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The 2012 Bar Guide 

Our seventh annual look at life's little detours, both across the seas and at the bottom of a glass.

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There's no way around it. You enter this world at point A and leave it at point Z. As for all that stuff in the middle? Well, we're not going to tell you how to fill it.

But make sure some of it's unplanned. Because who knows when a movie might inspire you to pack your things for flair bartending school, sending you on a trip around Europe for 12 years, only to land in Richmond working three days a week?

And maybe you seize that moment to abandon your reservations, tossing those underthings aside in the Australian sun and running into the waters of Alexandria Bay.

There's something illegal in that Thai island drink? What are you waiting for? Slurp it down! Just something new — anything.

Mark every occasion with a toast worth remembering. Head for the bar less traveled. Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Ask the bartender for a sake you've never tried before. Let your compass spin.

What we're saying is, embrace a few moments of leisure. Because after all, a crumpled map still gets you somewhere. — Jason Roop

Click here to read the features in the 2012 Bar Guide

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