10 Movies that Make Me Pack My Bags

Written by  April 21, 2011

If you already suffer from terminally itchy feet, you need to be careful what you expose your impressionable mind to, otherwise you might find your bags packed and a plane ticket in your hand before you know what's what.

As a warning, here are a few of the movies I have to avoid unless I'm ready to take to the seas...

Roman Holiday (1953): It may be best known as the film that launched Audrey Hepburn's career as a doe-eyed movie star, but I know it as the movie that makes me wish I was sipping champagne on a patio in Rome. 

The Darjeeling Limited (2007): It's common knowledge that one of the best ways to travel through India is to use the country's iconic train system, but there are few movies that remind me of this fact better than this Wes Anderson flick about a trio of brothers guilty of the ole' I'm-going-find-myself-in-the-East notion.

Lost in Translation (2003): Okay, yes, the two characters in this movie aren't exactly excited to be in Tokyo, but their meanderings and the culture shock they go through just makes me want to take up that challenge and come out on the other side better than they did. 

Into the Wild (2007): I think we can all relate to the overwhelming desire to "get away from it all" once in a while. Of course, the character in this movie kinda' takes that feeling to the extreme, but you can't really blame him as he ventures far out into the gorgeous Alaskan wilderness... just, um, ignore the ending.

The Motorcycle Diaries (2004): This Spanish-language film is based on the true story of Che Guevara's life-altering trip across South America with his best friend in 1952. From the long, stretches of road to the beautiful towns in between and the movie's climatic final destination in Venezuela... well, it almost makes me want to get a motorcycle.

The Beach (2000) A young Leonardo DiCaprio ventures into remote Thailand to find an elusive, supposedly "idyllic" island with a strange map and meets some other wayward souls. Enough said. 

Seven Years in Tibet (1997): A beardless Brad Pitt spends - you guessed it - seven years in Tibet on the eve of China's invasion of Tibet. Based on the true story of an Austrian mountain climber who befriended the Dalai Lama during this tumultuous period. 

Amelie (2001): This movie doesn't actually have any travelling in it - in fact, its titular character doesn't venture away from home at all, really - but its Paris backdrop, quirky characters sitting around a French cafe and escapades around bus stations, city streets and canals makes me want to style my hair into a cute bob and run away to the City of Lights.

An American Werewolf in London (1981): Yeah, I know, the story of these two backpacking friends travelling through Britain doesn't really have a happy ending - spoiler alert: one gets killed and the other turns into a werewolf - but I can't help romanticizing the foggy moors and mysterious pubs filled with dark secrets...

The Lord of the Rings (2001): If New Zealand's leading role as the fantastical realm of Middle Earth doesn't make you want to put on a pair of leather boots, strap on a sword and run around the mountains, there may be something wrong with you. 

Well, those are my favourite travel-oriented and not-so-travel-oriented movies. What are yours? 

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Zalina Alvi

Zalina grew up in Toronto and began her career in journalism at the York University campus newspaper. Before joining Verge in 2010, she worked for a documentary festival, a non-profit organization and various magazines and newspapers. Zalina has had some eclectic travel experiences, including reporting for a newspaper on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.

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