Many great novels and short stories involve travel. It’s easy to see why; when you leave behind everything that’s familiar and step out into the unknown, all the key ingredients of an exciting plot are waiting for you. To quote JRR Tolkien, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Do you have a favorite travel story? Why not actually walk in your favorite characters’ footsteps? For example, here are four great stories that you could plan a trip based on:

The Odyssey

Okay, so you probably won’t want to be on the road for as long as Odysseus was, but there’s no reason you can’t plan a trip to Greece that includes some of the more prominent stops on along his path. In fact, New York Times travel writer Matt Gross recently went on just such a quest. Instead of Scylla and Charybdis, he faced down Greece’s somewhat capricious ferry system to visit several different islands on his way to Ithaca. Here’s how he described the experience: “There was a regularity to the joy of discovering these new places, each so similar, none identical.”

Eat, Pray, Love

“Eat, Pray, Love”-based itineraries are becoming a bit of a clich√©. However, with a list of countries that includes Italy, India and Indonesia, it’s hard to go wrong with Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir as a guide.

Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe Island is the island where Alexander Selkirk, the real-life Robinson Crusoe, was marooned for four years, inspiring the classic story by Daniel Defoe. Although it’s no longer deserted, the island, located off the coast of Chile, is an intriguing vacation destination: beautiful, remote and generally overlooked by tourists.

Around the World in 80 Days

One of the classics of the travel fiction genre, the protagonists of “Around the World in 80 Days” start in London and travel through Egypt, India, Hong Kong, Japan and the US before ending up back where they started. Methods of travel include steamship, train, elephant and even a sleigh. This being the 21st century, however, you can simply take a plane.

No matter where your favorite book takes you, if you’re leaving the country you will need a passport. Since it can take six weeks or longer to process your passport application, you should apply as soon as possible. You can expedite your passport application for an additional fee of $60, but be aware that it will still take three weeks for your passport to arrive.

For speedier service, you have two choices: making an appointment at one of the country’s 24 regional passport agency offices, or use a private passport expediting company like RushMyPassport. We hand-deliver your application to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours with no need to make an appointment or wait in line at a passport agency office.

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