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10 movies that’ll make you want to pack your bags and travel the world this minute

For many of us, the place where we grew up is awesome. That’s where our friends are. That’s where our family probably is, too. We all tend to know everything about the best places to go. The best things to see. Oh and let’s not forget, the best places to eat.

There are all the memories too, like that tree that you fell into when you first rode your bike, or that bit of park where you took your pet dog. Or that piece of road where you chased your best friend for hours each day during tig or tag or blocky or whichever other silly game got you giggling for hours.

But you know what else is also really cool to check out? The rest of the goddamn planet.

Sure you might have been on a few holidays, and heading off on a six month round-the-world trip might not exactly be an option right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream about magical destinations, far off beaches or huge adventures right now. This instant.

And what can really help us with our travelling daydreams is putting on a film that’s about travel or adventure or exploring faraway destinations – or maybe even fantastical ones. So pack an imaginary bag, bring your imaginary passport and don’t forget to pack your imaginary swim stuff. We’re going on a journey!

1. Brooklyn

The story of a girl who moves from a small town in Ireland to the bright lights of New York, New York in the 1950s, Brooklyn is a rather epic (and also extremely emotional, you have been warned) film all about travel. But it’s less desert island, wall-to-wall sunshine and lazing around on a beach and more about exploring a different city and finding out who you are and what you want in the process.

Does her heart belong in the big city or back home in Ireland? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

2. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Any keen readers amongst you might know that this film is based on the book by Ann Brashares. It’s the story of four of the bestest best friends who have to spend the whole summer apart. In order to stay close and feel connected, they share the same pair of pants (which magically fit them all perfectly, because fiction).

One character heads to Greece, one stays at home, one goes to Mexico and the other heads off to the other side of the US, meaning there’s something for every level of adventure you’re craving.

3. Stand By Me

This classic film (and probably a firm favourite among a lot of your older relatives) is less about travel, but all about adventure. Four 12-year-old boys hear that a boy from their town is missing, so they trek off into the forest to find him. Sure, it sounds like a really simple plot, but it’s a classic growing up story with lots of wilderness and heartwarming tales of friendship thrown in for good measure.

4. Madagascar

Madagascar is about four best friends, who just happen to be a lion, a zebra, a griaffe and a hippo that live in New York Central Zoo, and unexpectedly find themselves on a boat to Africa. Eek! When their boat is hijacked, the animals have to quickly learn what it’s like to live in the wild.

It’s a great story about adventure, discovering new places – even when you don’t want to – and learning to adapt when stuff gets a bit too much too quickly. Or you find yourself on a boat unexpectedly, which might always come in handy too.

5. Up

The main character in Up is Carl, who has always always always wanted to go to South America, but never made it. The film is all about how Carl, now in his 60s, heads off on an adventure of a lifetime helped by a load of balloons and a little boy, teaching us all that it’s never too late for a big adventure.

(Just don’t use it for transport tips.)

6. Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound has a tragic beginning – especially if you’re a fan of your pets – when two dogs and a cat are left behind by their owners. Ahh we know, we know. It’s somehow sadder than actual humans left on their own, isn’t it? Sorry, Kevin from Home Alone.

The trio of pets don’t know what to do, so they decide to embark on a huge adventure across the country in order to find their owners. But there are all kinds of obstacles along the way, like rivers and, of course, lousy humans.

7. Life of Pi

Also based on a really popular book, Life of Pi is the story of one boy’s journey across the sea. At first he starts off with his family and their huge hoard of zoo animals in cages, but he finds the tables turn quite spectacularly after a big storm pulls their boat apart.

It’s one of those positively fantastical movies that moves between real and emotional and beautiful and magical. If you’re anything like us, you’ll feel like you’re watching a dream the whole time.

8. Letters to Juliet

This is the story of an American girl with big dreams of becoming a writer, who heads off on her travels to Verona in Italy, which is where Romeo and Juliet was set. While she’s there, she finds lots of letters people have written to the fictional character of Juliet. There are lots of people who sit there and reply and this our lovely main character becomes one. It’s a story about romance, writing and discovering a new place, all wrapped up in the legend of the Shakespearean classic.

9. Back to the Future

We couldn’t write a movie list about travel and not include time travel, now could we?

The main character, Marty McFly, is accidentally sent back in time by the quirky scientist Doc Brown. It’s a classic. And although it won’t make you want to travel the world, it teaches us a lesson in seeing things differently. Oh and it’s really fun. Did we mention the fun? So much fun.

10. Spirited Away

This is a truly fantastical, spectacular movie about what it feels like to move from one place to another. But there’s a twist. And that twist is in the form of spirits! Witches! Gods! Goblins! Spider people! Oh, and fairies! Featuring some truly brilliant illustration, it’s the perfect daydream film to get lost in.


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