I have travel on the mind. Maybe it’s the call of the wild, or the open road. Maybe it’s the boring city. Maybe it’s the fact that I was born a wanderer. My daddy used to tell me I was left on the doorstep by gypsies, and I am starting to think that he was telling the truth. Here are the best, and some of my favorite movies about travel, and a few that inspire travel as well. Be it adventure, romance or crime – movies about travel take you places.
“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton
- Lost in America – My inspiration. I saw this movie when I was 11 years old and I think it had a big impact on me. A husband and wife in their 30s decide to quit their jobs, live as free spirits and cruise America in a Winnebago. Of course it doesn’t all go as planned, but it still tops the list of travel films. Did I mention that it stars Albert Brooks and it is hilarious? If you are a fan of laughing, then this movie is for you.
- The Brothers Bloom – I love this movie. And not just because it showcases Prague. Okay, that’s a big portion of it. But the movie is really fun. The film is about hot con men trying to make the last big con on a equally hot con woman. The con movie that takes place in beautiful European cities – It’s a fun ride to take.
- The Motorcycle Diaries – Che Guevara decided to travel via motorcycle to figure out this crazy thing called life. This movie is a lesson in taking risks. If you don’t risk anything, you won’t gain anything. Che gets sick, starves, and even a few brushes with death, but he keeps on truckin’.
- Thelma & Louise – Just two ladies and the open road. And a few cops. And a dead rapist, a lousy husband, and a shirtless cowboy played by Brad Pitt. Let’s keep going…
- A Map For Saturday – This movie is the closest thing I have to tell you the way I feel about traveling. It’s a lifestyle. And when you come “home” after being away it can feel like a prison.
- Darjeeling Limited – A family road trip – Wes Anderson style. They are supposed to take this trip to heal as a family, and as brothers. They bicker, fight and make up just the way real siblings do. This movie will make you happy and want to travel to India. Great scenery, and do I even have to mention the outstanding soundtrack?
- Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Every girl dreams about traveling to a beautiful foreign country and meeting a handsom stranger. That’s what this movie is about. Except that the handsome stranger has a crazy ex wife and he sleeps with your best friend. Actually, that sounds about right for living abroad. This movie reminds me why I loved living in Europe.
- Encounters at the End of the World – Werner Herzog is a gifted and talented film maker. He is also brilliant. He is also crazy. All of these things make his films engrossing and entirely entertaining. This movie is like traveling to another planet with Werner Herzog narrating the trip for you. Awesome. Here, check out Mr. Herzog talking about chickens. It is one of my favorite things. Ever.
- UP! – The major theme in this awesome animated movie is – it’s never too late for adventure. Until it is. I was balling after the first twenty minutes of this movie. But I recovered to find a sweet movie about the big, wide world just waiting to be explored by a true adventurer… like you!
- Under the Tuscan Sun – Ok. So it isn’t the best movie, but it does a great job of showing what it is like to just up and move to another country. It’s a little cheesy, but you don’t mind too much because the scenery is so amazing. Another movie with the theme “it’s never too late to live your dream”.
- Revolutionary Road – A cautionary tale for those with an adventurous spirit. The depressing as shit movie centers around a couple who seem to have it all. But underneath the great job and the perfect house is simmering resentment, fear and jealousy. The couple dreamed of moving to Paris and living their life differently. Instead, they folded under pressure and suffer for it. This movie is like watching my worst nightmare
- L’auberge Espangnole (The Spanish Apartment) – Anyone who has ever lived abroad and had to find flatmates can relate to this movie. It’s funny and sweet and awkward – just like a new flatmate. It shows how opening your eyes to the world, other cultures, and other people is a life changing experience.
- The Endless Summer – The first and best surf movie around. It’s simple: Two surfers travel the world in search of the perfect wave. I don’t see anything wrong with that.
- The Beach – The opposite end of my worst nightmare: Traveling to an island that is awesome until you find out it is inhabited by psycho killer cult freaks. Both the book and the movie are fun for folks who like exotic locations – the book is better than the film, but the film is still a good time.
- The Way – A Hollywood father and son team up to make a heart tugging father son adventure film. Dad (played by Martin Sheen) heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the “El camino de Santiago”. He then decides to take the pilgrimage himself. The film is directed by the other star of the movie Emilio Estevez.
- An Idiot Abroad (Television show – stream it online free or Netflix) – This is quite possibly the best travel show ever made. “Karl Pilkington has led a sheltered life. Not having done any traveling, he enjoys living within the comforts of what he knows, basically that being what is purely British. As such, his friends, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, decide to send Karl to various parts of the world to experience unfamiliar cultures. Stephen believes that travel is a life broadening venture, and hopes that Karl will indeed feel like his life is enriched by these travels.” Of course he is not as open as one might hope. It is a hilarious show.