Blyde River Canyon

Into The Wild

Year: 2007

Region: USA, Alaska

Into The Wild is the true story of Christopher McCandless, a recent college graduate who gives away his live savings and hitchhikes to Alaska. He meets all kinds of people along the way, each with their own stories. In Alaska, he heads out into the wilderness to live on his own. His life is filled with random adventures and experiences while he makes his way up to “The Last Frontier”. This is what travel is all about to me. Experiences, good and bad, make you who you are. And long term travel is FULL of new experiences. The key is to not completely get in over your head (like Christopher did).

This is actaully one of my favourite films I’ve ever seen. It’s in the top 4. It inspired in me such a sense of adventure and possibilty that many films have come close but never tops this masterpiece.

The Motocycle Diaries

Year: 2004

Region: South America

This awe-inspiring film is based on the memoirs of Che Guevara, from a time before he became an iconic Latin American revolutionary. Guevara (Gael Bernal) and his friend Alberto “Mial” Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna, Guevara’s real-life second cousin) climb atop a motorcycle and ride across South America for eight months and over 14,000 kilometers. The trip inspired the rest of Guevara’s incredible life. The movie will inspire you to learn more about the incredibly beautiful continent.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Year: 2013

Region: Iceland

When Walter’s job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. This is a lighthearted look at the adventurous spirit with some awesome travel mixed in.

This is the film that first got me hooked on the beauty of Iceland.

Out of Africa

Year: 1985

Region: Kenya

Meryl Streep and Robert Redford star in this tragic love story about a married baroness who falls for a big-game hunter, based on the autobiographical novel by Isak Dinesen. Filmed on location in the UK and Kenya, including the Shaba National Game Reserve, Out of Africa feels about as epic as the doomed love affair between two very different people.

The Endless Summer

Year: 1966

Region: Global

Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world,” sang the Beach Boys; and if ever a film embodied that mindset, it’s Bruce Brown’s 1966 surfer documentary. Brown shadowed buddies Robert August and Mike Hynson on a round-the-world surfing trip, filming their travels to places like Hawaii, New Zealand, and South Africa as they crested waves and met like-minded surf obsessives. The film’s impact on surf culture and tourism was huge, thanks in no small part to Brown’s cinematography, as well as the subjects’ ability to make riding those impossibly large waves seem effortless

This 1966 classic has a cult following, and deservedly so; it spiraled an entire surf and travel subculture, and has been inspiring travelers for the past 50 years. The film follows surfers around the globe as they search to continue summer surfing beyond the summer months. Their travels are what any traveler could wish on such a journey; exotic locations, cultural exchanges and lessons, and plenty of good stories along the way.

The Art of Travel

Year: 2008

Region: South America and Central America

Ever think of trading out the American dream of white picket fences and suburban houses for an adventure? The 2008 film The Art of Travel shows a man who does just that after finding out his long time sweetheart and fiancee is cheating on him. Abandoning the past and in an attempt to move forward, he takes his honeymoon alone. The result is an adventure of self discovery and the true meaning and mastering of wanderlust as he and a group of adventurers try to race across the Darien Gap.

Travel lovers everywhere will be inspired by the cinematography as the hero travels through the miles of the South and Central American rainforest. The film also does a fantastic job of depicting the struggle every traveler feels in their soul at the thought of returning to what is familiar after having experienced the challenges the world has waiting for you.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Year: 2011

Region: India

British retirees travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than advertised, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways.

Thelma and Louise

Year: 1991

Region: USA

Two best friends set out on an adventure, but it soon turns around to a terrifying escape from being hunted by the police, as these two girls escape for the crimes they committed.

Riding Solo to the Top of the World

Year: 2006

Region: India, Nepal

Riding Solo is a film about filmmaker Gaurav Jani’s brave solo motorcycle journey from Mumbai to one of the remotest places in the world, the Changthang Plateau in Ladakh bordering China. The film is even more extraordinary for the fact that Jani was a one man camera crew unit who loaded his bike with 300 kg of equipment/supplies and set off on a journey to one of the world’s most difficult terrains.

