Amid the global pandemic outbreak, we’re all going a little stir crazy waiting for this whole thing to blow over.
If you’ve been working from home, then you’re one of the lucky ones. The rest of us are binge watching Netflix and Hulu, anxiously awaiting a return to civilized life.
But one thing’s for sure—we’re all daydreaming about where we’ll go on vacation when this is finally over. Thankfully for our sanity, movies can be an awe-inspiring gateway to our daydreams.
By definition, movies are a suspension into disbelief, an artistic expression designed to transport us to a completely different world, sometimes literally.
In the best cases, travel films can inspire the wanderlust in all of us.
Here are 5 more movies that do just that:
The Bucket List (2007)
This is without a doubt the most quintessential travel movie. It’s literally about experiencing all the wonders of the world before you “kick the bucket.”
Starring acting legends Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, it’s a comedy about two terminally ill patients who take off on a global trip and experience all the must-do’s instead of waiting to die in a cancer ward.
They travel to the restaurant Le Chevre d’Or in France, see Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Tanzania, Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal, the North Pole, and the Great Pyramid in Egypt.
If that doesn’t get your traveling juices flowing, nothing will.
The Big Year (2011)
This is a little-known gem about birding starring Jack Black, Steve Martin, and Owen Wilson. You might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of people out there who are obsessed with birds. It’s especially big in North America where bird enthusiasts travel the continent looking for different species.
“The Big Year” is about two birders (Black and Martin) who try to dethrone the world record holder (Wilson) for seeing the most bird species in a calendar year in North America.
Suffice it to say, they travel around a lot in this film. In one scene you’re seeing “bird fallout” in Texas, and the next thing you know, you’re in Alaska. This light-hearted studio comedy is a frenetic experience of North American landscapes and that alone is reason enough to watch.
Lost in Translation (2003)
Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson star in this film directed by Sofia Coppola about finding familiarity in unfamiliar territory. The story follows a washed-up American movie star who takes a gig selling Japanese Suntory Whiskey in Tokyo and forms an unlikely bond with a recent American Yale graduate thirty years his junior.
Sometimes we can all use a little culture shock to give us some worldly perspective. Bob (Murray) and Charlotte (Johansson) are both lost souls – Bob has reached his wit’s end with his career and homelife, while Charlotte is in a loveless marriage – and their circumstances are not helped by the isolation of Japanese-American cultural barriers.
“Lost in Translation” is a great representation of what it’s like to be alone in a city that’s a totally different world. The good news is they have each other to navigate through this alien world.
The Beach (2000)
This is probably Leonardo DiCaprio’s most forgotten film.
Directed by Danny Boyle, “The Beach” is about a 20-year-old American (DiCaprio) who travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. The map leads him to a self-sustaining island of tropical bliss. But soon the real world necessities set in and this magical paradise shifts to his worst nightmare.
If you want a movie about the extreme highs and dangerous lows of traveling around the world, “The Beach” is a movie that will get the adrenaline running through your veins.
Bottle Shock (2008)
It was tempting to put “Sideways” for this one, but no movie really captures Napa Valley better than “Bottle Shock.” This is the story about the early days of California winemaking starring a pre-Star Trek Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, and Alan Rickman.
Based on a true story, an English sommelier (Rickman) visits Napa Valley to find the region’s best wine for a blind-tasting competition in France, known today as the “Judgment of Paris.” California’s Jim Barrett (Pullman) and his son Bo’s (Pine) Chateau Montelena ends up winning the wine competition, putting America on the global winemaking map.
There are sweeping views of California vineyards, the drizzly streets of Paris, and the countryside of France. This might actually beat out “Sideways” as the quintessential wine movie too.
We’re all suffering from cabin fever, but at least we can daydream. Let these movies inspire your next vacation destination.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)