It’s easy to forget how vast the world really is, and that there are people out there that live much different lives than we do. There are people that live far away from any other towns or cities, in places that are inaccessible or places with rough living conditions. Some people even live in places that are too far from medical attention or from regular supplies of food, making every day a struggle to survive. There are places in the world that are unknown by some, and yet to be explored by many.
It’s crazy to think that there are places out there that haven’t been discovered yet, or that there are communities that don’t know who the Kardashians are. Sometimes it’s important to stop and think about how the world is a big place, and it doesn’t just revolve around you.
Imagine living somewhere with freezing cold conditions, or somewhere where you’re related to everyone else in your town, even your significant other. Imagine only being able to use the Internet for four hours (if at all), or not having indoor plumbing. There are places we never learned about in school, and places that we can’t spot on a map. Here is a list of 10 remote locations where people actually live that will make you realize you’re taking your electricity and running water for granted.
10 Socotra Island, Yemen
Socotra Island may be remote, with no public transport and only two roads, but it is home to about 40,000 people. The island is located on the Indian Ocean, south of the Arabian Peninsula. Socotra is extremely isolated, which causes the creation of new species of plants because it is so far away from other plant-life. That’s why Socotra is often referred to as alien-looking, because of the different types of odd and colorful trees that grow all over the island. It’s easy enough to visit the island and its bizarre flora, as flights arrive and leave daily at their airport. Socotra Island exports many things, including tobacco, fish and dates.
9 La Rinconada, Peru
At 17,000 ft above sea level, La Rinconada is considered to be the highest city in the world. Located in the Peruvian Andes near a gold mine, La Rinconada has over 30,000 inhabitants, who are all in the gold mining business. All the homes are built on the permanently frozen glacier and the city has no plumbing or sewage system, not to mention the high rate of mercury poisoning because of the mining practices. But if you did want to visit this Peruvian city, you would have to have good winter tires, seeing as how it’s an icy, uphill trek.
8 Medog County, China
In all of China, Medog, located in the region of Tibet, has to be the most remote county, being the only one not accessible by road until a highway was built in 2013. Before the highway was built, if you wanted to get to Medog, you had cross a 200-meter long suspension cable that is 100 meters high! The 10,000 people that live in Medog County had to have their supplies carried in and out by hand. There have been other attempts to build highways, but mudslides or earthquakes have taken them down. So far though, this one is withstanding the elements.
7 Longyearbyen, Norway
Longyearbyen is a territory located in Norway. The 2,000 residents of this small town have to go through periods of continuous daylight or constant darkness, because it rests above the Arctic Circle. What makes Longyearbyen such a fascinating place is that the Global Seed Vault is located there. The Global Seed Vault is an underground storage space that holds all the different types of plant seeds in world, just in case there is a global catastrophe and we are in need of them. The town was completely destroyed by the Germans in the 40s, but was rebuilt after the Second World War and has since seen a higher number of tourists.
6 Easter Island, Polynesia
When you think of Easter Island, no doubt the big rock-faced statues come to mind. The Moai line the beaches of the island and were carved 500 years ago by the first people to live there. A Polynesian island located south of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island is a World Heritage Site, deemed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Currently the island, of volcanic origin, holds a population of about 5,000 people and the closest town is over 2,000 kilometers away. Even though Easter Island is remote, the tropical rainforest climate and the historical statues bring a lot of tourists to the island, and the Polynesian people love to entertain by dancing in feather costumes or taking people on fishing boat rides.
5 Lajamanu, Australia
There are many remote locations in the Australian Outback, one of them being Lajamanu. About 700 people live in the small town, a town that contains one single store that has food delivered to it once a week. Thanks to a generator and a few solar panels, the people of Lajamanu have a little bit of electricity. The town was originally formed by the Australian government as a means to control an overcrowded population in the country. People were forced to relocate to live in the middle of nowhere. Now the people Lajamanu live there happily, and have even created a new language that is now being studied by linguistic specialists.
4 Kake, Alaska
Home to around 650 people, Kake is a small fishing village located in the Alaskan wilderness. The only way to get to and from this isolated location is by air or by boat. There are no roads, which can be a huge issue for these inhabitants because emergency response usually takes around a day and a half. It is dangerous to live in this remote location, but it is also beautiful and with most of the population being under the age of 18, it is a very prosperous place with immense opportunity to grow. If you ever plan on visiting the small Alaskan community, you will be able to stay at one of the few lodges located in town, and you can also rent vehicles and kayaks to get around.
3 Bakhtia, Siberia
Bakhtia has no running water, no telephones, and no access to medical help. Not only that, but the town has below freezing temperatures all year round. You can only visit Bakhtia by boat or helicopter when weather allows. The 300 people that live in this Siberian community rely on hunting dogs to help them catch their food. They trap, fish, and forage for root vegetables to survive. Survival has become their biggest worry, they stockpile supplies in the summer to be able to get them through the winter. Winters in Bakhtia consists of many months of darkness, they don’t see the sun until spring. Makes you feel a little bit better about your winters, doesn’t it?
2 Tristan da Cunha, South Africa
Only 270 people live in Tristan da Cunha, known for being the most remote island in the world. Everyone on the island shares the work and the profits. This communal sense of family is what keeps Tristan da Cunha thriving. There is a wonderful sense of community, but being so remote also has its downfalls. It rains 20 days out of the month, there is only one single road on the entire island, you have to order your groceries months in advance from the local store, and all the electricity on the island is supplied by generators only. If you wish to visit Tristan de Cunha, it is a seven-day boat trip from Cape Town, South Africa.
1 Palmerston, Cook Islands
The 60 inhabitants of Palmerston, off the coast of the Cook Islands, are all descendants of a single ancestor, which probably makes for a lot of awkward dates. Because Palmerston is so far off the coast of the Cook Islands, they have to get their supplies from a single ship that comes only twice a year due to terrible conditions out on the water. There are only two phones on the island and Internet works only four hours a day. The people of the small community also have to deal with having electricity for only two hours a day. Regardless, a few visitors a year make the trip to visit Palmerston, and they say that the people of the remote location are extremely hospitable and friendly.