Valerie Fitzgerald
  • 10 Travel Movies to Cure Our Wanderlust




If your travel plans have been scuttled, these cinematic gems will fill the void—and inspire future journeys.


Our collective sequester is good for our neighbors and the country, but it puts a dent in our souls. We’re a species constantly on the roam, and, as Mary Anne Radmacher once noted, we’re never the same once we’ve seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. Which is why these are especially dark times for travelers. To muddle through the days ahead, stream these flicks for a travel fix.


Lost in Translation (2003)

Travel to: Tokyo, Japan


Director Sofia Coppola does so many things right in this film, but her greatest feat is conveying a westerner’s sense of befuddled sleeplessness in the middle of Tokyo nights and how those moments can lead to nirvana. Case in point: Bill Murray crooning karaoke to Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding?” during a wild night of carousing with Scarlett Johansson. Unlikely friendships often bloom when we hit the road and meet strangers; Murray and Johansson not only prove the point, but show how those relationships often change us.


Free Solo (2018)

Travel to: Yosemite National Park, Ca.


Both terrifying and exhilarating, there’s never been a greater athletic feat than the one pulled off by climber Alex Honnold. Climbing Yosemite’s imposing El Capitan's 3,200 vertical feet of rock face without a rope—where one slip means sudden death—is a modern miracle, period. Husband and wife directors Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi documented this adventure with the care it entailed and still managed to weave in a fascinating backstory. It’s one of the best thrillers ever made, and the film, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary, showcases the finest movie set ever created: Mother Nature.


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