“The chance which now seems lost may present itself at the last moment.” – Around the World in 80 days.
Travel without moving
Travel is not simply a place. Travel can be so many things. There are so many ways to travel. Our hearts and minds can take us places while we sit, curled comfortably like a cat, on the sofa. We can travel without moving!
Right now we are weathering the coronavirus storm. It will pass. Once again we will feel the sunshine warm our face again. Until then, we will travel with our imaginations and our hearts. You might be practising social distancing, or in lockdown, or simply yearn for travel. With actual travel all but an impossibility right now, With this in mind, I present you with this around the world trip.
With a little imagination, with a sense of fun and adventure, we can colour our days. We can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. With that in mind, let’s travel the world with Mr Phelias Fogg. 80 days around the world is a classic travel tale. It’s stuffed with exotic locations and adventure. In the book, Phileas Fogg makes a wager that he can travel around the world in just 80 days!
I’ve selected 6 movies that represent a significant point in Phileas Fogg’s journey around the world. I’ve included only the main stopping points and not the passing trough points. This saves my sanity and your eyeballs.
I’ve also suggested some food and drink pairings to season our trip with. Not only does it make things a touch more fun and interesting but it’s also another way to travel without moving.
Food, culture, history all collide in taste and texture. When we eat we experience the rush of a thousand years. Food moves us through time and space. When we think of those Kodachrome holiday moments we don’t just think of where we visited but also what we ate. What better way to travel than by taste?
Let me take you by the hand and take you 80 days around the world in movies! Let’s travel without moving. Be inspired, dream of better days and far flung places, and keep the flame of your wanderlust lit for when the coronavirus storm passes…
My criteria for picking these movies are: I have to have personally seen and enjoyed the movie, it is a good representation of the place, and where possible there is food involved… After all, this is a food-focused travel site. Whenever I travel, I do it with my belly. I also tried to pick movies that are less well known and I like to think a little more interesting and intriguing.
All these movies could be experienced in a day if you have the time! It is entirely possible to travel those 80 days around the world in just a single day. Just one turn of the clock allows us to circumnavigate the globe without leaving our homes.
Let’s begin our travels! Let’s travel the world!
“Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.” – Around the world in 80 days.
London: Paddington Bear
Phileas Fogg starts his epic journey from his home city London. He bets his fortune that he can travel around the world in 80 days. He leaves by train, taking the famous Orient Express.
Mr Fogg leaves in a romance of steam and elegance wrapped in iron. The train pulls away from the station gaining speed as it does. The sounds and sights of busy London are obscured by great clouds of sooty smoke and the engine’s ragged breath. Inside the opulent carriages, there is a patter of polite conversation and the gentle clatter of tea service about to begin. Let’s imagine he leaves from Paddington station…
Paddington! Our first movie! What a lovely movie! Love, love, love this movie. Featuring a talking bear and no foodie focus – unless you count marmalade sandwiches, I can’t think of a better movie to represent London or that feeling of being a tourist. It’s a perfect travel movie.
Paddington arrives in a new country. The sights and sounds are all so strange to him. The customs are unusual and unfamiliar. The sandwiches are delicious. Everything is bright. Everything is new. He is like a child again and the world is his playground. That’s what we love about travel. To see the world again with fresh eyes and discover it anew. Isn’t that why we travel?
The film feels really quintessentially British. There are many iconic and beautiful London locations in Paddington, including the eponymous train station. It’s perfect. So go along with the bear and enjoy London!
This movie is best watched with a stack of sticky marmalade sandwiches and a nice cup of tea.
“You have kept London time, which is two hours behind that of Suez. You ought to regulate your watch at noon in each country.” – 80 Days around the World.
Egypt: Cario Time
The next stop in our 80 days around the world journey is Cario. Fogg actually continues his travel from Suez but since it’s controlled by Egypt I’ve cheekily picked a Cario. Once again, not a food-focused film. Rules are there for the breaking, right?!
Our Next Movie is called Cario Time. The film is a love letter, not to just love, but to Egypt and Cario specifically. If you have never wanted to visit Egypt, this movie will change your mind. This really is the next best thing to going there yourself. Egypt will be laid out for you like a colourful carpet. The Nile, lined with trees will beckon you to walk it’s banks or sail its waters. We enter bustling cafes scented with roasted coffee beans and the drifting smoke from hookah pipes. The noise. The light. The heat. With silent magical regard, mystical pyramids hold silent vigil. On the perfumed blueberry night wind, you hear the call to prayer.
This is a gentle movie where nothing really much happens. Two souls find each other and something intangible and beautiful grows between them. Together they explore Cario. Go. Go with them, and explore Cario.
A gentle nudge. Maybe do a search on Youtube if you are interested in seeing this movie. Just saying…
This movie is best enjoyed while munching some crispy deep-fried falafel (made with fava beans if you like to be authentic rather than chickpeas) or maybe some hummus? When you’re done with the food, maybe enjoy an Egyptian style coffee? It’s actually pretty easy to make!
