20 Awesome Travel Movies To Watch When You’re Bored
May 28, 2020
My family complains sometimes that they can’t put on any movie anymore because I’ve seen them all. And while they may be slightly exaggerating, I have seen an awful lot of movies (and tv-shows…). I thought these exciting times *ahum* were a good opportunity to share my favourite travel movies with you all! If you can’t travel in real life at the moment, the next best thing is, of course, travelling in your mind with the help of your imagination. Here are 20 travel movies to watch when you’re bored at home! I hope they will transport you to different worlds like they did for me.
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Into The Wild tells the true story of Christopher McCandles, a college graduate from California who donates all of his posessions to charity to pursue a minimalistic and solitary life in nature. During his travels, he doesn’t shy away from remote hiking trails and risky adventures. Eventually he ends up in an abandoned bus in Alaska, where he further ponders what truly brings humans happiness.
Into The Wild gives us more than just pretty sceneries. Anyone who’s ever felt out of place in our materialist society will undoubtedly be able to relate to Christopher’s incredible yet tragic story. It will always be one of my favourite films in the genre as it never fails to make you question what really matters in life.
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“If you want something in life, reach out and grab it.”
Four teenage best friends find a pair of jeans that fits each of them perfectly. While they all face challenges on their first summer apart (Lena visits her grandparents in Santorini, Bridget goes to soccer camp in Mexico, Carmen spends time with her father’s in South Carolina and Tibby stays at home to work), these “magic” pants keeps them connected.
The Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants is a heartwarming coming of age story that’ll make you laugh and cry at the same time. Not to mention the parts set in Santorini will make you wish you lived on a Greek island…
“Some people show off their beauty because they want the world to see it. Others try to hide their beauty because they want the world to see something else.”
While both the book and the movie received its fair share of criticism, I still feel like Eat Pray Love is a classic in the travelogue category. After a draining divorce and several mental breakdowns, Liz Gilbert makes the drastic decision to leave her conventional life behind to find happiness and inner peace on a long-term trip through Italy, India and Bali.
Though some parts of this movie are definitely on the cheesy side, I can’t help but enjoy a good tale of self-discovery against the backdrop of several stunning destinations.
“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.”
Tracks portrays the extraordinary true story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who goes on a 1700 mile long trek across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog. Facing many challenges along the way, her bravery and perseverence is an inspiration to any solo traveller out there.
“The two important things that I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.”
Airports and hotel rooms are Ryan Bingham’s second home, a man who works in HR and travels around the USA firing people. He quite enjoys his freedom and practical lifestyle.
However, when he’s forced to work together with a stubborn new hire and meets an interesting woman on one of his trips, he starts questioning his beliefs. Does his lack of attachment to anything really make him happy?
This movie is an absolutely joy to watch and not just because it has George Clooney and Anna Kendrick in it. Realistic and funny with just the right amount of depth.
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“How much does your life weigh? Imagine for a second that you’re carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life. Now try to walk. It’s kind of hard, isn’t it? This is what we do to ourselves on a daily basis. We weigh ourselves down until we can’t even move.”
Another classic amongst travel movies! In Before Sunrise, an American man and a French woman strike up a conversation on a train and decide to get off together in Vienna. While they explore the city, they get to know each other better and engage in deep talks about life. Though the concept is a tad cliché, the movie definitely isn’t.
In my opinion, Before Sunrise is one of the best romantic movies of all time in terms of depth and dialogue. That instant connection you sometimes feel with a complete stranger on the road is depicted in a beautiful yet never over the top way.
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“People have these romantic projections they put on everything. That’s not based on any kind of reality.”
Though Wild is often compared to Into The Wild, they’re quite different movies. Wild tells the gripping true story of Cheryl Strayed, a young woman who has lost herself in destructive behaviour after her mother died. Out of desperation she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all by herself. Thus begins her long and difficult path towards healing and finding purpose.
Brilliantly acted by Reese Witherspoon, this film will have you at the edge of your seat from start to finish.
“I’d finally come to understand what it had been: a yearning for a way out, when actually what I had wanted to find was a way in.”
Another one of my all-time favourite movies: The Bucket List. When billionaire Edward Cole is forced to share a hospital room with mechanic Carter Chambers – both terminally ill -, they decide to complete their bucket list in the year they have left to live.
They travel around the world in Cole’s private jet to do all of the things they’ve always wanted to do but never gotten around to. Once again, brilliantly acted by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, this movie will have you hooked from the beginning.
“You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.”
The Hundred Foot Journey is about a talented cook, Hassan Kadam, who flees from India to a small French village where he opens a traditional Indian restaurant with his family. However, there’s already a Michelin star restaurant right across the street and it doesn’t take long for a rivarly to start.
The Hundred Foot Journey is an absolute delight for food lovers and the perfect feel good movie for a chilled saturday evening.
“In this restaurant we do not serve an old, tired marriage, but a passionate affair.”
A cult classic of the 2000s, The Beach stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard, an American who’s travelling through Asia to get away from his mundane life in search of something different. Accompanied by a French couple, he ends up on a tropical island in Thailand, where they discover a secret beach. At first it seems like they’ve found paradise, but it soon becomes clear that the island isn’t without dangers.
