Life might be easier with a little bit of luck on your side, but how far would you go to take luck into your own hands? More importantly, where should you go to find it? From Nevada to Istanbul to Japan, here are seven places around the world where you can try to tip the scales in your favor.
1. Owakudani Volcanic Area, Japan
While most travelers visiting Hakone, Japan head to the hot springs in search of rejuvenation, making a pitstop at the volcanic area of Owakudani while you’re there might give you the ultimate boost. There, locals hard-boil eggs in the naturally hot sulfurous water. Doing so turns the shell an ominous black, but eating just one of these eggs is said to earn you an extra seven years of life.
2. Victor Noir Statue, Paris
It’s not the size of Victor Noir’s brain that makes the ladies swarm. In Paris, the tomb of the former French journalist (shot dead in 1870 during a duel) is accompanied by a statue of his likeness. Much attention is given to a peculiarly placed bulge in his trousers — taken as a sign of fertility. Countless women who come here embrace the bronze bump, hoping for marriage within the year or perhaps a baby.
3. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
While travelers are no longer making pilgrimages to Hagia Sophia exclusively for religious pursuits, lines of hopefuls still show up for the former cathedral’s Weeping Columns. Supposedly once blessed by St. Gregory the Miracle Worker, the columns are known to leak holy water. If you place a finger into the opening and the finger comes away moist, you’ll be cured of any illness — or so we hear.
4. Charging Bull Sculpture, New York City
While Wall Street’s financiers claim omniscience for the market’s fickle tendencies, the risk-taking and hedge-making aren’t void of respect for superstition. The bronze sculpture, Charging Bull, takes its stance in the Financial District where stockbrokers and tourists alike can rub its horns, nose, and testicles in hopes of conjuring prosperity.
5. Tanah Lot Temple, Bali
Only accessible at low-tide by a land bridge that’s otherwise underwater, Tanah Lot is a 15th-century island temple on the southern coast of Bali. According to local mythology, the temple was established by Nirartha, a priest who tossed his holy sashes into the sea in order to ward off evil. To be more specific, those ashes morphed into sea snakes that protect the temple. And while the real-life caged snake that resides on the island today poses no danger, visitors come to muster up their courage, touch it, and make a wish.
6. Hoover Dam, Nevada/Arizona
Did you know? Two Art Deco angels known as the Winged Figures of the Republic stand proud at the Hoover Dam, made of four tons of bronze at 30 feet high. Travelers looking for a stroke of luck at the nearby casinos can rub the angels’ feet, thought to bestow good luck to those gambling their fortunes.
7. Blarney Castle, Ireland
For hundreds of years, commoners, world leaders, and celebrities alike have engaged in public displays of affection with Ireland’s Blarney Stone, located at Blarney Castle. Endless tales surround the stone’s origins, but its benefit is widely agreed upon: kiss the stone and you’ll be bequeathed with ultimate eloquence. While the gift of gab may not directly translate into specific gains, perhaps your newfound art of flattery can get you what you seek.