Movies that Inspire Wanderlust

Cinema magic is the wonderful thing that fills your chest with bravado and for a few moments, you think – YEA, I can do that! I am a superhero! Or, in this case, it may push you to get out there and travel. Here are my favorite movies that inspire this sense of wanderlust in me. I’ve seen other lists, but none quite encompass all of the ones that I love (without the ones I don’t):

Wild (2014) 

Even if you are ill-prepared, you are stronger than you think. Being out on your own, in the beautifully difficult wilderness, is the best teacher of that. It’s also got one of my favorite themes – overcoming trauma through adventure. #overcomehardship #truestory

“There is a sunrise and sunset every day and you can choose to be there for it. You can put yourself in the way of beauty.”

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

With absolutely gorgeous scenery of Iceland, this movie inspires all of us to have the courage to go for it, step out of our comfort zone, and take a leap! #YOLO

“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.

Up (2009)

‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans’ (as John Lennon once said). So, don’t forget to make those moments count. Also, it’s the journey, not the destination (Emerson). Get out there before you become a grumpy old man! #YOLO

Tagline: “Adventure is out there!”

“That might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most.”

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

While slow in parts, it retains the correct message about travel: seeing poverty and interacting firsthand with those that struggle daily for basic needs will open your eyes and heart in ways that words/images cannot equal. Not all of us will become famous revolutionaries, but I do hope travel inspires you to do good. #truestory #runaway

“Wandering around our America has changed me more than I thought. I am not me anymore. At least I’m not the same me that I was.”

Tagline: “Let the world change you. And you can change the world.”

Into The Wild (2007)

For those of us who have considered running away and disappearing from everyday life, to be truly independent, living on the road… This movie shows the beauty and danger of that dream in beautiful parts of America (and mostly Alaska). #truestory #YOLO #runaway

“Happiness is only real when shared.”

“I read somewhere, how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head.” (paraphrased from a Primo Levi quote)

Seven Years In Tibet (1997)

This movie highlights a moment in the history of Tibet, with beautiful scenes of the Himalayas and Lhasa. It teaches us that sometimes you find yourself in an unexpected location and through an unexpected relationship with someone. #truestory

“The absolute simplicity. That’s what I love. When you’re climbing your mind is clear and free from all confusions. You have focus. And suddenly the light becomes sharper, the sounds are richer and you’re filled with the deep, powerful presence of life.”

“May all travelers find happiness wherever they go, without any effort may they accomplish whatever they set out to do. And having safely returned to the shore, may they be safely reunited with their relatives.”

The Way (2010)

A pilgrimage is often what you need to grieve and move into the next chapter and this charming story is surprisingly great. #overcomehardship

“You don’t choose a life, dad. You live one.”

The Art of Travel (2008)

As an independent film, the quality and story are decent, but not fabulous. It IS great introduction to a rookie who learns how to let go and wander, with beautiful scenery of South America. #runaway #YOLO

Tagline: “The art of travel is to deviate from your plan.”

“Mastering the art of travel is not accomplished with practice or talent. No school will give you a bachelors degree in not getting shot while backpacking through eastern Africa. Or in avoiding Montezuma’s revenge on your trek through Mexico. It’s a way of life. Unknown to the majority, it’s almost impossible to convey to your friends back home over the course of a single conversation. It’s more of a feeling, it’s the excitement I experience the night before a trip. The high that comes with booking a one-way train ticket to a place I’ve never heard of. It’s the little things that so often go unnoticed…”

Notable Mentions

 Eat Pray Love (2010)

The movie is a poor rendition of the book, but learning to love yourself again and find yourself after bad relationships sometimes requires a journey of self-exploration (and meditation). #overcomehardship #truestory #YOLO

“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, 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 and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”

The Bucket List (2007)

It’s an easy good, feel-good movie. Don’t let it be too late before you decide to travel! Don’t be a grumpy old man, either. If for nothing else, this movie brought the term ‘bucket list’ into pop culture and it remains widely used!  #YOLO

Tagline: “When he closed his eyes, his heart was opened.”

The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)

A quest. A friendship. A brave hobbit. And New Zealand. What more can I say? Journeys aren’t always this difficult or long, but if you don’t want to do something big or visit New Zealand after this, then I’m not sure why you’re reading my blog.

“Certainty of death… Small chance of success… What are we waiting for?”

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

Life of Pi (2012)

More about a spiritual journey, sometimes the best experiences cannot be described to others, are the stuff miracles are made of, and must be cherished alone. #overcomehardship

“I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.”

“You cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.”

Coming Soon: Movies that make you NEVER want to travel again!