What is it about the silver screen that gives us itchy travel feet? Is it the romance, the scenic locations, or just the feeling of escapism that makes us want to jump on the next flight somewhere? Whatever it is, we’re hooked!
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up seven movies that never fail to inspire wanderlust.
Mamma Mia! – Greece
Based on the smash hit musical of the same name, and featuring some of the biggest hits of Swedish pop group ABBA, Mamma Mia! somehow made a trip to Greece even more enticing than it already was. The rocky cliffs and whitewashed villages, sailing over cerulean waters on a small yacht… just one look and we can hear a bell ring, one more look and we forget everything – except that we need to get ourselves over to the island of Skopelos as soon as possible.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Iceland
We dare you to not want to visit Iceland or the Himalayas after seeing this movie. In a nutshell, it’s the story of an office worker (Walter Mitty) who daydreams of going on adventures but never does – until one day an adventure comes to him. It’s a feel good movie about igniting that spark within yourself, living in the moment and embracing opportunities that come your way.
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – India
Starring a who’s who of the British film industry, 2011 comedy Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sent Jaipur straight to the top of our travel wishlist. Though a highly romanticised version of ‘the pink city’, it didn’t matter. We wanted to just hop on the back of a tuk tuk, browse colourful markets for trinkets and saris, and lose (or would that be find?) ourselves in its grand palaces.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – New Zealand
One ring to rule them all, one country so spectacular it’s like a fantasy world brought to life. The lush forests, snow-capped mountains, and rolling grasslands of New Zealand brought Middle Earth to life like nowhere else could. There was little need for movie magic either. It really is that spectacular in person. Though the later Hobbit trilogy jumped the shark, the original trio will never stop inspiring us to take a sneaky trip across the ditch at every opportunity.
Under the Tuscan Sun – Italy
What do you do when a long-term relationship breaks down? Buy and renovate a run down villa in Tuscany, of course! At least, that’s what the rough premise of Under the Tuscan Sun is. But it’s more than that too. Although a little formulaic, it’s a film about starting life anew, finding our inner strength, and indulging in some delicious Italian cuisine along the way.
Memoirs of a Geisha – Japan
Some films are so beautiful you can’t take your eyes away from the screen. This is one of them. Set in pre-World War II Japan, the 2005 film follows an impoverished young girl who is sold to a geisha house, her training, and her rise to become one of the most famous geisha of the time. Filmed in several locations across the imperial city of Kyoto – including the gorgeous Fushimi Inari Shrine – it has inspired countless travellers to take a trip to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.
Midnight in Paris – France
Proving he was more than just a funny guy, Owen Wilson lit up the screen in Woody Allen’s enchanting 2011 film Midnight in Paris. The sweeping opening montage of Paris’ most iconic sights set the scene, with a hearty dose of time travel back to the city’s golden age of art and literature making us want to read poetry and take late-night strolls along the River Seine.
Honourable mentions go to Lost in Translation and The Beach.