Travel-Related Films You Should Watch

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is sponsored by Panasonic and their brand new 4k HDR TV Panasonic widescreen tv

The lust and drive we get to explore the world regularly comes from stories told in person, on blogs and vlogs by fellow travelers and influencers.

That same feeling and energy can be captured from other mediums. Travel stories can also be told in TV shows and films, which don’t get discussed much personally. There’s a few on the list that may surprise you as being a travel film.

Here’s some travel-related films you should watch along with my favourite movie scene from each of them.

Into The Wild (2007)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Said to be one of the most touching and inspiring films out there for travel enthusiasts to watch, Into The Wild is based on the true story of Graduate Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) leaving his wealthy life to go on a backpack road trip to Alaska and live there without his family or friends knowing.

Throughout the film, Chris embodied the whole backpacking and hitchhiking experience: going kayaking from Colorado to Mexico, games night with guys in a local bar and living in the rundown “magic” 142 bus in Alaskan wilderness that’s now an attraction for hitchhikers today. He also took up jobs here and there to fund for supplies. I can go on and on!

The core message of the film I got was that life is not about the amount of material things you have, your wealth or how long you live for. It’s about the experiences you have and the people you meet along the way who can define the person you later become. Furthermore, change, “radical” change, has to come from within you and it may come the hard way.

Also, I like how he went by Alexander Supertramp to others. For me as hilarious as the name is it shows us that maybe he doesn’t want to be the well-off, privileged “Chris”. Instead he wants to be thrill-seeking, free-spirited backpacking “Alex”.

Favourite Scene(s): Chris talks about how he’s going to travel to Alaska and escape from the big wide world then write a book about his travels.

Also The scene when he advises Tracy (played by Kristen Stewart) at Slab City to grab the things she wants in life.

Image Credit: NYTimes.com

Wild (2014)

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Broken from a failed marriage and losing her mother, Cheryl Strayed sets off on a 1000 mile hike to get past those traumatic experiences in Wild.

The Story goes back and forth between her time being with her partner, family time with mum and her hiking adventure.

Really like how it and Into The Wild both conveniently highlight the dangers hitchhiking. Examples being when Cheryl spots a potentially venomous snake sleeping and the constantly changing weather conditions on her hikes.

Both Strayed and McCandless uses travelling as a way of dealing with trauma and personal emptiness they’ve had in their past life and moving past it. It’s medicine for the pain they’d suffered from and a chance to discover something about themselves.

Like Into The Wild, Wild is based on a true story. Big difference being that the traveller doesn’t die alone and find happiness in the end. The character of Cheryl Strayed is wonderfully acted by Reese Witherspoon. She makes Cheryl likeable and grounded as she goes through things a lot of people can relate to.

Favourite Scene: Cheryl getting to the peak of a hill and screaming when she throws away her hiking boots

Coming To America (1988)

Image Credit: Google

Coming To America for me had a place on the list due to the sense of adventure, thrills and personal growth the main characters go through in the film are things travellers find themselves too.

Eddie Murphy in this comedy plays African prince Akeem who is disillusioned with his life of royalty decides with the help of his loyal servant and friend Semmi played by Arsenio Hall to go on a journey of self-discovery. This that takes Akeem and Semmi to America. Murphy at his comedic best along with Arsenio Hall putting in an excellent performance.

It’s somewhat refreshing to see characters of colour not portrayed too much with negative stereotypes. Additionally, the tone of the film being light-hearted helps the cause, even through the robbery scene.

Interesting fact: Murphy actually played three characters in the movie. Some who were in the EXACT SAME scene.

Favourite Scene: Attempted gun robbery at McDonalds (Or McDowells) by the cameoing Samuel L Jackson

Image Credit: ABCNews.com

Travel-Related Films You Should Watch
Image Credit: Den Of Geek

The Bucket List (2007)

You can probably make an educated guess about the via the title of the film but I’d give you a little synopsis. Two men who are from worlds-apart backgrounds diagnosed with terminal cancer. However they create a bucketlist of lifetime experiences to have to make the most of their time left.

Very few movies can make me shed the tear but the inevitable ending got me to. I’m sure wanderlusters and casual film goers alike will experience.

The Bucket List is only around 1 hour 30 mins long so the pacing of the movie is really fast from the beginning when Carter, played by Morgan Freeman and Edward by Jack Nicholson learn of their devastating news.

