Find your travel inspiration through these films

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Travel Planning


Every year, as the summer months get closer, my wanderlust grows stronger. I find myself in need of some travel inspiration as I plan my next dream vacation. I spend an increasing number of hours on Pinterest looking up photographs of the countries and cities on my ever-growing list of places to visit. My favorite travel accounts on Instagram, like @nytimestravel and @ilvynjio, are constantly updated with photographs from places as different as Copenhagen and Wyoming. Even my Facebook newsfeed is filled with photographs of friends traveling around the world. But for me, the best way to envision the adventures, the possibilities and the stories that can come from travel is through film. Depending on what you hope to gain from your time traveling, there are different movies that in just two hours can inspire you to get up and go.

For the self-examiner:

Travel is a great means to learn more about who you are and to grow as a person. In some ways, travel allows you to press pause on reality. When life seems to be going wrong, travel can change not only your understanding of yourself but also your perspective on the situation. In the film The Way, Thomas Avery, played by Martin Sheen, goes to France after his son, Daniel, is killed during a storm while walking the Way of St. James, a Catholic pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. But while there, Avery decides to walk the pilgrimage out of grief and in remembrance of his son. In doing so, Avery and others find a greater meaning in their lives.

For the nature lover:

For those who travel simply to immerse themselves in the world around them, Baraka may be the inspiration you need. The documentary, which has no narrative or voice-over, allows you to temporarily lose yourself in the natural, human and technological phenomena around the world, from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to tribal celebrations of the Masai in Kenya. Filmed in 24 countries on six continents over a 14-month period, the documentary features other sites like the Ryoan temple in Kyoto in addition to the precipice of an active volcano and chanting monks in the Dip Tse Chok Ling as well.

For the adventurer:

If you live for the thrill and you desire to live your life to fullest, Long Way Down may be the inspiration you need to plan the adventure of a lifetime. The 10-episode British TV documentary series follows Ewan McGregor, the Scottish actor of Moulin Rouge! and Star Wars fame, and his friend Charley Boorman as they undertake a motorcycle journey through 18 different countries. From May 12, 2007 to August 4, 2007, the pair rode south through Europe and Africa. Starting in John o'Groats in Scotland and ending in Cape Town, South Africa, McGregor and Boorman rode through England, France, Italy, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia and Botswana. Long Way Down is a follow-up to Long Way Round, the 2004 documentary series in which McGregor and Boorman rode east from London to New York via Eurasia and North America.

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Best active lifestyle travel destinations -- TripTogether
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Find your travel inspiration through these films

Best Skiing Destination: Zermatt, Switzerland

"When it’s a taste of old-world culture and never ending descents coupled with glacier-clad peaks, Zermatt is dominated by the spiking pyramid of the mighty Matterhorn, one of the most distinctive mountains on Earth."

Best Hiking Destination: Inca Trail, Peru

"Besides being one of the most popular hiking sights in the world, there are 26 miles of gorgeous ruins, jungle and beautiful mountain scenery. With the final destination of Machu Picchu, this is a 'must' for hiking enthusiasts."

Best Biking Destination: The Dolomites, Italy

"Europe is known for bicycle-friendly cities and although it’s hard to play favorites, Northern Italy’s breath-taking scenery and a side of gelato or espresso make the Dolomites tops for biking with 2,000+ meter peaks to offer."

Best Long Distance Running Destination: Patagonian International Marathon, Chile

"For marathon runners, knows that the Patagonia International Marathon in Chile at the Torres del Paine National Park does not disappoint. Torres del Paine National Park is encompassed by massive glaciers, lakes and grand pillars of granite mountains that rise 2,500 meters above the race route."

Best Rock Climbing Destination: Canyonlands, Utah

"Don’t rule out the U.S. when it comes to rock climbing.  Utah is truly a cornucopia of adventure and beauty. From striking sandstone dessert to world class splitter crack climbing, there’s a plethora to be discovered, or, rather climbed."

Best Scuba Diving Destination: Hawaii, USA

"Divers from around the world flock to Hawaii’s coasts for some of the best scuba diving views in the world and members are certainly part of that group. The gorgeous atmosphere and warm waters create memories to last a lifetime."

Best Swimming Destination: Phi Phi Island, Thailand

"Clear skies and even clearer water are truly inviting in Thailand. With a laid-back atmosphere, affordable food and drinks and gorgeous beaches, TripTogether members continue to go back for more."

Best Surfing Destination: Superbank, Gold Coast, Australia

"Considered to be ‘surfer’s paradise,’ Gold Coast has been known for its 70 km of beaches and four epic point breaks including the Superbank, one of the world’s finest breaks."

Best Kayaking Destination: Kadavu Island, Fiji

"More than 97 percent of Fiji’s 709,000 square kilometers is water, meaning plenty of exploration room for paddlers."

Best Yoga Destination: Limon, Costa Rica

"While some think of yoga and India is the international location that often comes to mind, Limon is growing as a top stop for yoga enthusiasts.  Surrounded by warm water and lush rain forest, Limon is a yoga junkies dream with hot yoga studios and organic juice shops at every corner."

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