As someone who lived most of her teenage years in nowheresville, I admit that the majority of my time was spent escaping into books and movies and living vicariously through the adventures of the female characters within them.
I attribute my travel-oriented life to the wanderlust these smart, brave, travel-hungry characters instilled in me. I hope you will find some inspiration among them too!
1. Evie Carnahan (The Mummy 1999)
This Egyptologist/Librarian was my idol when I was thirteen. As a super-intelligent character, with knowledge of several languages, Evie’s know-how leads most of the plot and gets the male characters where they need to go. This was unusual for films at the time where most female characters accidentally found themselves on adventures instigated by the overbearing male hero. Evie really fueled my mindset that life should be an epic journey through far-flung places (complete with optional Brendan Fraser lookalike).
2. Penny Lane (Almost Famous 2000)
Leader of the Stillwater ‘band-aids’, Penny Lane is a mysterious and rebellious character who knows what she wants and employs all manner of methods to get it. I loved seeing her free-spirited character go on this road-trip / life journey on a beaten-up tour bus. Ultimately you discover the vulnerability that nearly destroys her but, in epic fashion, she picks herself up and gets on that plane to Morocco to start a whole new life. I have yet to board a plane to Morocco but when I do I will definitely be booking “one seat by the window” a la Penny Lane.
3. Julia (Hideous Kinky 1998)
Julia is a woman who leaves “cold, sad London” to vagabond around Morocco with her two daughters. It is the 60’s and throngs of disenchanted bohemian types are leaving dreary, predictable lives for exoticism and adventure overseas. Julia’s journey is fraught with complications and relatable frustrations, however the beauty of the scenery and her determination to ‘live the life less traveled’ makes her story an inspiring one. I re-watched this film before moving to South Korea and it reminded me to embrace the challenge and adventure of living abroad.
4. Donna Jensen (View From The Top 2003)
Although this film is pretty silly (some might deem unwatchable!), I was inspired by the character of Donna – a super-motivated, wannabe flight attendant, who longs to escape small town life and see the world. Like Legally Blonde for those with wanderlust, she works damn hard and overcomes the haters to achieve her goal of, “Paris, First-Class, International”. I saw this film while I was training to become a flight attendant (a short-lived career) and it was a great reminder that no one was going to hand me the life I wanted. I had to go out there and get it myself.
WHO INSPIRES YOUR WANDERLUST?