I love a good movie, the way it can transport you to a different time and place, the way it can evoke emotions and inspiration you didn’t know were in you. I’m fascinated by the cinematic value of story-telling in on-screen films, and I often feel that a good movie can help point you in the right direction. For me, the movies that hit home the hardest are travel and wanderlust movies. I remember when I was in college and I had all these plans laid out for my life and all the things I needed and wanted to accomplish. Then I watched Eat Pray Love and it not only struck a cord, it rocked the foundation of what I thought I wanted for my life. I remember telling my friend, ‘I just want to travel the world like the woman in Eat Pray Love, but I cant.’ She said simply, ‘Why not?’ It took me awhile to come to terms with the idea that I too could have those adventures, but I’m finally there and I’m having all those adventures I always dreamed of. And to this day, I will re-watch that movie at least once per month. It just gives me goosebumps to see her travel and go on adventures and take the risk of going out there to discover the world and herself. I know we would all be better off if we took that risk. So if you’re in need of a boost of inspiration and wanderlust for travel, check out my favorite wanderlust movies!
My Favorite Wanderlust Movies
As I said above, I can’t get enough of this movie. And in fact, this is one of the instances where I feel the movie is far better than the book. While the book gets a bit wrapped up in the personal details of the woman’s journey, the movie translates the story into an incredibly relatable and inspiring tale of travel and self-discovery. I urge everyone to watch this movie (at least once!).
I love that the lead character in this movie is a straight-edge white-bread kind of guy who is thrown into a life of adventure. And he totally resists it but by the end of the movie he has gone on some insane adventures and is completely changed because of it. If ever you had a doubt that travel can change you, watch this!
This moody little Woody Allen movie makes me long for Paris, for the idyllic Paris that we all dream about but can’t actually experience. He does such a lovely job of capturing the charm of Paris throughout the ages, and yet we as viewers are kept grounded by Owen Wilson’s goofy character, based in the present time. When you’re dreaming of Paris, watch this (and listen to this!).
You probably won’t find this movie on any other top travel or wanderlust movies list. It’s the story of the brave photojournalists who put themselves in the middle of the apartheid in South Africa, in order to capture the truth of what was going on and to bring the war into the public eye around the globe. For me, this movie inspired me go somewhere different and unconventional, as well as to consider a path in life that doesn’t include a cubicle but rather a constant adventure. It’s not your normal travel movie but it is fantastically well-done, and I highly recommend it.
I don’t think we could ever have enough movies about Paris! This is one of my favorites because it’s told from such a different perspective, that you not only appreciate the city from the eyes of a little rat, but also the inner workings of the culinary world. I think the music in the movie also puts it over the top, and I would watch this again and again!
Frances Mayes’ popular book was made into an even more popular movie, and I would recommend both! This woman is living every woman’s dream when she drops everything to buy a villa in the Tuscan countryside and create a new life for herself there. The scenery and Italian lifestyle are irresistible. Be prepared to crave a trip to Italy after watching this!
In another feat of quirky Woody Allen movie success, this film transports you to Rome as you follow the journey of four different people. From the ordinary to the extraordinary to the nostalgic and romantic, this movie brings to life everything we love about Rome. And the scenes are shot in such famous locations as the Colosseum, which will make you long to visit for yourself!
This is the definition of a classic! I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but it begs to be watched again. Start dreaming about the Austrian countryside as you follow the von Trapp family around. I can almost hear it now… the hills are alive, with the sound of music!
Nothing makes me crave a trip to New York City more than watching Sex & The City! These girls are living the dream of every girl who has ever wanted to find big love in the big city. I watch the tv series over and over again, but the movie is great too and even brings us to beautiful Mexico as well!
10. The Bucket List
It’s movies like this that make me feel an urgency to travel right now! In this movie, two older men are short on days when a trip to the hospital unveils the severity of their respective medical conditions. They meet in the hospital and then decide to go and do all the things they always wanted to do, the things on their bucket list. Don’t wait until you’re their age to chase your dreams and travel the world. Watch this and be inspired to go travel now!
Thinking about it, I may actually need to do a wanderlust movie marathon and re-watch all of these again. Who’s with me?! These are all such good movies to inspire you to travel, and I hope you take this inspiration to heart. What other movies make you long to travel? What are your favorite wanderlust movies?
Don’t forget to check out my recommendations for the best wanderlust books as well!
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