Below are some of the best travel movies I’ve ever come across. Please feel free to share ones I may have missed in the comments!
Yeah Yeah, I know this is pretty cliché, but come on, who doesn’t watch the movie and not come away yearning to get back in touch with nature—on a pristine beach, in the middle of the south Pacific, with sexy young hippies? I’ve seen this movie probably a couple dozen times, and I love the beginning where Leonardo is basically just roaming about without any real plans. He lets life take him where it may, and what an amazing ride it turns out to be.
This is one movie that most people have never heard of, but it’s a pretty awesome flick. After finding out his fiancé cheated on him, an American exchanges two honeymoon plane tickets for a one-way ticket to Managua, Nicaragua. There he meets all kinds of fellow travelers and embarks on an epic journey with some new friends. I can only hope that my upcoming backpacking adventure takes a similar to course to his. If you haven’t checked it out already, this one is a must see.
This movie is a cautionary tale about what could happen if one doesn’t have their wits about them. It is also a story about true friendship between two recent grads from America. What starts out as a graduation trip, turns into so much more when these two girls trust the wrong sweet-talking expat. I remember the first I watched this movie, and at the time I had never traveled outside the US. For a long time, this is how I envisions my first big trip happening. Thankfully, my first trip ended somewhat better than the one these girls take!
This movie shows how even unsuspecting nesters can suddenly be thrust into a traveling adventure that changes their lives. An uptight father with a free spirited son is forced to take a journey previously booked for his son. He soon realizes that perhaps there is more to gain from traveling than he previously imagined. This is a close tie to with my number one favorite travel movie, because we see how the journey slowly changes Martin Sheen’s character over the course of the movie.
Well duh. This is a classic. Alexander Supertramp basically sums up why so many of us backpackers do what we do. That yearning to free ourselves from the confines of luxuries and material goods… That desire to experience a simpler world… That knowledge that nature is God, and a desire to immerse oneself in it. If you only watch one movie on this list, let it be Into the Wild… then go read the book!