When you feel trapped in your own country, one surefire way to satisfy your wanderlust can be to watch a film from the list of "top travel movies" to inspire you and help you plan your next trip.
However, disappointment comes more often than enlightenment. For instance, if you're a Belgian citizen, you may not consider "In Bruges" as a travel movie. Yet, it is a good film set in Bruges that has become a factor in making many people dream of visiting the city.
But then again, wouldn't most movies set in New York also qualify as travel movies since there's always someone who wants to visit the Big Apple? In most people's opinion, simply taking place in a particular city doesn't make a film a travel movie. This approach is wrong.
Answer yourself, what movie makes you want to travel? It doesn't have to be a movie about a trip to a tropical desert island. It is quite possible that you have felt an irresistible urge to travel somehwere after watching a film where the characters simply walk around a city. With this in mind, here is our selection of the best travel films.
#1 Into the Wild (2007)
The basic core of a person's living spirit is their passion for adventure. The joy of life stems from encounters with new experiences, creating an ever-changing horizon with a new sun each day.
This famous quote by Christopher McCandless, portrayed by Emile Hirsch, an adventurous young graduate who relinquishes all possessions to hitchhike to Alaska, signifies his attempt to escape the rat race. Throughout his journey, he undergoes transformative encounters that shape his character. The movie is adorned with captivating music by Eddie Ved.
#2 The Bucket List (2007)
Two terminally ill men, portrayed by Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, find themselves faced with a mere six months to live. In a bid to live life to the fullest, they embark on a journey to tick off their bucket list, filled with all the things they've never experienced before. This adventure takes them to various countries, including France, India, China, Tanzania, and Nepal, where they embark on the wildest of escapades.
The movie imparts valuable life lessons that remain shrouded in secrecy. The casting of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson was no coincidence; they together create a mesmerizing duo on the screen, providing an absolute delight for viewers.
#3 Lion (2016)
Saroo, portrayed by Dev Patel (known for his role in Slumdog Millionaire), experiences the heart-wrenching separation from his family at the tender age of five. Fortunately, he finds solace in his adoption by a compassionate Australian couple, played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. However, as 25 years pass, Saroo embarks on a poignant journey back to his homeland, India, in an unwavering quest to reunite with his birth parents. This incredible tale, inspired by true events, evokes a heartfelt connection that may even bring a tear to the eyes of those who watch.
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#4 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Walter Mitty, played by Ben Stiller, has an ordinary job at Life magazine. But his days are no longer dull as he weaves heroic daydreams and yearns for adventure. However, when a film negative mysteriously vanishes, Walter is compelled to leave his comfort zone and set off on an exhilarating quest.
From remote locations like Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan, this extraordinary journey becomes a turning point in Walter's life. He undergoes a remarkable personal transformation, trading his daydreams for actual escapades, and emerges as a more self-assured individual.
#5 The Way (2010)
A father, portrayed by Martin Sheen, embarks on a journey to France to repatriate the body of his estranged son, who is played by Emilio Estevez. The son had passed away while undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Determined to honor his son's memory and gain a deeper understanding of him, the father decides to venture on the pilgrimage himself. Along the way, he encounters breathtaking landscapes and a diverse cast of charming characters.
Here's an interesting fact you might not know: Emilio Estevez is actually Martin Sheen's son in real life, despite not sharing the same last name.
#6 Tracks (2013)
Australian woman, Robyn Davidson (portrayed by Mia Wasikowska), embarks on a remarkable journey of solitude across the desert. With only her loyal canine companion and four camels, she traverses from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Based on a true story, this film captures the incredible resilience of a woman traveling alone under the most challenging circumstances.
#7 The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, portrayed by Gael Garcia Bernal, embarks on an unforgettable road trip across South America. Accompanied by his friend Alberto Granado, played by Rodrigo de la Serna, they encounter extraordinary adventures that shape their perspectives.
This film takes you on a captivating journey featuring stunning landscapes and the insatiable hunger for adventure demonstrated by remarkable actors. It's impossible not to dream about backpacking through South America after watching this one-of-a-kind movie.
#8 4L (2019)
Two lifelong friends, Jean Reno and Hovik Keuchkerian from La Casa de Papel, embark on an adventure to reunite with a dying friend in Mali, crossing the vast Sahara desert. Joining them on this journey is their friend's estranged daughter. As they make their way, they fondly reminisce about the unforgettable trips they took together in the 1980s, crossing the African continent and eventually selling the very cars they used. This captivating road trip movie is an absolute must-see experience.
#9 A Walk in the Woods (2015)
Bill Bryson (played by Robert Redford), an author seeking solace, embarks on a friendly adventure by hiking the renowned Appalachian Trail. Accompanied by his old friend, Katz, they traverse the extraordinary 3500km stretch from Georgia to Maine, crossing 14 states along the picturesque east coast of the United States. This delightful movie captivates with its humor and scenic beauty, inspiring viewers to embark on their own thrilling adventures.
#10 Wild (2014)
Cheryl Strayed, portrayed by Reese Witherspoon, embarks on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery as she hikes along the 1760 km-long Pacific Crest Trail. Throughout her trek, she encounters a range of challenges commonly faced by travelers, from the pitfalls of overpacking to encounters with peculiar strangers. The film captures stunning natural vistas that are sure to inspire even the most adventurous souls to embark on their own daring exploits.
No matter how many times you watch them, these road trip movies and shows never lose their charm. Not only do they take us on remarkable adventures with captivating characters, but they also teach valuable lessons about life, love, and resilience. So grab some popcorn and settle in for an unforgettable cinematic experience! Happy viewing!