The 10 Best Travel Movies

Cinema and traveling are my two biggest passions, and when I get to experience them both at once, it is a real pleasure. Travel movies are among my favorites – they are emotional, suspenseful and beautiful, and give me the opportunity to go on an adventure without leaving my home.

I have watched many travel movies, but these are the top 10 I love the most.

10. The Way (2010)

The Way is about a father walking El Camindo de Santiago while dealing with the grief of losing his son.

The movie is beautiful and very emotional, and it also strikes a chord since I, myself, have walked El Camino de Santiago. I think that it ultimately is a story that shows how unique and personal a travel experience can be for each one of us.

9. Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

This is the true story of the mountaineer Heinrich Harrer who travels in Asia and becomes friends with the Dalai Lama.

Without a doubt, this is one cinematically beautiful movie. It is about traveling as a philosophical experience, and how it can transform you and your life.

8. Tracks (2013)

This is a bio pic telling the story of Robyn Davidson, a young woman who travels a 1,700-mile trek across Australia.

Tracks is a movie about traveling as a form of getting to know yourself, challenging yourself, and finding peace at the same time. It is a slow, but soulful film that I would recommend to all travel-addicts.

7. Wild (2014)

Wild is about a woman taking a journey across America on the Pacific Crest Trail.

It is a beautiful story about healing and growth. It is about traveling as both a physical and mental experience of moving forward.

Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

6. Out of Africa (1985)

The movie is based on the memories of the writer Karen Blixen, and it is not that much about traveling but rather about the experience of living abroad in a culture very different from your own.

From all the “good old movies”, I have chosen this one not only because it is a great film. It is about all that exploring is – prejudice and discovery, adventure, bravery, mystery, freedom, loss and passion.

5. Nomadland (2020)

This is the story of a women, who, after losing everything, chooses to live in her van and travel across America.

I don’t know if the film is accurate or realistic. However, what I love is that it is a story told without judgment. The director, Chloé Zhao doesn’t romanticize the nomadic lifestyle, but she also doesn’t pity her characters. Ultimately, Nomadland is not about traveling, and it is not about alternative lifestyle, it is just about living.

4. Life of Pi (2012)

Life of Pi, based on Yann Martel’s book, is about a boy telling his adventure stories and how he sailed across the Pacific Ocean in a boat with a Bengal tiger.

I have previously talked about this movie as one of the best of 2012, and it is also one of my favorite travel movies.

I can say again that the visually stunning and yet so realistic scenes are delightful cinematic experience. This is a movie about faith, perseverance, acceptance, spirituality.

3. Before sunrise (1995)

Before sunrise starts when a young man and woman meet on a train and disembark in Vienna, where they spend the night walking around the city and getting to know each other.

This is a movie about this side of traveling that is so personal that often stays untold or hidden. Getting back home, you can talk about the museums you have visited, and the food that you have tasted, and you can even talk about the people you met, but you can never describe the way someone has touched your heart. As a person who has traveled a lot, I have met a lot of people, and I had to say some really hard goodbyes. So I can relate to the movie’s sincerity, and the bitter-sweet feelings it carries.

2. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

The plot is simple – three brothers embark on a journey across India trying to strengthen their relationship. However, this is certainly not a conventional road trip movie.

The Darjeeling Limited is Wes Anderson at his best. The movie is original, funny, emotional, smart, surreal, but somehow relatable. It is not about the perfect trip, but about a trip that is authentic, unplanned, and ultimately very human. Gorgeous visuals, sharp script, beautiful soundtrack and superb acting make it an unforgettable experience.

1. Into the Wild (2007)

This is the real story of Christopher McCandless – a student who upon graduation abandons his life and positions, and travels through the USA on its way to Alaska where he wishes to live in the wilderness. The movie is written and directed by Sean Penn, but it is based on the Jon Krakauer book.

I think this story is so powerful because it goes beyond the traditional understanding of traveling. Yes, it is about new experiences, new people, new cultures, getting to know yourself, and exploring the world. At its very core, however, it is about freedom, and about living deliberately.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Lorelei r.

    Beautiful! Love this list.

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