Ten Films to Inspire Your Next Wanderlust Adventure

Jennifer DeSimone
January 16, 2024

One of my favorite things to do no matter where I am in the world is to find a local movie theater and watch a movie. 

There's something magical about about leaving everything at the door and for 2 hours sharing in an experience with a room full of strangers. 

Some of my favorite films are about people  who set off to far away places seeking to find some deeper meaning in their lives. They inspire me to continue my own journey of seeking my place in the world. 

Here my top ten movies about people who leave everything behind and set out on the open road to seek truth. 

The Bucket List


Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson teach us that's It's never too late to live out your dreams and travel, realizing that sometimes everything you needed was already at home. 



A documentary created by two former college soccer players who wanted more after not going pro, "Pelada" seeks to capture the beauty of pick up soccer around the world and, in the process, teaches us about the things that both define and unite us. 



Arguably the best opening sequence of any film, Up creates a dream world where houses fly, dogs can talk, and where our greatest adventure in life may just be the one we are already living.



Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed, a broken woman who set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Based on the book of the same name, Strayed's story is beautiful. We watch as she is forced her out of her comfort zone, confronts her demons, loses a hiking boot, and even learns about REI's amazing customer service. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Love. Adventure. Ben Stiller. Iceland. What more do you need?

Under the Tuscan Sun


An adaptation of the memoir by the same name, "Under the Tuscan Sun" tells the story of Frances Mayes leaves everything behind for a new chance and finds herself renovating a house in Tuscany. 

In the process she creates a new life for herself among a wonderful cast of new friends. 

Finding Nemo 


Yes underwater travel still counts, especially when it's the waters around Australia. Marlin and Dory set out to bring Nemo home. An underwater adventure that always makes me want to go snorkeling.

The Way 


After losing his son a man sets out to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain in order to complete the journey his son died doing. Along the way, he meets others seeking meaning in their life. 

For some reason this movie always reminds me of the Alchemist. 

The Straight Story 


The true story of Alvin Straight and his lawn mower as travels across the country in order to reach his sick and estranged son. This film will make you call home and also appreciate the beauty of the American Midwest. 

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 


A young dreamer opens a hotel in India, attracting an all star cast seeking fulfillment in the latter part of the life. What we learn is that everyone deserves a second chance and that it's never too late to start over. 


Which film am I most looking forward to come out? Queen of Katwe. Yes, I have an obsession with Disney films.

And what all these movies tell us is that it all comes down to one thing: love. Love for sport. Love for someone else. Love for oneself.

And that is the magic of the movies. 

Jennifer DeSimone
Currently based in Austin, Jennifer is the Chief of Community for U30X. She has a passion for creating connections, community, and opportunities for more empathy. In her spare time you can find her on her yoga mat, whipping up something yummy in the kitchen, or reading a good book.


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