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Movies are a great way to inspire wanderlust but if all you want to do is travel then perhaps watching movies about travel is not the way to go. We are reckless however and decided to throw caution to the wind and we rounded up our favorite travel movies to have an all out travel movie binge. Suffice to say this did not cure our wanderlust at all and merely made the list of places we want to go even longer!
So here are our favorite travel movies for curing wanderlust….or not
Midnight in Paris
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen at his finest. Alex may disagree and say Annie Hall but I think he is just in love with the character of Annie Hall. Midnight in Paris combines all that is wonderful about Paris, from walking in the rain, exploring the expat community of the 1920s, taking us back to the Belle Epoch and introducing us to characters such as Dali, The Fitzgeralds, Hemingway and Toulouse Lautrec and in essence causing us to fall in love with Paris all over again. Midnight in Paris is really a love letter to Paris and how it really is one of the greatest cities in the world. Clearly we are smitten.
The Darjeeling Limited
The Darjeeling Limited is one of my all time favorite movies and was actually my first introduction to Wes Anderson; how I missed his other movies I have no idea! The Darjeeling Limited was one of the first movies I saw that truly made me want to visit India. It is still on my list but just watching that movie makes me want to buy a ticket. It also helps that all the characters are fabulously quirky!
Charlie Countryman is not really a travel movie per se but is more of an action movie that takes place in Bucharest, Romania. It stars Shia Labeouf who, after his mother’s death, decides to follow the advice she gave him and head to Bucharest. While on the plane there he befriends Victor, a Romanian, who is returning home from visiting the USA with a gift for his daughter. From there the movie takes an interesting turn which involves Shia Labeouf, aka Charlie Countryman, getting involved with a girl, the underbelly of Bucharest life, and a bit of the crazy hostel partying. It is an interesting mix of action, violence and comedy. This movie may not be for everyone but having visited Bucharest and loved the city Alex and I definitely enjoyed this movie. We also would be more than happy to return to Bucharest after watching this, just keeping in mind to stay away from crazy ex-husbands.
Roman Holiday is probably my favorite movie ever and I am definitely one of those people who absolutely adores Audrey Hepburn. I think I actually started reading Gossip Girl because of Blair Waldorf’s love of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. But that is not the point. The point is Roman Holiday is a fantastic movie about a princess who decides to go off on an adventure in Rome since she is never allowed to have free time. Along the way she runs into Gregory Peck, a dashing American journalist, and an adventure ensues. It is a wonderfully light movie and it always makes me want to wander the streets of Rome. Fun fact there is actually a Via Margutta, just no 51 that I could find, but the streets is absolutely beautiful with dripping ivy and artists’ workshops. It is located just off Via Babuino and Fellini used to live on this street.
This movie is pure adventure. You can Ask Ashley but I love documentaries. Ashley can read all day and I can watch documentaries all day. “180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless” is one of my favorite documentaries. It follows the adventure of Jeff Johnson as he travels from Ventura, Ca and all the way down to Patagonia, Chile. He was trying to recreate the 1968 journey of Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins who took the trip in their Ford E-Series Econoline Van. Instead of going by land in a car the entire way he sails from Mexico south down the coast. His journey ends with his attempt to climb Corcovado volcano. I love this film, the entire time watching I just wanted to pack my bag and just go. It is what Ash and I live for, a must watch.
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The one gift I believe that was given to me on this earth was the power of my imagination. I’m that 24 year old who thrives in the realm of imagination. “The, Secret Life of Walter Mitty “ is about a man who dreams about being the adventurer that he admires. He only dreams but stays behind the safety of his desk. Then his whole life changes when a photo goes missing from his favorite traveler. So he throws away his insecurities and goes out searching for his lost photo. It opens his eyes and teaches him that it is more important to go out and live then it is to make a buck. This was our movie. Was it award winning? Hell no, but it got the point out that it is important to get out in the world and live! Breathe the fresh air and face the challenges of life and just be free from the constraints of everyday life. Plus now we want to go to Greenland.
