We have to get our travel inspiration from somewhere. Books, movies, blogs, photographs, hearing a friend’s travel stories. It all feeds into a big, swirling mass of inspiration and travel energy which moves through you and helps you click the ‘book now’ button on your computer screen. Nek minnit… one way ticket to Paris! (Yes, that really did happen to me in 2008.)
Movies have inspired a lot of my travel decisions, sometimes it’s seeing a city on the big screen that makes me want to be there. Other times it’s a vibe or sense of inspiration and freedom that comes from watching a movie, I’ve been known to walk out of the cinema and start planning my next big trip straight away.
Regardless of where the inspiration comes from, it’s always a good thing to go abroad, see somewhere new and experience the world. Today I thought I’d compile a list of the best travel inspiring movies! What movies have inspired you to travel?
1. Into The Wild
The number one ‘burn all your money and be free’ movie of all time. At least once a year I have an existential crisis and decide I’m leaving all my material possessions behind to go and live in Alaska. This movie is inspirational, relatable, sad and beautiful. The scenery and the soundtrack are life changing.
2. Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Albeit a little strange at times, this movie will make you want to buy a skateboard and rip around Iceland. If it doesn’t, you need to see a doctor because your heart fell out and you need a new one. This movie has a great sense of adventure, freedom and listening to who you really are and what makes you happy.
3. The Beach
I watched this movie in Thailand and was sufficiently freaked out for the rest of my time there. The setting for the film is jaw-droppingly beautiful, it’ll make you want to move to Thailand and spend your days rolling around in white sand and swimming in clear blue water.
4. Eat, Pray, Love
Oh, Julia. There’s so much greatness about Eat, Pray, Love. From the mouth-watering food and rich history of Italy and the buzzing, spiritual, overwhelming beauty of India to the earthy, lush, all-encompassing richness of Bali. The film will make you want to pack up and move to at least one of the cities featured in it.
5. Lost in Translation
Slightly weird at times, but that’s what’s so great about it. Lost in Translation is awkward, funny and shows you the cool, crazy side of Tokyo. It’s particularly fun to watch this movie if you’re just about to go to Japan, it’ll get you amped up for it. If you haven’t thought about going to Japan, this will seal the deal for you.
6. The Darjeeling Limited
A beautiful, funny, twisted movie that will inspire you to take a long train ride across stunning India. This movie is not only beautifully shot, it has a great vibe to it and leaves you with a sense of freedom and adventure.
Adventure is out there! Not just a movie for kids, Up! will inspire you to follow your heart and take a chance on your dreams. If you’ve been thinking about traveling and need a little kick in the rear to make you book something, this movie can help.
8. The Hangover
You may not want to have shots on the roof of a hotel and avoid Mike Tyson at all costs after you watch it, but The Hangover will still inspire you to go and party in Las Vegas!
9. The Motorcycle Diaries
The mother of all self-discovery road trips, The Motorcycle Diaries will make you want to buy a motorcycle and trek across South America. Based on the written memoir by Ernesto (Che) Guevara it will inspire a sense of freedom and self-discovery.
A really funny movie set in California about two middle-aged men on a week-long road trip to Santa Barbara Wine Country. It’ll inspire you to listen to all your lifelong dreams and rediscover the fun, carefree side of life, it’ll also make you laugh a lot.
11. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
A simple, sweet movie that will make you want to explore the colorful cities of India and get to know the kind, friendly locals too. It’s a film about love, challenging yourself, taking risks and finding your happiness.
12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The way this movie is shot is incredible, it’s so detailed and the scenery is amazing. The film makes you think about the expectations and limits we place on ourselves and the freedom we really crave. If ever a movie would inspire you to visit China and see its rich history, this is it.
13. The Endless Summer
Classic surfing vid! Okay, so maybe it’s not the type of movie you sit down to and expect to be wowed by, but it is a beautifully simple movie that’ll inspire thoughts of perfect beaches, warm sun and a life less complicated.
14. Life of Pi
You probably won’t want to anywhere near a tiger and/or a boat for a very long time after watching it, but this incredibly shot movie will make you want to see the world. It’s inspiring, courageous and adventurous and has a way of making you feel like none of the little things matter.
15. Slumdog Millionaire
There’s a gambit of emotions that come with watching Slumdog Millionaire, it’s funny, sad, happy and brave. It’ll inspire you to value what you have, seek out what you don’t and chase after what you want most. It will also make you crave a trip to India.
16. When Harry Met Sally
Ah yes, the classic American film which drives thousands of people to Katz’s Deli each year to see where ‘that’ famous scene was filmed. What I love about this movie is how many little pieces of New York you pick up along the way, you slowly fall in love with the place as the movie progresses.
17. Under the Tuscan Sun
A sweet, simple movie that will definitely make you want to go to Italy. It will also make you want to eat lots of pasta, buy a house there and fall madly in love with a gorgeous Italian. That doesn’t bad, huh!?
18. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
In the mood for a trip to Spain? Vicky Cristina Barcelona will inspire you to take a wild trip to Europe and meet a very handsome man and his crazy ex. It’s a funny, crazy, beautiful movie that will make you fall in love with Barcelona.
19. Seven Years in Tibet
Oh goodness, Mr Pitt. This movie has beautiful scenery and makes you want to take up mountain climbing or become an official full-time explorer. The movie is shot so well, although I doubt it was hard to do when the landscape is as beautiful as Tibet and the Himalayas.
Mmmm chocolate and Johnny Depp, this movie has it all!
Phoebe Lee is a writer, award-winning blogger and travel lover sharing helpful travel tips, insight and reviews for regular people. Follow her adventures at home and around the world, right here on Little Grey Box and on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.