Saturday, 18 February 2012

Travel Films

There are a hell of a lot of films out there based on some type of travel. Roadtrips, vacations, round-the-world backpacking trips, there's a movie for everything. The best ones are the ones that inspire you to pack in your job and book a one way plane ticket the minute you finish watching it. Here are my top ten travel films that made me want to do just that.

The Beach
The ultimate travel film, with a hell of a good soundtrack. If you haven't seen this film and you are an aspiring backpacker, watch it, then watch it again. Based on the book by Alex Garland, it tells the story of backpacker Richard who lands in Bangkok, "the gateway to South East Asia", looking for something different, for adventure, for experiences. He finds that, and more when he is given a map which leads to a unknown, breathtaking beach which offers a new way of life. It inspired me and probably thousands of other backpackers to travel to Koh Phi Phi.

Into The Wild
This is a real emotional roller-coaster of a film with stunning scenery and a beautiful soundtrack. Based on the moving novel by Jon Krakauer about the true story of Christopher McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp. Christopher was an Emory University graduate who abandoned everyone and everything he knew before giving his $24,000 savings to Oxfam International and following his dream of travelling into the Alaskan wilderness, far away from civilization, to find himself. He met people on his travels who would go on to have a huge influence upon him.
"Happiness only real when shared." - Christopher McCandless.

One of the most successful films to ever come out of Australia. I watched this for the first time the first night I arrived in Sydney. My sister and I had originally gone to watch the 127 hours premiere but it was sold out so we got tickets for this instead. A brilliant blockbuster movie about a team of underwater cave divers searching for an unexplored cave system which leads to the ocean. Spectacularly shot on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, there's a high chance you'll be booking yourself onto a flight down under before it's over, but perhaps not onto a caving expedition.

127 Hours
Not a typical travel movie in any sense of the word, although it has inspired me to want to see the canyons of Utah. Based on the memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston. A true survival story about canyoneer Ralston who, during a solo expedition, became trapped "between a rock and a hard place." The night I went to see Sanctum in Sydney (the night of the 127 Hours premiere), I actually got to see Aron arriving to see the film about himself. He seemed to have such a kind, smiley nature, even after all he endured. He still climbs mountains and intends to climb Mount Everest. What a guy.

Sex and The City
The series that made a million girls want to see New York City. The subsequent films just added more girls to that number. There are even Sex and The City tours that run throughout the year in New York, taking people all over the city to see places such as Carrie's apartment and the famous New York Public Library, the intended location of her and Big's wedding.
The Hangover
"Some guys just can't handle Vegas." A hilarious tale of a trip to Las Vegas for a stag party that goes a bit awry when the groom goes missing during their drunken adventures. The three groomsmen must retrace their steps from the night before to find their friend, resulting in even more adventure that involves a tiger, a baby and Mike Tyson to name but a few. Bound to inspire anyone to want to see the bright lights of Las Vegas and have an adventure of their own.

Mamma Mia
Mostly filmed in the gorgeous Sporades Islands - a group of three islands in the east coast of Greece named Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos, this film has left me yearning to go island hopping in Greece someday.
Lost in Translation
This film came highly recommended from my friend Robbie (, so I watched it one night. If there's ever a movie to make you want to visit Japan, this would be it. Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray play two bored Americans, in Tokyo for different reasons. They meet eachother and become unlikely companions, taking in the crazy Tokyo experience together.

Almost Famous
A semi-autobiographical road movie from Cameron Crowe about a young student who lands a job writing a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming band as they tour around the USA. It's a heartwarming film about life, love and friendship with one of my favourite ever movie scenes, taking place in the band's tour bus ("Doris").

On The Road
An upcoming film to be released in 2012, based on one of the greatest books of the 20th century by Jack Kerouac. I hope they do it justice so it can stay on this list.


  1. Nice blog! I'm eagerly anticipating On the Road as well, fingers crossed it does the book justice!