Traveling may elicit many feelings: fun, joy, sadness, empowerment. There are trips though that can change your life…
Check out this list of movies showing life-changing trips, geographical, but also spiritual… Maybe they will inspire you to find your next travel destination….
1. THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES
The plot: Based on the journals of Ernesto “Che” Guevara. While being a medical student, he and a friend went on a motorcycle road trip throughout South America. Besides fun and adventure, they find their own selves and their destiny…
It inspires travel because…. a road trip in South America, the intimate contact with its people, but also a self discovery journey…This movie certainly inspired me, and this trip is at the top of my lifetime “Bucket list”…
Quote:“Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought. I am not me any more. At least I’m not the same me I was”.
2. SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET
The plot: Based on the true story of Austrian Heinrich Harrer, who travels to the Himalayas to climb Mt. Nanga. After going through several incidents, he becomes one of the two foreigners in the Tibetan Holy City of Lhasa. There he befriends with the Dalai Lama, changing his life forever…
It inspires travel because….the film introduces us to Tibetans lifestyle, and shows us how a trip can transform someone, from being selfish and arrogant to wise and spiritual…Besides, the beautiful Tibetan scenery…
Quote: Dalai Lama: “We have a saying in Tibet: if a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good”.
3. INTO THE WILD
The plot: After graduating from university, top student Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions and hitchhikes to Alaska to live into the wild. Based on a true story.
It inspires travel because…the idea of abandoning everything to pursue a road trip throughout the United States has inspired many people. The movie captures very nicely the american natural beauty.
Quote: “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it”
4. THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
The plot: When his job gets threatened, Walter embarks on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
It inspires travel because…a day dreamer finally discovering the real world. From New York all the way to Iceland and the Himalayas…
Quote: “To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life”.
5. THE BEACH
The plot: A young American backpacker travels to Thailand, and searches for a hidden beach, supposed to be paradise on earth.
It inspires travel because….Who doesn’t want to find the perfect, secluded beach? The Maya Bay, where the movie was filmed has inspired a lot of travellers, becoming one of the major tourist attractions in Thailand.
Quote: “And me, I still believe in paradise. But now at least I know it’s not some place you can look for, ’cause it’s not where you go. It’s how you feel for a moment in your life when you’re a part of something, and if you find that moment… it lasts forever…”
6. UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN
The plot: Based (loosely) on the biographical novel of Frances Mayes. When her perfect life gets unexpectedly messed up, Frances goes on a bus tour to Italy, and there she impulsively buys a villa in Tuscany. While restoring the villa, she eventually finds herself, and love…
It inspires travel because….when everything seems lost, a trip can change our lives. Add the beautiful Tuscan scenery…
Quote: “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different”
7. OUT OF AFRICA
The plot: Karen Blixen, a Danish woman, moves to Africa and starts a coffee plantation. While her sentimental life gets complicated, she gains a much better understanding and respect for the African culture. Based on a true story.
It inspires travel because…the breathtaking African scenery
Quote: “Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road”
8. L’AUBERGE ESPAGNOLE
The plot: Xavier, a French student, moves to Barcelona. There, he shares an apartment with other foreign students. Together they will live a series of adventures that will change his life.
It inspires travel because…the student life, the cultural exchanges, with Barcelona as a background.
Quote: “When you first arrive in a new city, nothing makes sense. Everything’ s unknown, virgin… After you’ve lived here, walked these streets, you’ll know them inside out. You’ll know these people. (…) it’ll belong to you because you’ve lived there”
9. LOST IN TRANSLATION
The plot: Two americans meet each other in Tokyo and experience the cultural and language differences between themselves and the Japanese.
It inspires travel because…traveling sometimes make us bond to people that influences us forever. The movie captures very well Japanese culture, and shows some beautiful shots in Kyoto…
Quote: “Let’s never come here again because it would never be as much fun.”
10. EAT PRAY LOVE
The plot: A woman unhappy with her life takes off on a journey, and finds herself while eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia.
It inspires travel because….Although Liz’s character did not inspire me, neither I liked much the movie, there are breathtaking landscapes, delicious food and nice music (I love this song…). Besides, who wouldn’t want to go on a trip from Italy to India to Bali?
Quote: “If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (…) and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue (…) then the truth will not be withheld from you.”
Honorary mention:THE BEFORE TRILOGY: “BEFORE SUNRISE”, “BEFORE SUNSET”, “BEFORE MIDNIGHT”.
These three beautiful movies inspire travel, each one in a different way: young couple meeting in Vienna, their reunion in Paris, their vacations in Greece. Read more here.