I love this movie because it shows the less pretty side of travelling and how some of the most beautiful countries are unfortunately full of crime and corruption. And well, young Leo DiCaprio… Need I say more??
“You hope, and you dream. But you never believe that something’s gonna happen for you. Not like it does in the movies. And when it actually does, you want it to feel different, more visceral, more real.”
Set in 1980s Italy, 17-year-old Elio spends the summer at his parents’ countryside villa. Oliver, an American college graduate, is a guest in their house and assists Elio’s father in his research. Over the weeks, Elio and Oliver grow closer until romantic feelings come into play.
Call Me By Your Name will make you dream of a Mediterrean summer filled with late night swims, dance parties with your friends, reading sessions in the shade and deep conversations over delicious food. Beautifully filmed and executed, this movie will haunt you for days.
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything – what a waste!”
The Motorcycle Diaries captures the life and adventures of a young Che Guevara, who – before he became a political figure – travelled through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela in the early 1950s with his best friend Alberto Granado.
“What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems split in two: melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land.”
The Way Back is about a gang of Siberian prisonors that escape a Soviet concentration camp and have to walk 4000 miles by foot to reach India.
Along their journey, they face snow and sand storms, mosquitoes, hunger and thirst. They also meet fugitive teenager Irena Zielinska (Saoirse Ronan), who joins the group. A thrilling adventure movie about survival and determination!
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“Survival was a kind of protest.”
In Chocolat, Vianne and her daughter Anouk lead a nomadic lifestyle, travelling from village to village, never settling down for long. When she arrives in a small and conservative French town, she opens a chocolaterie. The shop is met with lots of criticism, but her delicious recipes and progressive ideas spark curiosity as well.
I think I’ve seen this movie about five times by now. Chocolat is effortlessly funny, but still manages to bring a message of openmindedness and acceptance. Outstanding performances of Juliette Binouche and Johnny Depp at his most handsome (seriously, can’t get over it).
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“We can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do. By what we deny ourselves, what we resist, and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create… and who we include.”
In Vicky Cristina Barcelona, two friends spend their summer holiday in Barcelona, where they meet the seductive painter, Juan Antonio. They both fall in love with him, though approach the situation in very different ways. While Cristina is straightforward and openminded, Vicky is cautious and in doubt. Things become even more complicated when Juan’s passionate ex lover shows up.
I love any type of movie or tv-show that isn’t afraid to explore controversial scenarios such as, in this case, polyamory. Besides, with names likes Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, you can’t really go wrong with this movie.
“I can appreciate art and I love music but… It’s sad really because I feel like I have a lot to express and I am not gifted.”
One of the most nerve-wrecking movies I’ve ever seen (on the big screen no less), 127 Hours is the, believe it or not, true story of outdoor adventurer Aron Ralston (James Franco).
On one of his canyoneering trips in Utah, he gets trapped by a boulder that crashes on his arm, rendering him stuck in a narrow canyon without a soul in sight. For five long days, he ponders his life decisions while trying to survive these incredibly harsh conditions. What do you think, does he make it out alive?
“There is no force more powerful than the will to live.”
An unlikely friendship emerges between a middle aged movie star who’s past his prime and a twenty-something woman who just got married. Both experience loneliness and existential crisis in a hotel in Tokyo and find solace in each others company.
Lost In Translation is a classic that is both thought-provoking and aesthetically pleasing.
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
And While We Were Here is a laidback romantic movie about a woman who’s stuck in an unhappy marriage and meets a much younger Italian guy while on a business trip to the Island of Ischia.
A chill movie that will have you dreaming about strolling the streets of some picturesque Italian town with the love of your life.
“You’ve got to make your own life, one that you love, and you can’t be afraid of the time. Time is shiftable. There are moments of my life that I’d trade sixty years to have back again. That’s the truth.”
Once again, a movie that is based on an incredible true story that will have you on the edge of your seat the entire time.
Adrift tells the story of Tami Ashcraft and Richard Sharp, two free-spirited world travellers who meet by chance and fall in love. Unfortunately, they end up in one of the worst hurricanes in history during a sailing trip from Tahiti to San Diego. Thus, their love story turns into a nightmare of attempting to survive with very limited means.
“You can do anything you put your mind to.”
I know this is technically a list of travel movies and not tv-shows, but I just had to include Sense8. I haven’t seen any other show that includes so many countries, cultures and ethnicities in its story line.
Sense8 tells the story of eight strangers – who all live in different parts of the world and have very different backgrounds – that become mentally connected. While they suddenly experience each others thoughts and emotions, they try to figure out how and why this is happening.
This show will transport you to Berlin, LA, Iceland, Mexico, Mumbai, Kenya and Seoul and you will actually get an idea what it would be like to live in those places. One of the most interesting, diverse and progressive shows I’ve ever watched.
“The real violence, the violence I realized was unforgivable, is the violence that we do to ourselves, when we’re too afraid to be who we really are.”
I hope this list of travel movies gave you some inspiration on what to watch when you’re bored at home. Whether you’re in the mood for something romantic, adventurous or funny, these are all entertaining in their own way!
Have you seen any of these? Let me know in the comments which one of these travel movies is your favourite! 🙂
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