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Wish You Were Here?

Three new ways to expand your mind this summer.

  • MiGs Over Moscow

    Incredible Adventures
    When: Any Monday to Friday; leave 45 days for security clearance
    The Damage: From $2,950 for a "warm up" flight to $18,500 for a ride in a full-throttle supersonic jet
    What you'll do: Fulfill your Top Gun fantasy and board a MiG-29, MiG-25, or other Russian fighter aircraft (Russian pilot included). Fly at twice the speed of sound, see the curvature of the earth, or perform aerial acrobatics.
    What you'll learn: A day in a warplane puts your next portfolio presentation into perspective. "Lying on the beach may work for some people, but when I'm stressed, these flights get me refocused," says 13-time participant Bill Bimich, co-owner of a Pepsi-Cola bottling company. "You quickly develop a sense of your own mental fitness."

  • Understanding the Science of Everyday Things

    Cornell University
    When: July 23–29, 2006
    The Damage: $740 plus food and housing
    What you'll do: From batteries to mirrors to drinking straws, uncover "what's uncommon in the commonplace." Bring your pocketknife and get ready to probe and dismantle ordinary objects.
    What you'll learn: Students develop the skills to question the seemingly obvious and sharpen a crucial business skill—curiosity. And who wouldn't want to brag to a coworker that they know the inner workings of a Ping-Pong ball?

  • Writing Journey, Sacred Journey: Writing as Spiritual Practice

    St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota
    When: July 29–30, 2006 (Must register by July 18, 2006.)
    The Damage: $332
    What you'll do: Join Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew, author of Writing the Sacred Journey, for a weekend of intensive writing, reflection, and deep navel-gazing. Be prepared to write a lot, think very big thoughts, and channel your inner yogi.
    What you'll learn: How the writing process—from brainstorming to final draft—can develop your sense of truth. "People think they know what they believe and where they are in life," Andrew says, "but writing tests that. It forces you to bear witness and understand your thoughts." Can she also help with deadlines?

A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.