“You travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.”― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Traveling and self-reflection are often two sides of the same coin. Exploring is a state of meditation that leaves one feeling tranquil and enthusiastic about life at the same moment and good movies have the ability to transport the viewers to any part of the world to experience that oxymoron. Here is a compilation of the best travel movies to travel through your screens.
1. Midnight in Paris
“I can never decide whether Paris is more beautiful by day or by night.”
Paris, art, and music make the perfect recipe for a good Woody Allen movie. The film is set in the picturesque French capital where the nostalgic screenwriter protagonist discovers his love for the city in mysterious ways. The film captures the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better. The movie is jammed with the essence of Paris in different compositions, memorable quotes, wondrous music, and ‘golden’ cinematography.
“What happens in Corsica, stays in Corsica.”
Shot in the best of locations in Corsica and the Mediterranean, Tamasha is one of the finest specimens of Imitiaz Ali’s direction. What starts as a staple coming of age story with an alluring exploration of the French island and its landscapes, hospitality, and culture slowly turns into a multifaceted complex narrative. This travel movie offers the best of music and acting and leaves us with thought-provoking messages.
“How wild it was, to let it be.”
An emotional memoir of Cheryl Strayed – a journey of self-discovery, closure for unanswered questions remaining unanswered, mourning, and an awakening. The hike of Pacific Crest Trail is captured beautifully with a very well earned redemption of the challenging journey of personal mountains of fear and weakness.
4. Letters to Juliet
“‘What’ and ‘If’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?”
Who doesn’t want to go to the enchanting city of Verona and write letters to Juliet? Letters to Juliet is a tale of love and adventure where the characters embark on their journey to Italy which is filled with joy and companionship, discovering themselves and the true meaning of love. The film seizes the landscapes of the Italian countryside with miles of beautiful vineyards and picket-fenced stunning cottages.
5. Zindagi na milegi Dobara
“Dilon mein tum apni betaabiyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum, nazar mein khwabon ki bijliyan leke chal rahe ho toh zinda ho tum.”
Shot beautifully across a road trip to Spain, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara celebrates friendship, travel, culture, love, and life with complicated poignance seeking up every once in a while as the group of three friends shares a merry little trip filled with humor and chaotic banters. The real star of the film is Spain with its lovely seaside, buskers, culinary delights, panoramic views, and life-changing dives!
6. Lost in translation
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.”
The ever-vibrant Tokyo serves as the main character while Charlotte and Bob Harris find their way through loneliness, ambiguous friendship, and Japanese culture. The slow-paced movie directed by Sofia Coppola creates a vibe of tranquility and makes the state of being lost into a pleasant reality.
7. Into the wild
“The core of man’s spirit comes from new experiences.”
Dissatisfied with his American dream, the real-life story of Christopher McCandless turned into a travel movie sees the journey of rebellion through the Alaskan wilderness and his pursuit of peace, which however, arrived at a tragic yet truthful realization that man is a social animal after all. The 2007 movie directed by Sean Penn takes us through the complexities of man and nature and how haunting it can be!
8. Darjeeling limited
“How can a train be lost? It’s on rails.”
Three brothers set on a voyage across the Indian subcontinent via train to “find themselves, bond with each other, and become brothers again.” The trip, however, takes chaotic turns and unravels into a new journey altogether. Wes Anderson explores various takes on relationships in this adventure comedy with the help of the spicy third lead, India.
9. Secret Life of Walter Mitty
“Life is about courage and going into the unknown.”
The feel-good adventure comedy movie starring and directed by Ben Stiller features a “negative assets manager” and his maladaptive fantasizing about adventures, but when he looks out the window the view is still the same. This film shows him going places he has never imagined and searching for something significant to him, but ends up discovering the value of the journey rather than the destination itself. Packed with breathtaking visuals and landscapes, the balance between humor and drama and stunning cinematography make the film a well crafted holiday binge.
10. Eat Pray Love
“To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.”
Eat Pray Love is a real-life memoir of Elizabeth Gilbert who is out on a quest of self-discovery from her maze of despair which takes her to explore Italy, the Indian countryside, and Bali, all three in their full glory. It is a deliberate chick flick with an engaging travelogue through beautiful countries and a journey towards oneself and spirituality.