7 Films to Soothe Your Wanderlust

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If you’re anything like us you’ll be looking for films that’ll whisk you away while real-life travel is not an option. If there was ever a time for a little escapism, this is it. Here, we’ve rounded up the team’s recommendations for films that will see you soaking up other cultures (mentally, at least) rather than languishing in your front room.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Rosie, Head of Content

“I know it’s not cool but I think about that beach house off the coast of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro almost once a month. I saw the film about a decade ago, and Bella and Edward’s honeymoon location is still firmly embedded in my mind – that’s saying something!”

Much of the Twilight series is set in Forks, Washington – a location which is, importantly for the series, rainy. As such, it’s not a spot much lusted after by holidaymakers. However, this needn’t mean that Twilight fans can’t enjoy the film’s settings alongside sunny surrounds. Twilight: Breaking Dawn saw the much-loved couple jet off to Brazil for their honeymoon. While Rio de Janeiro is endlessly beguiling, it’s not the most wanderlust evoking of the film’s locations. This title instead goes to the fjord of Saco do Mamanguá. Home to a sprawling beach villa and so remote that it can only be accessed by helicopter, this spot is the ultimate holiday idyll with expansive white beaches and verdant forested surrounds. So, why not take yourself away with an afternoon spent watching the film?

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Eleanor, Content Editor

“I’m going to go for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. Not only do these films whisk me off to another world, but they were also shot on location in New Zealand and I can’t wait to one day experience that beautiful country (and the Hobbiton film set…) in real life!”

The Lord of the Rings trilogy had tense moments and hideous fictional creatures aplenty. You’d think that all of that would put holidaymakers off visiting the real-life setting of the famous films. However, that is not so. New Zealand’s Matamata was the backdrop of the shire. It’s rolling green hills, forested hillsides and picturesque lakes have piqued the imagination of travellers and film lovers ever since. The set was kept in place, and Hobbiton was born – in 2009 alone, over 330,000 visitors came to relive the action. For now, we can’t go in person, but we can watch the film that sparked thousands of holidays. That’s got to count for something.


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Sex and the City 2 – Keisha, Email Marketing Executive

“Sex & The City 2 is set in Abu Dhabi, and it always makes me want to be in the UAE on a girls’ trip.”

The lives and loves of the Sex and the City girls enthralled a generation. Their love of fashion, close-knit friendships and glamorous lives were a source of inspiration the whole world over. Who didn’t make a serious fashion faux pas thanks to Carrie Bradshaw? However, it’s not the fashion that’s inspiring our Email Marketing Executive, Keisha, this time – it’s the dreamy location of the second film that’s calling to her. While the sun has been shining during lockdown thus far, it’s certainly not felt warm and that’s where this film sweeps in. You can practically feel the hot desert heat as you watch the girls travel in for a week of fun in Abu Dhabi.

Fun fact: While the glamour of Sex and the City 2 is undoubtedly UAE, it was actually filmed in Morocco after the Emirati authorities refused to allow it to be filmed there due to the fact that the title contained the word sex.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – Polly, Social Media Executive

“The first time I saw this film I genuinely almost wet myself laughing. At the time I was about 13, and not only did it make me want to visit the South of France like never before, but it ignited a love for classic 80s films, that the comedies today just don’t match up to! Anything with Steve Martin is a must-watch, but this one tops the list.”

Set in the fictional town of Beaumont-Sur-Mer in the South of France, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has everything: gambling, cons, romance and obviously lots of laughs. Plus, it makes you feel as though you are sunning it up on the Cotê d’Azur, just whack the central heating up a bit and you’re there!


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Mamma Mia – Helen, Email Marketing Manager

“Cheesy as hell, but Mamma Mia always transports me to the sparkling blue shores of the Greek Islands, plus it’s a feel-good classic for when you need perking up.”

When Mamma Mia was released in 2008, it was a viewer favourite thanks to its ebullient nature, sing-along songs and A-list cast. However, what many of us weren’t expecting was that the location would steal so much of the limelight. The location for much of the film is the petite Greek island of Skopelos, in particular Kastani Beach. Here, white sands slope into twinkling turquoise seas and lush, green forests offer up some respite from the midday sun. Those looking for a feel-good fix should opt for this film – we can practically taste the fresh Greek salads, and smell the ocean air when watching this one.


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Spirited Away – Grace, Email Copywriter

“Sprinkled with magical mysticism, lively animations and an endearing sense of childlike fantasy, Ghibli’s Spirited Away transports you to another world – a great way to escape without leaving the house.”

Our email copywriter, Grace, has gone more abstract with her suggestion and is recommending a Studio Ghibli film. Instead of whisking you off to somewhere blissful on earth, it will take you to another realm. While the whole world feels as though it’s on pause right now, this sounds positively dreamy. You can expect rolling hillsides, pink-tinged clouds, and a childlike style which can only act to soothe fractured nerves. There are viewers who have claimed that the inspiration for this fantasy world is Taiwan but this claim has been refuted, so let go, and leave Earth behind for an hour or two of viewing pleasure.


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Lost in Translation – Marianne, Content Editor

“Japan is at the top of my travel wish list, and Lost in Translation’s atmospheric cinematography and soundtrack make it seem almost dreamlike, while conveying the sometimes life-altering nature of travel.”

Despite culture shock being one of the central themes of 2003’s Lost in Translation, viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with the evocative portrayal of the Japanese city of Tokyo. That feeling of being slightly out of body when transported to a culture so unlike our own is wonderfully captured in the film, and helps the viewer to forget their own current surroundings. Take in joyful karaoke bars, picturesque temples and sleek, buzzing cityscapes with this critically acclaimed film.


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