Midnight in Paris

Year: 2011

Region: Paris

While on a trip to Paris with his fiancée’s family, a nostalgic screenwriter finds himself mysteriously going back to the 1920s every day at midnight.

Before Sunrise

Year: 1995

Region: Vienna, Austria

Regarded as one of the most significative films of the 90s, and starring a young Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, the film tells the story of an American travelling by train around Europe, and a French girl travelling home from Budapest. After striking a conversation on the train and having an instant chemistry, they decide to get off together in Vienna. The couple establish an intense intimacy, share stories, opinions jokes and discover love, all surrounded by backlit buildings, racing against time before sunrise. The film’s success is proven by two sequels, Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

I watched this film a few days ago for the first time and absolutly loved every second of it. A 5 out of 5 romance in my books.

The Way Back

Year: 2010

Region: Asia

Inspired by an incredible true story, The Way Back follows seven prisoners from very different backgrounds as they attempt the impossible: escape from a Siberian prison in the dead of winter. Thus begins a treacherous 4,500-mile trek to freedom across the world’s most merciless landscapes – from Siberia to India. They have little food and few supplies. They don’t know or trust each other. But they know that to survive, they must withstand nature at its most extreme. A compelling testament to the code of trust among travelers, and our innate quality to seek survival and freedom at all costs

Seven Years in Tibet

Year: 1997

Region: Himalayas

Seven Years In Tibet is about an Austrian mountaineer who heads out to conquer a Himalayan mountain in 1939. After getting captured and sent to a prison camp, he ends up breaking out with another man and sneaking into the holy Tibetan city of Lhasa. He befriends the young Dalai Lama just as the Chinese attempt to invade Tibet by force. Both men are from totally different worlds, yet become great friends and learn from each other. The character starts off as a selfish prick, but slowly changes his outlook on life when confronted with new experiences in a very foreign land. It’s a good movie that shows you how travel adventures can transform your life.
Filled with scenic shots and views of The Himalayas, Potala Palace, and other sites, most of the filming actually took place in Argentina. However, two crews allegedly secretly shot footage in Tibet, providing authentic visuals. 

Eat Pray Love

Year: 2010

Region: Italy, India. Indonesia

A married woman realizes how unhappy her marriage really is, and that her life needs to go in a different direction. After a painful divorce, she takes off on a round-the-world journey to “find herself”.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Year: 2003

Region: Tuscany, Italy

Frances Mayes, a 35-year-old San Francisco writer, gets a divorce that leaves her with terminal writer’s block and depression. Later, she decides to buy a house in Tuscany in order to change her life.

Lost in Translation

Year: 2003

Region: Tokyo, Japan

Lost In Translation is based on two separate travelers, Bob & Charlotte, visiting Tokyo at the same time. They meet each other and form a friendship as they experience confusion and hilarity in a strange and curious city. Bob is an aging actor starring in commercials, while Charlotte is the bored wife of a photographer there on business. They are an unlikely pair, experiencing a degree of loneliness in a foreign city filled with millions of people. This is another beautifully shot film that also shows how funny and interesting traveling in a new country can be. The many little random experiences that present themselves while traveling are often the most memorable.

The Bucketlist

Year: 2007

Region: Global

Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. The Bucket List is a tearjerker, and more importantly, a heart-warming film that will inspire you to do all the things that you want to do before you kick the bucket, including traveling. To me, the film also reminds us that life is too short, and we should enjoy it to the fullest.

Encounters at the End of the World

Year: 2007

Region: Antartica

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent’s beauty and investigate the characters living there. Encounters At The End Of The World is an incredibly beautiful and funny movie about the people and animals who live in Antarctica. The individuals that work at the National Science Foundation research station are full of character, and most are permanent world travelers. Even if you’ve seen Discovery channel shows about Antarctica, this is totally different and fresh.

The Darjeeling Limited

Year: 2007

Region: India

The Darjeeling Limited is a wacky film about three wealthy, spoiled brothers taking an overland train trip through India. They haven’t spoken in a year, and the trip is supposed to heal and bond them again. Initially it all goes wrong as they bicker and fight with each other. They are all suffering from depression, and pop pain killers like candy. When it seems like nothing is going right, their crazy experiences along the way finally put things into perspective. The ultimate goal of healing and rejuvenation starts to happen. They finally start to grow up and turn into men. The movie is hilarious, and beautifully shot too. It will make you want to visit India.

