Even before Covid-19 cancelled most of our travel plans, many of us have had responsibilities, stress or budget restraints that prevented us from traveling. That’s why we are super grateful that there are movies or tv series that allow us to escape from our daily lives, even if it’s for one to two hours.
Whether drama, comedy, or romance, these choices provide a variety of settings and different amazing places around the world we can discover from the comfort of own spaces, which also let us dream big and lend inspiration for our future travel plans.
Here are 7 must-watch movies and series that will definitely make you feel like you are off the couch and living in another country and experiencing a new culture.
1. The Way (Spain)
The Way is a great movie, if you want to learn about Spain’s “El camino de Santiago,” one of the most famous pilgrimage walks in Europe. The movie follows an American father (Martin Sheen), who travels to find his son (Emilio Estevez who also directed, produced and wrote it), who trekked the famous pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain on foot. Not only is the film full of stunning Galician landscapes, it also touches on the idea that you are never too old to travel and be adventurous.
2. Hercai: Amor y venganza (Turkey)
Hercai: Amor y venganza is a romantic drama TV series that takes place in Turkey, and tells the love story between Reyyan Sadoglu (Şahin) and Miran Aslanbey (Akin Akinözü). The series resembles sort of a modern day “Romeo and Juliet” and takes you on a journey full of twists and turns, wonderfully illustrating cultural traditions in Turkey and showcasing the dazzling backdrop of the ancient city of Midyat in southeastern Turkey.
While you get absorbed into the romance of the story, you also get to experience the true beauty of Midyat. This city is said to be an architectural gem because of its narrow streets, traditional stone houses and Medieval Churches and Monasteries that are filled with history.
3. Midnight in Paris
This Woody Allen movie will make you want to take a romantic trip to the famous “city of love”. The film begins at midnight in Paris and includes one of the best montage tours of this beautiful city, with the illuminated Eiffel tower and charming, sprawling streets. In the movie, Owen Wilson travels back in time and experiences old french culture and places such as La Belle Époque, and Paris’ Golden Age from the late 1800s to early 1900s. He meets famous french personalities and artists. If you are considering a trip to Europe, this film will take you on an exciting journey within this french capital.
4. Down to Earth with Zac Efron (Multiple cities)
If you are more of a documentary bluff, this Netflix series is a fun way to experience a variety of unique and interesting places around the world. Zac Efron leads the show and travels with wellness expert Darin Olien, with the goal of discovering more sustainable ways to live. Some of the places the first season takes us to, are Iceland, Costa Rica, Sardinia, France and the Amazon rainforest.
5. Lion (India)
If you love movies that make you cry, as well as travel, Lion is perfect for you. The film is based on the true story of a young Indian boy, Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who accidentally gets lost when he boards a train to Kolkata and gets separated from his parents. It is a heartbreaking story which leads him to be adopted by an Australian couple. When Saroo is in college he attempts to remember how he got lost with the help of the new internet technology of Google maps. He then goes on a journey to find his parents and childhood home in India.
6. Derry Girls (Ireland)
This is a very cool must-watch show if you want to understand Ireland through the eyes of a group teenagers in the city Derry in the 90s. The show has hilarious story lines about their troubles during an interesting and conflict ridden time in Irish history. While it is definitely a funny series, there are some great background and some of the episode storylines are actually influenced by real-life events, like when Bill Clinton visited Ireland.
7. Tracks (Australia)
Based on a true story, the movie Tracks chronicles the story of a young woman, Robyn Davidson, who trekked the Australian desert for nine months with four camels and her loyal dog. The protagonist played by Mia Wasikowskam, leaves the city in search of enlightenment and solitude though this trip. This is the ideal film if your dream is to take solo and spiritual trip. However, she does meet one person during her trip, a National Geographic photographer (Adam Driver.) The film takes us through the west of Australia and shows us some amazing outback landscapes.