Let’s be real: sometimes the real world is a massive, massive drag. Between responsibilities, bills, and full time jobs, we all need a break now and then. Luckily for us, there are plenty of wonderful fictional places floating around in our imaginations that we can escape to for a little while. But wouldn’t it be awesome if we could stay there permanently?
Wonderland is a dark and unsettling place in many renditions, yet getting lost in it while reading “Alice in Wonderland” or watching its many film adaptations is very comforting. From John Tenniel’s original illustrations to Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” imagining, it’s a place filled with curiosity and the unexpected that you can’t help wishing to visit, if only for a short while.
President Bartlet’s Washington and White House
Aaron Sorkin created a politic nerd’s heaven in “The West Wing.” The idealized version of liberal politics includes solutions for every problem and perfect compromise. No matter what happens, everything works out perfectly. Heck, they even manage to solve the Social Security crisis in two days! Isn’t fantasy great?
Both from JRR Tolkien’s books and Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations, Hobbiton is the ideal place to live. All you have to worry about is your garden and nosy neighbors. It’s a gardener’s heaven with some drinking and drinking songs and lovely houses under the hill. It seems like a peaceful place where I could read a book and just maybe write one!
Narnia (without the white witch)
I mean talking animals and kings and queens and mythical creatures? Sign me up. Once they got rid of their pesky witch problem, Narnia was prosperous for thousands of years. Sounds like a great place to settle down and make friends with the Badgers.
Another JRR Tolkien venue, Rivendell is perfectly perfect for the nature and art lover. It lies in a hidden valley, with countless trees and waterfalls cascading all around. It also has beautiful open air architecture, where you can read a book, sing a song, recite some poetry, or just dance around with the elves.
Treegap (From “Tuck Everlasting”)
Of course there is a spring spouting eternal youth which could draw a crowd, but the Foster’s woods are quite expansive with plenty to do. If you’re feeling philosophical you could always head to the Tucks’ cabin for some musings on the continuity of life and in a hundred years you’ll be able to see firsthand how time changes everything.
It’s hard not to be a sucker for the sweet, small town charm of “Hart Of Dixie”’s Bluebell, Alabama. The whole town gets involved with events like the Founder’s Day parade, Harvest Festival, Miss Cinnamon Cider Pageant, and the Bluebell Disaster Preparedness Drill. Not to mention, they celebrate their own version of Thanksgiving called Planksgiving (and who wouldn’t love a little pirate-themed celebration in the middle of town?). If you’re hungry, you can brunch at The Butter Stick, get fancy at Fancie’s for date night, or keep it casual at the Rammer Jammer. And if none of this is reason enough to want to live in Bluebell, then perhaps the swoon-worthy Southern men will do it—any town with Mayor Hayes, George Tucker, or Wade Kinsella is a town we’d like to settle down in.
If Southern charm isn’t quite your thing, then maybe you’ve got more of a Midwestern heart and would feel more at home in Pawnee, Indiana, from “Parks & Recreation.” This is a town whose residents are very passionate about the Harvest Festival, giant soft drinks from Sweetums, and partying at The Snakehole Lounge or The Bulge. Craving waffles? No problem. JJ’s Diner has the best waffles in (dare we say) the world. Feeling a little romantic? Perfect. Grab your favorite person and stop by the Smallest Park in Indiana. Interested in history? Easy! Head to City Hall, where there are tons of murals depicting some of the most important moments in Pawnee’s history. While you’re there, you’ll have to get your shoes shined by Andy Dwyer and attempt to set up a meeting with Ron Swanson through his assistant, April Ludgate. There is so much to do in Pawnee… you might just have to stay awhile! The good news is, you’ll definitely make friends while you’re here. After all, Pawnee’s slogan is “First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity!”
There is no place that is more festive, friendly, unique yet traditional than “Gilmore Girls” setting Stars Hollow. Quite literally a place where everyone knows everyone, Stars Hollow is a small town that glows year round with the feels of Autumn. It’s a storybook town with a real life spin thanks to the crazy characters that live there with Lorelei and Rory. A warm, loving place where you leave your doors unlocked and can always call a neighbor when you’re in a bind. Oh, and did we mention Luke’s diner with an endless supply of seemingly free coffee?
Now Viking life doesn’t sound all that great but let’s imagine living in Berk post the events of the first two “How to Train Your Dragon” movies. Perks include: meeting Toothless, some pretty innovative artificial limbs, and your own freakin’ dragon! The most badass form of transportation you could ever ask for, on top of an all-round amazing lifetime companion.
This choice kind of feels like a no-brainer, but maybe that’s just us. Magical castle, ever-changing staircases, adventures, and secret rooms abounding? Yes please. Plus, it seems that the rooms where all the students stay are pretty damn plush and would be a vast upgrade over the dorms that we were/are dealing with. And you know, worst case scenario, we could just trundle down a secret passageway to Hogsmeade to get some butterbeer from Honeydukes. There are really no downsides to this option (other than the whole dark wizards shiz, but we got that covered).