15 travel movies to boost your wanderlust

Hello friends! Today I’m republishing this post I wrote almost five years ago. Hope it will help you feed your wanderlust and travel without living your home. We’re on a three week lockdown in India at the moment – every  single  person in  a country with population of 1.3 billion people  is supposed to stay at home. Unimaginable, to be honest. 

A good movie is inspiring in so many ways. Beautiful landscapes, remote cultures and epic adventures help one look at things from a different perspective. Here is a list of movies I found wanderlust-boosting in different periods of my life.

 “The Sheltering Sky”


I’ve always been rather skeptical about the concept of a couple going on a holiday in order to deal with marital issues. Traveling together doesn’t solve the problem. Or does it? In “The Sheltering Sky” an American couple travels to North Africa.  As a result, not only do their marital problems remain unsolved, but the husband dies of typhoid and the wife gets lost in the Sahara desert. Rationally thinking, you wouldn’t say this plot is one of those to increase your wander lust, but with Bertolucci’s movie the effect is rather unexpected.

“Wings of Desire” (“The sky over Berlin”)

wings of desire

Actually, the movie has very little to do with traveling – it’s a love story of an angel and a lonely trapeze artist. But after watching it you just feel like immediately buying a ticket and flying straight to Berlin. Hm, just look at me speaking, as if it’s so easy with my Ukrainian passport.

“Paris, I love you”


This movie consists of 18 short episodes depicting different aspects of life in the “city of love”. I enjoy all of them, except maybe one or two, but the last one is the most relevant to traveling – I suppose this is how people fall in love with a place.

“Passage to India”

passage to nidia

It’s a beautiful movie of David Lean based on the novel by Edward Forster. It’s  set in the 1920s during the period of British Raj, when a young British woman Adela decided to explore the Marabar Caves in order to learn about the “real” India. Needless to say, her experience was nothing but extraordinary.

“To Rome with Love”

To Rome with love

I’ve been rather disappointed with the recent movies of Woody Allen – all these “Vicky Christina Barcelona”, “Midnight in Paris” and “Blue Jasmine” are nothing more than a mix of easily digestible ingredients for an audience good old Woody doesn’t respect. “To Rome with Love” is no exception, but, firstly, there were some traces of good irony to appreciate, and secondly, it’s impossible to spoil Rome even with a bad movie.

“The motorcycle diaries”

the diaries

I couldn’t think of a worse actor to depict Che Guevara than an eternal teenager Gael Garcia Bernal, but the movie is beautiful nevertheless. If you’re dreaming about Latin America, it will definitely boost your travel lust.

“Lost in Translation”

lost in transaltion

Traveling is not always purple and flowery. The face expression of Bill Murray proves it! Lonely and lost, misunderstood and hopeless American in Tokyo.

“A room with a view”

a room with a view

It seems Forster’s novels are a perfect base for tasteful and enjoyable movies. A young British girl comes to Italy and changes the hotel room to have a better view. Eventually she changes some of her points of view as well.

“Before Sunrise”

before sunrise

The first part of the trilogy and the only one worth watching. Don’t get me wrong – “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” are great in  their own way, but in the second part one can already make out that the marriage of these two are going to be a disaster, and the third part proves the point. In “Before Sunrise”, a young American guy meets a charming French girl in a train and they spend a wonderful evening in Vienna. Wandering along the streets of this astounding city, they get to know each other.

“The Groundhog day”

Groundhog day

Sometimes it’s much harder to leave your travel destination than you could possibly imagine. Especially if you’re caught in a time wrap and forced to relive the same day over and over again. Sparkling Bill Murray again!

“Cast Away”

cast away

What are you going to do if your plain suddenly crushes in the middle of the ocean? Obviously, you’ll swim to an inhabitant island, fish and hunt for food, build a house, make an imaginary friend, and then one fine day you’ll build a raft and go back to the civilized world. If Tom Hanks can do it, you can do it too!

“Thelma and Luisa”

thelma and louise

A road trip of two women who are pushed to the wall. Dangerous adventures and disastrous consequences.

“The Gods must be crazy”

the gods muzt be crazy

What are you traveling for? Fun? Enlightenment? Relaxation? Changing scenery? Self discovery? Well, some people travel to return a useless gift to the gods!

“What dreams may come”


…and the other travel from the Haven to the Hell in order to save the souls of their beloved ones.

“Knocking on the heavens door”

knocking on the heavens' door

Two patients with a terminal illness decide to take one last  trip to the sea. A million dollars, found in the trunk of their car, adds some spice to the journey.

Feel free to share your favorite travel movies in the comments, I’ll be glad to add one or two to my collection 🙂

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15 travel movies to boost your wanderlust



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