There are days you have an itch to scratch and the need to get out there is necessary. But somehow, you can’t. Maybe there’s just not enough time, maybe you’re low on cash, or possibly the weather Gods are just not letting you have it. Whatever your reason may be, I know how hard it is to have the need to satiate the wanderlust right there and then. So as a gift from me to you, here’s a list of my thirst-quenchers. I tried to spare you from the most common ones like Seven Years in Tibet, Into The Wild, etc. Not that they aren’t any good, but I just thought I’d share my personal easy-watch favorites. Who said you can’t wander around the world at the comfort of your own couch? Although, I won’t lie, it doesn’t always just satiate it. If anything, these might even inspire you to chase your wanderlust even more. But it’s not like that’s a bad thing either 🙂
1.) Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Or anything from Woody Allen, really. His cinematography is impeccable when it comes to capturing the vibe and the feel of the city. Possibly my favorite Woody Allen film, Vicki Cristina Barcelona, as the title implies, is set in the city of Barcelona, Spain. Two best friends spend their summer in the city but things pan out a little different than expected when they meet a mysterious man who offered to fly them to another beautiful Spanish town. The movie was filmed so beautifully that you could live vicariously through it. From sight seeing around the cities to Scarlett Johansson effortlessly photographing Penelope Cruz in an alley, it will take you on a digital tour at the comfort of your own couch. The worst thing that could happen from watching this film, is that instead of satiating your thirst, it would probably make you want to book a flight right away.
Favorite Quote: “Cristina continued to search…certain only for what she didn’t want.”
2.) The Beach
A classic in the world of backpackers. I was going to spare you this since it’s in every “Best Travel Movies” listicles you can find, but after watching it for the second time, I realized that I really liked it. This movie is based off a book which I haven’t read yet, but I intend to one of these days. It’s a story about a young American backpacker in Thailand who goes on a journey to find a secret beach. Although the film didn’t get great ratings, I thought it was filmed wonderfully. Leo’s performance isn’t what makes the movie great, but the movie does capture the reality of backpacking, from the stereotypes to the culture of backpackers. Prepare to get some visual pleasing of the beautiful beaches of Thailand. You’ll never see Maya Beach (film location) that empty and quiet these days so let this movie take you to an experience you probably never will encounter even if you head out there yourself.
Favorite Quote: “So never refuse an invitation, never resist the unfamiliar, never fail to be polite and never outstay the welcome. Just keep your mind open and suck in the experience.”
Don’t be fooled by this movie’s genre. Although targeted for children, this Disney film takes you on an adventure much further than your imagination could take you. The first five minutes of the movie is probably one of the most heartbreaking introduction of all time, but the backstory is necessary for the build up of the story. It follows the story of a widowed old man and a young Boy Scout who finds themselves attempting to chase the fictional Paradise Falls (actually based on the real life Angel Falls). I love how this inspires the audience to go out there and how it tells you that there is absolutely no age limit when it comes to adventure. Because there isn’t. All the limitations are just things we tell ourselves.
Favorite Quote: “Adventure is out there!”
This is the ultimate food porn. It’s a heartwarming story of a chef following his dreams and goes on a road trip with his son, a friend, and his food truck from Miami making stops at New Orleans, Lousiana and Austin, Texas. Any traveler knows that food is essential when traveling to understand more about a place’s culture and this movie did a fantastic job covering all aspects of food, music, and culture in each city they visited. Just be warned that you’re possibly going to get massive munchies from watching this. True story, I had to pause it to make myself a grilled cheese sandwich after that one marvelous scene.
Favorite Quote: “I may not do everything great in my life, but I’m good at this. I manage to touch people’s lives with what I do..”
5.) Lost In Translation
Another beautifully filmed movie, set in modern day Japan. This movie is about the honest reality of being in a foreign cosmopolitan city and being an alien and oblivious to everything it offers. The feeling of being lost and homesick is completely apprehended in this movie so perfectly that you’d feel for the characters if you’ve ever experienced something quite similar. If you’ve ever felt completely alone even when you’re surrounded by so many people, you will definitely empathize with the movie. It’s captured so brilliantly that despite the emptiness and vibe of the character, it’s hard not to appreciate.
Favorite Quote: “You’ll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
6.) Shanghai Kiss
I had to add this because of how relatable this movie is. It’s hard not to, especially if you’re going through mid life or quarter life crisis, or even if you’re in the middle of postgrad blues. We’ve all been there, feeling like you’re caught in limbo and not knowing what your next step in life should be. Following the journey of an American-Chinese man to China to claim a house that he inherited, this movie takes you on a wonderful tour around the streets of Shanghai. It’s especially wonderful seeing it in the perspective of someone attempting to get to know his roots but his westernized state of mind makes it a little more confusing than he thought it would be. Similar to the feeling of being lost in translation, the main character not only battles being in a foreign city, but also the pressure of being expected to be just like everybody else in his parent’s home land.
Favorite Quote: “Bunny, you’re my every other memory.”
What are your go to thirst-quenching movies? Tell me about your favorite wanderlust-inducing movies down below! I’d love a new movie to watch 🙂