“On the Road” is one of the rare books that has stood the test the time. It hits on the human desire to explore and to be a part of something bigger in this life; values that are even more prevalent today. With the rise of technology, it’s easy to see the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower, all from the palms of our hand. What we lose out on is the experience, and that is the best part about traveling. In honor of “On the road”, why not follow Kerouac’s footsteps and relive the moments he experienced, all through your own eyes.
“Suddenly I found myself in the middle of Times Square”
It only makes sense to start in New York city. Here you can feel the energy of the city that so inspired Kerouac, listen to the sounds of the city that emanates from the book.
As an aside, Kerouac traveled the cross country by hitchhiking, but I wouldn’t suggest that for the obvious reasons. Instead, try doing it with a rented set of wheels. This saves you the thousands of miles on your own car, and you can do it cheaply through car rental promotional codes. If you do try hitchhiking? Well then you’re a better man (or woman) than me.
“I dug Chicago after a good night’s sleep”
Feel the wind from Lake Michigan as you walk around North Clark, listen to some jazz at an old speakeasy and see exactly what the great writer meant. Kerouac’s writing has, for good reason, been called jazz-like for it’s spontaneity and improvisation, not to mention the fact that he was a big jazz fan himself. Try clubs like The Hungry Brain or Green Mill in Chicago, for a taste of the local brass.
“Whooee, I told my soul, and the cowboy came back and off we went to Grand Island”
The road trip continues west to something of a smaller town, Grand Island, Nebraska. The reason? To stop in a diner and have a slice of ‘Maw’s’ cherry pie with a scoop of ice cream on top. This is a bit more of a hypothetical stop, as you’re not going to find the exact diner he ate in. Instead, it’s a stop to see Americana in her truest form, comfort food and all, right in the heart of the midwest.
“It was the most beautiful of all moments”
Continue driving west, until you finally reach California. Here you can see why Kerouac felt those words after seeing the same sunset he did. The “fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries” and a “purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields” are all there to be seen. All you have to do is get on the road.