WE’s Favorite Travel Movies
Whether you have plans to go overseas or you want to travel while enjoying the comforts of your own living room, movies are a great inspiration to set out and explore the world. We took an office poll and compiled a list of our favorite travel and destination movies.
L’Auberge Espagnole (The Spanish Apartment) [Spain]
A young French man doesn’t know what to do with his life, so he decides to take a yearlong graduate course in Barcelona, Spain. He ends up living in a crowded apartment with students from England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Denmark, and the results change his life. Anyone who has studied or interned abroad will feel a kinship to this movie.
Set in Paris, France, and with gorgeous cinematography exploring this beautiful city, the plot revolves around Amélie, a loner who enjoys doing secret acts of kindness to bring joy to those around her (except her nasty neighbor – he receives some unwelcome pranks!). This is a great movie for catching a glimpse of the lovely French capital, Paris.
The Way [Spain]
This film highlights the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James, a 500-mile pilgrimage route across Spain. After his son dies in an accident on the trail, a father sets out to finish what his son started. The production crew walked almost half of the entire route to make this film.
The Motorcycle Diaries [South America]
This film follows the diaries that the chronically young Che Guevara wrote as he motorcycled around South America. Guevara visits Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela. His trip opens his eyes to inequality in the world and ultimately inspires his political motivations. Hitting amazing vistas such as Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Machu Picchu, this film will surely inspire some South American wanderlust.
The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit [New Zealand]
Peter Jackson’s three Hobbit films and three Lord of the Rings films are all set in mystical and magical Middle Earth – and New Zealand fills that role perfectly. Based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien, these fantasy adventures feature hobbits, wizards, dwarves, dragons, and many other out-of-this-world creatures, not to mention the stunning scenery of New Zealand.
The English Patient [Italy]
Based on the book by Michael Ondaatje, this romantic drama is partly set in a makeshift hospital in post-World War II Italy. The story centers on a bomb defuser, a young nurse, a thief, and a mysterious burn victim and includes beautiful Italian cinematography and flashbacks to Egypt. The film won many awards, including Best Picture, at the Academy Awards in 1997.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Walter Mitty has been working at Life magazine for years, but the most exciting things he’s done are in his daydreams – until one day he steps way out of his comfort zone and finds himself on an adventure through Iceland, Greenland, and Afghanistan. This is a film for all of the dreamers who have taken or will take that adventure of a lifetime.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [India]
Featuring many stars of British cinema, the story follows a group of English retirees who head to a retirement hotel in India based on the amazing pictures on the website. What they find looks nothing like what they expected. With different attitudes about this rude awakening, the experiences of each of them in India prove life-changing.
The Hundred Foot Journey [France]
Based on the book by Richard C. Morais, this film follows the Kadam family, restaurateurs who are forced to flee India for Europe and finally settled in France. The Kadams are not welcomed with open arms, but they persevere, opening an Indian restaurant and working to find a place for themselves in this small French community.
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight [Europe/France]
This trilogy by Richard Linkletter follows Jessie and Celine through one never-ending conversation about life through beautiful destinations in Europe. In the first film, Before Sunrise, Jesse is an American backpacker who meets French traveler Celine on a train. They spent the day and night walking the streets of Vienna, Austria. Nine years later, Before Sunset finds them again strolling through the streets of Paris, France, continuing to wax philosophical about life. Another nine years pass, eighteen since they first met, and they are together in Before Midnight in Peloponnese, Greece, continuing to explore and talk about the world. Worth watching in order!
Midnight in Paris [France]
One of the more recent films in the extensive Woody Allen’s catalog, this story focuses on a writer who struggles with writer’s block while on a vacation in Paris. While walking through the streets of Paris at night, he suddenly finds himself amongst the greats of the 1920s Parisian art, music, and literature scene, such as Picasso and Hemingway. Midnight in Paris provides a fun walk through how influential the city can be.
The Darjeeling Limited [India]
Three estranged brothers reunite on a train trip across India. Not necessarily a joyous reunion, each brother brings along a secret, causing both drama and comedy. Directed by Wes Anderson, this film falls in line with his typical style: quirky characters, great attention to detail, and beautiful scenery.
Up [South America]
A cantankerous old widower becomes increasingly irritable as a sprawling city threatens to overtake his home. So he does what anyone backed into a corner would do – he floats his home to South America to finally visit Paradise Falls, a place he and his late wife had dreamed of visiting their whole lives. What he doesn’t expect is a tenacious stowaway scout and that this peaceful escape from reality will be anything but!
The Holiday [England]
Two women on opposite sides of the pond find themselves fed up with their dismal love lives. Taking a chance on a home exchange, an American and a British woman literally swap homes between Los Angeles and England and find this time outside of their everyday lives to be just what they needed.
A Bollywood hit, Devdas is based on the 1917 novella by Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay and has been made into a movie multiple times. A Romeo and Juliet-esque story, the movie follows Devdas and Paro, two people with a budding love so strong that everyone assumes they will marry – until Devdas’ family objects, saying Paro is from a lower caste. The most recent film stars two of Bollywood’s biggest names: Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
Posted by World Endeavors on March 18, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.