We all go through travel slumps. Where we get back from one trip and have to just wait it out until we set off on our next one. There’s good news though! When I find myself in one of these slumps I like to catch up (binge) on a ton of movies! I especially like watching ones that remind me of the places I’ve been, the places I still need to go and fun and adventure that happens when on the road.
So here is my list of top 10 Travel Movies. Some of these you’ve probably heard of, others you may not have. All are worthy of a viewing.
#1 Kon Tiki
Before it was a famous party bus tour, Kon Tiki was a famous expedition. This movie is based on the true story of the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyedahlraft who sets sail from Peru to Polynesia. The raft, named Kon Tiki after the Inca sun God, was used to prove that Polynesia was settled by South Americans and not Asians like previously thought. This film wows by showing the lengths the crew go to in the name of exploration, and the struggles and tribulations they endure for over 100 days at sea, with no certainty they will make it or their raft will hold.
More and more I’ve become a fan of Woody Allen movies. He creates mesmerizing settings that transport you right into the screen. This movie takes place in the city of lights and transports you back to the 1920’s when many icons of the era lived in the city. Owen Wilson stars as a curious man who’s on holiday with his fiancee played by Rachel McAdams. At night, Wilson takes walks through the streets of Paris and is transported back in time. Watching this movie will make you feel like you are doing the same.
#3 In Bruges
I saw this movie before I had been to Bruges, and after seeing it knew that I had to go to this place. The movie is set in the quaint, picturesque town of Bruges, Belgium. Starring Colin Ferrell as a hitman who has accidentally killed a child. He and his partner are in Bruges to lay low until they get word of what to do. In the movie, they refer to the town as “something out of a fairytale”. Having been to Bruges I can vouch that it really is. And while this movie has a humourous but dark theme, I can still pretend I am wandering the streets and sipping on the delish Belgian beers each time I watch it.
Portugal has long been one of my favourite countries and this movie does an amazing job of showing the incredibleness of its capital city. The movie is about a teacher from Switzerland who saves a young woman’s life on his way to work. She leaves her coat with him and inside he discovers a book and a ticket for the night train to Lisbon. He impulsively hops on the train and sets out to discover the secretive history of the book. The movie is a tad slow but the sets are stunning and with quotes like this “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place. We stay there even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find only by going back again.” you may find yourself looking at plane tickets back to your favourite destination.
Walter Mitty has a boring life, although he’s always dreaming of living an adventurous one. Suddenly he decides to step out of his comfort zone and embark on a wild journey. This movie is a great nod to so many people that have taken the same action to follow their passions and not just talk about it, but actually live it. The scenic landscapes in Greenland and Iceland are stunning and I love the soundtrack to this film. Mostly composed by Jose Gonzolez. This movie is the essence of a feel good film.
#6 Bitter Moon
I don’t feel like many have seen this movie and certainly not everyone will love it. The story takes place on a cruise ship heading from Istanbul to India. A well-mannered couple from Britain acquaints a wheelchaired, American author and his beautiful and much younger French wife. The American begins to tell the young Englishman, played by Hugh Grant, about his romances with the young Parisian. Over the course of the cruise things become intense. This is on the travel list because it showcases a unique side of Paris through the film as well as gives a look into the character you sometimes find yourself speaking with on cruise ships!
Growing up these movies lead me to believe that travel was nothing but a massive thrill ride with treasure and a beautiful girl by your side. As much as I try to make each trip like an Indiana Jones movie, it’s just not the case. These movies are all winners though, and do a great job of putting you in the action in some of the most exotic and culturally rich places on the planet. They star suave Harrison Ford, who will always be more Indy than Han to me.
Who could forget this over the top movie about competitive beer drinking brought to us by the geniuses behind Super Troopers. In the classic tale of Americans having to be the best at things, four friends decide to go to Munich to the underworld of competitive beer drinking. This movie is hilarious, nails every cliche there is about how a country drinks beer and makes me want to get back to Germany for a stein and pretzel.
A true story of the human journey from India to Australia and back agian. This film is about a 5-year-old boy named Saroo who is separated from his older brother at a train station when he falls asleep on an empty train. When he finally gets off the train 3 days later he is 2000km away and unable to communicate in the local dialect. He eventually is sent to an orphanage and then adopted by an Australian couple. Once grown up he goes on a pilgrimage to discover what happened to his brother and family.
#10 Up In The Air
This movie is for anyone who has spent time on the road. Whether your purpose was for business or pleasure we all sometimes feel lost in the motion of travel. This witty movie stars George Coloney as someone who flies all over the place to fire people face to face. When someone suggests they cut his job and use modern technology to do the job Coloney sets out to show why his job is important but also learns about himself and what his life has been missing.
Movies To Mention
I couldn’t add it to my list because it’s just too cliche. But of course, it’s one of the greatest travel movies of all time.
Into the Wild
For the Same reason I couldn’t add The Beach. A must watch though.
What movies would you add? Let me know in the comments 🙂