square-foot house, which was rumored to have sold for at least $53 million.

The Amazon leader’s estate is a big change from where he started the company: in the garage of his home in Bellevue, Washington, near Seattle seen here in 2013.

But Bezos’ Medina home is not the only property he owns, because, well, he is the richest man in the world.

Bezos also owns properties in Beverly Hills, California; a ranch in Van Horn, Texas; a former textile museum in Washington, DC; and three condos in a historic Manhattan, New York, building overlooking Central Park.

This is Bezos’ Spanish-style mansion in Beverly Hills, which he bought in 2007 for $24.45 million.

The seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom home is advertised by Dream Homes Magazine as having a greenhouse, a sunken and lighted tennis court, a huge swimming pool, four fountains, and a six-car garage.

Bezos bought a smaller house next door 10 years later.

Apparently, the first Beverly Hills house did not fit Bezos’ space requirements. In 2017, he bought a comparatively modest four-bedroom, 4,568-square-foot home for $12.9 million right next door to his first house.

Bill Gates lives about a half mile up the road from Bezos in Medina, in this $127 million compound he nicknamed “Xanadu 2.0.”

The 66,000-square-foot house is brimming with state-of-the-art technology, and has seven bedrooms and 18 3/4 bathrooms.

Gates purchased the lot for $2 million in 1988.

Gates’ house has a 23-car garage, six kitchens, 24 bathrooms, and a reception hall that can accommodate 200 guests.

The house was built with 500-year-old Douglas fir trees, and 300 construction workers labored on the home — 100 of whom were electricians.

It cost more than $60 million and took four years to build.

It also has a spectacular view of Lake Washington.

The home is also equipped with an in-house theater, trampoline room, library, and a 60-foot pool with its own underwater music system.

Charles Simonyi also lives in Medina and on Lake Washington’s waterfront.

Simonyi is the former head of Microsoft’s application software and oversaw the creation of the Office suite.

His house is known as Villa Simonyi, or the “Windows 2000 House,” because it has 2,000 windows.

Simonyi also has paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and Victor Vasarely.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers, lives in Hunts Point, Washington, just up the road from Medina.

Ballmer’s relatively modest house has four bedrooms and is on two acres.

The selling price was rumored to be $26 million.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey bought his San Francisco home for $9.9 million in 2012.

The 3,734-square-foot house, which has unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge, is on El Camino Del Mar in the exclusive Seacliff neighborhood of San Francisco.

It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is estimated to be worth $12 million.

Apple CEO Tim Cook lives modestly: He bought this 2,400-square-foot Palo Alto, California, home in 2010 for less than $2 million.

Cook is famously private, but does not exhibit the habits of other private tech elites — in contrast, Mark Zuckerberg has historically bought the properties surrounding his homes for increased seclusion.

Cook has previously said, “I like to be reminded of where I came from, and putting myself in modest surroundings helps me do that. Money is not a motivator for me.”

Spiegel and Miranda Kerr bought their 7,164-square-foot home in Brentwood, California, for $12 million in 2016.

The home has city views, a pool, a pool house, a home gym, and a guest house. It also has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms.

The kitchen is full of white marble.

The 28-year-old billionaire and the 35-year-old Australian model hosted an estimated 50 people for their wedding ceremony and reception in May 2017 at the home. They also welcomed a son eight months ago.

The house belonged to Harrison Ford for 30 years before he sold it in 2012.

You can take a full tour of the home here.

Cofounder of Google and CEO of Alphabet, Larry Page, bought a $7.2 million home in the Old Palo Alto neighborhood of Palo Alto in 2005.

The home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built from 1931 to 1941 for the Bay Area artist Pedro Joseph de Lemos.

At 9,000 square feet, the two-story home was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. It’s constructed of stucco and tile around a courtyard. Parts of the home were salvaged from a chapel that was partially destroyed during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In 2009, Page started buying adjacent properties to construct an environmentally friendly estate.

The 6,000-square-foot home has four bedrooms and a roof garden with solar panels.

Sometimes, Page’s billionaire buddy Elon Musk, who doesn’t own property in Silicon Valley, reportedly sleeps over.

Mark Zuckerberg reportedly bought his 5,617-square-foot home in Palo Alto for $7 million in 2011.

He spent an additional $45 million on the four houses and land around it for the sake of privacy.

Zuckerberg’s residence is apparently decked out with a “custom-made artificially intelligent assistant” named Jarvis.

The home has some awesome features, too: heated floors, a deep-soak tub, and a kitchen with a breakfast bar. It also has a pool and a pond.

Zuckerberg also purchased a 750-acre property on the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai, and the land includes 2,500 feet of white-sand beach.

