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5 Movies That Will Make You Want to Travel

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

When we watch movies, we not only pay attention to the characters and storyline, but also the settings. Where stories take place is often central to the plot, maybe even driving the plot further. Just as much as the characters can spark something inside of us, so can the movie sets. From beautiful forests to sandy beaches, these movies are sure to make you want to go exploring.

1. Brave

“If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?” ─​ Merida

Disney and Pixar’s Brave is a fast-paced journey that takes you through the greenery of Scotland. As you follow young Merida on a quest to change her future, you meet the will-o’-the-wisps, strange witches living in tiny huts, and animals that are more human than we may have believed. This animated feature will make you wish you were learning archery in Scotland’s verdant landscape, visiting old castles much like the one Merida lives in, and sitting by a crackling hearth with a lovely plate of haggis in front of you. If there is anything about Scotland that you are sure to fall in love with, it’s the beautiful rolling hills and the rich history. 

Image source: Eilean Donan, Castle in Scotland

2. Lilo and Stitch

“I’m sorry I bit you…and pulled your hair…and punched you in the face…” ─​ Lilo

Lilo & Stitch is one of those feel-good movies that never gets old. It’s one of the few Disney movies that is set in a tropical island: Kauai. With the groovy Hawaiian songs, sandy beaches, and lush rainforest scenery depicted, one can only wish they were lounging on a Hawaiian beach watching Lilo and Stitch surf the tall blue waves. The Hawaiian Islands are known for their clear waters and tall palm trees, which the movie makes great use of. If you haven’t already, plan a trip to the Hawaiian Islands so that you can dive into the warm water, sunbathe on the soft sand, and surf. Listen to the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack on your way there.

Image source: Darrell Robinson, Hanalei Bay, Kauai

3. The Hobbit

“A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds.” ─​ The novel

While The Hobbit is a book and a movie and does not feature a setting we can actually go to, it nonetheless sparks a sense of adventure. We learn about a whole new world through Bilbo’s journey, following him through dense forests, barren lands, dangerous caves, and small towns of humans being terrorized by a giant, greedy dragon. We may not be able to visit The Shire or the dwarves fallen kingdom, but Bilbo’s story can inspire us to seek our own adventure, which could be hours or mere minutes from our doorstep. If you’ve seen The Hobbit (or read the book) and wished you could portal into Tolkien’s fantasy world, not all hope is lost. New Zealand is home to the movie set of both The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings. Lucky for us, they let people tour the set! You can visit hobbit homes, and walk the paths of both Frodo and Bilbo while you’re there. Whether you plan to visit Hobbiton, or feel inspired to take your own trip away from home, you are sure to learn something new while you’re away.

Image source: Mike, Hobbiton

4. The Devil Wears Prada

“I’m on this new diet. Well, I don’t eat anything and when I feel like I’m about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese.” ─​ Emily

If you thought you didn’t want to go to New York, after watching this movie, you will. Not only does the movie give great depictions of the city landscape, but it also has a wonderful representation of the different personalities you find in the Big Apple. All of the characters in The Devil Wears Prada are eccentric and unique in their own way, from Meryl Streep’s overbearing Miranda Priestly to Anne Hathaway’s anxiety-ridden Andy, you are sure to laugh and cry at the same time. The movie is great, but the city is even more dominating as we see Andy running along the crowded streets, working in super high-rise publishing offices, and living in an infamous New York apartment. New York’s not for everyone, but it’s worth the visit.

Image source: Guido Barberis, New York

5. Call Me by Your Name

“If I could have him like this in my dreams every night of my life, I’d stake my entire life on dreams and be done with the rest.” ─​ The novel

Call Me by Your Name is set in the Italy of 1983. The film features a warm summer full of beautiful nature, the old buildings of Italy, lakes of peaceful stillness, and a quiet you can only find among the trees. Each scene has images of soft, pastel colors that reflect the sensitivity of the plot, and of course, spark a longing in the audience to see these picture-perfect moments in person. After watching this movie, images of Italy will sit with you just as much as the characters and their stories do.

Image source: Harold Litwiler, Italy

Drew Watson studies English at UC Davis. She enjoys reading young adult fantasy, listening to old school R&B, and watching cartoons! Drew is interested in a career in education, or editing/publishing after college, and is hoping to explore all of her options while at Davis.
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