Every movie you watch transports you to an actual location on the map or to some made up place from the minds of its filmmakers. Some of these places stay with you long after you have left the theater, shut off your computer, or turned off your television. From breathtaking vistas to cobblestone cities with winding streets, movies motivate you to travel to a new destination. Here are some of my favorites, to offer you an escape if you are unable to take your own adventure. For the future traveler, I hope they will inspire the wanderer in you to pack your bags and set off to create your own story.
We’ll start off on a journey around the world with the Goodwin family. In Given, a six-year-old boy narrates the story of his family’s adventures and their quest to fulfill a legacy of taking travel expeditions. Their 14-month trip starts on the black sand beaches of Iceland with its contrasting white mountains as a backdrop. They venture on to Ireland’s rolling green pastures dotted with sheep. Then to the brightly colored outdoor markets in Israel, “the land of milk and honey.” A man that dances with snakes in Thailand and monks in bright crimson robes in Nepal will captivate you.
Given transports you to 15 countries with the Goodwin’s, celebrating birthdays, witnessing breathtaking sienna sunsets, and dancing with locals. Many other places they visited are on my bucket list Peru, the Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Senegal, and Fiji. Are they on yours?
Our next movie adventure takes us to the quaint countryside of France with actress Diane Lane. Lane portrays, a neglected married woman who is traveling to France with her husband’s business partner in Paris Can Wait. It’s a foodie’s delight, they consume fresh fruit, bread, homemade sausage, pasteurized cheese, gourmet meals, and excellent wine, as they road trip to Paris.
The Disney movie Coco transports the entire family to the colorful world and culture of Mexico. It is Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. When the leading character, Miguel, pursues his dream to become a musician, Coco takes us on a mystical adventure to the Land of the Dead. Multi-colored flags decorate the plaza, and orange flowers adorn the bridge. The film also treats us to the accordions, singing, and guitars of the mariachi band, the music of Mexico.
Another great animated movie is the Oscar-nominated and award-winning, Klaus. Set in the northernmost city of Smeerensburg, that once existed in the real-world as a whaling town in Scandinavia. At first introduction it is a dismal, dreary, and dangerous place where all the townspeople are in a terminal feud, not at all where you would want to visit. It’s a story about a pretentious postman, Jesper, sent to the middle of nowhere to start a postal service. He befriends Klaus, a statuesque man living isolated in the woods who makes toys.
Jesper implements a letter-writing campaign, where the children write letters to Klaus for toys, and they deliver them. This Santa origin story has reindeer, stockings by the fireplace, and a workshop in the forest. While Smeerensburg no longer exists, this movie will leave you wanting to learn more about the region and its culture.