Great movies not only entertain viewers but also transport them to another world. Of course, that can be terrifying if it’s a horror film or discombobulating if it’s a Pixar cartoon. Whether it’s a jaunt in the station wagon to see Grandma, or a grand European backpacking tour, travel is a ubiquitous element in film and enough to inspire us to escape the doldrums and see the world.

The instances where getting lost in a film are most rewarding are when you’re taken to a beautiful foreign destination, places like Barcelona, Bangkok and Borneo where you’d love to travel but don’t have the time nor money. With great cinematography and story lines, these movies take you there. You can watch these films over & over again, and never get sick of them.

One of the Indian movies, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, shot in Spain, India, Egypt and the UK, have taken us to a different part of these magnificent places and showcased parachuting, underwater diving, the tomato festival and the running of the bulls. Another one is The Darjeeling Limited, which is shot in the Himalayas, Hindi temples in Jodhpur and Indian railways. It’s a the tale of three brothers taking a train across India to see their mother seems to capture the feel of being a stranger in huge, crowded, cluttered, confusing India perfectly. You can almost smell the country.

Movies like Midnight in Paris, The Motorcycle Diaries, Into the Wild, The before sunrise trilogy, In Bruges, Lost in Translation exhibit their most beautiful travel destinations thaturge to pack up everything and head out to explore the world. Great travel movies like these have helped inspire my own personal travel goals over the years. Flicks like Life of Pi and UP are one of those rare movies that are actually better than the book. These movies have displayed every pleasing thing from majestic waterfalls, and lost cities, to mysterious landmarks and natural wonders. This is never truer than during the holiday season. Something about the sweet smells of a familiar kitchen and the exciting energy of a new city can motivate even the most defined scrooge.

So if you’re looking for some motivation to push you into a backpacking adventure of your own, sit down and watch a couple of these fantastic flicks with a bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, and a friend. It’s the next best thing to actually travelling!

Just make sure to get off that couch and experience the real thing once in a while, because no matter how good these movies are, they can never replicate the incredible experiences of actual world travel.

– Tanvi Shah

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