“Allahabad, that is, the City of God, one of the most venerated in India, being built at the junction of the two sacred rivers, Ganges and Jumna, the waters of which attract pilgrims from every part of the peninsula. The Ganges, according to the legends of the Ramayana, rises in heaven, whence, owing to Brahma’s agency, it descends to the earth.” – 80 Days around the World.
India: The Darjeeling Limited
Out next stop in our travels without moving world tour is India.
Rattling and rolling the train chugs and trundles. Phileas Fogg travels by train across the Indian continent. He races to catch his connection to Yokohama, Japan. He has many an adventure along the way. There are problems and perils aplenty. The Scotland Yard policeman is still hot on his trails. Fogg managed to rescue a woman that was due to be sacrificed!
Our next movie will make you want to stuff some clothing into an old suitcase and travel by train across this vast, heat hazed spice-scented land. If you do not fall in love with India’s hot exotic charms, if you do not fall in love with old rolling stock and an endless track to run her on… then maybe the travel bug really hasn’t bitten you at all! Although this movie might put you off going with your relatives.
This is a typical Wes Anderson movie. It’s not my favourite one, but it’s bursting with all the things you expect from him: bright colourful pallet, an unusual and quirky adventure, and just beautiful cinematography.
Maybe watch this with a hot cup of Chai which is a spiced Indian tea.
“If things don’t work out in Hong Kong my reputation will be ruined.” – 80 Days around the World.
Hong Kong: Hard Boiled
Phileas Fogg makes it to HK, as do we. To be honest, I really struggled to find a movie to represent Hong Kong. I’m not overly familiar with Chinese cinema. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear about it down in the comments section!
In the end, I chose John Woo’s action masterpiece. This movie actually takes place in Hong Kong too! It’s nothing too original. A tough unorthodox cop takes on bad guys. It’s the amazing almost balletic kinetic action sequences that are the draw here. Obviously no foodie focus here but the movie is called “hard-boiled” and you boil things in cookery. So… Yeah! See! Suck on them eggs (which I boiled).
A gentle nudge, if you were interested in watching this then maybe you could have a search on YouTube and see what turns up?
Best while munching on a plate of delicious dumplings and drinking some black tea! By the way, I really recommend the YouTube channel that I linked to if you are interested in Asian cooking. Her name is Seonkyoung Longest
“The boat scudded thus northward during the whole day, borne on by monstrous waves, preserving always, fortunately, a speed equal to theirs. . . .The passengers were often bathed in spray, but they submitted to it philosophically.” – Around the world in 80 days
Japan: The Ramen Girl
Fogg reaches Japan by steamer as do we! Well, not by steamer, but we can imagine it. We travel by our thoughts. Close your eyes. You can almost feel the motion of the waves on the ship hull. We rock slightly. The taste and tang of the salty air on our lips. The song of the great iron engine heart is a constant humming. We race, cutting the water like a knife, for Yokohama.
Finally a foodie movie! Plenty of hot umami-rich soup to be found here. Can you imagine slurping the soul warming soup along with perfectly springy noodles?
You’ll certainly feel like you are in Japan and you’ll certainly be in the mood for noodle soup.
This movie is not just rich in soup but full of Japanese culture. An American woman tries to learn the art of ramen from a master but neither can speak the other’s language.
“It may be taken for granted that, rash as the Americans are, when they are prudent there is good reason for it.” – 80 Days around the World.
The last movie on our world tour, our travel around the world in 80 days from the sofa adventure, and it’s all about the food.
Phileas Fogg makes it to America. Across the vast continent, he races. Along the way, there are Indians, troublesome geography, and of course the ever dogged policeman. Arriving at New York he manages to get a boat…
And he finally makes it back to British Soil…
Is he in back in time?! I guess you’ll have to read the book. Most people know the tale but just on the off chance you don’t know, I won’t spoil things.
And on to our final movie!
Obviously there are so many American movies that are set in or are about America. So I didn’t bother trying. Most of you are either familiar with America or you might even live there. Let me know in the comments! So instead I went with the foodie choice.
This movie is pure food porn.
I suggest you are not overly hungry if you watch this. The movie follows a chef cooking a menu that he has no love for. He ends of leaving to follow his heart (belly) and cook the food he really wants to cook.
I really enjoyed this movie. If you are a foodie like me you’ll appreciate this movie for that alone but it’s also got a warm-hearted story and is a lot of fun too.
I suggest some Buffalo wings served with blue cheese dip and a few American IPAs.
“Sir, I am incredulous that you dare molest my lemons. I shall strike you with my cane!” – Me while doing a victorian gent impression.
The End of our Journey
And so our journey ends.
We circled the globe. We travelled without moving an inch. OK, maybe we went to the fridge or the toilet but let’s not get pedantic! This is simply one idea. There are many more ways to travel without moving. You can go anywhere and never have to leave the house. In these times of self isolation and lock down this is especially useful.
I really hope you enjoyed our around the world trip. Life is an adventure. Life is a joy. If you’re interested in keeping the wanderlust light lit then you may like my previous article? 12 Best Travel Songs What did you think of my movie picks? Do you have any suggestions of your own? I would love to hear from you down in the comments.
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Happy Travels ✈️????????
Please note that the cover image for this post is by DarkWorkX