Travel Culture

Published on August 15th, 2014 | by Eliza Gower


11 inspirational movies that’ll make you want to travel

Read time: a bit over 3 minutes

Lots of things make us want to travel. Food. Books. Words. Photos. Even lame travel quotes. But film has a special way of inducing sickening wanderlust.

Watching these films left us a little weak at the knees for places we’ve never been, and we thought you might like them too. And no, Eat Pray Love does not feature anywhere on this list.

Midnight in Paris

Set: Paris, France
There’s some pretty fierce competition when it comes to Paris, but Midnight in Paris kind of nails it. There’s nostaglia, bohemia, Paris by night, Paris by day, Hemingway, Marion Cotillard! All of the beauty. All of the Parisian sweet melancholy. All of the love.

Annie Hall

Set: New York, America
Neurotic TV writer meets aspiring actress/singer and escalating awkward flirtation ensues. Liberal doses of psychoanalysis, existentialism and modernism underpin the otherwise innocuous tale making it so deliciously New York that you’ll be left pining. And let’s be frank, nothing tops 70s Diane Keaton. Babetown.

Into the Wild

Set: Like, the wilderness bro
This could go one of two ways really. If you ignore the ending (which we won’t spoil), this film pretty much captures everything that is beautiful about youth, nature, human connection and adventure. And really, is there a place in this world more utterly gorgeous than Alaska?

Roman Holiday

Set: Rome, Italy
Roman Holiday. Perfectly saccharine, shamelessly romantic and shot on location in one of the most beautiful cities on earth – it’s kind of hard to top. Also, Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn on a vesper. Dreamy.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Set: South America
Two young men learn of the vast injustices and economic disparities of their homeland on a road trip across South America, and in doing so gain a unique perspective on Latin American identity.

In short, one of these dudes goes on to become the iconic Marxist guerilla revolutionary, Che Guevara. If this doesn’t make you fall in love with South America, re-invigorate your youthful ideals and inspire a jaunt abroad, nothing will.

The Rum Diary

Set: Puerto Rico
Johnny Depp, Hunter S. Thompson, Puerto Rico, debauchery. Shining with sweat, drowning in liquor, and really damn sexy, The Rum Diary perfectly captures the heady, sultry, filthy loveliness of Puerto Rico.

Warning: You may feel inclined to take to the bottle (the rum bottle specifically), smoke all of the cigars, fall in love, become a hard arse journalist and escape to the simmering streets of Puerto Rico forever after viewing this.

Before Sunrise

Set: Vienna, Austria
A dialogue-heavy cult classic that unites one of the great cinema couples of the 90s. Two fresh-faced travellers meet on a train and spontaneously jump off and spend a night wandering the cobbled streets of Vienna. If you don’t have a massive crush on Ethan Hawk and Julie Delpy, a serious desire to do something wild and unplanned, and a newfound interest in Austria after watching this, you may well be dead.

The Beach

Set: Thailand
The Beach is at once the single best and single worst thing that ever happened for Thai tourism. Phi Phi has certainly had its share of over-zealous tourism since the movie was released in 2000. Unsurprising though, it’s a pretty spectacular place. It’s a coming of age film like no other. Mostly, young Leo Dicaprio with no shirt. In abundance.

Thelma and Louise

Set: The open road
Before Thelma and Louise, road trips were just annoying, long drives. This film brought them– it redefines defiance, celebrates freedom and makes a pretty good go at re-scripting conventional gender roles. One thing’s for sure, it’ll have you wanting shake off the shackles and take to the road. Because: Adventure. Always.

Lost in Translation

Set: Tokyo, Japan
Firstly, Bill Murray. Secondly, Sofia Coppola. Thirdly, Tokyo. Fourthly, whatever, it’s a really good film. Feeling ‘lost in translation’ is a pretty universal travel experience. And this film, a little snapshot in time, so aptly captures that sensation. You’ll wind up feeling a little nostalgic for those weirdly beautiful connections you are afforded when far from home. Shout out to baby Scarlett too. Not bad for a debut.

The Darjeeling Limited

Set: Train, India
Wes Anderson meets India (and Bill Murray momentarily again). There’s sibling tension, self-discovery, Wes’ usual edge of despair and abandonment, a little bit of kook and lots of India. Step aside Slumdog Millionaire. (Or just watch that too, it’s also very good).

Inspired? Make your own story with Geckos – we’ll take you wherever in the world you want to go and back home again (if you ask nicely).

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About the Author

Writing about travel is an excellent form of torture. Excellent because, writing about travel. Torture because, writing about travel. But I can’t complain too much. I got to spend a good many years gallivanting around, eating the food, seeing the things and sleeping in odd positions. Now every time the FOMO gets too intense, I just channel my wanderlust into bad travel adjectives. SAY NO TO AZURE.

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