Tracks

Year: 2013

Region: Western Australia

Standing in for real-life writer Robyn Davidson, Mia Wasikowska travels across the breathtaking landscape of Western Australia with only four camels and a beloved dog for company. Her occasional human visitors include a photographer for National Geographic (Adam Driver), an indigenous Australian elder named Mr. Eddy who guides her through sacred lands, and various tourists who come to gawk at the so-called Camel Lady. Davidson’s solo trip was beyond the pale for a woman in the ’70s, but it’s still incredibly inspiring today. We’ll just leave the camel-training to someone else.

One Week

Year: 2008

Region: Canada

Chronicles the motorcycle trip of Ben Tyler as he rides from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. Ben stops at landmarks that are both iconic and idiosyncratic on his quest to find meaning in his life.

Wild

Year: 2014

Region: Pacific Crest Trail, USA

Reese Witherspoon donned a pair of ill-fitting hiking boots and a giant backpack for her role as Cheryl Strayed, a writer who trekked 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail after the devastating loss of her mother. (The film is based on Strayed’s best-selling 2012 book of the same name.) Strayed crosses the dusty Mojave, crazy forests, snowy fields, and muddy trails, losing toenails but gaining mental clarity—or at least self-acceptance—along the way.

The Way

Year: 2010

Region: Spain

The Way is a heart-warming and beautiful story of a father who walked the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain, to honor his estranged son who recently died while trekking this trail. His experience was eye-opening and quite an emotional one, as he was compelled to make friends with total strangers as well as examine his life during his long 800 kilometer long journey. The film features a pretty eclectic blend of characters, all trekking the long trail for their own personal reasons.

The Beach

Year: 2000

Region: Thailand

The Beach is the original backpacker slacker travel film. The Beach captures what Thailand was like before tourists started flocking to it en-masse. At one time, it was an off-the-beaten-path backpacker destination. We enjoyed the book more, but you can never go wrong with Leo.

If you want to get a sense of what it was like to travel to Thailand before mass tourism, this is a good movie for you. Plus it is beautiful and as far as travel movies go, it will make you want to go to Thailand. Not only are the people beautiful, but the scenery of southern Thailand is also out of this world.

Lion

Year: 2000

Region: India, Tasmania

If you fancy a good cry as well as a virtual trip to India, then Lion is for you. Based on a true story, it tells of a young Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who accidentally boards a train to Kolkata and becomes homeless. After being adopted by an Australian couple, the older Saroo (Dev Patel) searches his memory – and the evolving internet – in an attempt to locate his childhood home and find his family. 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Year: 2016

Region: New Zealand

Go tramping in the New Zealand bush with this adorable comedy-drama directed by Oscar-winner Taika Waititi. A winning family adventure, it sees grumpy foster uncle Hec (Sam Neill) following his cheeky young charge Ricky (Julian Dennison) into the wilderness for a trek that turns into a gripping adventure – and an opportunity for the pair to try out their survival skills. Most of it was filmed around the Auckland area, and includes jaw-dropping scenery that Hec describes as “majestical”.

Pantagonia

Year: 2010

Region: Patagonia

The psychological benefits of travel are at the heart of this tender drama that explores the links between Wales and Argentina. A Cardiff couple travel to Patagonia where they are guided by a Welsh-Argentine guide (Matthew Rhys). Meanwhile, an older woman journeys from Argentina to Wales to discover her roots. It’s a moving watch with a fun backstory: Rhys found out about the production when travelling through Patagonia on horseback, where he bumped into the director, Marc Evans, who was scouting for locations.

The Lost City of Z

Year: 2017

Region: Amazon Jungle

Explorer Percy Fawcett had a compulsion to travel, undertaking hugely risky journeys in the Amazon in to prove his theories about a disappeared civilisation – theories that were ridiculed by his contemporaries in the early 20th century. James Gray’s film stars Charlie Hunnam as Fawcett, Sienna Miller as his wife, and Robert Pattinson as his right hand man, who helps him navigate the rainforest, which looks tantalisingly beautiful despite the dangers that unfold.

