I must have read Travels with Charley one too many times. John Steinbeck’s memoir about his cross-country travels with his French poodle sidekick is an enticement to anyone with wanderlust—practically an invitation to throw caution to the wind and do something similar.

Travels with Charley is now one of the few books I own. About two months ago, I left Hoboken, New Jersey (furniture sold and apartment rented), and set out on a road trip. For the next several years I’ll be traveling the U.S. in an RV with my husband, Brian, and our trusty feline, Tabitha. We have a loose route planned: spend the summer in New England, head south along the East coast as the weather gets colder, and then venture west. (Click here if you’d like to know more about the RV adventures.)

Top on my itinerary is visiting author houses and museums, and I’ve already had the chance to check out a few. So look for some Novel Destinations dispatches from the road. And be careful what you read—you never know where it might take you. –Shannon McKenna Schmidt