Solo travel can be daunting, especially when you’re a female. But with the proper inspiration and planning, it is fun and even transformational. Solo female traveling is trending, and the industry is taking notice. It raises the question, why do women venture out on their own to travel? Is it for soul-searching reflection, adventure, or to experience unknown places and cultures?
If you’re trying to decide where to go on your next solo trip, an excellent way to experience an unknown destination is to watch a movie about it. The best travel films give you an inside guide to the beauty and the culture of a city while telling a riveting story. The five stories I’ve chosen to share have protagonists who venture off alone to face the ever-present question. Do solo adventures turn us into a better version of ourselves?
Most of these films are based on the true accounting of a motivational female traveler. All of them take place in breathtaking locations. Get inspiration to travel solo from these five female -driven movies.
Tracks and a trek across the breathtaking vistas of the Australian desert is the perfect movie to start our solo women’s trip. Starring Mia Wasikowska, the movie is based on the true story of Robyn Davidson’s solo adventure. In the film, Davidson left the “self-indulgent” city life to walk 1,700 miles to Australia’s west coast. She traveled from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with just her dog and four camels. Braving the harsh elements and remote territory, Davidson set off on this personal journey to be alone and break free from the restraints put on women by society.
“Like any journey, it’s not what you carry, but what you leave behind.” ~Robyn Davidson
Why watch this movie?: Tracks is a well-written movie of one woman’s solo journey. Watch it for the beautiful Australian desert sunsets, riveting story, cultural encounters with the aboriginal people in the outback, and it doesn’t hide the difficulties of undertaking this type of adventure.
Wild is based on the true story of Cheryl Strayed’s 1,100-mile solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed started with no experience or training, hiking from the Mojave Desert to Washington State. In a quest to heal from a recent painful loss and to escape the personal failures of her life. In her self-determination to conquer one of the hardest trails in the country, she discovers how travel can transform you.
“Lost in the wilderness of her grief, she found her own way out of the woods."
Why watch this movie? If you love adventure travel and hiking mountains, then check out this trek through majestic landscape; from the arid desert to snow-capped peaks. Strayed wakes up to the fog over the meadow and watches the sun reflecting on the river valley. It inspires you to dust off your hiking shoes. The Pacific Crest Trail runs from Mexico to Canada, the vistas in the movie are almost 100% from the Oregon locations of the trail. Another reason to watch is the captivating performance by the brilliant, award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon.
Eat Pray Love
Eat Pray Love is the ultimate solo female quest for self-discovery. Julia Roberts stars in this film based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir. After a discomforting divorce, Gilbert spends a year traveling to Italy, India, and Bali seeking transformation. She captures the impact that travel has on us when we embrace people and a new culture. Eat Pray Love shows how when challenged to go outside our comfort zones, we can live the Italian way of life, dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing.
“At some point, you gotta let go, and still allow contentment to come to you.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert
Why watch this movie? Eat Pray Love is a travel movie for foodies and cultural enthusiasts. It takes you on a truth-seeking journey through some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. First is the history and Italian delicacies of Rome and Naples, the discipline and spiritual culture of an ashram in India, and ends with the breathtaking lush landscapes of Bali.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Under the Tuscan Sun is a romance film that takes you on a tour through the lush countryside of Italy. Diane Lane is Frances Mayes, a writer hoping for a change in her life after divorce. She joins a group trip and on a whim purchases a villa in Tuscany becoming an expat. Mayes discovers second chances in the friendships she makes.
“Always keep your childish innocence, it's the most important thing.”
Why watch this movie? In Under the Tuscan Sun, travel the rolling pastures of Tuscany and settle in the quaint village of Cortona. The movie was filmed in Cortona and also on location in Arezzo, Siena, Lazio, and Salerno.
We end our movie journey with the documentary Maidentrip. In this film, 14-year-old Laura Dekker sets off to be the youngest person to sail solo around the world. In 2010 Laura set sail alone from Holland, doing all the filming herself with a hand-held camera while traveling 27,000 nautical miles in 519 days. She makes stops along the way to learn about the culture and people of the most amazing places on earth. The movie documents her strength and courage in pursuing this daunting adventure, navigating the world’s largest waters. Her only goal is to know she can do it. Laura discovers her life has no boundaries.
“Freedom is when you’re not attached to anything.”~Laura Dekker
Why watch this film? Let a 14-year-old inspire you to travel boldly and pursue your dreams. Maidentrip is a compelling coming of age story. Footage from the documentary includes breathtaking scenery of the Galapagos Islands, French Polynesia, Australia and South Africa.
I travel because I want to explore the world and learn more about myself and others. I love traveling alone because I get to follow my own agenda. After watching one of these movies, I am ready to plan my next trip. Great character-driven stories like the ones depicted in these five films have influenced me. I have done a lot of solo traveling in my lifetime, but the trips that stand out the most are when I’ve made lifelong friends and experienced an emotional or spiritual transformation.
If I missed one of your favorite female-driven movies that inspired your adventures, let me know.
“Some nomads are at home everywhere.”~Robyn Davidson
Where to watch the movies?
Tracks Rent on Amazon Prime and iTunes
Wild Rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play and YouTube
Eat Pray Love Rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, and iTunes
Under the Tuscan Sun Rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube
Maidentrip Rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, and iTunes