Photo credit: iStock

While many of us are happiest when travelling, the truth is that for the majority of people the reality is that they have to come home and get back to everyday life. To ease this transition and get inspiration for the next adventure, why not add a bit of that wanderlust to the films you choose for movie night? There are more travel films out there than most people realise and some of them are absolute gems. Here is a selection of the best.

Out of Africa

Taking viewers back to the golden age of travel, Out of Africa is based on the memoirs of Karen Blixen, which were published in 1937. Despite Meryl Streep and Robert Redford bringing some Hollywood glamour to this love story, the real star of the movie is the African landscape, much of which was filmed in Kenya’s Shaba National Game Reserve.

Into the Wild

The story of Christopher McCandless or Alexander Supertramp as he liked to call himself is one that many people can see the appeal of. In the early 1990s, this young man with all of the benefits of middle class life in the US decided to give it all up for a simpler life of solitude in Alaska. Follow the challenges he faces in this pristine part of the world and fight the urge to sell all your belongings and head into the wild yourself.

Photo credit: iStockThe Beach

Having inspired a generation to travel to Thailand, The Beach depicts the search for the ultimate paradise and one that is just as tempting as it was in the year 2000 when the film was released. With twists and turns along the way and some very surreal sequences, Leonardo DiCaprio plays an intense role in this impressive movie.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Images of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara can still be seen all over South America and Cuba, but what the film, based on the revolutionary’s own tales of travelling across the continent, tells the viewer is of a time before his face was so ubiquitous. What makes The Motorcycle Diaries such a great travel film is that it highlights how much can be learnt from taking such journeys and the real emphasis is on how it shaped Guevara to become the man he eventually grew into. A must-watch for anyone interested in social issues and the importance of experiencing life in a way different to one’s own.

Away We Go

It may have become something of a cliché to say that travelling helps people to find themselves, but this film does make a very good argument for such an opinion. As a couple of soon-to-be parents take a modern-day road trip around some of the cities of the US, they discover more about themselves and how they wish to live from those around them. It is also an opportunity to see Maya Rudolph pre-Bridesmaids.

Photo credit: iStockAmelie

Viewers will find it almost impossible not to want to move to Paris after watching Audrey Tatou portray the simple pleasures of life in the French capital from the viewpoint of her character Amelie Poulain. From the steps leading up to the Sacre Coeur to the stations of the Paris Metro, every part of the city is imbued with a magical sense of romance and expectation.

Lost in Translation

Never has there ever been a film that so perfectly sums up the experience of being thrown together with a fellow traveller in an unknown place as Lost in Translation. It is the quirky and unexpected sides of Tokyo that are the most memorable throughout the movie and show how even when things turn out differently to how they were planned, spending time in a foreign country can shake up a person’s perception of life.

Before Sunrise

The interactions between Celine and Jesse when they find themselves on a train in Eastern Europe could almost be filmed in real time. This love affair celebrates serendipity and the magic of finding a connection with someone when visiting another part of the world. Getting to know each other while wandering around Vienna in just 12 hours is portrayed in a way many wanderlusters will be able to relate to. Those who enjoy this film will be pleased to know there are two more that follow the couple years later: Before Sunset and Before Midnight.

Gavin Lapidus Director