Roman Holiday

Year: 1953

Region: Rome, Italy

Take a trip back in time to Rome, circa 1953, where a princess (Audrey Hepburn) is trying to stay incognito. After she’s befriended by an American reporter (Gregory Peck), he realises her identity, but keeps his a secret in an attempt to get a scoop. Romance follows, along with iconic black and white shots of the Eternal City. Look out for a meeting on the Spanish Steps, a tour of Colosseum and Vespa ride through the city traffic.

Around The World in 80 Days

Year: 1956

Region: Global

Feel like going for a classic? This film is based on the novel by Jules Verne and follows the journey of Phileas Fogg, an eccentric and wealthy Englishman who bets that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days.

The plot of the movie revolves around Fogg’s race against time as he embarks on an adventure across the globe, accompanied by his loyal French servant, Passepartout. They go on a daring journey using various means of transport – from hot air balloons to elephants – and encounter a series of comedic and sometimes perilous situation

A Walk in the Woods

Year: 2015

Region: Appalachian Trail, USA

This film is based on the memoir of the same name by the well-known travel writer and author Bill Bryson. After living abroad for many years, Bryson returns to the United States and decides to hike the Appalachian Trail, one of the longest continuous footpaths in the world, together with an old acquaintance, Stephen Katz.

As Bryson and Katz traverse the Appalachian Trail, they face a series of humorous and challenging situations, including encounters with fellow hikers and with wildlife, and the physical demands of the trail itself. Along the way, they also engage in conversations about life, friendship, and the beauty of the natural world.

Up

Year: 2009

Region: South America

This list of travel movies wouldn’t be complete without some heartwarming animations. Up is a Pixar and Walt Disney film centered on the story of Carl Fredricksen, a widowed elderly man who embarks on a remarkable adventure using balloons to fly his house to South America.

It all starts when Carl finds himself facing eviction from his beloved home and missing his late wife, Ellie, who had shared his childhood dreams of adventure, so he decides to fulfill their lifelong dream of visiting the remote Paradise Falls.

During the trip, he learns to let go of the past, embrace new experiences, and find joy in unexpected places.

Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Year: 1981

Region: Nepal, Egypt

“Raiders” kicks off the iconic Indiana Jones series with a quest to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant. On his journey, Indy (Harrison Ford) makes stops in Nepal, Egypt, and the Aegean Sea, and, of course, famously runs from a giant rolling boulder in a temple in Peru. Follow up this film with its sequels, “Temple of Doom” (1984), “Last Crusade” (1989), and “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008), to see Indy travel to Jordan, the Amazon jungle, and beyond.

Romancing the Stone

Year: 1984

Region: Columbia

When New York City-based romance novelist Joan Wilder’s sister is kidnapped in Cartagena, Joan (Kathleen Turner) ends up on a rescue-mission-turned-treasure-hunt with adventure-seeking Jack T. Colton (Michael Douglas). Don’t be surprised if a viewing of this movie makes you want to trade in your annual beach vacation for a wild ride through the Colombian jungle.

Nomadland

Year: 2020

Region: USA

After losing her job in the town of Empire, Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) decides to sell her belongings, buy a van, and drive across the country working odd jobs. Fern travels through deserts, small towns, and nomad communes where she works, makes new friends, and learns about life. If you’ve ever fantasized about dropping everything and taking to the open road, “Nomadland” will probably either convince or deter you.

RV

Year: 2006

Region: USA

While plenty of road trip movies have been made over the years, “RV” might be the only one that takes place in, well, an RV. Though the main characters in this movie face more bad luck than fun, family bonding, the film does feature generous desert, mountain, and wilderness scenery, as well as an all-star cast (Robin Williams, Kristin Chenoweth, Cheryl Hines, and Josh Hutcherson are just a few that appear).

