Movies That Inspire Wanderlust

Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)

This film captured audiences with breathtaking landscapes of the Italian countryside and instilled an irresistible yearning to travel into movie watchers. The main character falls in love with Tuscany, Italy and takes the audience with her on her journey. If a change of scenery is what you are looking for or a new lease on life, this film provides wonderful inspiration.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Discover travel destinations to add to your bucket list. Because this film definitely delivers on glitz and glamour. Singapore shines in this fun, charming, romantic comedy that features such magnificent sights that the movie feels epic. A destination wedding gives the main character as well as the viewers an opportunity to take risks and think outside of the box when engaging with other cultures. Only if you are willing to take chances, will you find the unexpected rewards -- something that is true in both love and travel.


Fools Rush In (1997)

This movie highlights the vast and varied wonders of North America, with scenes featured in the United States, including Nevada, Arizona and New York, and the glorious landscapes of central Mexico. The film explores the challenges and rewards of overcoming culture clash. Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon especially serve as breathtaking backdrops for the plot of this heartwarming movie.


P.S. I Love You (2007)

The setting of this movie in Ireland takes center stage as the plot emphasizes the exploration of and cherishing of Irish culture. The main character visits the homeland of her late husband and learns to step out of her comfort zone in order to fully appreciate what Ireland has to offer her. She also gets the chance to explore a heritage and cultural upbringing that can serve as a connection to who she has lost. This film dives into the discovering of one’s roots and cultural legacy while illustrating the serenity of Ireland.


Togo (2019)

A man and his dog are tasked with a harrowing adventure that risks their lives on a journey through Alaska in this film based on a true story. Warning: this film is a tearjerker. It will likely make you cry. The film portrays the true historical account behind the tale of Leonhard Seppala and Togo, the lead dog in the dog sled team that braved gruesome weather conditions and the epically dangerous terrain of Alaska in 1925 to get medicine (diphtheria antitoxin serum) during an epidemic of diphtheria and bring it back to the children of Nome, Alaska who desperately needed it. While it is set in Alaska, the film does show both Alaskan and Canadian winterscapes. So if you are interested in cold tundras, check this one out.


Mamma Mia! (2008)

The movie showcases gorgeous Greek islands and shimmering sea waters that will get you yearning to see Greece for yourself. This musical adventure portrays the rustic and natural beauty of small town life along the cliff sides and shores of Greece. Watch this film to get a taste of Greek beach life and, if you find yourself as tempted as I do, maybe add visiting Greece to your bucket list.


My Life In Ruins (2009)

This movie also shows off the grandeur of Greece, focusing more on the historic ancient ruins featured throughout mainland Greece. The main character is a tour guide who learns to embrace both the country and the culture while showing a wacky cast of characters around the sights, such as the Parthenon and the palaestra of Delphi, and Olympia, the location of the original Olympic games.


Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (2020)

This film is jam-packed with the picturesque scenery of both Iceland and Scotland. The main characters represent Iceland in a song competition, struggling between the drive to win and the need to be true to themselves and embrace their cultural identity. Magnificent imagery of Iceland provides a beautiful backdrop for the action. And when they travel to Scotland for the big competition, they encounter awe-inspiring views.


Roman Holiday (1953)

In this absolute classic, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck tour Rome, Italy, introducing both the characters and the audience to the historical wonders and the enchanting charm of the city. And in addition to launching Audrey Hepburn into stardom, this film inspired countless fans to chase their own Italian adventures.


Amélie (2001)

While this film edges more towards an idealized version of Paris, France, it does still show real Paris locations and French culture. It encourages its characters as well as the audience to dare to travel and explore, to venture into unfamiliar territory and find the wonder that’s out there waiting to be seen. This quirky comedy depicts Parisian life with a twist of dark sardonic humor, whimsey, and a proud French identity. Paris, afterall, is full of the classic iconography that has inspired wanderlust into travelers for generations.


In researching for this article, it is interesting to note that the genre of movies that most often takes the time to highlight the location and really ground the scenes in amazing destinations is romantic comedies. There are some exceptions, of course. But the most iconic glimpses of the modern landscapes and cultures of other countries can be found in rom coms. Please comment if you disagree and do share with us any examples you have found. We’d love to learn more and enjoy these visual feasts for the eyes.


We hope you enjoy these films and feel inspired by the locations they are set in. If you have any recommendations of your own or any films that inspired you to travel somewhere, share it with us in a comment below.