There is no better feeling than planning your next great adventure! You’ve created a detailed packing list (even though you don’t leave for another month), you’re constantly Googling reviews on things to do and see while you’re there (often when you’re at work… oops!), and the remainder of your days are spent staring longingly into your computer screen at endless photos your upcoming destination. Pure bliss!

BUT, when your piggy bank has seen better days and that thing called ‘life’ seems to keep getting in the way of your plans, simply imagining your next trip may have to suffice (for now, anyway). I present to you, in no particular order, my top list of travel films that I use to fuel my wanderlust in times of need! Prepare to be inspired.

1. Wild

travel-film

Credit: Reddit

Make sure you’ve got a box of Kleenex on standby for this one. The film is inspired by the story of Cheryl Strayed, a 20-something who finds herself on a journey to conquer the Pacific Crest Trail in the wake of her mother’s death. Without any hiking experience whatsoever, Cheryl begins her endeavour with nothing but a gigantic backpack and blind perseverance. The film does a great job of capturing the spiritual side of travel and the life-changing experience of spending time getting to know the voice inside your own head. The film also captures the beauty involved in sharing moments with the unique people you meet on the road whom you’ll probably never see again, but whom you’ll definitely never forget.

2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

travel-films-walter-mitty

Credit: waltermitty.com

The premise of this film comes from a feeling that most people have probably experienced at least once in their lives. Walter Mitty is fed up with his monotonous day job at Life magazine and often finds himself daydreaming of something more fulfilling. When offered the chance to drop everything and actually live the adventures he’s spent so much time dreaming about, he accepts the challenge and embarks on an epic journey to save the magazine (and himself). The film features some absolutely beautiful shots of both Greenland and Iceland (I recommend watching in HD) that will have you calling in sick for the week, packing your bags and booking a flight immediately (we’re not mad about it).

3. Into The Wild

travel-films-into-the-wild

Credit: Backpack Me

Based on a true story, Into The Wild tells the tale of Christopher McCandless’ desire to shed his material life and venture into the Alaskan wilderness. The freedom that comes along with condensing your life into the contents of a bag on your back is absolutely liberating. For me, returning home after a six-month backpacking trip through Australia made me realize how little I actually needed to survive (extreme purging ensued, which left my family questioning my sanity). This film focuses on the connection between man (or woman!) and nature and will leave you wondering if you could have what it takes to survive in the wild.

4. 180° South

travel-films-180-south

Credit: Empire Ave

This documentary follows adventurer, Jeff Johnson, as he surfs, sails, and climbs his way from Ventura, California to Patagonia, Chile. His dream is to reach the top of the epic Corcovado Volcano, however, the journey he embarks on in order to get there is by far the most interesting part (as is true for most adventures!). The scenery in this film is unbelievable and the narration is simple yet meaningful, as it serves as a reminder of the importance of respecting the environment. The film has a great soundtrack and it also perfectly captures the essence of the simple pleasures involved in nomadic living.

5. A Map For Saturday

travel-films

Credit: Vaga Gear

A Map For Saturday sums up the emotional roller coaster of long-term travel perfectly. It takes a lot of guts to pack up and leave your loved ones for such a long period of time, but as any traveller can attest, it’s definitely worthwhile in the end. If you’re thinking about a long-term trip, this film will give you a pretty accurate idea of what to expect. It highlights the beautiful connections you make with people along the way and the special friendships that will remain with you long after you return home.