Oh Up, only Pixar could have made a movie like this; heartbreakingly sad in the beginning but so incredibly uplifting at the end. Up is a movie for all ages of adventurers and will have you wishing you had a chimney so that you could sail your house to South America with balloons. If you do not like this movie than I am not sure if we can be friends.
Another one of Audrey’s movies to make the list; Funny Face is about Audrey Hepburn as an unfashionable philosopher/bookworm who is discovered by Fred Astaire and taken off to Paris to model for a women’s fashion magazine. The story is one told many times before but is accompanied by the beautiful backdrop of Paris and the songs and dances of Fred Astaire which quickly made this one of my favorite movies. Also don’t forget about the crazy philosophers and Audrey Hepburn’s dance about empathy, who wouldn’t want to be a beatnik in Paris?
Indiana Jones has inspired me since I was a little kid to explore the world and discover its ancient treasures. These movies are probably one of the main reasons I actually studied archaeology to be truthful. Every time I watch Indy go off on an adventure and defeat the Nazis I want to put on my fedora and head out to see the world. I also learned about Petra from Indiana Jones which is one of my top places to visit.
Stand By Me
I loved this movie when I was younger. It is the perfect childhood movie for a boy. The story of four young friends who go out on an adventure to look for the body of a missing dead boy. It deals with all the troubles of being a young boy. The adventure part is what drew me in. Going out into the unknown to search out what they thought might just be a wild goose chase. The idea of just going no matter what the price is what drew me into the movie.
Hobbit/ Lord of the Rings
I do not believe I need much explanation of why these movies and books make me want to get out of my seat and explore. Stories of hobbits, elves, dwarves, and Tom Bombadil(for those of you who have read the books) inspire travel in people everyday, celebrating the idea of throwing caution to the wind and taking a step out of ones comfort zone. That is what I am addicted to, I am addicted to forcing myself out of my comfort zone, being that small Hobbit and heading out into the world to face the unknown, making the unknown known and realizing how beautiful the world actually is. In a way it is kind of freeing when you don’t know what’s going to happen.
Before Alex and I had even seen Moonrise Kingdom, Alex’s parents called us to let us know we had to see the movie because the main couple reminded them of us. That is always a good start to finding a movie about travel. Well we watched Moonrise Kingdom and it was so infused with wanderlust that we just fell in love with the movie. If you have not seen Moonrise Kingdom yet please watch it; it is a quirky Wes Anderson (what else could it be with Wes Anderson involved?) film with a phenomenal cast. The whole story revolves around 2 twelve year olds, Suzy and Sam, who fall in love and run off into the wilderness together. Hilarity ensues as Suzy’s parents, played by Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, and Sam’s scoutmaster, Edward Norton, track them all over the island along with Bruce Willis, as Captain Duffy Sharp, and some of Sam’s fellow scouts, who really don’t like him. Believe me this movie will inspire you to set off into the woods with a tent and a record player and never come back.
Paris, Je T’aime
Is a movie composed of short stories that take place across the different arrondissements in Paris. Each neighborhood has its own story and is directed by a different director. I do not love all of them but there is still something magical about seeing all the different neighborhoods of Paris. My favorite one is about a teenage boy who witnesses his friends taunting all girls who walk by and instead of joining in befriends one of the young Muslim girls walking by. The whole movie is interspersed with images of Paris and really takes you on a visual tour of the city.
So there you have it, our movies to totally not at all cure wanderlust but really just increase it. If you need to take a mental vacation and cannot travel pop in one of these movies, but don’t say we didn’t warn you if you start planning your trip immediately! (most likely it will be to Paris since it seems most of the movies we love are inspired by that wonderful city)
Also check out Latitude 34’s list of 16 Movies to Inspire Travel and thank you guys for the idea to add the trailers!