PJ's on and popcorn sorted? Good, your round the world adventure from the comfort of your sofa is about to begin...
Slumdog Millionaire, 2008
Plot: An 18 year old Indian from the slums of Mumbai participates in the television show “Who wants to be a millionaire?”. For each question, Jamal recounts his history through flashbacks to illustrate how he knows the answer. Suspicions arise and he is accused of cheating.
What’s the big deal? It’s no surprise this emotionally stirring film received so much attention (winner of 8 Academic Awards no less). Jamal captivates us in each of his stories as we’re offered a realistic portrayal of exciting India through colorful settings and a rhythmic soundtrack.
The Beach, 2000
Plot: A young American backpacker seeks adventure in Bangkok and decides to travel to an uninhabited island with a French couple. The film depicts their life isolated from society as they settle in their new found paradisiac land surrounded by mighty fine beaches, a lagoon and marijuana plantations.
What’s the big deal? Leo fans will be thrilled as they plunge back into the past and discover a young adventure-seeker Di Caprio. All travellers should watch this movie – personally, it’s an all-time favourite.
The Art of Travel, 2008
Plot: High school grad Conner Layne dumps his unfaithful fiancée and sets off to Central America to satisfy his appetite for the world. First stop is Nicaragua, then Conner’s adventures lead him South where he’ll continue to travel for years.
Place: Central and South America
What’s the big deal? This movie is about a guy who dropped everything and followed his intuition, so watch out because that’s exactly what you’ll be tempted to do as well. You’ve been warned.
Plot: An Indian girl named Veera Tripathi gets taken away on a truck by abductors before her wedding day. Eventually, the journey unexpectedly brings her a sense of freedom, making Veera feel surprisingly more comfortable with her kidnappers as they hit the road.
What’s the big deal? This unusual plot makes this movie totally unpredictable. The storyline also makes you reflect on the often harsh living situation of many women in India and other parts of the world.
Plot: Based on Robyn Davidson’s true story, Tracks is a film about her nine-month journey across the Australian desert. Accompanied by three camels and a dog, the protagonist sets on an incredible yet perilous journey.
Place: Austrian desert, from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean.
What’s the big deal? This unstoppable woman sure knows how to bring hope to like-minded dreamers out there. Ladies, get ready to bow in front of your new superwoman hero.
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Eat Pray Love, 2010
Plot: Elizabeth Gilbert is a middle-aged woman that has everything in life you’d need to be happy, yet still feels incomplete and lost. This confusion pushes her out of her comfort zone and into a self-revelatory journey around the world.
Places: Italy, India and Indonesia
What’s the big deal? This movie perfectly encapsulates how travel can often be a re-evaluation of one’s life, sometimes even leading to radical shifts of perception. Watching it will make you pause and think on your life choices too, or just sick back, relax and enjoy a nice rom-com with a travel twist.
The greater good : a hitchhiker's perspective, 2013
Plot: This unique documentary explores the art of hitchhiking through Thomas Francine’s eyes. A long time traveller, Thomas has hitchhiked over 26’000 miles through 13 countries, and with this short film, he aims to show us why this activity is more safe than what we may think. (FYI Thomas hasn’t encountered a single dangerous situation at any point).
Place: Various locations
What’s the big deal? A personal documentary that might change your opinion on hitchhiking, make you less judgmental on others or as a minimum, give you more hope in “the greater good” of our fellow human beings.
One dollar a day, 2013
Plot: In 2010, a group of four university friends travelled to a rural Guatemalan village with the aim of living on 1$ a day for a whole summer. With the help of two cameras, they filmed this must-watch documentary.
What’s the big deal? “One dollar a day” is the living proof that with a great idea and a passion for people, wonderful things can be done. The success of this documentary was so unpredictably MASSIVE that the young filmmakers decided to continue giving voice to under represented individuals, the most recent one featuring refugees.
Life in a day, 2011
Plot: This is the story of a single day – July 24th 2010 – filmed in various locations worldwide from thousands of people’s perspectives (approximately 80’000). More than 4’500 hours of video clips were submitted to produce this 1h34 min long crowdsourced documentary.
What’s the big deal? If you’ve ever wondered what people from the other side of the world are doing at this very moment, then watch on to discover. Life in a day was filmed in 192 nations so hang tight, you’re in for a virtual world tour from a local’s point of view.
A map for Saturday, 2007
Plot: Producer Brook Silva-Braga left his job to go on a solo trip around 26 countries on four continents, filming his extraordinary encounters every step of the way. The result is an intimate documentary about long-term travelling that also shares the stories of other trekkers Braga met on the road.
Places: Australia, Asia, Europe and South America
What’s the big deal? If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hit the road for years, or you simply want to go down memory lane, this uplifting movie is the ideal pick. From the loneliness, frustrations and stress to the joys, laughs and freedom experienced, you’ll be sure to track the various emotional facets of extreme long-term backpacking.
The way, 2010
Plot: Following the death of his adult son, Thomas Avery, an American ophthalmologist, decides to return to the last place his child stepped foot in: El Camino de Santiago. His initial purpose is to retrieve the body, but Thomas ends up embarking on his son’s adventure and attempts to walk the iconic pilgrimage road.
Place: Southern France and North Eastern Spain
What’s the big deal? Not only does the movie film gorgeous Spanish landscapes, the plot also promotes traditional pilgrimages, reminding us that the journey is often more important than the destination. It wouldn’t surprise us if you extract your trekking shoes from the closet, remove all spider webs and take those bad boys out on a tour of their own.
The motorcycle diaries, 2004
Plot: This movie retells the true story of Ernesto (Che) Guevara and Alberto Granado and follows the duo as they embark on the epic motorcycle tour that changed their lives forever. The story is narrated in the form of a diary, the one Ernesto wrote on during this eventful adventure.
Place: Western region of South America
What’s the big deal? The film takes you inside Guevara’s mind, his doubts and concerns, to make the viewer understand what happened to Ernesto before he became known as Che. Realistic and sincere, you’ll feel like you’re peeking into the diary of an icon, a man that made history.
The secret life of Walter mitty
Plot: Walter Mitty works in an office for a magazine called Life. Constantly daydreaming of adventures, one day his spontaneous character leads him to follow a famous photojournalist with barely any clues in hands, taking him on a wild and inspirational journey.
Places: Greenland, Iceland and Himalayas
What’s the big deal? A real feel-good movie that makes us want to break from responsibilities and routine to go wherever our heart takes us.
The Darjeeling Limited, 2007
Plot: Three brothers travel across vibrant India by train one year after their father’s funeral in the aim of reconnecting with one another. They haven’t seen each other since the tragic event and their characters are so different that this trip really challenges their brotherly bond (plus gives the film a great humorous twist).
What’s the big deal? Aside from being visually stunning, the movie talks about how relationships can be strengthened or weakened during a trip to the other side of the world. You’ll think twice next time you pick a travel buddy, that’s for sure.
The bucket list, 2007
Plot: A mechanic and a billionaire meet on their hospital bed after both have been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Soon enough, they become friends and decide to complete their last wishes together before it’s too late.
What’s the big deal? This inspiring movie will remind you that life hangs at the bottom of a thread and that if you don’t live it fully, attaining as many dreams as possible, you’ll end up full of regrets.