The differing personalities of Freeman’s and Nicholson’s characters is the sauce of the comedy and really help benefit each other’s character development throughout the filmthey both learn something before their timely deaths

Favourite Scene: Tie between Skydiving Scene/Edward throwing up his dinner after claiming it to be the best in LA. Carter makes jibe at it.

Travel-Related Films You Should Watch

Image Credit: NYTimes.com

Final Word

Special Mentions to Catch Me If You Can (2002), Wild (2014), Out of Africa (1985),

What’s your favourite film related to travelling or a character going on a spontaneous travel experience? Have you seen any of the films mentioned on this list?

Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures

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Johnny

Johnny is a 22-year old solo traveller and travel blogger with a craving to know the world better and make the small world bigger!

47 Comments

  1. Ricardo Da Costa
    February 13, 2019 / 8:27 pm

    Any movie with Eddie Murphy means I’m watching it. I’m free now so I’ll watch the movie now!

    Who knows might end up watching two from this list 😂😂

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 13, 2019 / 9:37 pm

      Eddie is the king bro! Defo look into the other ones, plus the others mentioned too. Think Catch Me If You Can is something you’d like 👊🏾

  2. mydreamality
    February 13, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Really enjoyed reading this post! I’ve seen the first 3 films. I watched Into the Wild last month and thought it was phenomenal.

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 13, 2019 / 9:39 pm

      It really is, I’m so sad that Chris couldn’t live to tell the story himself but it’s a further reminder that life is too short 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 13, 2019 / 9:57 pm

      Thanks Chloe 🙂 Glad you liked what you saw. Wild was definitely worth a watch. A lot of other travel films go unnoticed, even amongst travelers. Some we may or may not notice is an actual travel film!

  3. February 13, 2019 / 9:22 pm

    I have only seen one of these, so ashamed and I call myself a ‘movie-lover’… Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 13, 2019 / 9:57 pm

      You’re welcome Taylor!

  4. February 13, 2019 / 10:17 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with these film recs! I’m especially ecstatic that you added Coming to America in this list because I love this movie and definitely didn’t see it coming!

    Great post! I’ll be sure to watch Wild 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 2:39 pm

      I think a lot of readers are as ecstatic as you 🙂 I’m glad it can be recognised as a travel film, especially the fact that Akeem has so much culture shock like travelers do and it’s comedic just to make things even better

  5. February 14, 2019 / 8:50 am

    Ok, so many movies to add to my list of movies I HAVE TO watch hahaha! I’ve only seen “into the wild” on this list and it was a long time ago… I defo want to watch it again, with my new eyes, my traveller’s ones haha Thanks for sharing xx

    Anaïs | http://anais-n.com

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 2:50 pm

      You’re welcome Anais! Let me know what your 2nd thoughts on Into The Wild are. There’s defintiely a lot of things you miss from films that you notice when you watch years later

  6. Life Of Ci
    February 14, 2019 / 9:46 am

    Good read Johnny, loveeeeeeeed that you included ‘Coming to America – what a classic!!
    I’m defo gonna watch some of these movies again over the weekend xxx

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 2:54 pm

      For real sis! That movie is such a childhood gem for a 90s or 00s baby

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 14, 2019 / 2:58 pm

      You’re missing out! You won’t finish that film without at least laughing to the point where your stomach can’t take anymore jokes 😂

  7. February 14, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    I love Travel based films too! I think my favorite is Paris With Love. It has Diane Lane in it, and it’s just gorgeous! I’ve never wanted to visit France before and after I watched it last year, I’m like now obsessed and I want to see the same things she did! 🙂

  8. February 14, 2019 / 7:10 pm

    My favorite travel film is The Way. I didn’t think Into The Wild movie translated well from the book… the book goes a lot into exploring what Chris was like during his journey from people who knew him rather than him controlling the narrative.

    Rachel || http://anotherstationanothermile.com

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 15, 2019 / 10:11 am

      Ohh really? Sounds like the book will give a fresh perspective on the events then, funny enough I ordered the book a few days ago so can’t wait to read it now!

  9. This is Adnarim93
    February 15, 2019 / 8:53 am

    Yes to Coming to America! It is definitely a favorite. After traveling to a place that is foreign in every sense of the word, I can relate with Akeem. I will have to Bucket List on films to watch list.

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 15, 2019 / 2:31 pm

      Definitely Miranda, we all have an inner Akeem somewhere 😂 Let me know what you think of Bucket List when you watch it

  10. February 15, 2019 / 9:05 am

    Haven’t watched Into the Wild yet, but it is going on my list of things to do this weekend. Thank for sharing that!

