There are some movies that a true traveler must know, and if he has seen them he never gets tired of rewatching them. Because every time, like the first, they teach that travelling can have a thousand different facets, can give a thousand different experiences, can also be hard, tiring, difficult, but in the end it always brings something good to you.
And they also allow us to discover amazing places to add on our dream list.
I often turn to movies when I need to feel a new push, or when I need to find that motivation that sometimes gets lost in the daily routine: this is why I want to share with you four of my favorite travel movies.
Four different stories, four different paths, each one with so much to learn from.
TRAVEL AS ESCAPE AND FREEDOM: INTO THE WILD
This is a must, the movie that all those who love travel must absolutely watch, a masterpiece of the genre based on the novel Into the Wild by John Krakauer, directed by Sean Penn, starring a fabulous Emile Hirsch and with a soundtrack that it is a precious jewel, signed and interpreted by Eddie Vedder.
What the movie teaches us: The true story of Christopher McCandless is heartfelt. I have read many people who hates him for having abandoned his family and having traveled this sort of pilgrimage into nature without having the necessary knowledge. I say that sometimes we should put aside superficial judgments and try to identify ourselves with the thought of another, even if totally different from us. Personally, I find this story an extreme symbol of freedom and self-determination: Chris was not perfect, he made mistakes, and in the end he realized that “happiness is real only if shared“, but his strong protest against a false, materialistic society, expressed in the desire to experience a more authentic and adventurous existence, is a strong message. Instead of criticizing Chris’s mistakes, we can learn from them, and capture the most beautiful and pure aspects of his quest for a wild life.
TRAVEL AS WONDER: THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
I love this comedy directed and performed by Ben Stiller for the dreamy tone with which deals with important themes. Walter Mitty is the most common man imaginable, until suddenly he has to overcome all his social limitations, overcome insecurity and start living his dreams.
What the movie teaches us: To pursue a dream, it is worth getting to the end of the world, and this is a message that we should always keep in mind. But this delightful story also teaches us that traveling can open your eyes to a world of wonders, and that if you only dare to get out of your comfort zone you can discover magnificent places, meet incredible people and become the best version of yourself. Because traveling makes us open our minds, it makes us wonder: we just have to find the courage to take the first step.
TRAVEL AS REDEMPTION: WILD
We have again here a movie based on a book, the autobiographical story of Cheryl Strayed, played by a fantastic Reese Whiterspoon, who travels over 4000 km on foot in two months, alone with her backpack, to find herself after being lost in very bad habits trying to forget the pain of her mother’s death. In addition to being a beautiful story of forgiveness and healing through travel, the movie shows a part of America less known and wonderful: it is the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking trail that from the US border with Mexico it comes up to Canada’s border.
What the movie teaches us: Travelling can be an opportunity for rebirth, for build a new life, a way to overcome pain, to forgive ourselves and heal our scars. Cheryl knew nothing about hiking or travelling, yet she left everything to embark on this adventure, learning on the field how to survive and learning about her true self. Her adventure also teaches us that sometimes a bit of loneliness is not so bad, rather it is an opportunity to look inside us, understand where we are going and where we would go.
TRAVEL TO REDISCOVER YOURSELF: MANGIA PREGA AMA
Another true story, Another biography: this time the main character is Elizabeth Gilbert – played by a lovely Julia Roberts – who apparently had a perfect life, a perfect job, a perfect marriage. And yet, she did not feel satisfied with anything, especially herself: and what better way to find herself than to travel in three destinations of your dreams?
What the movie teaches us: With a light tone this movie makes us reflect on a great truth: the journey can really be a path to happiness, an opportunity to discover and rediscover, if you have the courage to live it up fully. Because if you are not comfortable with yourself, you will be struggling to be comfortable with the rest of the world. Also, this story has a very nice idea: to find for every place and every person a word that describes its most profound essence.
I think my word is sense of wonder (I know, is more than one in english but in my native language is just one!). And you, have you already discovered your word?
Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen these movies, if you will watch them and what do you think about them. And of course suggest me your favorites!