7 Movies that Inspire Me to Travel:
I love to travel, I’m sure that’s clear for everyone to see. But there’s a variety of things that inspire me to go out and book a trip. Sometimes its the movies I watch, and even the food I eat in my local community. If you’ve ever watched a good movie that takes place in a foreign country and thought “I’m heading there”, I can certainly relate. I’ve watched so many amazing movies that highlight the best and sometimes even the worst of a certain country, but what I always come away with is an inspiration to visit and discover more.
1. L’auberge Espagnole
As I’m heading to Barcelona next year, my favorite will always be L’auberge Espagnole (2002). This amazingly crafted film focuses on a French graduate student who goes to Barcelona to study in the ERASMUS program. In addition to beautiful shots of the usual tourists spots of Barcelona, there’s a story of camaraderie, friendship and love that comes from the relationships developed in the apartment. Xavier the main character lives in with students from several other countries including an England, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Denmark. Several languages are spoken in the film including French and Spanish. But you won’t miss a beat from this fun sometimes sentimental film about finding your place in the world.
2. Lost in Translation
This vibrant, eccentric film takes place in and around a hotel in Tokyo, the capital of Japan. I’ve seen other movies in the past depicting media and youth culture in Tokyo, but not the way Sofia Coppola tells this endearing story. Lost in Translation (2003) centers on the relationship between Bob and Charlotte. Bob seems to be having a midlife crisis and Charlotte is looking for a purpose in life. The lives of these two Americans collide leading to some self-realization. Mix this in with some karaoke, and you have the perfect combination for an awesome movie. Japan has been on my top ten list of places to visit for some time now. My old college room-mate lives in Japan, guess its time to get my plane ticket and take her up on her offer to come.
3. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
My love affair with Barcelona continues with this sexy comedy that stars Scarlett Johansson from Lost in Translation. My love of Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) centers on its location of course, but there’s something intriguing about this movie. The story focuses on two American women who head to Barcelona for the summer. Things take a turn when they meet an artist named Juan Antonio. There are several love triangles and relationships taking place simultaneously, at times its hard to keep up. The unexpected twists of this movie will keep you on your toes and in love with Barcelona.
I discovered this movie by accident. I’m new to Netflix, so when Copenhagen (2014) came up as a suggestion, I decided to see what it was about. If you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones TV show you’ll recognize the main character William as Renly Baratheon. This unexpected, unconventional story seemed cliche until you get 40 minutes into the movie and realize there’s a twist to this story of self-discovery. Disclaimer: Keep in mind the age of consent in Denmark is 15 folks. Williams exploration of Copenhagen as he seeks to find his grandfather and ultimately himself, will make you feel as if you’re experiencing this city along with him. With breathtaking scenes of architecture and shots of the typical tourist spots, I was reminded of Gamla Stan in Stockholm and all its beauty. Worth the watch this movie will certainly have you dreaming of booking a ticket to Copenhagen.
5. Under the Tuscan Sun
As one of the first travel movies I fell in love with, I watched Under the Tuscan Sun back in (2003) when I was first out of High School. I fell in love with Italy after watching this film. The rolling landscape and the tight knit community intrigued me. I’d been used to the big city life, and Tuscany seemed like a paradise I could escape to. The story centers on Frances a recently divorced writer who decides to buy a villa and start fresh while on vacation in Italy. The story unfolds with several people coming in and out of Frances’ life. But what remained constant is her self-discovery and understanding that there are things in life she can’t change. What I’ve gained from my own travels is the ability to learn about myself and what I really value about myself and everyone around me. There is a certain level of self-awareness that occurs when you take yourself out of your everyday routine. Under the Tuscan Sun inspired me to begin this journey.
6. The Beach
At this point who hasn’t watched this movie. Thailand has been a tourist hot spot for years. The Beach (2000) is one of those movies I could watch repeatedly without getting bored. The magic of Thailand is present throughout. There’s a reason these people want to keep this hidden beach a secret, its absolutely breath-taking. The main character Richard finds himself along with some travel companions, in a dangerous situation when they encounter a group of people living on a secluded island beach. Things start to get crazy after a shark attack leaves death and betrayal. With that said the beauty of the beach begins to fade, but there’s still something special about this movie that keeps me coming back for more. In a lot of ways this movie might be cautionary tale of paradise not always being what it seems.
7. The Motorcycle Diaries
It took me awhile to sit down and watch this one, but once I did, the Motorcycle Diaries (2004) became one of my favorite travel movies. The scenery is absolutely amazing, but the story itself of Che Guevara before he became the famous Argentinian revolutionary looks at self-discovery from another perspective. Travel can inspire and uplift, but it can also open our eyes to the ills of the world. The story follows medical student Che and his friend Alberto as they head across South America from Buenos Aires looking for adventure on their way to volunteer in Peru. What they discover on their journey is something more. If you didn’t know the story of Che before, this movie will shed light on what influenced his revolutionary ideals.
Disclaimer: None of the pictures in this post are my own!
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