Travel movies are undoubtedly among the most inspirational movies you can watch. They make us want to visit the places and experience the adventures seen in them. These movies can inspire you to hit the road and possibly also change your life. There are hundreds of great travel movies that can unleash your hidden desire to see the world so settle back and escape for a while.
After his son is killed in a storm in the Pyrenees while tackling Spain’s Camino de Santiago, American doctor Thomas Avery, played by Martin Sheen, heads to France to retrieve his son’s ashes. Rather than return home, Tom decides to finish what his son started and walk the journey. The 500 mile quest forces him to make friends as he discovers that they’re all taking the walk for unique and personal reasons. The profound and emotional journey impacts him in a way he never imagined as he begins to learn why his son loved traveling so much.
This counterculture film is the tale of a search for freedom in a corrupt and conformist America. After Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Dennis Hopper) sell the cocaine they’ve smuggled from Mexico to Los Angeles, they set out to reach New Orleans in time for Mardi Gras. Touching on issues such as the hippie movement, drug use, and the communal lifestyle, Easy Rider will open your eyes to some of the tensions that plagued the United States in the 1960’s.
Based on the best-selling memoir by the same name which also tops the list of best travel books, Julia Roberts stars as Elizabeth Gilbert, a well-respected New York writer who leaves behind her miserable life to “find herself”. Her journey takes her to Italy where she enjoys the food and lifestyle, to India for meditation and prayer, and in Bali she discovers true love and inner peace. This movie will challenge you to keep your heart open and set out to find your own personal happiness instead of trying to fit into the mold of what others think your life should look like.
Based on the book by Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild documents the true story of Christopher McCandless and his journey of self-realization. Following his graduation from Emory University, McCandless cuts ties with his family, sells his possessions, and sets out on a road trip through the western United States. Adopting the moniker “Alexander Supertramp”, the movie tells the story of the people he encounters along the way and his eventual arrival near Denali National Park to live in solitude in the Alaskan wilderness. His experiences give us a great picture of how our adventures and encounters shape our lives.
Considered culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant, this classic story is based on the life of T.E. Lawrence. The autobiography of the English officer retells his Arabian adventure and his experience uniting and leading the nomadic Arab tribes during World War I. Gathering intelligence about the Arab revolt against the Turks, Lawrence reminds us that one of the greatest parts about traveling is learning about other cultures.
Recent high school grad Conner Layne catches his bride-to-be cheating and decides to ditch suburban bliss and take the next flight out. Ending up in Managua, Nicaragua, he meets a group of entertaining foreigners and decides to join them as they attempt to cross the Darien Gap in record time. Facing incredible odds along the way, the 100-mile trek between Panama and Columbia consists of a large area of undeveloped swampland and a mountainous rainforest. A great example of adventure and exploration, the movie is a beautiful reminder to take your own path on your coming of age journey.
A biopic of an early journey Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara took through South America, years before he rose to prominence as an iconic guerrilla fighter in Cuba and beyond, The Motorcycle Diaries is both a road film and coming-of-age one. It’s based mostly on Guevara’s written memoir of the actual journey, and Walter Salles directs faithfully. He structures it in inspirational form, the seeds of discovery for Guevara that would flourish into his later radicalization and political fighting. He may not be Che yet, but this film shows that he’s well on his way to getting there.
The Darjeeling Limited is a wacky film about three wealthy, spoiled brothers taking an overland train trip through India. They haven’t spoken in a year, and the trip is supposed to heal and bond them again. Initially it all goes wrong as they bicker and fight with each other. They are all suffering from depression, and pop pain killers like candy. When it seems like nothing is going right, their crazy experiences along the way finally put things into perspective. The goal of healing and rejuvenation starts to happen. They finally start to grow up and turn into men. The movie is hilarious, and beautifully shot too. It will make you want to visit India.
The Eternal City’s famous sights are the backdrop for the love story in the “Roman Holiday”. While the leads, played by Hollywood icons, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, fall for each other, we fall for all things Italy. Hepburn plays a princess in town for a goodwill tour, Peck a journalist for an American news agency who misses his big interview with HRH. When he helps a young, seemingly drunk woman one night and lets her sleep it off in his apartment, he realizes he may have the scoop of his career as the next day’s news reports say the princess has canceled her engagements due to illness. And then he puts the two together.
For those who travel a lot (or who don’t like melancholy people), this movie can be irritating. It caters to the ‘I’m traveling to find myself’ set and is very relatable to anyone who’s ever traveled some place and said, “I just don’t want to be here.” The story of two disenchanted Americans follows them to Tokyo, where they get to know each other and have a series of misadventures. But you know what? Sometimes things happen. Sometimes you find yourself in a place and you just feel lost, and you’re done trying. Then, through the magic of the universe, someone comes along, equally lost, and you get lost together, and that’s ok. Sometimes the best way to get found is by being lost, right?