Zuckerberg paid a reported $100 million for both properties, though Forbes reported that he plans to build just one home.

Elon Musk paid $17 million for his house on 1.66-acre plot a hilltop in the ritzy Bel Air enclave of Los Angeles.

The home overlooks the exclusive Bel-Air Country Club and has 20,248 square feet of space divided into different wings. It has seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a giant screening room, a home gym, a pool, and a tennis court.

The yard is fairly sprawling, and Musk and his five sons had reportedly lived in the house for three years before he bought it.

Musk also bought a ranch home across the street from the mansion for nearly $7 million in 2013.

You can see inside Elon Musk’s Belle Air Estate Here.

Larry Ellison, Oracle founder, owns more homes than he could possibly live in.

Ellison’s priciest purchase was in 2012 when he bought 98% of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Since then, Ellison has purchased two airlines, refurbished the island’s hotels, and started investing in clean energy sources. He plans to use the island as an experiment for environmentally sound practices.

Though the final price has not been disclosed, the Maui News put the asking price at $500 million to $600 million, making it arguably one of the most expensive private islands in the world.

Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies, spends his vacations at the “Raptor Residence” on the Big Island.

The 18,500-square-foot, seven-bedroom home in Hawaii was last valued at $62 million and is in the private community of Kukio.

The Dell family home, outside of Austin, Texas, looks more like a compound than the rest of the abodes of his billionaire counterparts.

The Dell family’s 33,000-square-foot home outside of Austin is known by locals as “the Castle” because of its hilltop perch and heavy security presence.

The house boasts eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, a tennis court, indoor and outdoor pools, and gorgeous views of Lake Austin.

Dell also owns a wide variety of real estate in Hawaii, Mexico, and California thanks to his company MSD Capital, which invests in luxury hotels, commercial and multifamily properties, and land development. The company also it participates in other real-estate-development funds.

Venture capitalist and inventor of the Netscape web browser,Marc Andreessen, resides in a three-bedroom, four-bath California home that’s valued at $24 million.

Andreessen’s home is in the Silicon Valley suburb of Atherton, California, across the street from the Menlo Circus Club — a private social club that hosts horse shows, polo matches, and gala parties for the ultra-wealthy.

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer owns a relatively modest home in Palo Alto, which is estimated to be worth $5.2 million.

Located in the city’s University South neighborhood, the five-bedroom house was meant to be a place to crash after late nights in the Yahoo office.

Mayer owns several miniature balloon-dog sculptures by Jeff Koons, which she keeps in her kitchen.

Sergey Brin, cofounder of Google, bought a 3,457-square-foot Greenwich Village condo in Manhattan, New York, in 2008 for $8.5 million.

The home has 4 bedrooms, heated floors, and a sunlit living room. The home, which Brin bought with ex-wife Anne Wojcicki — CEO of 23andMe, the $1.5 billion personal-genetics company — is also within walking distance of Google’s Chelsea office.

The two-story, three-bedroom penthouse has a 1,200-square-foot wraparound terrace with views of lower Manhattan. The kitchen is outfitted with custom Moroccan tiles and top-of-the-line appliances.

Brin also has a home in Los Altos Hills, California, at an undisclosed location. But if it’s anything like his $80 million, 73-meter yacht, dubbed the Dragonfly, we can assume it is pretty elaborate.

Facebook’s chief operating officer,Sheryl Sandberg, moved into this modern 9,200-square-foot mansion in Menlo Park, California, in 2013. It features a living roof, solar panels, and a huge basement.

Sandberg’s home also has a basketball court, a wine room, and a home theatre.

The house isn’t far from Facebook’s campus either — only a 20 minute drive. Sandberg sold her Atherton, California, home for $9 million in 2014.

Investor of Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify,Yuri Milner bought this sprawling Silicon Valley mansion for $100 million in 2011.

The 30,000-square-foot French chateau-style mansion sits on 11 acres in Los Altos Hills and has views of the San Francisco Bay. The home has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, as well as a ballroom, a home theater, a wine cellar, and an indoor pool.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt bought his 7,000-square-foot Montecito, California, home from Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi in 2007 for $20 million.

The estate has a large backyard area with a swimming pool, a tennis court, and lots of Spanish-inspired decor.

Schmidt rented out the mansion to Kim Kardashian for her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries in 2012.

He also owns homes in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and Atherton, California.

Co Founder and former CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick is said to have bought a penthouse in a Soho apartment building in New York City for more than $40 million.

The Wall Street Journal reported in November 2018 that Kalanick was behind the purchase of the $40.5 million, nearly 7,000-square-foot property.

The home has four bedrooms, 4 1/2 bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a 20-foot private rooftop pool on the building’s terrace — not to mention killer city views.