Escape the Election! 10 Destinations to Help Avoid the Onslaught of Political News Chris Osburn August 4, 2016 Travel Tips There are fewer than 100 days to go until America votes for a new president. And while Trump vs. Clinton is THE hot topic, not only in the US but also around the world, you likely need a break from the rancor and a timeout from the attack of never-ending news (and non-news) coverage, right? Sure, you can make almost anywhere a politics-free zone. Just turn off the TV and stow your phone, while you play a board game, read a classic novel, or learn to meditate. But why not use this an opportunity to really get away? You’ll probably still need to keep the phone off and shun the news media, but preempting conversations about the election or avoiding them all together is going to be easier to do in some places than in others. With that in mind, here are 10 suggestions for trips near and far to get you off the campaign trail: Alaska America’s last frontier, Alaska is an expansive land of true wilderness devoid of a whole lot of people. If you’re looking to commune with nature instead of news junkies and crave to get away from the ruckus in the lower 48, the largest state in the nation – with its multitude of National Parks (including the four biggest parks) – might just be heaven on earth. Antarctica Alaska too far north? Go south, waaaaay south to Earth’s extreme polar opposite, Antarctica. Most expeditions start from southern Argentina. If you encounter anyone on your voyage who wants to get into a political discussion, simply shouting “Look! An iceberg!” or “Penguins!” should work to change the topic swiftly. Appalachian Trail Despite being only 60 miles from Washington D.C., and even closer to New York City, the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine as it traces the spine of the Appalachian Mountain range via some of the best-maintained hiking paths in the world – and some of the most remote swathes of wilderness on the East Coast. Death Valley Spread across 5,269 square miles of California desert (and a bit of Nevada too), serene Death Valley is the fifth-largest national park in America and the biggest within the contiguous 48 states. As mentioned earlier in this article, the four biggest are all in Alaska. Be sure to bring plenty of water when you head to Death Valley and enjoy the silence … and lack of election coverage. Easter Island Easter Island is one of the most isolated places in the world. Its nearest inhabited neighbor is Pitcairn Island, more than 2,000 miles away. But this remote speck of land in the middle of the South Pacific is only about a five-hour flight westward from Santiago, Chile or the same distance eastward from Tahiti. Home to a small population of islanders, herds of wild horses, and hundreds of giant stone heads of mysterious origin, Easter Island is one of the most beguiling and distinctive of destinations. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park A surreal landscape and the prospect of watching lava flow into the sea to create a plume of smoke (not to mention new land) should subdue any thoughts about the impending presidential election. To keep you focused on the wonders of life, you’ll find plenty of rainforests, mountain trails, and deserted beaches at or near this fascinating park on the Big Island of Hawaii. John Muir Trail Passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks, the 211-mile John Muir Trail offers hikers the chance to experience California’s majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range and little else if they so desire. Maine As mentioned earlier, Maine is the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. It’s also home to loads of wildlife, the mighty Moose River, and a number of archipelagoes scattered along its coast with thousands of mostly uninhabited islands for you to discover. Namibia The only big mouths here are those belonging to the lions, elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and other African game. One of the world’s most sparsely inhabited countries, Namibia offers adventure with a beautiful desert landscape and a long stretch of shoreline. New Zealand New Zealand, particularly its South Island, has one of the world’s most gorgeous and varied landscapes. Sheep outnumber humans 12 to 1 – and the people who are there couldn’t be friendlier. Plus, the wine is fantastic, the views are spectacular, and the campsites are plentiful. Peru For the exhilaration of feeling like you’re on top of the world, discovering age-old folkways, exploring the Amazon, and tasting one of the world’s most adventurous cuisines, Peru is an ideal destination. Make for the city of La Rinconada to experience life at the edge. More than 16,700 feet above sea level, it is the world’s highest human habitation. And then there’s Machu Picchu, where the ancient remains of the long-lost Incan civilization with a backdrop of spectacular panoramas are certain to help you forget the hubbub back home. What about you? Where do you go to escape the fray and tune out the noise?