Favorite Scenes from Travel-Themed Movies

Just as I am prone to read travel memoirs over any other genre, my movie choices always lean toward something with a travel theme. When I’m not traveling, the routine of work and school makes me forget sometimes how wonderful adventuring can be but reading books and watching films that tell stories of travelers helps me to maintain the wanderlust. Below are some of my favorite scenes from travel-themed films that I’ve watched recently (I’ve included links to trailers if you haven’t seen them yourself!).

Midnight in Paris

My friends and I had a Frenchie night this past weekend with lots of cheese, profiteroles, fruit, and bubbly. All my friends had seen this film already but were more than happy to watch it again with me and I bet I’ll be watching it a second time too. The scene below could have played throughout the whole movie and I would have been satisfied plus I thought the music was so great that I went home and bought the soundtrack. Not only does the music make me miss Paris but the shots of the City of Love at night are pure magic. My first night in Paris, I sat under the Eiffel Tower with my friends eating an over priced crepe in the cold and rain but I still loved it because there were hardly any other people around. I’m due for a return trip to see more of this city at night!

Before Sunrise

I had always heard about how great this film was but never watched it but then I read this great post by former literary agent turned social media manager, Nathan Bransford, and I got to watchin’. I’m sure every traveler, at one point or another, has hoped of meeting a kindred soul on a train, maybe to stay together or never see each other again. Either way, it makes for an interesting journey. I love the following scene because it makes me think of my favorite memory in Vienna when my friends and I spent a lazy afternoon at Cafe Sperl. We had just got off a night train and were exhausted and even though we had spent seven months traveling together we still were able to sit in the cafe and talk and learn something new about each other.

Before Sunset

So right after I watched Before Sunrise, I had to watch Before Sunset to see what happened to these two star-crossed travelers nine years later. Often the original is far better than the sequel and this is true in this case but Before Sunset is still pretty amazing. It takes the classic question, “what if?”, and expands on it in a heart-wrenching fashion and instead of the couple wandering around Vienna, as they did years ago, they now wander around Paris or float on the Seine as in the scene below. I’ve had my missed connection and while I love just the memory, I always wonder what if we bump into each other again? Also, I never managed to take a boat ride in Paris so now I have another excuse to return to France.

Lost in Translation

This is another film from a while ago that I just watched for the first time and it reaffirmed my desire to visit Japan. The film has a somber tone to it but every image of Tokyo shows an energy that is so appealing to me. And of course there are some laughs too with the translation barrier as in the scene below. I’ve only traveled to Europe where the differences from the States, at least to me, are not so significant. However, Japan is something completely new and potentially disorienting, but in a good way. A cultural jolt can be a good thing and I hope I can travel to Tokyo one day.

No doubt there are other films that I have yet to see or that I’ve watched a while ago but don’t remember so please comment with your recommendations!



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