Since movies first hit the big screen we’ve turned to them to take us beyond our chairs, beyond our own lives and into the great beyond. As if you needed another reason to pack your suitcase and head off on an adventure, these travel movies are bound to get you in the mood for travelling.
Seven Years in Tibet
This book-turned-movie tells the inspiring story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer’s seven years in Tibet during its takeover by China. It’s just one of several books by Harrer about mountain climbing in extreme conditions, and the film may just make you want to strap on some crampons and get going. Solitude, personal challenge and some incredible scenery await you in this movie masterpiece.
After being dumped by his girlfriend, Scotty (played by Scott Mechlowicz) learns that his male German email friend is actually a hot girl and decides to head to Europe to find her. Joining him in this comedy of errors are his friends Cooper, Jamie and Jenny, all of whom enjoy a learning curve of hilarity, romance and a fair bit of absinthe in Amsterdam. Bound to inspire you to buy a ticket to Europe.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
This 2012 British comedy-drama film directed by John Madden follows the lives of a group of English retirees as they move to a retirement hotel in India. The keen hotel manager, Sonny (played by Dev Patel), is hilarious to watch as he fusses around Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and more, but the real treat is the stunning cinematography of India. Prepare to be amazed.
Into the Wild
In Sean Penn’s adaptation of Jon Krakauer’s book, this movie follows 24-year old Chris McCandless and his decision to head off into the middle of nowhere for a solo adventure that (spoiler alert!) leads to his death. Most of the movie is set in Alaska and while it’s not exactly the happiest tale, the beautiful cinematography in Into the Wild will definitely inspire you to visit this stunning state.
City of God
Set in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this is one hard-hitting movie, and it’s all in Portuguese. That said, it’s gripping from start to finish and is bound to put you in the mood for adventure in Brazil. This powerful story of crime and redemption shows the truth behind a place that even the police are afraid of, where residents are lucky if they live beyond 20.
Most travellers on the backpacker’s circuit would have seen The Beach and as a result will have rushed to Thailand, specifically Phi Phi Island. The movie features a young Leonardo DiCaprio who, after being given a not-so-secret map to a secluded island, heads off with a French couple to look for hidden paradise. The discovery of a commune involved with Thai pot farmers soon lands them all in trouble.
This Creative Commons documentary by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is shot aerially from a helicopter in more than 50 locations. It tells the story of life on this beautiful planet and shows how humans have changed the environment, and not always for the best. In spite of the problems it highlights, Home will make you want to see Canada, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Russia, Nepal, Mali, Mauritania, Spain, Iceland and more.
Indiana Jones, a fedora-wearing archaeology professor, showed us exactly how much adventure you can have when you book a holiday to a wild, foreign place. OK, so you might not be able to go as far off the beaten track as he does in this series of four movies, during which he attracts numerous dazzling women in breathtaking locations, but he'll definitely inspire you to sign up for some adrenaline-pumping activities.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy star as two strangers who meet on a train and decide to spend a romantic evening together in Vienna. With the thought that they’ll probably never see each other again, they talk all night and share more than they normally would, capturing the idea of what it means to travel, make friends with strangers and stay open to new opportunities.
Written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet with Guillaume Laurant, this whimsical movie follows 23-year-old waitress Amélie as she changes the lives of the people around her, while all the time battling her own loneliness. Guaranteed to make you yearn for Paris, you’ll fall in love not only with the cute Audrey Tautou, but also with the film's sublime setting of Montmartre.