Point Break

Year: 2015

Region: Global

Yes, i’m talking about the “Point Break” remake rather than the original film from 1991, but hear me out: the imagery in this movie inspires some serious wanderlust. The story takes viewers to several of the wildest places on Earth (Mexico’s Cave of Swallows, Venezuela’s Angel Falls, etc.) and though the plot is slightly different from the original (think eco-terrorism rather than bank robberies), it is quiet possibly the most visually stimulating travel movie ever made. Plus they basically threw in every action sport into the film which makes for some aweome action scenes. I love this movie!!!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 and 2

Year: 2005

Region: Santorini, Greece

If you were a teen or pre-teen in 2005, you have likely seen this movie and its 2008 sequel, and can attest that both inspire major wanderlust. The first film follows best friends Carmen, Lena, Bridget, and Tibby (who share a magical pair of jeans that fits them all perfectly) as they spend a summer in different parts of the world. Lena (Alexis Bledel) travels to Santorini, Greece, which makes for some seriously dreamy backdrops. In the sequel, the whole gang heads to Greece, but not before Bridget (Blake Lively) spends some time in Turkey.

Amelie

Year: 2001

Region: Paris, France

A much-loved travel movie classic, Amelie follows the life of a lonely, but quirky and lovable introvert who finds interesting ways to spread joy, helping people to find happiness, doing secret good deeds and changing the lives of others from afar. Oozing whimsical Parisian charm, this enchantingly eccentric story will leave you feeling inspired, uplifted and most likely yearning for a French adventure. Add it to your watch list if you haven’t already!

Lawrence of Arabia

Year: 1962

Region: Jordan

Due to his knowledge of the native Bedouin tribes, British Lieutenant T.E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is sent to Arabia to find Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and serve as a liaison between the Arabs and the British in their fight against the Turks. And with most of the desert scenes filmed in Jordan, you can visit those otherworldly landscapes – which look much the same now as they did 60 years ago – at Wadi Rum in the Southern part of Jordan.

Last Holiday

Year: 2006

Region

If you are searching for comedy travel movies, this should be at the top of your list. This is the ultimate fairytale on how travel can change a life. And how we should all strive to live a better life. It’s too short to wait.

Queen Latifa is priceless as a woman who is diagnosed with a terminal disease, so she takes her life savings to enjoy her final holiday at a luxurious resort. She does everything from base jumping to snowboarding and indulging in decadent French cuisine.

 

Everest

Year: 2015

Region: Himalayas

Everest by John Krakauer is the true story of the catastrophe that happened on Everest in 1996. It’s a first-hand account by Krakauer who was on Everest at the time. While the movie focuses on the events, it does showcase the psyche of why people climb mountains and it shows the culture and beauty of the Everest Region.

The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Trilogy’s

Year: 2001 – 2014

Region: New Zealand

Now now, I know what you are thinking: “The middle earth movies are not travel films”. This is exactly where you are wrong my friend. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies are the perfect travel films.

The company go on a long journey through many stunning landscapes and they face many hardships and dangers along the way but they also get to experience new cultures(the elves) on trusty transportation(their ponies). The perfect adventure! Watching the movies will inspire you to see the beauty of New Zealand landscapes for yourselves

Life of Pi

Year: 2012

Region: India, The Ocean

Based on the novel by Yann Martel, Director Ang Lee creates an all-audience movie event about a young man on a fateful voyage who, after a spectacular disaster, is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. He becomes marooned on a lifeboat he must share with the ship’s only other survivor, a fearsome Bengal tiger with whom he makes an amazing and unexpected connection.

Planet Earth

Year: 2012

Region: India, The Ocean

Not technily a travel film but when you see the amazing beauty of Earth you won’t want to be sitting inside for to much longer. Planet Earth is a masterpiece. Witness the amazing diversity of this planet, from the deepest oceans to the highest mountains to the driest deserts. It’s gorgeous, it’s educational, and it’s perfect for all ages. After watching it you will booking your next trip in no time. 

So that’s it! 45 of the Best Travel Films out there for you to binge on this weekend.

What is your Favourite Travel Movie? Or even top 3?

For me personally I’m going with ‘Into The Wild’, ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy of course.

Thanks for Reading. See you next time

and remember

– Chase The Adventure –

 

 

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