Travel Roundup ✈️
Updated: Jun 21, 2019
Your ticket to exploring the globe!
Happy first day of summer, everyone! We've officially entered the months best spent reading a book by the pool and eating one too many scoops of chocolate ice cream.
Summer is also a season to travel and take in the culture (read: food) of a place different from your everyday surroundings. So to celebrate, I offer you a collection of my favorite travel-inspired summer flicks. Whether you're vacationing or staycationing, consider enjoying these streamable picks while you take a break from the heat.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (PG, 2005, Netflix) For those of you who somehow missed this phenomenon, let me give you a quick synopsis. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants features four high school best friends, Tibby (Amber Tamblyn), Lena (Alexis Bledel), Carmen (America Ferrera), and Bridget (Blake Lively), who are preparing to spend their first summer apart. The group finds a pair of pants, which they use to stay in touch. From Mexico to Greece, this movie is filled with vistas that will have you day dreaming about heading to a local cantina in Baja California and riding a donkey up the streets of Santorini. And when you're left wanting more, never fear: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 is the perfect follow up.
Call Me By Your Name (R, 2017, STARZ) This is bar-none the juiciest pick on the list. Set in 1980s northern Italy, Call Me By Your Name depicts the blossoming romance between 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer), an archaeology graduate student. Elio and Oliver's relationship blossoms gradually, and the movie often lingers on the tension between the two. In part, this happens visually, as the pair ride bicycles through the Italian countryside and stroll down the cobblestone streets. If you want to feel the romance and awe-inspiring energy of Italy, Call Me By Your Name is for you.
Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13, 2018, HBO GO) Perhaps you're interested in somewhere more cosmopolitan. In Crazy Rich Asians, NYU professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) travels with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to meet his family in Singapore. Before long, Rachel discovers that he's rich—crazy rich—and one of the most eligible bachelors in Asia. And this movie is as visually rich and opulent as the Young family. Rachel and Nick's travels highlight the glitziness of urban Singapore as much as the serenity of the country's gardens and waterfront. In short: Singapore reveals itself to be a fiery melting pot of cultures that will impress you from start to finish.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (TV-14, 2018, Netflix) Anthony Bourdain was a man who travels the way I do: based on food. In Parts Unknown, Bourdain explores corners of the world you might not otherwise seek out. He shares spring rolls and Thiebou Jenn with Senegalese locals, takes a motorbike to try the khao piak sen (a noodle soup) in Laos, and cruises around the Cuban coast before trying the catch-of-the-day. This TV show is ambitious and expansive, covering nearly 100 different locations during its 12 season run. Parts Unknown truly has something for every viewer, whether it introduces you to different cultures or lends a new perspective to your favorite place.
Wild (R, 2014, Amazon Prime, $3.99) Grief affects everyone differently. But regardless of how you move through it, the feeling inevitably drives you toward self reflection. After the death of her mother and dissolution of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) decides to process grief by going on a hike. A long one—1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. As the movie delves deeper into Strayed's past, it showcases the beauty of the United State's mountains and wilderness. The landscape is a bit more raw and grittier than, say, strolling down the Italian cobblestone, but the payoff is immense. By the end of Wild, you'll feel a deeper appreciation for the scenery outside of your own front door.
The Amazing Race (TV-PG, 2001, Amazon Prime and Hulu) In my very humble opinion, The Amazing Race, is the very best when it comes to travel TV shows. On each season, eleven teams of two travel around the world, completing various challenges and tasks along the way, and the first team to arrive at the final destination wins $1 million. But this Emmy-winning series gives viewers the travel bang for their viewing buck. Throughout the show's run, contestants have done everything from sell goods in the open air markets of Marrakesch, Morocco to navigate Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan to racing camels in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to riding a funicular up the mountains of Zurich, Switzerland. There are more than 30 season that have been on the air, but I'd recommend starting with 5, 19, 25, 27, or 29. Get ready to grab your passport and fanny pack and head to the closest airport.
There are obviously many other wanderlust-inducing movies and TV shows that could have made the cut—the Before Sunrisetrilogy, Mamma Mia!, and The Lord of the Rings series, to name a few. But the ones above are those that left me wanting to soak up the range of experiences that the world has to offer.
To borrow a line from The Amazing Race: "The world is waiting for you." I hope this summer you get to see a little more of it.
Adventure awaits! —Tess