This Week in Travel: Remote Islands & The Perils of Floating Lanterns

#1 The last place on Earth

Where: Antartica

What: Arguably the most remote place on Earth yet more visitors have been venturing to the farthest South in recent years. We are a generation constantly on the prowl for the unknown and exclusive after all. Picture cruise ships with heated outdoor igloo rooms and business-class jet service to the continent. Scroll and wonder Instagram followers!

Why: 2020 marks 200 years since Nathaniel Palmer first laid claim to the discovery of the Antarctic mainland. But on the downside, “last-chance tourism” is very real. That pyromaniac, Global Warming, really likes to melt ice.

Who: Luxury travellers. The average entry-level Antarctica journey costs starts from USD 11,000.

#2 Killing Zac Efron Nearly Killed Zac Efron

Who: Zac Efron

Where: Papua New Guinea

What: Ok, the title may have been exaggerated. The heartthrob did contract typhoid or some similar bacteria while filming an expedition series on the remote island. He was quickly airlifted to Brisbane where he recovered in time to make it home for the Holidays. The Quibi show features Efron in the deep jungle for 21 days with nothing but basic gear, a guide partner and a will to survive.

#3 Closest to the sun

What: “Perihelion Day” is Earth’s annual closest approach to the sun. Occurring a couple of weeks after the winter solstice, our planet will be within just 91,398,199 miles of the sun.

Why: The Earth’s lopsided axis is tilted 23° relative to its orbit around the sun. “Aphelion Day” is the exact opposite when Earth is furthest from the sun.

When: If you’re on Universal Time, it’s at precisely 7:48 a.m. on 5 January 2020. That’s 8-hours behind Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila and Kuala Lumpur, or 3.48 p.m. if you’re counting.

#4 Paper Sky Lanterns – Should We?

Where: Krefeld Zoo, Germany

What: The German zoo lost more than 30 animals in a tragic New Years Eve fire. It is believed that the fire at the Ape House was ignited by illegal floating lanterns lit for the New Years. “People reported seeing those sky lanterns flying at low altitude near the zoo and then it started burning,” Gerd Hoppman, a Krefeld police officer, said.

Well: Tangled (that Disney cartoon) and Yi Peng (a Thai festival in Chiang Mai) may have romanticised hundreds, even thousands, of floating lanterns carrying your wishes into the night sky but the fact remains that it is paper. On fire. In the sky.

Chloe Pharamond

This nomad's natural habitat is napping under a shady tree on the beach with a book clutched in hand. She likes fresh coconuts with a healthy splash of rum, organic conversations that meander into the night and getting lost in new places.

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