My love affair with travel started long ago, before I ever journeyed beyond the borders of my home town, state, or country and onto foreign lands. As a young lass, just about anything ‘exotic’ intrigued me, namely: celebrities with accents, Thai food, “Wish You Were Here” postcards, and the illustrated/animated classic, Madeline. But really, it’s movies I have to thank for my infatuation with travel. Films made it easy to picture life elsewhere, and that taste of unfamiliar culture and wonderful newness was both inspiring and spiritual, filling my naive, teenage soul with dreams and possibilities of what it means to get away. Now, fully grown, I still love the talkies and continue to hold a special spot in my heart for the traveling kind. Filling me with a wanderlust that can’t be ignored, behold a handpicked list of movies that I simply adore and inspire me to get away.
The Darjeeling Limited
What it’s got: Stunning visuals, quirky characters played by Owen Wilson/Adrien Brody/Jason Schartzman, and the brilliant storytelling of Wes Anderson.
Where it goes: India
Why I adore it: This movie just makes me smile. I dare anyone to watch it without a grin.
Lost in Translation
What it’s got: Scarlett Johansson’s tush and peek inside what it might be like to visit Tokyo, one of the busiest cities in the world, and still feel a little bit lonely.
Where it goes: Tokyo, Japan
Why I adore it: Yes, Bill Murray is in this one, but the standout performance goes to Scarlett Johansson. There’s an unlikely chemistry between them, and I love that they seem to say more to one another through quiet expressions and glances than spoken dialogue.
Midnight in Paris
What it’s got: Great storytelling, pretty people, and the stunning backdrop of Paris.
Where it goes: Paris, France
Why I adore it: It’s a fantasy come to life. If only!
Under the Tuscan Sun
What it’s got: Well, it’s based on a true story, so there’s an element of reality there… but with Hollywood’s paintbrush. Dianne Lane is lovely, vulnerable, at a ‘crossroads’, and even though the story seems a bit predictable, the journey is a heartwarming one.
Where it goes: Italy
Why I adore it: This makes the possibility of running away to Italy, buying an old villa, and turning your life around seem pretty darn doable. Oh, and the Italian landscape is breathtaking.
Away We Go
What it’s got: A normal couple, on an abnormal journey, searching for their happy place before they become 3.
Where it goes: USA
Why I adore it: Any “The Office” fans? If you love Jim Halpert, I assure you that John Krasinski will not let you down.
What it’s got: Two strangers meet on a train and decide to spend the day getting to know one another. Not all that much happens, but their encounter is romantic, poignant, and memorable.
Where it goes: Vienna, Austria
Why I adore it: Imagine traveling solo, and out of nowhere, you meet this attractive stranger that you have immediate chemistry with and some of the best conversation of your life. Dreamy.
What it’s got: Good looking young people, amazing (once untouched) beaches in Thailand, and some unexpected turns in paradise.
Where it goes: Thailand
Why I adore it: Like many travelers, this gave me a glimpse of Thailand’s heavenly beaches. I can now say they are as gorgeous as they appear on screen.
What are some travel movies you just can’t get enough of?