My Literary Pilgrimage

This post is day 1 the 30 day book-blogging challenge. For the whole challenge, click here.

Pilgrimage – noun
a journey, typically a long one, made especially to fulfill a vow or pay homage

Have you ever gone on a pilgrimage? How about a literary pilgrimage? A literary pilgrimage is the act of visiting a place that appears in one of your favorite poems or stories, or even visiting the home or grave of a writer you admired. As such, here are some of my literary pilgrimages, as well as some I hope to take in the future.

Beijing, China


Full disclosure: I did not go to Beijing for the purpose of visiting one of the settings of one of the books that saved my life – North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley. I was there to work at a foster home for children who had been given up due to medical conditions that would have killed them if not for the intervention of the foster home. That said, walking the streets of Beijing, even working in the foster home, I couldn’t help but think of that book that had such an impact on my life. Part of the book takes place in Beijing and – you guessed it – a foster home. The trip was already very special, but seeing those locations from a book that means so much to me come to life before my eyes made it all the more worthwhile.

The Globe Theater – London, England


I have never been to the globe theater. But you can bet your sweet ass the first chance I get I’m going to hop on a place straight to London and sit my ass in the freakin globe theater. Where would we be without good ‘ol Billy Shakes? Okay, so maybe he’s not my absolute favorite playwright, but he’s certainly written some of my absolute favorite plays. Could you imagine? Because I can. It’s going to be beautiful.

Hollywood, California


Confession: I have genuine hate in my heart for just about everything south of Portland. I hate California, I really hate Los Angeles, but I’ll be damned if Hollywood didn’t tickle me, just a bit. For one reason and one reason only: it’s the setting of the novel Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee. As a kid, that was one of those books that, for reasons I can’t really remember now, really resonated with me. It was wonderful to finally step into Maybe’s shoes and see what she saw in the truly horrible land of Hollywood.

Harlem, New York


Anyone who knows me knows that I am an absolute slut for the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes is my little daddy. Despite the fact that I’m going to be going to school there starting in September, I’ve never actually been to New York. And, by extension, I’ve never been to Harlem. I imagine it’ll turn into a shiny nerd fest where I touch everything and giggle because Harlem.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? Where do you hope to go? Let me know in the comment below, or write a post answering the prompt!


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