***This article was contributed by the Jetpacker, and does not represent the views or opinions of the International Business Times.
Who doesn't want to escape bills, traffic and nagging bosses insisting you do work instead of updating your Facebook? We rarely get a chance to get away from the monotony of everyday life and cut loose in an exotic location. That's why we culled together a list of the 10 coolest earthly paradises. Too bad they're mythical. But if they weren't, here's what kind of fun we would be having:
Ever since Plato mentioned Atlantis in 360 BC, people have set out on expeditions to find the legendary lost continent. And why not? It sounded awesome! Atlantis was said to be a powerful kingdom ruled by super-intelligent people with magical powers and psychic abilities, so there was no need for unnecessary Twitter updates like "looking forward to the weekend" - they already knew you were looking forward to the weekend so you didn't have to waste their time. There was also no need for clothing that left anything to the imagination - remember, their psychic abilities were like airport scanners, so they could see what you looked like naked anyway - so they always wore see-through white outfits to show off their awesome bodies. They pretty much lived their lives the way most people want to: eating, sleeping and fornicating. And when they weren't doing that, they were flying around in crystal-powered aircraft and playing with other mind-blowingly advanced technological devices that were probably comparable to our modern day wonder inventions like the Slap Chop.
Have you ever tasted an apple so delicious that you were literally stimulated? Well, imagine eating apples like that everyday. Avalon was a mystical island known for having the best apples ever. So, it's no wonder that King Arthur retreated there after suffering wounds in battle (an apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? He was just making up some lost days). But when he got there, he not only found orgasmic apples, he also found nine sisters. We'll assume they were good looking. The sisters were powerful sorceresses who ruled over the island and lavished the weary with medicine and gifts, like King Arthur's magical sword, Excalibur. As cool as that sword was, we have no clue why he ever wanted to leave Avalon.
During one of Juan Ponce de Leon's expeditions, he stumbled upon an island full of beautiful, naked people that look marvelously young and nubile, but not young enough to be considered illegal. This island paradise was called Beimini, home to the Fountain of Youth. Some people say that this place still exists on the island of Bimini in Florida, which would explain why so many old people move to Florida. It makes sense that the Fountain of Youth would be in a tropical paradise as opposed to somewhere like Fairbanks, Alaska where it would be perpetually frozen over, but what did these naked immortals do during hurricane season? Well, they supposedly lived in lavish mansions and held great parties to celebrate how young they look.
Even dudes in the 12th century needed mancaves, and Camelot was the legendary male sanctuary (or manctuary) of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. But instead of the typical mancave garage covered in Rush posters and Playboy magazines, Camelot was an epic castle where Arthur and his buddies would chat over a few beers and engage in general displays of manliness such as arm wrestling and planning whose butt to kick next. At some point, King Arthur took down the "no girls allowed" sign and allowed Guinevere in to spruce up the place and bake a pie using some of those awesome Avalon apples.
City of the Caesars
No, this wasn't a place of delicious yet unhealthy salad, it was a wealthy city tucked between a mountain of gold and a mountain of diamonds. Gold and diamonds aren't conducive to farming, so we're not sure how they grew fruit and vegetables to survive - that might explain why the city disappeared. But visitors to this enchanted city got to hang out with some pretty cool people, like Incan royalty, ghosts and 12-foot tall people called Patagonian giants.
Anywhere that allows you to commit at least three of the Seven Deadly Sins simultaneously - without being punished - is good in our book. Cockaigne is a mythical place where any pleasure you want in life is immediately at hand. It's like living with a genie that grants unlimited wishes. In this utopian land of excess, idleness and gluttony are a way of life, sexual liberation reigns supreme and cheese falls out of the sky.
Before the earth became a wasteland of crime and immorality, it was a paradise where problems were nonexistent thanks to the Garden of Eden. It was like Heaven on earth: people could relax and sunbathe in the nude, ride animals that didn't try to kill them like tigers and lions, and eat an infinite amount of delicious fruits... as long as they stayed away from the apples on the Tree of Knowledge. Seriously, Adam and Eve, there was only one rule and you had to disobey it and ruin it for everybody. Thanks a lot!
Many 16th-century explorers traveled to South America to find this lost city of gold, but we're not sure why there isn't a full-scale effort to find it now. Haven't you people seen those commercials for companies that buy your gold for cash? You'd be rich if you found this place! Buildings were made of gold, streets were paved in gold and we assume the food was covered in edible gold leaf. It probably gets really bright and hot in the middle of summer, but we would totally visit if they offered winter timeshares.
Ever since author James Hilton spoke of this earthly paradise in his 1933 novel "Lost Horizon," people have searched the Himalaya to find it. That's because the inhabitants of Shangri-La live in harmony, age slowly and live in happiness everyday. You know why? Because they're isolated from a world preoccupied with Farmville, celebrity gossip and Jersey Shore. So the key to happiness is hiding from the distractions of the modern world... even though that hasn't worked out so well for North Korea.
Why do these mythical wonderlands always have to be destroyed by a great cataclysm? Before it was swallowed by the sea, Ys was considered the most beautiful city in the world. It was built by Gradlon, King of Cornouaille, for his daughter Dahut. She was the original girl gone wild. Dahut turned Ys into a Spring Break paradise, full of wild parties and massive orgies. But, in her drunken stupor, she stupidly gave the key to the city to the devil, who then opened the bronze gates that guarded this ancient Cancun and flooded the city.