Movies that make us want to throw on our backpack, run to the nearest airport (with the perfect iPod mix) and get the hell out of Dodge:
10. Amelie – The cute story of a quirky girl living in Montmartre, the inspiring neighborhood for artists, highlights scenes from life in Paris, not just the tourist spots. From buying bread at the markets of Rue Mouffetard to skipping stones off of a small bridge, enjoying the cafes in Montmartre, its easy to get lost in Paris during this movie.
9. Lord of the Rings – “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
With the unbelievable vistas throughout almost every scene of this trilogy, it was easy to imagine Middle Earth the way J.R.R. Tolkien intended. The movie etched into our memories the beautiful forests, plains, marshes, volcanos, alpines, and glaciers. Who didn’t want to go to New Zealand after seeing this?
8. Into the Wild – the true story about Chris McCandless leaving behind everything he knows so that he can fulfill his dream to live in the wilderness of Alaska. The scenes throughout his adventures, especially in Alaska, are striking. The movie about measuring yourself and challenging yourself certainly piqued my interest in seeking adventure. The lesson of the movie? *spoiler alert*, you may want to bring a cell phone if you decide to live in the wild, just in case.
7. Munich – Yes, the movie has dark themes and a lot of violence. This movie is about an assassination team that travels throughout Europe to locate and attempt to kill their targets. While the events unfolding on the streets of Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and Holland are not quite romantic, there are also alluring scenes of palm trees in Tel Aviv, Eiffel Tower shots in Paris and the lovely home of a character Louis: in the French countryside which is full of charm, family and food.
6. Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Two friends spending their summer in Barcelona to soak up the culture. It’s a film about becoming a different person when you travel, open to new ways of thinking and living, but losing that person upon return home (at least that is my take on it). Shots of Parc Guelle, Las Ramblas, Javier Bardem and Spanish architecture do not dissapoint.
5. Darjeeling Limited – A comedy, 3 brothers travel across India via train to see their mother who has run away to become a nun. They visit temples, markets, villages, and mountains, and even buy a poisonous snake. The colors, people and mysteriousness of the faraway land are very compelling.
4. Under the Tuscan Sun – It’s a chick flick with a familiar story-line; a divorcée looking for a new beginning gives up her old life and impulsively moves to a foreign country where she finds happiness again (and a new love). Despite the formula, I loved everything about this movie. Every time I see it I want to run away and put a Tuscan Villa on my credit card so I too can live la dolce vita. The backdrop of Tuscany throughout each season and the winding streets of the Mediterranean Coast will inspire you to visit.
3. The Long Way Round – This documentary follows Ewan McGregor and his best friend, Charley Boorman, traveling around the world on their motorcycles for 4 months. Starting in London, across Europe, Asia, and even Canada and the U.S. ending in New York City. Every episode makes me want to add a new adventure to my bucket list—whether it’s visiting Kutna Hora (Bone Church) in Prague, trailing the dangerous Road of Bones in Russia (no sweat) or staying with a host family yielding machine guns (I can take it). It takes a lot for a documentary to hold my attention and make me laugh – each episode managed to do both.
2. Motorcycle Diaries – Another motorcycle trip: the journey of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, before he was Che, and his friend Mial takes place in 1952. The 23-years-old hop on their motorcycles seeking adventure and journey from their home in Argentina, through Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela. The mountains, jungles, rivers and plains in each country are spectacular. The movie is about their journey, the people they meet and the changes that become them. Especially notable is their breathtaking visit to Machu Picchu. Che and his friend sit alone pensively at the ruins and Che’s narrated voice says “How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world that I never knew?” Haven’t we all thought this at least once?
1. Before Sunrise – A French woman (Julie Delpy) meets a cute American boy (Ethan Hawke) on her train from Budapest. The strangers have an instant connection, talk for hours, and the woman impulsively decides to get off of the train in Vienna, instead of Paris, exploring the city together before his flight leaves at sunrise. I pray this happens to me every time I visit Europe. The shots of the landscapes from the train, the streets, parks, bridges, restaurants and classical Viennese music make you long to visit romantic Vienna.
You’ve read our list, now tell us what movie inspires you to travel!