Dwell’s Top 10 Travel Stories of 2019
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Dwell’s Top 10 Travel Stories of 2019

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By Lauren Conklin
These thrilling destinations and experiences belong on your bucket list.

Rid yourself of the winter doldrums with our top travel stories of the year. From quirky getaways (potato tiny home, anyone?) to breathtaking retreats, these travel highlights will have your vacation senses tingling. Consider yourself warned: a number of these destinations will actually pay you to relocate, making the wanderlust that much more enticing. Read on to see the travel stories that sparked a sense of fernweh.

10. An Entire Region of Italy Will Pay You $27,000 to Move There

Rural Italian communities are experiencing population drain—and some cities are even handing out houses for a single euro if buyers promise to renovate. That’s an attractive deal, until you consider that Molise is offering to pay you $770 a month for up to three years—a total of $27,000—if you move there.

Nominated for Italy's 2019 Most Beautiful Town contest, Fornelli is known for its olive groves and truffles.

Located among lush, rolling hills in Valles Pasiegos, Spain, Villa Slow is a minimalist holiday home designed by Laura Álvarez Architecture. The property was once a stone ruin, and now it generates more energy than it uses.

Villa Slow houses two bedrooms that allow for various arrangements—the rental can be set up for couples, families, friends, etc. Each room also comes with its own bathroom.

Set in the sprawling, wooded Kistefos sculpture park—just 50 miles north of Oslo—The Twist by Bjarke Ingels Group connects the banks of the Randselva River.

Stacked, linear aluminum pieces are flayed out to create a fan effect in the twisted section of the museum.

Stann Creek Island—a miniature, kidney-shaped thumb of land nestled off the coast of Belize—was just listed by 7th Heaven Properties with a remarkably approachable price tag. At an initial ask of $465,000, the just-remote-enough property is an exclusive retreat in a paradisiacal Caribbean setting.

The land comes with four quaint cabanas built in 2014—each of which has a couple queen beds, a kitchen, a large dining area, and a bathroom—basically room enough for about 12 folks to sleep and hang comfortably on the eighth-of-an-acre property. Stilted, funky, and festive, the structures are solar-powered and come with a backup generator. 

After touring the country on a seven-year-long campaign promoting the state's most famous crop, the six-ton potato—made of concrete, plaster, and steel—returned to its homeland, only to be transformed into what might just be the quirkiest, most delightful tiny home rental of all time.

Measuring 28 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 11.5 feet tall, the head-turning tater features an adorably chic 336-square-foot interior designed by tiny house developer Kristie Wolfe.

Accessible via helicopter or a 40-minute 4x4 ride overtop clifftop farm tracks, Scrubby Bay offers a remote slice of paradise on a working coastal farm.

Nestled on a crescent-shaped surf beach on South Island’s Banks Peninsula sits a deceptively simple beach house. Scrubby Bay is a rustic retreat flush with modern luxuries and breathtaking scenery at every turn.

Dan Weber of Anacapa Architecture said that the design for the clubhouse was inspired by the work of Richard Neutra, and by Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion.

AutoCamp’s Yosemite campground is just a stone’s throw from the town of Mariposa and tons of outdoor activities.

A jewel of an island between Crete and Greece's mainland is incentivizing young, vibrant folk to relocate with a pretty attractive deal: prospective residents with young children will get a plot of land, a home, and three-months of subsidized living—not to mention the benefits of the idyllic seaside climate. 

The current population (which is about the size of two basketball teams, and doubles in the summer months) is a dedicated bunch eager to expand. Those with trade skills—like baking, fishing, stock farming, or building—are especially encouraged to apply. "These are professions for which we can guarantee a decent income," says local council president Andreas Charchalakis.

At Under, a Snøhetta-designed restaurant balanced on the Norwegian coast, guests dine 16 feet below the ocean surface.

A 36-foot-wide and 11-foot-tall horizontal acrylic window—cut into the one-and-a-half-foot-thick concrete walls at the end of the tube-shaped restaurant—provides a panoramic portal to the wildlife outside. 

The Sunken Lounge, which reminiscent of 2001: A Space Odyssey, is the heart of the TWA Hotel. The plush, red carpet is the same you'll find in the long, minimalist tunnel entry, where indirect light illuminates the curved wall, which results in no shadows.

TWA Hotel celebrates its history with vintage uniforms on display. Pictured here is a Stan Herman flight attendant pantsuit from 1975.

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