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10 Travel Inspired Movies to Ignite Your Wanderlust

10 Travel Inspired Movies to Ignite Your Wanderlust

May 20, 2020

While travelling is off the cards for most people you can still be inspired by the world through cinema. 

There are countless travel-inspired movies that show off the beauty of the world while telling truly incredible stories.

Here is a round-up of 10 travel-inspired movies to keep your wanderlust alive!

1. Into the Wild

Into the Wild is a classic travel movie that is based on a true story. It is about a disillusioned college student, Christopher, who breaks free from society.

He leaves all of his possession behind and sets out for Alaska. Along the way, he meets many people and has incredible adventures that shape his journey.

This movie teaches us that life and travelling are not about what we carry on our backs but the experiences and the people we meet as “happiness is only real when shared”. Experiences are what shapes us, whether they are good or bad.

Into the Wild will motivate you to drop everything and set off on an epic adventure of self-discovery.

travel movies

2. The Beach

If South East Asia is on your list then The Beach is a must-watch movie.

The Beach is adapted from Alex Garland’s 2006 novel. The Beach tells the story of Richard, played by Leonardo Di Caprio, who arrives in Thailand seeking adventure.

Through some mishaps in a dungy hostel in Bangkok, he finds a secret map to a mystical island. This island is home to a community of breakaway travellers. It then becomes his mission to find this utopia with a french couple he befriends.

When they finally arrive, they realise there is a price to pay for living in paradise. The Beach is a captivating movie full of suspense, danger, romance and beautiful nature.

Maya Bay in Thailand is famously where this movie was shot. Since the movie's release, Maya Bay experienced over-tourism as a result and had to be closed.

The Beach strikes a chord with most travellers, even if their adventures are a bit less extreme. It draws on your craving to find a paradise that is so different from where we come from.

It is about idyllic nature, adventure, connecting with your tribe and doing things that are a bit crazy!

travel movies

3. In Bruges

In Bruges is not about travelling but it is guaranteed to make you want to drop everything and visit the small Belgium town of Bruges.

This film is a dark comedy starring Colin Farrell. It is about two Irish hitmen who are in hiding in Bruges. Bruges is the most well-preserved medieval city in Belgium and a hotspot for tourists. But for the Irish hitmen hiding here, it is less than ideal. 

The pair find themselves in weird and at times violent encounters with locals and tourists. There is also some romance sprinkled in there.

The city provides a picturesque backdrop with the medieval streets and canals creating a fairytale feel. Despite the harshness of the plot, it is an excellent film which will make a trip to Bruges even more special.

Bruges is full of character, charm and tranquillity. Not to mention the beer, chocolate and waffles, making this the perfect European escape.

travel movies

4. A Map for Saturday

A Map for Saturday is a must-watch documentary for anyone who loves long term travel.

Brook Silva-Braga quits his New York city job with HBO and heads off on a year-long adventure around the world, with his camera in tow. He hits 26 countries and 4 continents, making this documentary along the way.

The barebones production creates an intimate window into what it’s really like to travel long term. The film portrays moments of stark loneliness to personal revelations. Over the course of the year, Brook meets dozens of solo travellers who help to tell his travel story that they are a part of.

The film takes your from Australia to Nepal with Vietnam, India, Belgium and so much more in between.

Brook finds a hidden world of long-term solo travellers who have created a life of joy, freedom and adventure.

5. Eat Pray Love

Eat Pray Love is perhaps one of the most popular travel movies ever made. Liz, played by Julia Robers, has everything a modern woman is supposed to dream of. However, she has a sudden realisation that she doesn’t want any of it. She ends her marriage and decides to take a risk and set off on a journey of self-discovery.

Her journey takes her to Italy where she finds true pleasure indulging in Italian food. Next, she discovers the power of devotion and prayer living in an ashram in India. Her journey ends in Bali where she finally finds a sense of inner peace and love.

