So here we are – in an indefinite lockdown as the Coronavirus pandemic wrecks everything in its path. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had a few trips cancelled thanks to global travel bans and grounded planes. And although it’s frustrating and a bit of a headache to seek refunds and what not, I’m trying to keep positive and travel in other ways.
Now although I’m not an avid film watcher, there are a handful of films I can watch again..and again..and again. And any guesses why? Well, of course – they inspire wanderlust and make me seriously excited to get back out exploring the world.
So here are my absolute favourite 5 films to inspire wanderlust. I recommend watching all of these for a weekly dose of escapism!
Up in the Air
Honestly, this epic film doesn’t often make it into peoples’ top movie choices.
But it has George Clooney in the main role as an airline points obsessive who travels the world for work. He’s a neat freak, ultra-organised, pedantic, bossy, and a slight recluse with a greater interest in airline loyalty, perks and points than finding love and companionship. I see a few similarities between myself and him, except for the latter point. The film does actually ends up being a love story.. of course.
This film makes me miss airports and all the processes that make up the travelling experience. I feel a strange affinity with George Clooney’s character, probably because of his love for airports!
In fact, every time I go through security now, I imagine myself being as efficient and methodical as George Clooney in this film. I stand there smiling to myself, every time!
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
The first time I watched this was on a plane, and I chose it to cheer myself up, thinking it was a comedy. Which it is… but it also got me ever so teary! I was sobbing hard at 34,000ft.
I love how this movie is filmed in 4 different global locations, but beautifully weaves an intricate story of friendship, loyalty, love, loss and mental health into a heartwarming tale.
A large part of the film is based in beautiful Santorini, Greece. Never have I wanted to immerse myself in local island life more than after watching this film. It was something about the romantic scenes, the market and the way the sun lit up the white washed walls and the sparkling blue sea. I finally made it to Santorini last year and you can read my detailed guide to visiting this island here!
Eat Pray Love
Well, this film often makes it onto lists of wanderlust inspiring movies.
It’s the quintessential rom-com, set in three destinations: Bali, Italy and India. On a mission to find the meaning of life, the main character, Elizabeth Gilbert, choose to visit these three destinations after a divorce. The title reflects exactly that she does in each destination – she eats her way through Italy, she embarks on a journey of spiritual enlightenment in India and she falls in love in Bali.
It’s a truly magical film and should I ever find myself in her position one day, I too will escape on a journey faraway to find myself too.
Eat Pray Love has definitely been slightly to blame for the exponential increase in tourism in Bali, with millions of travellers visiting the tiny island each year for their own special experience.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Another film that will definitely inspire wanderlust! This movie focuses on Walter Mitty’s quest to find adventure and will guarantee to excite you about future travels. The movie is filmed in destinations such as the Himalayas and Afghanistan, and reminds me that there’s so much more to the corporate life I also lead, living and working in London. The subtle messages woven into this film are profound and a useful reminder that we should be courageous and to live life to the full.
This is one of the first films I remember watching and it’s pretty old school. I love a cheesy American teen comedy every once in a while, and this one will sure tempt you to go and explore Europe. I’ve actually never done a Eurotrip (an extended, multi-stop trip across the continent), so it’s definitely something to pop on my list. This a great film to travel vicariously through – it’s funny, dumb, awkward and embarrassing – what’s not to love!
This movie is one of my favourites and makes me yearn to get back to Thailand like nothing else. The Beach captures the pure magic of freedom, adventure and escapism, plus has a rather good looking cast which helps.
The story line is intense, and you really feel like you are part of this adventure.
I actually watched this film for the first time on the beach in Koh Tao, Thailand under a canopy of stars with a projector screen. Unsurprisingly, the quality was terrible but even this memory makes me want to get back to Thailand like nothing else!
James Bond – Spectre
The opening scene of this film is one of the most amazing pieces of cinematography that I have ever seen.
Nothing has got my pulse racing and set my sense of adventure alight like the opening Day of the Dead festival. It was absolutely unbelievable.
Did you know that this parade wasn’t actually a thing in Mexico City but since the film, the government have organised an annual event similar to that in the movie?
Later scenes in the film show remote train rides through the Sahara Desert in Morocco, a vision that I couldn’t get out of my head – until I finally went last year. Read all about my Sahara Desert adventure here.