Travel is about more than escaping idle water cooler chitchat and seeing new horizons. Setting forth offers adventurers an opportunity to either write new rules or ignore the rules they've always had to follow. There may be fewer frontiers today than there once were and fewer places to escape the constraints of international law (there's always Somalia, although we don't recommend it), but there are plenty of ways to slip the bonds of the American justice system and legally engage in behavior that would land you in the clink stateside. What happens in Vegas may well stay there, but Nevada's laws – with that one notable exception – aren't too different from the laws in New York or Wisconsin. To get weird, you've got to get away.
Whether it's taking psychotropic drugs found deep in the Amazonian rain forest or driving fast cars with questionable safety features in England, breaking American rules is a great way to have a wonderful time and remember why we came up with those rules in the first place. With this in mind, we've collected a few prime opportunities to throw off the shackles of puritanical regulation and embrace other nations' more extreme freedoms.
Drink real absinthe.
Absinthe has become increasingly available in the U.S. in recent years and is now a fixture at a number of tony cocktail bars. We're all for this – the Sazerac being one of our favorite drinks – but the FDA still insists on regulating thujone, the chemical credited with the drink's mind-bending properties. No absinthe sold in America contains more than 10 milligrams a liter of thujone, famously a derivative of the wormwood plant. This is why true connoisseurs of the green fairy who are unsatisfied with domestic options head to the Czech Republic, where wormwood-infused spirits are available with up to 100 milligrams of thujone per liter. The classic place to sip: Prague. Look for Bairnsfather and King of Spirits, two brands that offer particularly powerful tipples and enjoy an evening wandering around the main square in a pleasant haze. Say hi to Kafka when you see him.
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