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5 Films that will inspire your future travels

5 Films that will inspire your future travels

Planning your next holiday? Here are five travel films to look to for inspiration for your next trip

2023 might be the year of travel for many. There’s no better time than right now to go and see the world, and plenty of people could still be sticking to their new year’s resolutions to embark on a tremendous trip. Looking for destination inspiration can be hard though.

Luckily, the big screen might have the answer. Cinema history has shown that the medium is a great lover of global exploration. Whether these movies contain a protagonist that has embarked on their own vacation, or feature an international setting in a gorgeous way, these productions could have audiences jumping to book their next flight abroad. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 

Writer James Thurber released a short story in 1939 titled The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. While the 1947 film was an admirable adaptation, it is arguably the 2013 release that is worth revisiting the most.  

Directed by and starring Ben Stiller and written by Steve Conrad, the film sees the titular Walter finally break out of his comfort zone. Forced on an adventure that requires him to travel across the globe, tracing the path of a talented photographer, the audience bears witness to Mitty’s reluctant boldness, in a picture that displays the wonderful absurdity of impulsive travelling.  

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty displays the wonderful absurdity of impulsive travelling"

Nuuk in Greenland, Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the Afghan Himalayas and New York City are just a few of the captivating locations featured. This is a perfect premise to get any home-lovers out into the wilderness, with the thematic concept of the film offering up the tranquil beauty of mother nature.  

The Bucket List

2007’s The Bucket List, which was directed by Rob Reiner and written by Justin Zackham, focused on making the most out of life.  

Travelling to far off lands often features on bucket lists and for Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman’s Edward and Carter respectively—their terminal illnesses were not going to hold them back from visiting their dream destinations, while ticking off some other unexpected activities along the way.  

Each location is thus portrayed from an alternative point of view, as if it might be seen for the very last time. It is poignant and powerful, with a montage of sightseeing including the North Pole, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, Great Pyramid of Giza, a Tanzania safari and a trek up Mount Everest, demonstrating the sheer range of locales highlighted here. While the film itself is deeply moving, it does also promote a notable message, to get out there into the world and never stop getting inspired. 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 

New beginnings. That’s the focus of the 2004 novel These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach and this 2011 film elegantly touches on that same idea. Directed by John Madden with a screenplay from Ol Parker, the production boasts an all-star line-up that includes Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel and Penelope Wilton, among so many others.  

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel argues that travel can make an extraordinary difference within each of us"

Vibrant and full of life, a group of retired Brits travel to Jaipur, India to stay in the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Investigating whether this abrupt change in their lives will be for the better, the movie portrays India in all its glory, with audiences surely wanting to be immersed in its rich culture.  

In its very premise, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel argues that not only is travel good for the soul, but it can make an extraordinary difference within each of us.   

Away We Go 

2009 saw the release of Away We Go, which was directed by Sam Mendes and written by Vendela Vida alongside Dave Eggers. Starring John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph in the lead roles, the project might be a character-focused piece, but at its core it’s still a road trip film.  

With Burt’s parents moving to Antwerp, he and Gloria have to pick a new home where they can raise their child in a safe and trusted environment. The search begins with a visit to Phoenix, before their journey takes them to Tucson, Madison, Montreal, Miami and Florida. It’s a brisk tour of some of North America’s wonderful towns and cities, but each time they are viewed through the lens of family, love and support.  

Although the pair take a while to truly settle somewhere, the film encourages fresh starts and paints an alternative picture of the United States and Canada, with all of their hidden gems uncovered. Bizarre characters and familial drama don’t take away from the peaceful notion of cross-country exploration. 


2013’s Tracks, which was directed by John Curran and written by Marion Nelson, was initially inspired by the Robyn Davidson memoir. Starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver as her National Geographic photographer, Rick Smolan, there are no limits on where this production will take its viewers.  

Robyn begins her travels in Alice Springs, where she will march across the Australian desert to reach the Indian Ocean. The 2,000 mile distance is no easy trek, but in a project focused on pushing the limits of the human body, it never truly stops to question the beauty of the landscape itself. It’s so abundantly clear that there is a charm to this inhospitable environment, which may seem like a complete paradox.  

"Adventure is possible anywhere, as long as we search for it"

While it might not provide direct destination inspiration, it will surely push watchers to be bold and visit those locations that might normally be deemed as difficult to negotiate. Adventure is possible anywhere, as long as we search for it.  

Films are a wonderful way to explore the world, without leaving your house. But whether they offer up areas that will lead to immediate hotel arrangements, or promote an idea of what travelling can be, these productions are sure to let the imagination run wild of what you could experience next.  

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