If a picture can speak 1000 words, a movie can share 1000 experiences. And when it comes to travel, movies or TV shows have often been that first trigger that may have inspired you to travel. Here is my list of movies and TV shows that inspire to travel:
#1. Into The Wild
Travel is about exploring the unknown. Travel is about surrendering to nature.
One of my personal favourites. A movie that keeps tempting me to quit the materialistic world and surrender to nature. This is more than a travel movie. It is a movie where the main character throughout his journey to Alaska, sees the different unpredictable sides of nature and human beings.
#2. Motorcycle Diaries
Travel can open your eyes and change your life.
It was a motorcycle journey that triggered the transformation of Ernesto Guevara to Che Guevara. This movie recounts the early years of Che Guevara when he took a motorcycle journey across South America. What he saw during this trip changed him for life.
#3. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Travel gives you confidence.
An unplanned trip to Greenland, Iceland, and Afghanistan transforms the ordinary life of a hesitant and a chronic daydreamer into adventurous and daring. And ofcourse there is Iceland in the movie that brought back memories from my Iceland trip, which was also my first ever trip.
#4. Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara
Travel makes it easier to take tough decisions.
A Bollywood movie in the list! Personally, this isn’t my style of travelling. I am a budget-traveller and so luxuries like sea-facing villas, eating out in high-end restaurants will never be part of my itineraries. But I still found something in this movie that I completely identified with. And that is – Travelling opens up your mind to take hard decisions. Travelling is not a solution to your problems. It just clears your head so that you take the tough decisions to face those problems.
#5. One Week
Travel makes you feel alive.
What would you do if you knew if you had only one day, one week or one month to live? You can pass your time sulking about it or you can see the world in a whole new perspective as you have nothing to lose now.
The movie shows that no matter how much time you have left on this beautiful planet, you can still make something of your life and appreciate your surroundings. The breathtaking Canadian landscapes only adds to the beauty of this film.
Travel is a journey of discovering oneself.
This is a movie, which many Indians will identify with. Our lives, especially those of women, are mostly controlled by our families and elders and we have accepted it without even realizing its worth. Rani, a simple middle-class girl goes alone on her honeymoon trip after her fiance calls off the wedding because she is suddenly too conservative and old-fashioned for him. The trip changes her ignorant beliefs of the outside world and more importantly, empowers her to take control of her own life.
#7. The Way
Travel helps to move on. Travel helps to understand people.
One of the biggest tragedies in this world is the death of your child. Tom (Martin Sheen) tries to come to terms with his son, Daniel’s death by taking the pilgrimage where Daniel lost his life.
Tom was critical of Daniel’s choices and thought he wasting his life on these silly adventures. When Tom goes to France to collect his son’s remains, he sees his son’s backpack and in an inspirational moment, he straps on his son’s backpack and decides to complete the pilgrimage, which his son intended to do. And eventually, the trip made him understand his son and his choices, which he failed to understand in all those years when his son was alive.
Travel is like taking a journey within.
Starts as a regular drama but magically turns out to be a beautiful road trip. Unlike other films in this list, travel was not the initial intention of the characters in this movie. Their situation forces them to travel together. The movie captures the beauty of incredible India that is hardly seen in any other Indian movie. And when you have AR Rahman’s soulful music to complement the beautiful landscape, it is going to be a magical journey. Overall this maybe more of a drama than a travel movie, but it will still inspire you to take that road trip across India.
#9. Long Way Round
Travel tests your patience.
The only TV show in this list. The show follows the journey of Ewan Mcgregor and his childhood friend Charlie Boorman as they set out to ride their motorcycles from London to New York via Belgium, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Alaska, and Canada. The reality-show feel with the crew, cameras, gadgets and the modern equipment does take away some sheen from an intended adventurous motorcycle trip. But the show still manages to get many elements in place and hits the right note. The real stars of this show are not Ewan and Charlie but the raw beautiful nature, the different people and the characters that they meet during this journey. Those interactions with them is what makes this series interesting and fun to watch. There are many things that a rider will identify with this series.
#10. A Map for Saturday
Travel can be a lifestyle rather than a vacation.
“I quit my job to travel the world,” “I bought that one way ticket and never looked back”… These are some common stories that you hear from many travellers these days and this is one such story of a HBO executive who quit his job to backpack around the world for a year. This documentary movie is more like a ‘Behind the Scenes’ of a backpacker. It explores the routine of backpackers, the relations and the friendships that they make with fellow backpackers. What I like about this movie is that it not only shows the good and happy times but also shows the tough emotional times and situations that many travellers go through during their journey. Situations like – How long can you backpack? Will it eventually become frustrating to be constantly moving around? Is it difficult to adjust to the ‘so-called’ normal life after a long backpacking journey? As a traveller you might find yourself constantly nodding and agreeing to most parts in this movie. Definitely a must-watch, not just for backpackers but for any traveller or anyone waiting for an inspiration to travel. 🙂