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.
Rent a very fast car.
One of the ways the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration keeps America's roads safe is by requiring that cars meet certain criteria. Unfortunately, some of the world's most exciting cars – and cars that are actually boats – don't meet the NHTSA's standards. TVR's sporty roadsters don't even come close. These speedy British classics lack airbags and ABS because the company's CEO felt that such Ralph Nader-approved amenities gave drivers a false sense of safety. TVR went out of business years ago – with that sort of market savvy one doesn't wonder why – but the company's cars are still much revered in England, where it is actually legal to drive them. Pick up a gorgeous TVR Sagaris at the London luxury car rental house Bespokes and drive into the Cotswolds at a clip. The car's performance is great – unless, of course, you hit something.
Other countries offer different opportunities for un-American driving. Across the Canadian border in Vancouver, enterprising drivers can find 2001 Nissan Skyline R32s – cars basically built for street racing – and make the drive to Whistler in a big hurry.