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    9 Literary Trips To Take Before You Die

    A list of nine pilgrimages every bookworm should complete if they mean business.

    1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


    • Tour New York City in the angsty footsteps of Holden Caulfield.
    • Activity on a budget: Visit Central Park Pond to ponder "where the ducks go in the winter."
    • Sites: Stop by anything famous in the city: zoo, museum, carousel. Although The Edmont Hotel and Ernie's Nightclub are fictional, any hotel lobby and dark bar can suit the mood if you drum up enough teenage frustration.
    • "A lot of people, especially this one psychoanalyst guy they have here, keeps asking me if I'm going to apply myself when I go back to school next September. It's such a stupid question, in my opinion. I mean how do you know what you're going to do till you do it?"

    2. Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder


    • Visit the beloved sites of, yep, some small dwellings on some flat land.
    • #MadeCoveredWagonsCoolAgain
    • Travel snack: maple syrup. Maybe on something.
    • If you have the chance: Help birth a calf (but watch out for malaria and long winters).

    3. On The Road by Jack Kerouac


    • Take your creative crisis on the road. Drive or hitchhike from New York to San Francisco through Denver, and back, Rocky Mount to San Francisco through New Orleans, and back, Denver to New York through San Francisco, then New York to Mexico City.
    • Places to stay: the Y in Chicago, your friend's lover's brother's floor, under the stars that are bright and thus deserve the attention of a mere man in his contemplation of the life he has lived, and of his feet that are sore, and of his woman who is warm, and as beautiful as she is objectified.
    • Souvenirs: a box of cigarettes from Ogallala, the ticket stub for a jazz club, and watches pawned for gas money in Benson, Arizona. #ThriftShopping
    • "They were like the man with the dungeon stone and gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining."

    Still can't get enough Kerouac wanderlust? Steal a car and do a Big Sur- or The Dharma Bums-themed adventure.

    4. Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan


    • Recreate Brautigan's absurd and whimsical camping trip in Idaho. Because, s'mores.
    • Fishing tip: You'll need a pole, a hook, and some bait. Annnnd … that's pretty much all we know about that.
    • Trip superlative: Most Likely to Offer Bigfoot Sightings (Idaho is conveniently close to Washington, where certain substances are now legal).
    • “I always wanted to write a book that ended with the word Mayonnaise."

    Check out Allison Green's forthcoming memoir The Ghosts Who Travel with Me, which follows her road trip of Brautigan's road trip. That's right—take a trip of a trip while reading a book about a book. #LetsGetMeta

    5. Travels with Charlie by John Steinbeck


    • Listen—this arduous cross-country tour isn't for the faint of heart. For committed bookworms with campers, however, it's definitely worth it.
    • Travel song: "The Wanderer" by Dion.
    • Ideal companion: a French Poodle.
    • "I am in love with Montana.…It seemed to me that the frantic bustle of America was not in Montana." THIS JUST IN: Montana now has speed limits.

    6. The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent by Washington Irving


    • Wait, Irving wrote more than just "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"? Be a literary hipster by reading Irving's underground work in his hometown of Tarrytown, New York.
    • Best time to visit: Halloweekend.
    • Activities on a budget: Take a nap in the Catskill Mountains (but remember to set an alarm) or wander the cemetery looking for horsemen.
    • "It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance."

    7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov


    • Begin in suburban New England and bounce around the country with your travel buddy…consensually, of course.
    • Trip superlative: Most Likely to Be Controversial, and Sexy, and Controversial.
    • Bring: sunglasses, a large disposable income, and an incriminating diary. (Leave the sedatives at home.)
    • "When I try to analyze my own cravings, motives, actions and so forth, I surrender to a sort of retrospective imagination which feeds the analytic faculty with boundless alternatives and which causes each visualized route to fork and refork without end in the maddeningly complex prospect of my past."

    8. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown


    • Follow Robert Langdon’s frantic scavenger hunt through Washington, D.C. For the full experience, imagine a hairless eunuch is in chase.
    • In other news, Free Masons are real. Keep an eye out.
    • Burning question: How the hell does a symbologist get in so much trouble?
    • #LearnFromTheDavinciCode

    9. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed


    • Embark on Strayed's restorative, 1,100-mile journey from the Mojave Desert to the Washington border. No prior backpacking experience needed. (Kidding. Don't be an idiot.)
    • Warning: This trip includes self-discovery and general badassery. #GoingHiking
    • Travel song: "Born to Be Wild" by Steppenwolf.
    • Bring: hiking boots. And probably a first aid kit.

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