This movie is inspiring for anyone who is feeling lost in their life and wants to go on a soul searching journey. 

travel movies

6. The Bucket List

The Bucketlist is a real tearjerker. Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman star as two terminally ill cancer patients who decide to live their last days on earth to the fullest. 

The pair find themselves sharing a hospital room. Gradually they both find out they each have a long list of bucket list goals they want to accomplish. Ticking off items on their bucket list cannot be done from the confines of a hospital bed so they decide to escape.

The checklist they devised together includes playing poker in Monte Carlo, eating copious amounts of caviar, racing the fastest cars in the world, seeing the Taj Mahal and so much more. The movie takes you on their journey to try and fit a lifetime of experience into their last remaining days on earth, all while forging an unlikely but remarkable friendship.

This movie is a beautiful reminder that life is short and you shouldn’t put off your dreams until it is too late. So get out there and see the world!

7. Wild

Wild is about Cheryl, played by Reese Witherspoon, who has lost all hope after a divorce and the death of her mother. 

After years of destructive behaviour and drug addiction, she makes a rash decision to hike the 1,100 mile Pacific Crest Trail alone.

Wild powerfully captures the hardships and pleasures of one strong woman forging ahead on a journey against all the odds. Cheryl’s journey forces her to overcome many physical and mental barriers as she traverses challenging landscapes. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail maddens, strengthens and ultimately heals her.

This movie will inspire you to take on a challenge head first to bring your life back together and improve your state of mind.

8. The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited, by Wes Anderson, is an emotional comedy about three estranged brothers. After their father’s death, they decide to take an overland train across India in an attempt to bond with each other.

They are faced with many barriers to overcome personally and as brothers, not to mention the struggles that come with travelling in India. 

As things seem to be hitting rock bottom, they begin to find perspective and start to heal themselves and their relationships.

The Darjeeling Limited has excellent cinematography and provides plenty of laughs. After watching you will want to hop on the next flight to India for an adventure of your own!

9. 180 Degrees South

180 Degrees South is a documentary about Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, the founders of the famous outdoor brand Patagonia. 

The film retraces the pair's steps on their expedition in 1968 from California to Chile overland. The movie mixes original home video footage, interviews with Yvon and Doug and new footage from Jeff Johnson who follows in their footsteps.

Jeff emulates their adventure by exploring the rugged landscapes that inspired the duo to start their own ethical outerwear brand. 

180 Degrees South captures the great spirit of adventure while telling the story of one of the most recognisable brands in the world.

travel movies

10. Seven Years in Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet, starring Brad Pitt, is a biographical war drama based on the true story of Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrier. The film tells the story of his experiences living in Tibet during World War II.

Heinrich leaves his pregnant wife to set off a mountaineering adventure in the Kashmir region of India. During this time World War II begins. As a result of his German citizenship, he becomes a prisoner of war and is placed in a British camp where he stays for 5 years.

In 1944 Henrich escapes the prison and crosses the border into Tibet on foot. He eventually takes refuge in the holy city of Lhasa, where the young Dalai Lama lives.

During the seven years that Heinrich lives in Tibet, he becomes a tutor and close friend of the Dalai Lama. He helps to guide him through the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

This emotional movie tells a beautiful story of heartbreak, danger, adventure and the most unlikely of friendships.

This movie will inspire you to discover the history of the Tibetan people and have you dreaming of the awe-inspiring Himalayas. While Tibet isn’t the easiest country to travel to, it is possible with special permissions. 

You can experience Tibetan culture by travelling to Dharamsala in India. This is where the Dalai Lama has lived as a refugee since China’s invasion with thousands of other Tibetans.

travel movies

Get Streaming!

Even if you are stuck within your home country’s borders, the magic of these travel movies will keep your travelling spirit alive.

Off The Map Jewellery has a wide range of unique and high-quality sterling silver and gold travel-inspired jewellery to take with you on your next adventure.

The selection includes pendants, rings, bracelets, keyrings and backpack tags to take along with you for luck and good fortune. 



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