“The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.” Into The Wild
Do you sometimes have the urge to just quit your life and go live in some corner of the world where nobody knows you and you can have a fresh start? Well, the following movies are about people doing exactly the same thing except that they actually did it and it changed their entire life. Below are some of the best movies about travel and most of the movies are based on real-life people and their journeys. It is not safe to travel the world with the pandemic still at large, but with these movies, you can quench your inner wanderlust and plan for your backpack trip once it is safe to travel again.
So, here is a list of some amazing movies about travel for all the wanderlust.
Into The Wild
This is probably one of the best movies about not just travel but movies in general. It is one of those movies that will stay with you forever after watching it. Based on the true life of Christopher McCandless, who leaves everything and hitchhikes all through Northern America to Alaska. Some of the scenes in the movie are shot in the original place where the real Christopher McCandless stayed or visited. Perhaps the most famous location is Bus142 or the magic bus, which became a pilgrimage site for fans that the Alaska government had to airlift the bus in 2020 since the pilgrimage is dangerous and sometimes fatal.
Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight
Also known as the Before Trilogy, this movie has a cult following. It features two famous movie genres romance and travel and the movie trilogy offers both. The trilogy chronicles two people in three different phases of their life each with an interval of 9 years. The first movie is set in Vienna and Austria, the second movie in Paris and the third and final movie is set in the Greek Islands. The main genre of the movie is romantic drama but anybody who watched the movie, walked through the streets of Vienna through the main protagonist and they will say otherwise.
Eat Pray Love
This book-turned-movie is one of those movies that inspire travel and happiness away from the tin and bustle of city life. The movie is about a woman’s journal of self-discovery after a difficult divorce from her husband. This movie is one of those rare movies where the movie does justice to the book or some might even argue that the movie is better than the book. The movie is based in Italy, India, and Bali and chronicles the journey of Elizabeth Gilbert as she finds the passion for food in Italy, the spiritual awakening in India and love in Bali thus the title “Eat Pray Love”
Midnight in Paris
This Woody Allen movie is a very English Literature student’s dream come true. Some might decide not to watch the movie because of Woody Allen and nobody can’t blame you for that. But if you could separate the art from the artist, this movie is one of the best movies. It is set in Paris but the protagonist journeys to 1920s Paris every evening and interacts with great literary figures. It is not the ideal travel movie but if you were wondering about Paris in the 1920s through the artistic and simple nature of Woody Allen, this movie is a must-watch for you. Although the movie is quite simple, it has a long-lasting effect on the viewers.
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty works in the office of Life Magazine. Considered a mediocre himself, Mitty escapes the present, living in the fantasies created inside his head. His hopes of becoming a confident, assertive, strong individual remain nothing but a daydream. But things take an interesting turn when Mitty finds himself on a journey that’s about to transform his life forever. His search for a missing negative from a roll of film sent by photojournalist Sean O’Connell (Penn), turns out to be a comic adventure of realizations and transformation. The journey becomes all bizarre and leads him on a continent-hopping trail that involves rides with a drunken chopper pilot (Ólafsson) in Greenland, dodging an erupting volcano in Iceland, and more.
This is a story of finding one’s inner self and potential through a journey of fun and chaos. Originally written by James Thurber, Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a short story published in 1939.
The Motorcycle Diaries
Hailed as one of the classics in road movies, The Motorcycle Diaries is a biopic- a journey of self-discovery embarked by Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, essayed by Gael García Bernal and his friend Alberto Granado by Rodrigo de la Serna. The 8,000-mile-long trip started on a motorcycle and later to raft, truck, and foot, from Argentina to Peru. The captivating visuals in The Motor Cycle Diaries stand as a counterpoint to the ugliness of the human condition. The human misery that he had seen in the journey is what sowed the seeds of change in the heart of Che. Ernesto’s eyes opened to a reality that would have passed him by had he remained in Buenos Aires.
On the Road
The movie chronicles the life of Sal Paradise on road – the numerous travels across America, often in the company of his friend Dean Moriarty, essayed by Garrett Hedlund. Jazz, love, rebellion, drugs are present all through the narrative, but central to it is the road. It is brave and honest. The story goes that Kerouac typed the words over three uninterrupted weeks onto a 120ft scroll of paper, fuelled by Benzedrine and strong coffee. The haste is evident in the narrative. The world has changed a great deal in the last 60 years. But certain things haven’t. This could be one reason why the movie transcends generations. The writing doesn’t sound dated because it is eventually featuring a quest for liberation, the hunger for peace, freedom, and rebellion- which are still concerns of our day. ⠀
The road is not always an answer. One need not always drift away from grief. Yet, sometimes, we have to lose ourselves to find and be found.
Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland is the story of Fern who is widowed and out of work. But as she declares early on in the film, she is not homeless, just houseless. Fern lives in the memories of what was loved and lost. She holds onto souvenirs of the past. She hopes the road can heal her brokenness, but first, she has to let go.
Forced to move out of the wiped-out town, Fern now travels and lives in a van. She picks up temporary gigs at the amazon facility and slowly gets accustomed to nomadic life. Though Fern is offered the comforts of a house by her friends and family, she refuses to settle down. The cramped van offers her gratification that the spacious guest bedrooms can’t.
Unlike the typical road movies, Nomadland doesn’t romanticize ‘houselessness’. It shows how the journey can be isolating. It also suggests that freedom comes at the cost of pain and insecurities. The contradictions are visible in the visual treatment– vast landscapes pitted against cramped vans.