There are many things that can bring on the urge to travel – books, pictures, a nostalgic chat with friends or even certain foods. But movies are possibly the ideal medium to generate that desire, embodying escapism at its best. Many are set in or against exotic landscapes giving you a taste of adventure and imbuing a real sense of wanderlust.
The number of films that could have been included in this category is large enough to rival J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings for word count – or, at least, take the run time of those (very good) movies to recount… and, of course, New Zealand would be a lovely place to visit.
The Flexicover Team has tried to narrow it down to just five this time but if you have a favourite, why not visit our Facebook page page and let us know!
The Way (2010)
Emilio Estevez is probably best known for 1980s ‘Brat Pack’ cult classics such as The Breakfast Club. The Way sees him in the director’s chair (he also wrote the screenplay). Martin Sheen (Estevez’s father) plays an American doctor who travels to St Jean Pied Port, France, to recover his son’s (played by Estevez) body who died during a storm while walking the Camino de Santiago. In honour of his son, he decides to embark on the historical pilgrimage and along the way meets others from around the world, all looking for greater meaning in their lives. It’s a moving story that reminds us that travel can be truly life-changing at any age. The north of Spain provides a stunning backdrop and may have you wondering whether you could find a month or two to make the journey yourself.
Into the Wild (2007)
Ever wanted to down tools and head off on a true adventure? That’s precisely what happens in this adaptation of the biographical story of Chris McCandless. Chris is from a wealthy background, a freshly graduated honours student and highly regarded athlete, but rather than embarking on a potentially prestigious and profitable career, he decided he wants nothing to do with materialistic society and dreams of living a life that is one with nature. He donates his entire savings to charity and, without so much as a goodbye, sets off on a two-year journey into the beautiful Alaskan wilderness. Along the way he encounters a series of colourful characters who shape his understanding of life and the land and whose lives he, in turn, affects too.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
This is a true account of two Argentine friends: 23-year old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna and his best friend Alberto Granado, a 29-year old biochemist, as they journey 8,000km through South America on Granado's dilapidated Norton 500 motorcycle. Ernesto, of course, went on to become the Marxist revolutionary “Che” Guevara; the screenplay is based on Guevara's travelogue. The story of his political development is subtly handled and the movie showcases gorgeous scenery as they experience the continent first hand and are humbled by the people they meet. The stunning cinematography takes in everything from lush forests to scorched deserts as they travel through Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Venezuela.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Ben Stiller directs and stars as the protagonist, Walter Mitty, who has worked for Life magazine for 16 years, stuck in a rut, not going anywhere. He’s a daydreamer who escapes his anonymous and monotonous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with acts of heroism, romance and action. When the negative for the final cover of the magazine goes missing, dreams become reality as he sets off on a global journey. Whilst his madcap adventure takes him from New York to Greenland, Iceland to the Himalayas and Afghanistan, most of the location filming actually took place in the rugged beauty of Iceland. Most notably, at one point the adventure sees him careening down a mountain on a longboard!
The Before… trilogy
Before Sunrise (1995) sees American backpacker Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meet French girl Céline (Julie Delpy) on a train before the pair spontaneously jump off to spend a night wandering the streets of Vienna. Before Sunset (2004) picks up the story nine years later with another chance meeting in a Paris bookshop before the story culminates 9 years after that in Before Midnight (2013) whilst on holiday in Greece. It’s said that each movie really only has three characters: Jesse, Celine and the foreign locale they’re using for their conversations (Vienna, Paris and Messenia), using the backdrop to accent discussions around love and conviction as the minimalist plot grew into a poignant story, marrying the romance of travel and love over two decades, following their lives, almost in real-time.
Wherever you’re inspired to travel to this year, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.