I mentioned in a previous post that I really don’t want to be one of those bloggers that pretends like every single day of their life is amazing and traveling solo is always inspired and thrilling. Screw those bloggers and instagram accounts.
While I know I am very lucky to live the life that I live, I’m kind of in a rut. I’m trying not to spend too much money right now, and while Rotterdam really isn’t an expensive city it isn’t particularly cheap either. Plus Rob just went back to the ship, and that always completely bums me out for at least a week.
Among other things, I’m just feeling very blah. Not interested in going site seeing or anything. I just got my 5 year visa for the Netherlands (suck it Schengen!) and of course I was happy. But normal Jackie definitely would have gone out for a million shots a celebratory beer and talked to every single poor soul at that bar about it until I had made ten new friends and spent all my Euros for the day. Instead I went home and watched ‘My 600 Lb Life’ on TLC and cried over a bottle of crappy white wine (seriously that show gets me every time).
But I’m heading to Malta in just a few days. There’s so many beautiful places to see, and there’s this big multi-day coastal walk around Gozo that I’m planning on doing. Then I’m going to Sicily and Italy. Basically I need to snap out of it and quickly! I don’t want this little storm cloud hanging over my head for all the awesome stuff coming up (I want to get a decent tan, after all).
So how does a solo traveler like myself get pumped? It should be easy, you’re going to effing Malta, betch, how can you not be excited for that? But the truth is, while traveling by yourself for an extended period of time is empowering and liberating, it’s also kind of stressful at times and in all honesty, it’s a little bit lonely. It’s one thing to be by yourself in a city for an extended period of time, I can handle that. It’s a whole different beast, however, when you also don’t speak the language. And after a while you get a little tired of having to put in so much effort just to be social and active, and you start to miss your comfort zone a little bit.
So I’ve compiled a list of my go-to movies for travel inspiration. It’s impossible to watch these movies and want to do anything but go on an epic adventure afterwards. When I watch these movies I stop doubting myself. I immediately have get back that anxious and excited feeling in my gut, I’m a little more awestruck and appreciative of the beauty around me, and I crave the random conversations with strangers rather than feel like I’m forcing myself to be social. These are how I’m going to snap myself out of it and get pumped! My ace(s) in the hole!
This is the movie that inspired me to start to travel in the first place. And not to just travel, but to travel with more purpose than just getting drunk off margaritas in Cabo. It’s the story of young Che Guevara (still Ernesto at the time) riding through South America with his best friend and finding his true calling in life. I won’t go on some political rant, but it’s a very interesting insight into how Che became the revolutionist he was. And you get to see gorgeous South American landscapes, along side the heart breaking realities of life in South America during that time.
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen The Motorcycle Diaries, but it’s a lot and I’m not sick of it at all. Every time I watch this movie I immediately want to walk out the door and go on my own journey of self discovery and purpose, and write my own motorcycle diaries (that’s hopefully happening in May-June but we’ll see). Plus Gael Garcia Bernal is just…*sigh*…he’s just too handsome, I can’t.
Warning: this movie will make you feel like (or realize that) all of the material possessions and social status you’ve wasted your entire life accumulating mean nothing. But this true story of a bright and successful student who gave up everything to find more meaning in life is a total inspiration. And if you’re like me and haven’t made it up to Alaska yet, you’re going to want to throw yourself on the next plane (or hitch hike there like the main character) to the wild and rugged Alaskan unknown when you catch a glimpse of the scenery in this film. Just make sure you don’t eat the wrong berries (too soon?).
While this movie has an important message about sexual assault and domestic violence, it’s also an empowering story of two women who have had enough and take matters into their own hands. And what an epic way to go out, on their own terms and in total control of their own fate. As a female traveler that’s doing exactly what she wants to do with her life, I feel a special connection to a movie like this about badass women taking control of their own lives. There’s a neat interview with Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis from the 25th anniversary of the movie that you can read here.
This is such an incredibly well made series, I can’t gush enough about how much I love watching this. Whenever I’m sad at all, I just have to listen to David Attenborough narrate animals doing outrageous stuff and I feel like it’s all going to be ok. This is my chicken noodle soup when I’m feeling crummy. My sister got me this series for Christmas one year and it will still go down as one of my favorite and most used gifts of all time (it’s always good to have another wanderer in the family!). It’ll make you want to travel to places that you have never even heard of. And if, when you’re done reading this article, you immediately go and binge watch it and feel depressed when it’s over, don’t worry. They just came out with Planet Earth II, with even more amazing camera angles and even crazier animal behavior.
Ok so this isn’t a movie and it isn’t really about traveling. But whoever chooses the filming locations for Game of Thrones has found some of the most beautiful places in the world to do it. Seriously, how does one get that job? From the old section of Dubrovnik, Croatia to the black beaches of Vik, Iceland to the astonishing Royal Alcazar in Sevilla, Spain, I’ve kind of made it a mini goal to see all the awesome places featured in that show. Khaleesi and Khal Drago got married on a cliff that is actually located in Malta, and I’m going to add that to my list of Game of Thrones site places I’ve visited. I have a feeling that I, yet again, will not be disappointed. Really you could just pick maybe three scenes that you think the setting is beautiful in, look up where they are and go visit them. I guarantee you that you won’t be underwhelmed.
So I think tonight will definitely be a movie night! Because I really don’t have time for this bummed out, ‘woe is me’ bs. MALTA IS ONLY TWO DAYS AWAY. Then tomorrow I’ll have a new found ambition and it will be a successful packing day. And then by Saturday night I’ll be in Malta, totally gung ho and ready to soak up all that the rad little island has to show me!
So what are your favorite movies that make you want to hit the road and fill your passport with stamps? I’d love to hear what you watch to snap yourselves out of a rut! This will be my last post in the Netherlands for a bit, I’ll see you all in Malta! 🙂