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What We’re Reading: 7 Stories You Won’t Want to Miss This Week

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Let’s Get Lost,” Medium
Rebecca Flint Marx reflects on the great American road trip and the desire to get lost—happily, it’s still quite possible. —Davina Baum

Jeffrey Deaver on Bathrooms Around the World,” The Wall Street Journal
I arrived in New York City today, checked into my hotel, and had an alarming experience when I used the toilet in my bathroom. The toilet seat felt like it was on fire. Nothing I could do seemed to lower the temperature. Now, I suppose a toasty toilet seat should be the least of my worries. During my travels throughout India I was horrified by the lack of toilet seats (or toilets, or any manner of restrooms for that manner). But the experience did make me appreciate Jeffery Deaver’s obsession with bathrooms around the world. Read more from his piece for Off Duty about high-tech toilets, luxe lavatories, and holes in the ground. —Jen Murphy 

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Rich Tourist, Poor Tourist,” The New York Times
Tony Perrottet, author of The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe, contemplates the highs and lows of luxury and populist travel through the ages, from first-century philosopher Seneca through Lord Randolph Churchill to today’s ‘one percenters’ planning to venture into space on Virgin Galactic. “The economic gulf between travelers is part of a great tradition,” he writes, raising the issue of who (among the 3.5 percent of Earthlings who get to travel internationally at all) is really having all the fun. —Derk Richardson 

My Year Without A ‘Real’ Job,” LandLopers
Many of us may dream of quitting our day jobs to travel the world, but few ever make the leap. Though AFAR Ambassador Matt Long’s decision to do just that wasn’t initially intentional, he’s more than made the most of it, turning his passion into his career. —Kim Fortson 

Is This The World’s Best Music Festival?” Roads and Kingdoms
My summers revolve around two things: the beach and music. My summer concert line up has so far entailed Bottle Rock, Napa and in the future includes Governors Ball on Randalls Island, NY, Bonnaroo in Tennessee, and Outside Lands in San Francisco. But Matt Goulding, of Roads & Kingdoms, pens a piece this week that makes me believe I may have missed the summer’s (world’s?) best music festival. I guess I’d better buy tickets for next year. —Jen Murphy 

It Takes a Writer to Know a Writer,” San Francisco magazine
I enjoyed the feature experiment that appeared in the June issue of San Francisco magazine. The mission: to pair 15 Bay Area writers with their local literary crushes, send them on blind dates, and publish the experiences. The result is more than a dozen spirited profiles that take readers to such Bay Area venues as a San Francisco IHOP and the softball practice of Michael Lewis’s daughter in Berkeley. It all begins with Michael Chabon in Oakland, or “Brokeland.” —Serena Renner

12 Things We’ve Enhanced With Caffeine,” Mental Floss
As one who turns on the coffee pot even before hopping in the shower, I’m appreciative of a good morning jolt—but these caffeinated products, which range from toothbrushes to beef jerky to underwear—take the buzz a little too far. —Kim Fortson 

Photo by Tara Guertin/AFAR

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