Wakanda, Zamunda, and other fictional places I’d love to visit
Have you read about the blunder in British Airways’ in-flight magazine regarding Lupita Nyong’o’s country of origin? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on a good occasion to 1) reflect on the fate of a world in which Google exists and yet writers/editors make that type of mistake, 2) be petty and demand that British Airways take you to Wakanda, or 3) let your imagination loose and think about the fictional places you wish were real.
“Wakanda? Where’s that?” you may ask. Well, it’s a fictional African state. It’s the home of Marvel Comics’ T’Challa. “What does that fictional place have to do with Lupita?” She plays Nakia in the upcoming movie Black Panther (February 2018). FYI: Our Lady Lupita was born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, and was raised in Kenya. She went on to live a fabulous life attending Yale and winning awards.
I’m not in the mood for #1. I hinted at #2 in a Facebook post. Let me share my #3 with you.
The Kingdom of Zamunda
Home of King Jaffe Joffer, Queen Aoleon and Prince Hakeem.
I spent an entire month watching Coming to America (en français!) every single day. That year, my sister and I spent part of our summer vacation in Laval; we were visiting 3 of our cousins. Our daily routine consisted of playing Nintendo, swimming in the pool (when weather permitted), playing in the yard and watching movies. By the end of that summer, we knew all the words to Coming to America. Until today, I can quote parts of it.
We were kids. But we were mesmerized by the glimpses of Zamunda we saw. We dreamt of having an elephant named Babar in our own backyard too. I particularly liked that the Africa portrayed in the movie didn’t seem to focus on hunger and sick kids—a couple of years prior to that trip, I had prepared a school project on hunger in the world and the only continent in my project was Africa.
Ideal duration of stay: 2 weeks (scheduled around a royal wedding)
Attractions: The royal palace, the waterfall, shopping
St. Mary Mead
Home of Miss Marple.
As a teenager, I was an avid Agatha Christie reader. I may have read them all. My interest for small towns in England stemmed from her books starring Miss Jane Marple. I’ve never been to England, but don’t be surprised if I head to a random small town instead of London.
Ideal duration of stay: 1 week (about the time it takes Miss Marple to solve a murder)
Attraction: Miss Marple’s house
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Harry Potter’s school.
I’m a Harry Potter fan. I own books, DVDs and paraphernalia. I once drove to Boston (from Ottawa) for an exhibit on the costumes. Every year, I binge watch the movies. I absolutely adore the parallel world J.K. Rowling has created.
Hogwarts is intriguing. I consider the castle to be one of the characters. Can you imagine going through the rooms with Hagrid as your guide? Heaven! I guess the next best thing is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at Universal Studios. But it won’t be the same…
Ideal duration of stay: 1 week
Attractions: the entire place, including the hidden and secret rooms; play quidditch; day trip to the prison of Azkaban
Home of the Na’vi.
I wouldn’t partake in all the flying involved in the movie. But the landscapes were quite pretty and a bit spooky. I’m curious and apprehensive at the same time. Also, it may be a bit dangerous there. Not because of the local—they’re a peaceful people, but because invaders may storm in at any time. Disney’s Na’vi River Journey is probably a safer bet.
Ideal duration of stay: 3 days
Attraction: the Na’vi village, the river
Home of most of the characters in Game of Thrones.
Westeros is beautiful despite the dangers it presents: dragons, insane rulers, corrupt politicians. Did I mention dragons? It offers the quiet small towns, beaches, snowy mountains and a lively capital city. I’d probably spend more time in King’s Landing than in Winterfell, because there’s only so much cold I can handle. Also, Winterfell is way too close to the Wall. There needs to be a fair amount of distance between white walkers and myself.
Ideal duration of stay: 3 weeks (trip could be interrupted at any time due to a beheading or dragons)
Attractions: Winterfell and the 6 other castles, King’s Landing, possibility to take a day-trip to the Dothraki Sea, the Wall, petting dragons
The latest addition to my list. Black Panther isn’t out yet. But the trailer present a futuristic looking country inhabited by very stylish people. I’m not sure what I’d like to include in my travel plan yet. But my dashiki skirt is ready! I’ve convinced myself that we should all wear African print to go watch the movie.
Ideal duration of stay: Unknown
Attractions: TBD by end of February 2018, but definitely shopping.
A long time ago, Neverland was on my list. Then Michael Jackson went and named his ranch after it. And I was no longer interested.