Written by Zoe Stephens
A list of our favorite travel-inspiring films for those extreme adventurers looking for something more. Luckily, we also included some tips on how you can get to these places – just in case you get itchy feet after watching!
7 Years in Tibet
7 years in Tibet is one for the patient viewer. It’s a beautiful film full of culture and passion and based on the true story of the famous Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer. But you’re going to have to get over Brad Pitt playing the part of an Austrian – including an interesting accent that he adopts. Get over this, and you can follow him on his journey from leaving for a 4-month climb to getting caught up in a war-stricken land and only returning 7 years later.
Get over the first half of the story, and you’ll be able to enjoy insights into Tibet and the then untouched Tibetan culture. All told from the point of view of Heinrich. His life takes a turn as he escapes from the camp that he has been locked away in, and learnt a great deal from the locals – as well as being able to teach them a great deal too. The movie is both interesting and informative, touching upon some difficult political and historical aspects in Tibetan history.
This movie will definitely leave you longing for a greater insight into this mysterious and unique culture. Visiting traditional Tibet is extremely unique and rewarding. Head here for information on a tour bringing you to all the main temples and monasteries of Lhasa, including the world world-famous Palace and the Sera Monastery.
Out of Africa
This movie’s stunning cinematography will have you longing for the safari and Savanah of Eastern Africa. It’s a romance full of the love, drama, and misfortunes of any love story.
The movie is based on the life and writings of Baroness Karen Blixen. In fear that she would forever be single, she marries her lover’s boyfriend and runs off to Kenya in East Africa, where she runs a coffee plantation on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. The high-life of high-drinking, and having way too much fun begins, which can only catch up to you sooner or later. She occupies her time by writing and thinking instead of drinking and gossiping. In a society where the difference between white and black is very clear, the Baroness remains very much a white foreigner. After the dream was finished and the plantation went bankrupt, she finished writing about her experiences under the alias Isak Dinesan.
There’s no better way than to experience Africa without getting there yourself. Africa is absolutely massive, each country with their own charm. If you’re looking for something different, however, Somaliland and Eritrea offer a truly off the beaten track experience. Click here for information on tours and prices.
The Motorcycle Diaries
The Motorcycle Diaries is a 2004 idealized biopic about the journey of the young Ernesto Guevara, who then goes on to become the iconic Marxist guerilla revolutionary, Che Guevara. The movie recounts the 1952 expedition motorcycle expedition made across South American by Guevara and friend Alerbto Granado.
It’s action-packed and full of fun and mishaps along the way, as a lot doesn’t go to the already very rough plan the two men have as they set off on their 8000 km epic journey of a lifetime. The movie represents both the beauty and the poverty and injustices that capture South America at the time. This would then inspire the youthful Gueavara into the revolutionist he was to become.
If this doesn’t make you fall in love with South America and inspire a jaunt abroad, nothing will. Watching it on film is one thing, but experiencing both the culture and the history in the actual country is another. Cuban Pioneers offer a unique 8-day Che Guevara Revolutionary tour that isn’t to be missed. Click here for more information.
Who doesn’t love a good Disney movie with an epic soundtrack to inspire? Based on Polynesian mythology, this recent Pixar was released in 2016.
An almost typical Disney princess story (but with a twist), it recounts the tale of Moana: the daughter of the island chief. Brought up on the island, she finds herself stuck under the constraints of the expectations of her family to stay there and lead the people. Fortunately, thanks to the help from her understanding Grandmother and a helpful Mr. Sting Ray, she’s encouraged to follow her dreams in true kitschy Disney fashion. She ventures from the borders of the island and goes on an epic adventure throughout the Pacific. Sure, it ends up being pretty dangerous, and she probably should have listened to the warnings from her elders, but she has a great time “finding herself” along the way.
The story of this kick-ass warrior will definitely have you longing for an island escape. The small island of Nauru is the world’s least visited country and one of the hardest places to get to. Click here for information on tours to this special island.
Encounters at the End of the World
Half documentary, half movie, Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger head over to the End of the World in Antarctica to meet the scientists brave enough to live and work in this desolate but beautiful landscape. Despite the fact that they are centered at McMurdo Station, the United States’ largest Antarctic research center, they find a land largely untouched by humans. It’s not just the incredible scenery that’s inspiring, but also the group of truly unique people they meet along the way – and the lives that they lead.
This film explores the lifestyles of these incredible people, as well as never seen before areas of the world. All the while, Herzog and Zeitlinger learn to survive in abandon civilizations and endure the volatile conditions of this awe-inspiring natural wonder. All the while, they are truly pushed to their limits. The thrills of traveling and exploring are largely heightened by the people you meet on the way and experiences had. Herzog doesn’t fail to capture this aspect in this incredible insight into this unknown world.
Notoriously difficult to get to, but certainly not impossible, there are few tours that allow you to visit this unknown kingdom at the end of the world. Young Pioneer Tours are constantly expanding their tour reach throughout the world. If you’d be interested in a tour, contact them here.