Top 5 movies that give us the travel bug

So you’re sitting there eating stale popcorn in an empty cinema while the credits are rolling, and you’re thinking “I really want to travel to _______ now!” We’ve all been there, so here’s our top 5 movies that gets us itching to travel:

The Beach

Image Source:

Any movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in it was always going to be a hit with me, but this movie became an obsession. In it American college student Richard (DiCaprio) goes to Thailand for the summer in search for something radically different from his familiar life. He hears tales of a beach paradise on a secret island and sets off in its pursuit. Filmed on the Thai Island Koh Phi Phi, the film showcases the picturesque beaches, lagoons, and laid back beach culture that the South East Asian country has to offer. In the early 1990s only the most adventurous travelers visited the island, staying in only the most basic accommodation. Nowadays, however, the place has turned into one of the major destinations for visitors to the region and this is largely attributed to the publicity surrounding the movie. 

Ever since seeing this movie I have dreamed on lying on some secluded beach waiting for Leo to bring me a coconut. Whilst the latter part of that dream may never come true, a 2013 family holiday to Thailand will definitely be a step in the right direction. Bring on paradise!!

Miracle on 34th Street 

Image Source: All Movie

OK, don’t judge me. I grew up in the nineties, and LOVED this (cheesy) Christmas holiday movie remake. 

Set in NYC, this flick has it all – Santa Claus, all the sights of the Big Apple, shopping, and of course, serious courtroom drama – is the fat man in the red suit actually real?
Christmas in Oz might have the sun, sand and prawns, but you have to admit NYC does the lights, snow, ice skating, eggnog, store windows and a serious dose of atmosphere pretty darn well. I’ve always wanted to visit New York, but it was this ridiculously corny holiday tale that made me desperate to see it at the happiest time of the year.

Luckily, that is where you will find me this December 25.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Image Source: Quick Flix

As soon as I saw the Woody Allen-directed film Vicky Christina Barcelona, the city of Barcelona immediately shot to the top of my wish-list. Starring Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson as best friends Vicky and Christina, who travel to Barcelona to spend the summer, the film is a visual ode to the Catalan capital. Featuring shots of many tourist sites such as Gaudi’s Park Güell and the old-fashioned amusement park at Tibidabo, this movie paints Barcelona in a very flattering light. Last year, I finally got to Barcelona – and discovered, much to my disappointment, that is wasn’t all that magical after all. I didn’t hear any Spanish guitar, nor was not swept off my feet by a Javier Bardem lookalike. Sometimes the fantasy is different to the reality!

Good Will Hunting

Image Source: Torontoist

It’s funny how I didn’t like that movie all that much, but Good Will Hunting has sparked a fascination in me with the city it was set* in – Boston, Massachusetts. First of all, how cool is that accent? To my Commonwealth born ears, there’s something delightful about the way they drop the last ‘r’ of every word (‘end of every wohd’). And the film had a way of imbuing the city with a sort of identity that made it one of the more compelling characters in the movie – the tension between the working class southies and the educated, almost colonial Harvard crowd was fascinating to watch. When I actually got to go there, I wasn’t disappointed. The architecture was gorgeous and the history was palpable. Not to mention the main star of the city – the clam chowder (‘clam chowdah’).

* Most of the movie was actually shot in Toronto, Canada.

Spirited Away

Image source: The Film Emporium

A lot of people know Spirited Away as the “Alice in Wonderland” in Japanese, but that does it little justice; it’s a movie about a badass 10- year-old girl, Chihiro, who gets sucked into a supernatural holiday resort, with bizarre Gods and monsters, and her parents turn into giant pigs. PIGS. Sort of a holiday bummer. Not that I wish that upon me (or anyone…), but it definitely puts me in the mood to explore the great Japanese temples, taste fresh sashimi (and hopefully not turn into a pig), laze in the cherry blossoms and maybe meet a few susuwatari (see: wandering black soot) along the way.


2 responses to “Top 5 movies that give us the travel bug

  1. I also loved the film Vicky Christina Barcelona, and had Barcelona on my travel wish list, I was sad to read it didn’t live up to your expectations. Maybe you should watch Miracle on 34th Street, as New York lived up to all my expectations, and was so much more.

  2. Solid list, although you guys should really see ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ if you haven’t already!

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