Travelling to a location that you have seen countless times in films can be so exciting, and the feeling of finally being in that castle, or that street that someone famous once was can feel unreal. But some movies are beyond just one famous location and are about the inspiring choice of travelling and all the exciting possibilities that come with discovering the unknown.
INTO THE WILD (2007)
Based on a true story, the movie follows Christopher McCandless as he tries to shed his material life after graduating from college and get in touch with nature and real life. To do this he abandons all his possessions, donates his entire savings to charity and hitchhikes his way across the USA before ending up in Alaska. His life is full of random experiences and much of his story is based on second-hand accounts. His story shows the ultimate long term travel experience and how a series of characters he encountered shapes his life.
LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003)
This movie may feel slow moving and more mellow than other travel films, but it doesn't fail to inspire you about cutting loose from routine and exploring the environment you find yourself in. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johnansson play two characters who form an unlikely friendship as they discover the wonder in this strange city. It touches on the feeling of loneliness in a foreign city filled with millions of people, while also showing how funny and interesting a new country can be. Beautifully shot film about the random little experiences that present themselves while travelling.
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN (2003)
This movie may be more of a romance than a travel film, but it highlights the beautiful backdrop of the Italian countryside. Following Diane Lane's character, a writer, who impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany in order to change her life. With all the delightful wines, mouthwatering food, remote cottages and scenic rolling hills, this romantic flick will inspire you to travel to this Italian paradise.
UP IN THE AIR (2009)
Though this movie may not feature the sweeping landscapes and epic destinations of other travel movies, this one is focused on the less glamorous side of travel, airports. When travelling is for business and not pleasure it can become more of chore. The movie follows George Clooney's character who travels for work and feels at home in airports and planes. His life is constantly on the move and as he says, "moving is living." It's a movie that brings up all the mixed emotions of being a long-term traveler with a life in constant motion.
THE BEACH (2000)
No list is complete without the movie, inspired by the book of the same name, that makes everyone droll over Thailand. With a young Leonardo DiCaprio playing a backpacker who travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumors state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise and he sets out to find it, but ultimately ends up destroying it. The movie is all about finding that oasis that as travellers we dream about discovering, a place still untouched. It shows a great reflection of the hopes and then the realities of travel.
THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES (2004)
This movie is based on the memoirs of Che Guevara as he takes a motorcycle road trip in his youth before he became an iconic Latin American revolutionary. Guevara and his friend Alberto "Mial" Granado ride across South America for eight months over 14,000 kilometers. The film highlights the stunning beauty of South America but also the heartbreaking poverty of the time period. This critically acclaimed film has gone on to inspired many travellers to complete their own motorcycle adventures.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
This sweeping epic is a classic film and with it's stunning shots of the deserts make for a beautiful feast for your eyes. The film follows T.E. Lawrence, a British soldier during World World I, and his interactions with the nomadic tribes. T.E. Lawrence went on to untie the Arabian tribes against the Turks and though he may remain a controversial figure, there is no denying the epic scale of his story and the breath-taking location it is set in.
SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET (1997)
This movie is about a German mountaineer, Heinrich Harrer, and his time with the Dalai Lama. It takes place during the time of China's takeover of Tibet and shows the character journey on how his outlook changed when confronted with new experiences in a very foreign land. Though the film may not be 100% accurate it still illustrates how travel adventures can transform your life.
THE DARJEELING LIMITED (2007)
This quirky film from alternative director Wes Anderson illustrates the journey of three brothers travelling together across India by train. A year after their father's funeral, these wealthy and spoiled brothers decided to take a crazy trip to heal and bond with each other. It starts off as a disaster as they bicker and nothing seems to be going right. But these crazy experiences start to put things into perspective and they begin to overcome barriers and learn to love India. A beautifully shot film and definitely makes you want to jump on a plane to India.
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS (2011)
Though Paris may be a little over hyped these days this movie will not failed to make you fall back in love with it. The movie follows Gil, a writer on vacation with his fiancee and her family. At night he wanders the streets before stumbling back in time to a 1920s Paris with Jazz Age Icons of art and literature. It deals with the danger of nostalgia, imagining a time and place could be better than the here and now, but it also makes Paris magical. Even though it plays to all the cliches of Paris you'll eat it up and be eager for more.
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (2013)
The movie follows Walter Mitty, a guy who hates his job and has constant day-dreams of a more exciting and adventurous life. Part of his job is being the liaison between Life magazine and the mysterious photographer Sean O'Connell. When Walter ends up loosing one of Sean's photo for the last issue he goes in search of him which leads to some epic adventures. Along the way Walter breaks out of his shell, becomes more confident and starts to turn his daydreams into reality.
THE WAY (2010)
An inspiration but also emotional movie about Tom, an American doctor who travels to France to pick up the ashes of his dead son. His son died on the Camino and he walks it to finish what his son started. Along the way he's forced to make friends with complete strangers and examine his life during the 800km journey. It features a very eclectic mix of characters, all walking the path for their own personal reasons. It's an eye-opening and emotional journey but will leave you inspired to travel Spain's Camino de Santiago trail yourself.