We recently spent a couple weeks exploring Mexico and while there, the Oscars were on. While watching this annual tribute to movies (in Spanish), thoughts turned to movies that inspired bouts of wanderlust in us. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty gave Iceland its first leading role in a Hollywood blockbuster. Nebraska had us looking forward to our upcoming road trip there to see the annual sandhill crane migration later this month.
The following seven films made an impact on us when we first saw them. They each in their own way made us want to immerse ourselves in the locations that played leading roles along with their actors.
• Out of Africa (1985): In 20th-century colonial Kenya, a Danish baroness/plantation owner has a passionate affair with a free-spirited big game hunter. Directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.
• Into the Wild (2007): After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, gives his savings to charity, and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Directed by Sean Penn and starring Emile Hirsch, Vince Vaughn, and Catherine Keener.
• Sideways (2004): Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment, embark on a week long road trip to California’s wine country. Directed by Alexander Payne and starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church.
• Lost in Translation (2003): A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. Directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.
• The Beach (2000): Twenty-something Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumors state that it leads to a tropical beach, a tropical bliss – excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it. Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
• Motorcycle Diaries (2004): The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life’s calling. Directed by Walter Salles and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Rodrigo de la Serna, and Mercedes Moran.
• The Big Year (2011): Two bird enthusiasts try to defeat the cocky, cutthroat world record holder in a yearlong birding competition. Directed by David Frankel and starring Owen Wilson, Jack Black, and Steve Martin.
What movies have inspired wanderlust in you?