The arts are a beautiful way to inspire wanderlust. Getting wrapped up in a story can help you fall in love with a place before you even step foot there. Films are an especially fantastic way of engaging with locations around the world. Seeing the screen light up with beautiful beaches, bustling cities or remote locations can be enough to make you want to pack your bags and book yourself onto one of our brilliant cruises from Southampton.
In our film tour of the world we explored all the best on-screen locations you can visit in real life. In this article, we wanted to explore the best films about travel that will make you want to get away. Here you’ll find some of the best examples of films to inspire as well as suggestions from a number of bloggers.
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Sarah and Jason, travel bloggers at Travel on Inspiration, explained how much films have inspired their travels: “So many movies have impacted our love for travel and the destinations we visit. From watching Indiana Jones growing up and wanting to be an adventuring archaeologist, to watching historical epics such as Gladiator and then first stepping foot inside the infamous Roman Colosseum. Even gross-out comedies such as Eurotrip (if you haven't seen it you are seriously missing out) can inspire our wanderlust.”
Describing how films can impact your travels when you’re on them, they said: “Visiting Rome after watching films like Gladiator (and yes even Eurotrip) was an incredible experience. Getting to visit some of the most iconic places in Roman history is awe-inspiring, then visiting the Vatican and remembering the trouble Scotty and his friends got up to in Eurotrip can't help but make you laugh.
“Even now films are still inspiring us to travel.” Sarah and Jason explain, “We get married next year and plan on honeymooning in Japan, so films such as The Last Samurai, Lost in Translation, and even Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift are on our watch again list.”
Into The Wild
Into The Wild is a biographical film written about the life and travels of Christopher McCandless. McCandless left his life as a straight-A student with a lot of promise in order to enjoy life in the wilderness, where his story culminated in rural Alaska. Along the way, he met many people and the film is a great demonstration of the rugged wilderness that captured his heart. As the story runs, McCandless found himself having realisations about life, travel and happiness. Tales that many people have taken on board and applied to their own lives.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The story of an everyday man with an office job who can’t seem to push himself outside of his comfort zone. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty resonates with many as it shows someone who doesn’t have the confidence to take the next step. However, after a push in the right direction, Walters life changes completely as he embarks on an epic adventure around the world.
Jonas, a travel blogger at Digitraveler found the film resonated with him and his story. He said: “I found myself daydreaming all the time about travelling the world, but in reality, I was just an average guy without many goals. It’s so cliché, but this movie changed my life for the better. The stunning landscape of Iceland and the feeling of freedom that the movie represented gave me the final push to go out and explore the world.”
As a pivotal destination in the film, Iceland takes a starring role. We asked Jonas whether his travels there lived up to the film: “I fell in love with the scenery of Iceland, so much so that Iceland was one of my first travel destinations and I cannot say that the experience let me down. The country of fire and ice just blew my mind. Seeing the people in harmony with nature, the hospitality of those people, the amazing views. You name it, Iceland has it all.”
Wild is a biographical film written about Cheryl Strayed, a woman who set to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in order to heal after a rough past. The film follows her as she journeys from the Mojave Desert in Southern California to the Bridge of the Gods in the north between Oregon and Washington. As she travels she encounters many people, has a range of revelations about her own life and explores the amazing variation of terrains North America offers.
The Bucket List
The Bucket List features Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson and showcases two men at the end of their lives deciding to finally cross everything off their bucket lists. This feel-good film shows just how powerful experiences can be and just how life-changing one person can be to another. Their lists take them around the world and as well as seeing some amazing experiences take place, the audience sees their friendship form and watch them find true joy in life.
Eat Pray Love
Eat Pray Love follows the story of Liz, a newly divorced woman at a crossroads in her life. She decides to step out of her comfort zone and travel the world to find herself. On her travels, she indulges in food in Italy, discovers the power of prayer in India and finds inner peace and true love in Indonesia.
We spoke to Riana, travel blogger at Teaspoon of Adventure. She said, “Eat Pray Love is definitely a movie that has inspired me to travel. I loved the way Liz (played by Julia Roberts) totally immersed herself in each country and culture she visited. I remember salivating as she ate pasta in Rome, getting misty-eyed watching her meet an Asian elephant in India and feeling wanderlust as she adventured around Bali. Which is how I found myself on my first trip to Italy a few years ago, tracking down the same pizza place that Liz goes to in Naples. And it did not disappoint! I still dream about that pizza and can't wait to go back there one day. I actually have a trip planned to Italy this September and am most excited about the delicious cuisine.”
