Six literary worlds to visit with your tax refund

in Fiction by

Tax day is upon us and if you’re one of the lucky few then you’re getting an awesome refund right about now. Instead of blowing it on a new summer wardrobe or a trip to Costa Rica, why not visit some of the best imaginary worlds from your favorite books? This is your chance to see far-off lands, mythical creatures, or just relax with some Hobbits on a grassy knoll. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate tax day then to step out of this world and into one that has never heard of Turbo Tax.

The Center of the Earth from Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth 

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What’s brilliant about the Center of the Earth is that it’s literally below your feet—which will cut down on travel costs. Okay, sure, in reality it’s all molten lava and rocks and stuff, but that’s not nearly as fun as Jules Verne’s version, with dinosaurs and giant mushrooms. Why let science get in the way of a good time? Take your tax refund and make it a “stay-cation.” Only this one will involve less Netflix and more prehistoric insects.

Narnia from C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia

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There are a lot of mythical worlds—like Neverland or Oz—that sound better in theory. Do I really want to spend my vacation babysitting some lost boys or dealing with disgruntled witches? Not really. But Narnia would totally live up to the hype. Talking animals, sweeping histories, beautiful landscapes—this is a place you could relax without ever being bored. Sure there are some nasty witches, too, but there are also giants and queens and kings and epic journeys. This visit would definitely be refund-worthy.

The Shire from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings 

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Traveling to Tolkien’s world would be a tricky business—I have absolutely no interest in ending up near Mordor surrounded by a bunch of orcs. But The Shire is a different story. Rolling green meadows, sunlit fields, and adorable houses built into hills? Sounds like my perfect vacation. So what if it includes a bunch of small, hairy people? They seem to like dancing and beer, which—as far as I’m concerned—only adds to the overall appeal.

Hogwarts from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series  

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I know I’m not alone when I say I’d cut off my left pinky if it meant visiting Hogwarts for a day. And no, the tame, magic-free Wizarding World of Harry Potter does not count. I want my Hogwarts filled with spells and hidden rooms and secret dangers. How amazing would the dining hall be, with floating candles hovering overhead as you ate endless cake? Castles are already an awesome destination spot, but the creepy/cool Hogwarts would be the ultimate tax refund vacation.

The Faerie Market from Neil Gaiman’s Stardust

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A world where stars drop from the sky and fall in love with half-faerie boys already sounds pretty awesome. But add a faerie market to it, complete with glass snowdrops and princesses turned into birds, and you’ve got a perfect vacation spot.

Macondo from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

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This might not be the safest world and it would definitely be bizarre—your relatives may go insane or start eating dirt—but there’s something so captivating about Macondo. It’s a place where family expands and grows, businesses develop and then disappear, and magic and reality are so blended that it’s impossible to tell where one stops and the other starts. Who wouldn’t want to visit such a lush and exciting place?

Just like your tax refund, these places may not exist in real life…but it’s certainly nice to dream. Let us know what imaginary world you’d visit if you had the chance!

Image Credits:

Cover Image: credit: http://blackhatastrology.com/2012/05/28/the-chronicles-of-narnia-and-astrology/

Verne: http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780141321042/journey-centre-earth

Lewis: http://www.danielreeve.co.nz/Maps/

Tolkien: http://hotteahotbooks.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/escape-to-another-world/

Rowling: http://pottermore.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Hogwarts_Castle

Gaiman: http://www.faeatlanta.com/about/

Marquez: http://www.swotti.com/books/opinions_one-hundred-years-of-solitude_9776/last-4.htm

Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

3 Comments

  1. Let’s not forget a nice “girl” tour of the Midwest. The Betsy-Tacy books by Lovelace are set in Minnesota, Little House in the Big Woods In Wisconsin, Caddie Woodlawn also in Wisconsin and more that I can not think of. My sister took all of her nieces on this special girl tour when they were about 7 years old and it remains a wonderful memory.

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