Quick Vacation Planning Guide

Maggie Koerth-Baker is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. A freelance science and health journalist, Maggie lives in Minneapolis, brain dumps on Twitter, and writes quite often for mental_floss magazine.

Where will you "get away from it all" this summer? Personally, I'm going to the Bay Area Maker Faire at the end of May. But if you still need ideas, my book, Be Amazing, contains a few interesting–if somewhat impractical–holiday suggestions.

All Aboard for Antarctica!

Get Away From: Stupid people. Without any permanent residents, the folks you're most likely to encounter are the 4,000-odd scientists who live in the continent's research stations.

Also Left Behind: Your clock. Antarctica lacks a standard time zone system. Instead, the various researchers use their home country's time, the time on the nearest land mass, or Greenwich Mean Time. In Antarctica, it's always 5 o'clock somewhere.

Visit the Beautiful Demilitarized Zone!

Get Away From: Civilians. The Demilitarized Zone is a 2.5-mile-wide demarcation line separating North and South Korea. Other than tourists (and the very small populations living in dueling North/South propaganda villages), the only people around are soldiers.

Don't Forget: Your sense of adventure. After all, the DMZ is home to the World's Most Dangerous Golf Course—a single par 3 hole, where the "rough" is actually a live minefield.

Zdravstvuj From the 101st Kilometer!

That Means: "Hello" in Russian. For some reason it's not as common in the American vocabulary as "Do Svidanya" (Rough translation: "Goodbye, Mr. Bond").

Get Away From: All the "good" communists. Back during the heyday of the Soviet Union, dissidents (both actual and otherwise) were shipped off to the gulag prison camps in Siberia. The lucky few who survived that ordeal returned home to find they couldn't actually return home. To keep former political prisoners culturally silent, Soviet law stipulated that they weren't allowed to settle in cities. Instead, they had to live at least 100 kilometers (62 miles) away—leading to the creation of 101st kilometer towns where nearly every resident was a "reformed" subversive.