Five movies that will make you pack your backpack and go

September 20, 2013 at 7:26 am

You’re surfing the web, saying “should I or shouldn’t I?” Stop procrastinating: if there is one thing in the world that will make you a more interesting, more rounded and happier person, it is travel. Book that ticket!

Sure, you can watch the world’s best football on the TV, but there is no experience on earth like catching a live match in Buenos Aires or Rio, crammed in with the fans as they charge to celebrate a goal. Watching the sun come up on the beach with people you only met days earlier is something you will never forget. And all the different flavours, rhythms, languages, sensations, customs…

With this in mind, here are five movies that will help put your wheels in motion:

The Beach

Alex Garland’s cult novel was an obvious choice to make into a movie and Danny Boyle did an excellent job of doing just that. 20-something traveller Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio) arrives in Bangkok looking for adventure. It soon finds him, when another guest commits suicide in the hostel, leaving behind a map with the route to a mythical beach. This is the start of Richard’s real journey. The sumptuous Thai beaches are enough to make you pack that backpack!

On the Road

Jack Kerouac’s novel is a classic of American literature. The story is based on the author’s own travels across North America in the late 1940s. The narrator, Sal Paradise, and his wild new friend Dean Moriarty make their way across the states and to Mexico, wreaking all kinds of havoc along the way.  The 2012 movie adaption received largely negative reviews, but perhaps you could use it like the pickled ginger served with sushi – something to clear your mental palate before you get back on track with…

The motorcycle diaries

This is the big screen adaptation of the diary Che Guevara kept during his travels around Latin America. The landscapes are spectacular and the film really captures the spirit of adventure that took the young Argentinean medical student around the continent. It was during this journey that Che started to form the opinions about social justice that took him to Cuba alongside Fidel Castro.

L’Auberge Espagnole

Essential viewing before any Erasmus or exchange programme. L’Auberge Espagnole tells the story of Xavier, an uptight French student, who moves into an apartment in Barcelona with six characters from all over Europe. There are stereotypes galore, and adventures that lead to some serious personal development.

Vicky Christina Barcelona, Midnight in Paris, To Rome with Love… something recent by Woody Allen

In recent years, Woody Allen’s movies have moved away from New York and visited some of the world’s sexiest cities. This arguably started with Match Point, set in London, and has now taken in many parts of Europe. Midnight in Paris takes you back to the 1920s, when great (American) artists and writers called the French capital home, Vicky Christina Barcelona is a four-way love story set in Spain, To Rome with Love is the story of an American tourist falling in love with a handsome Roman.

And, whatever you do, don’t watch… Hostel

Hey, look, an Eastern European hostel full of really good-looking people, what could possibly go wrong?

Taken, starring Liam Neeson, comes a close second. But you should definitely watch that, because it’s brilliant.

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