Films or documentaries can often be a source of inspiration to travel and discover new places or experiences. Here is a selection of films and documentaries that will probably make you want to travel.
1. Eat Pray Love
The best-selling book Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert was adapted for the screen in 2010. The film tells the story of Liz, a New Yorker who decides to go travelling for a year to Rome, India and Bali to reconnect to herself after a difficult divorce.
Why you should watch it: It is more than a film just on travelling, it is also a film about self-exploration and how a crisis can make you leave your comfort zone to rebuild yourself. The fact that it is based on the true story of Elizabeth Gilbert who really took that trip in the early 2000s makes it even more interesting.
2. Expedition Happiness
The Netflix documentary Expedition Happiness follows the journey of Felix and Selima, 2 Germans who decided to leave their comfortable lives in Berlin to travel from the USA to Canada, Alaska, Panama and Mexico in their renovated American school bus.
Why you should watch it: It is again a real story and if you are dreaming of the van life, this will inspire you! BONUS: Do not miss out on “Pedal the world”, another documentary by Felix on his bicycle trip around the world a few years ago.
This is a film based on the book and real story of the author Cheryl Strayed. She took a long solo hiking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail which goes through California, Oregon and Washington in an attempt to heal after the death of her mother and her divorce.
Why you should watch it: It is another true story of a personal crisis leading to a departure. This one is very different from Eat Pray Love as it is all about hiking. If you love the US, diverse landscapes and hiking, this is a film for you.
4. Two days in New York
Marion is a French expat who lives in New York with her American boyfriend. This comedy highlights the cultural differences between French and Americans when Marion’s French family visits her and her boyfriend in New York.
Why you should watch it: Because you never get tired of a film with New York as a background. You will also love to see the funny cultural differences between French and Americans.
5. The Spanish apartment (L’Auberge espagnole)
This one is a classical film for the Erasmus generation who has been lucky to study in another country. The adventures of Xavier, a French student who goes on an Erasmus exchange to Barcelona, will make you want to be a student again.
Why you should watch it: It will remind you of your own Erasmus exchange. This film is the first one of a trilogy which shows the evolution of the characters over the years after their experience in Barcelona. Do not miss the sequels which also have an international touch: The Russian dolls and the Chinese puzzle.
6. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Two Americans girls travel to Barcelona for the summer and they both fall in love with Juan Antonio, a mysterious Spanish painter who invite them to spend the weekend with him…
Why you should watch it: You will immerse yourself in the fascinating Spanish culture, the city of Barcelona and a passionate intercultural love story.
Saroo is a young man in his twenties who has been adopted by a loving family in Australia when he was a child. The film takes you on his journey searching for his origins and biological family in India.
Why you should watch it: It is a very powerful and emotional film about adoption and the importance of our roots. The film taking place in Australia and India will make you travel in two very different societies and universes.
8. World tour Generation – The trip of a lifetime
If you have always wanted to go on a world tour, this is the documentary you should watch. It follows travellers who have decided to leave their lives in their home countries for a few months or a few years and travel the world solo, with their partner or family.
Why you should watch it: It is not a fiction but real people who have been doing a world tour. If you love travelling, you will not remain insensitive to the idea of packing your bags and starting your adventure.
9. The Holiday
Iris and Amanda exchange their homes for a couple of weeks in search of an escape from their difficult love lives at home. Iris flies to Los Angeles and Amanda to a small village in the UK hoping to get away from men…
Why you should watch it: You will travel between a cosy British village and the glamourous city of Los Angeles. It is also a good introduction to the home exchange concept in case you are considering it for your next holiday!