Nafisa Habib from My Own Way To Travel also loved Eat Pray Love: “Hollywood film Eat Pray Love motivated me to find the beauty of life through travel though it means to be alone. I was more than happy during my visit to Ubud and scenic Padang Padang Beach in Bali, Indonesia. Some of the scenes from Eat Pray Love were filmed on those destinations.”
Under the Tuscan Sun
Under the Tuscan Sun is a romantic comedy set in Tuscany. Frances Mayes buys a villa in Tuscany after a recent divorce in the hopes it will change her life. It perfectly demonstrates how easy it is to fall in love with the beautiful, Italian countryside as well as the laid-back culture there.
Dame Traveler blogger Nastasia told us: "From Tuscany to the Amalfi Coast, the movie Under the Tuscan Sun inspired me to take a solo adventure to Italy and every time I watch it, it inspires me to book another trip to the beautiful country. It's the perfect film for any women who strives to live "la dolce vita.”
James Bond is a British secret agent that travels the globe saving the world. Over the course of the filmography, 6 actors have played this role and 24 films have been made in total. Across this range of films, many locations all around the world are portrayed.
We spoke to Lynne, a travel blogger at Wander Your Way, who explained why she believes the James Bond movies have had such an impact on her: “I can't say one movie inspired me to travel. Any movie that took me somewhere else typically resonated with me and had me wanting to go there. I grew up watching a lot of James Bond movies because my dad is a big James Bond fan. We all know James travelled to every corner of the globe. So maybe these movies inspired my wanderlust to some degree.”
Ratatouille was another recommendation by Lynne. Focusing on a rat named Remy who aspires to be a chef, the story takes place around Paris and explores not only the beauty of the city, but the significance of food there.
Lynne told us: “Believe it or not the Pixar film Ratatouille inspired me to travel to Paris. Remy's face (the face of a very cute rat) as he realises he's in Paris is priceless. He is so happy to be in a city where food is so important because, after all, he's a chef. I wanted to have that feeling of, "I'm in Paris?!" and I did, Paris definitely lived up to my expectations.”
Based on the story of a trip across South America by a young Ernesto Guevara (who would go on to become the infamous Che Guevara) and friend, The Motorcycle Diaries shows the true story of a trip across Latin America. As well as showing what sparked Guevara’s passion for politics, it takes a real dive into what made up the continent back then and brings viewers along for the ride.
Miles of Happiness travel blogger Marie recommended The Motorcycle Diaries to us after it inspired her as a teen: “I was 15 when I watched it and I suddenly overcome with an urge to go on a big adventure, explore and feel that absolute freedom you only feel when you're on the road. A few months later, I was going sailing on a small boat around the Mediterranean and that’s when it all started! It inspired me to start calling my dreams projects, and to always say yes to the craziest adventures.”
A Scottish classic, Braveheart is often the first film people think about when they are asked to imagine Scotland. This rousing tale depicts William Wallace leading an uprising in order to take Scotland for himself. Featuring one of the most famous film speeches in history, this film is a must for anyone, but even more so for those who wish to be inspired.
Crystal, a travel blogger who writes about dark tourism and spooky travels at Wandering Crystal told us: “As I watched hundreds of proud Scottish men run through the grassy hills of Scotland I was captivated. In Braveheart, when William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson screamed: “They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” I knew I had to visit Scotland. I had to visit the sites where the real William Wallace created history. Scotland exceeded my expectations as the country was teeming with beautiful history, stunning landscapes and proud friendly people. I loved visiting all the same places where William Wallace made real history. It felt like I was a part of the film and history.”
Spider-Man: Far From Home
The newest film on this list, Spider-Man: Far From Home may not have been something you’ve watched yet, however, it should certainly make its way onto your list. A new episode in this saga, we see Peter Parker and his classmates take off on a school trip around Europe. As well as great crime-fighting action and superhero moments, we also get to see a lot of the most beautiful sites in Europe.
Amy from The Travel Fairies Blog explains: “This new release follows the superhero on a school trip around various cities in Europe. It features some stunning landscapes and amazing cities around the world, including the Venice canals, Austrian countryside and Slavic cities. The students are in awe of the beauty of these places and that awe is contagious when coupled with the masterful visual effects used in the film. You feel like you’re truly there and that you definitely want to go in person! It sure makes me wish we got to go on school trips like that!”
It’s amazing how much inspiration we can get from the big screen and how easily feelings can be passed across to us. After watching any of these films you’ll surely want to pack your bags and book your next cruise holiday.