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 15, 2019 / 2:32 pm

      You’re welcome! Enjoy your weekend too 🙂

  11. February 15, 2019 / 11:21 am

    I’m giggling at Coming to America. That is one of my favorite Eddie Murphy movies. I am going to go watch it again, for the tenth time, maybe:)

  12. aisasami
    February 15, 2019 / 2:43 pm

    I loooooooooooooooooove Coming to America. I can’t wrap my head on the sequel that is in planning. But, I really want to watch Into the Wild because I heard it is so good!

  13. February 16, 2019 / 12:11 pm

    Coming to America is an amazing film! Been looking for another 80s film to introduce the children to and I think I’ve found tonight’s family film! 😀

  14. February 16, 2019 / 9:24 pm

    Great list of travel films! Into the Wild and Wild are both incredible true stories of self discovery and real adventure. Coming to America is hilarious. And The Bucket List is a solid mix of comedy and drama.

    Another favorite is The Way, starring Martin Sheen – about a father retracing his son’s footsteps after he dies hiking the Camino in Spain.

    All great flicks to kick your feet up at home and re-watch!

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 3:57 pm

      You’ve described them all perfectly! The Way seems similar to the Into The Wild from an adventure point of view. I’ll defo try and accommodate some time for it in my schedule!

  15. February 16, 2019 / 10:31 pm

    Ah I love so many of these films – Coming to America is so hilarious and I am itching to see Reese Witherspoon in Wild (cannot believe I haven’t seen it yet). Not technically a movie about travel, but a great movie to get a sense of a foreign place is Amelie. If you love Paris, then this movie will grab your heart.

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:00 pm

      You’ve been missing out on Wild. If you’re into backpacking then it’s the one for you! I’ve come across Amelie too, I get the sense it’s a touching romcom or romantic drama.

  16. February 17, 2019 / 7:18 am

    Great collection of movies. I will keep this on my bucketlist now. I don’t think catch me if you can is a travel movie though, its a con movie (thats the only one i have watched).

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:29 pm

      Thanks. Yhe reason why I suggested Catch Me If You Can as a travel movie is cos the story of Frank Abagnale involves a lot of travelling to try and escape something (one thing travelers can relate), although less morally through performing scams on people. I know what you mean tho, traveling isn’t exactly the main focus of the film but there are themes.

  17. February 17, 2019 / 11:11 am

    Thank you for this post! I have some films to add to my watch list now 🌏

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:00 pm

      You’re welcome!

  18. February 17, 2019 / 1:52 pm

    Great list of ‘travel’ themed films. I have so many favourites, but two best travel films is Hideous Kinky and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Thanks for sharing your list 🙂

  19. February 21, 2019 / 10:38 pm

    I love Wild and Coming to America! Great list of films here 🙂

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:06 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  20. February 22, 2019 / 3:28 pm

    The Bucket List…absolute favorite, although all of these are fabulous.

  21. February 22, 2019 / 8:16 pm

    I’ve seen all of these!! Great picks 🙂 Especially love Into The Wild!!

  22. February 22, 2019 / 9:51 pm

    I love Catch me if you can and Coming to America. I’ve got some movies to add to the list (think into the wild will be the first though!) Good post:)

  23. February 23, 2019 / 8:03 am

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen (or heard of) any of these films. Are they on Netflix or Prime? I’ll need to give them a watch.

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:02 pm

      As far as I know only Bucket List is on Netflix. Not sure if some of the others are on Prime. If not then you’ll have to find a streaming site to watch them

  24. February 23, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    “Coming to America” is an all time favorite!!! I haven’t seen the others so I may have to check them out, especially the Reese Witherspoon one!!

    • Johnny
      Author
      February 23, 2019 / 4:05 pm

      It’s incredibly funny! Not surprising when you know that Eddie Murphy is the lead. Wild is cool too, Reese Witherspoon is so awesome in it!

  25. February 24, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    I’ve been meaning to watch Into the Wild and Wild for the longest time now! Reading Wild actually inspired me to go on more hikes. I’ve never heard of that last movie but it sounds like a good one!

    cabin twenty-four

  26. May 4, 2019 / 11:00 am

    Read this post before and watched Coming to America. Coming back to this post to see what I wanna watch tonight, The Bucket List it is!

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