It’s April. You’re ready to close the book on another long semester. With finals on the horizon, we’d bet the phrase “three months off” has never sounded sweeter.
But, you know, your education doesn’t quit when you’re not in class. Over break, it just takes on a new shape! Summer is student travel season, and traveling and learning go hand-in-hand. When you explore an unfamiliar place, you discover something new about yourself and the world you live in.
Dreaming up all the new stuff you’ll learn this summer inspired us to go on adventure of our own! In lieu of hopping on the next plane to Madagascar or Madrid or Moldova, though, we made this list of five wonderful stories that will transport you somewhere unfamiliar – no suitcases required.
1. Jack Kerouac, On the Road
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.” – Sal Paradise
Tag along with a young writer road-tripping across America (from New York to Chicago, Denver to San Francisco) as he gets acquainted with strange cities and their stranger residents.
2. Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
“I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.” – Robert Cohn
Brilliant, beautiful and profoundly bored of their lives and of one another, a group of American expatriates living in bohemian Paris seek life’s meaning in Pamplona, Spain.
3. Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days
“I saw the world. I learnt of new cultures. I flew across an ocean. I wore women’s clothing. Made a friend. Fell in love. Who cares if I lost a wager?” – Phileas Fogg
An ambitious Englishman attempts an 80-day race around the world on a wager, zipping off to Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Japan, San Francisco and NYC.
4. J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit
“There are no safe paths in this part of the world. Remember you are over the Edge of the Wild now, and in for all sorts of fun wherever you go.” – Gandalf
When a wizard shows up on his doorstep, reluctant adventurer Bilbo Baggins leaves all the comforts of his home in Bag End for a harrowing adventure.
5. Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods
“Distance changes utterly when you take the world on foot… The world, you realize, is enormous.” – Bill Bryson
Informative and entertaining, this is the true tale of a man who, curious about the Appalachian Trail near his home, decides to try to hike the whole thing.
This summer, Textbooks.com encourages you to go off the grid, whether it’s in an unfamiliar city or between the pages of a brand new book. Every step out of your comfort zone can teach you something big – about yourself, your world, and all of the extraordinary people in it.