From side-splitting comedies casing out the Indian Subcontinent to thoughtful political opuses looking at the tumults of 20th century Tibet, this eclectic list of movies is must-see viewing for any fan of the traveling epic.
Into the Wild (2007)
Hailed as one of the greatest stories of adventure, exploration, and self-discovery ever told, the tale of Christopher McCandless and his intrepid alter-ego Alexander Supertramp is seriously hallowed viewing for any lover of the beatnik spirit and the great outdoors. It’s a journey that has soaring highs and deep, dark lows, and takes viewers all around America—from the dusty desert lands of the Sonoran in the South to the wild climes of Alaska in the North.
Set in the wild and mystical climes of Lhasa and Tibet in the tumultuous times of the 1940s and 50s, Seven Years in Tibet tells the story of climber Heinrich Harrer (played excellently by Brad Pitt). While the eye-watering beautiful cinematography of the Himalaya and the temples of the Tibetan holy city are to die for, it’s really the way that the film captures the moulding influence of travel that makes it a worthy contender on this list.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
A veritable masterpiece from the formidably masterful repertoire of director Wes Anderson, The Darjeeling Limited tells the story of three disconnected brothers making the epic train journey through the Subcontinent on the eponymous locomotive. Hilarity, oddities, and weirdness ensues, alongside an undercurrent of serious, thought-provoking soul searching that only the backdrop of mystical India could hope to muster.
In Bruges (2008)
Anyone who’s ventured to the northern reaches of Belgium post-2008 will almost certainly have realized the dramatic effect that this dark comedy by Martin McDonagh has had on the city of Bruges. Where before the quaint canals and reconstructed churches of the town ticked over to the bobbing of boats and the ringing of Medieval bells, now the distinct ditties of Irish folk songs bounce between the cobblestones and the taste of Guinness is in the air!
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Don’t let the fantastical element of this movie put you off because for kids of the 80s and 90s it was a real inspiration to get on the road. Granted the earth may not offer the same otherworldly oddities as the magical Kingdom of Fantasia, but there’s something timeless and undeniably inspiring about the film’s glorification of adventure, exploration and breaking free of one’s comfort zone.
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