Traveling in the Media

Traveling in the Media

By: Carl Johnson

We see traveling all over the media whether directly or indirectly. Traveling can impact our lives and help shape who we are and how we perceive the world. Media can impact the way we perceive or understand certain places of travel, certain cultures or certain environments. Fictional or non-fictional movies, news articles and documentaries can help promote or demote a place of travel and can be the deciding factor on whether or not someone decides to travel there.

In the movieSecret-Life-of-Walter-Mitty Secret Life of Walter Mitty we see a man who resembles the majority of the working class. Working so much that we often don’t have time to do the things we want so all we can do is daydream about them. Throughout the movie we begin to see a man break out of his comfort zone and develop into a completely different person through his travels. Although his work is the thing that has kept him from traveling it also becomes the thing that motivates him. He traveled the world in order to find a picture that a photographer for Life Magazine had. He travels to cities all over Greenland, Iceland and Denmark. The movie shows culture, nature and the different lifestyles of the people who live there. He is able to experience different cultures, whether and meet new people through his travels.

This movie was actually one of the first major motion pictures knowingly set in Iceland. Although it has been seen in other movies and shows such as Game of Thrones and Thor we often don’t know exactly where these beautiful scenes are shot at. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was the first movie to give insight into Icelandic culture and show exactly where the waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers are from instead of it just being a background. This movie focuses on the beauty of the landscape and rather than having it as a background element it is actually a major part of the movies story (Hull, 2013).  We also meet a photographer who talks about the beauty of photographing in the places he has traveled and often times elects out in taking a picture because a moment is so beautiful. Traveling helped Walter gain courage, self-worth and a different view of the world that surrounds him. We see his daydreams become a reality.


The Bucket List was another major motion picture revolving around the idea of traveling shaping a person’s life. In this movie we meet two elderly men, Carter Chambers and Edward Cole, who ar58390-51057e unlikely friends find that although the only common attribute they share is there terminal illness they can still gain astrong friendship. They both feel like they have yet to actually live their lives. They adventure to places such as Egypt, France, Italy and China to complete a list they have written before they “kick the bucket.” This was another movie that didn’t just include the scenery as a background but as a major aspect of the movie. Although this movie doesn’t show as many cultures in the places traveled like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty does, they do feature beautiful places to visit that people may not have thought of visiting. This movie teaches us how travel can bring joy and it can make us feel like we have accomplished more in our lives. Not only do they show how travel can fulfill their lives but also how experiencing new things and understanding how another’s life can enrich their lives. This movie also features the journey to finding god and peace. (Breimeier, 2007).

The Bucket List and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty both show how there is more to life than just a job or career. Carter Chambers and Walter Mitty share a common trait; they both have603029b453c952e1aa513b58aaa25a38 worked the majority of their lives and found their fulfillment through work never knowing anything else but their jobs. When they begin to travel due to their circumstances they begin to open their eyes to the purpose of life and the enrichment that their travels can bring to their souls. Although they are in different circumstances they both find courage, self-worth and a different view of the world that surrounds them.

Both movies have shown that there is more to traveling than just sightseeing or
trying new foods. We see that travel can help people gain a sense of self-worth and achievement. It helps people grow and become the people they want to be. Experiencing new cultures and people can help us see a new side to life and help us understand what our true purpose is. They show the life is about growth and self-improvement and that through travel we can gain these important aspects that help us to become a  better individual and benefit those around us.








Diamond, Stephen. “Staring at Sixty: Some Musings About Mortality and the Bucket List.” Psychology Today. 9 Apr. 2009. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.


“Five Life Lessons From The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.” Wild Sister Magazine RSS. 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.


Hull, Robert. “Walter Mitty Gives Iceland Its First Leading Role in a Hollywood Blockbuster.” The Gardian. 26 Dec. 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.


Mansaray, David. “The Importance of Travel for Personal Development.” David Mansaray RSS. 8 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 Nov. 2015.



11 thoughts on “Traveling in the Media

  1. It is a very interesting article. I rarely watch a movie about travel, but I love watching documentary about travel. I think I can see the landscapes around the world and a variety of characteristic folk custom by watching the documentary. It helps me to expand vision and enrich knowledge. I think watching movies about travel, it is like see the world through the eyes of the movie role. Sometimes I would reflect my life through feeling their experiences. It is like you said “these important aspects that help us to become a better individual “.

  2. Hi Carl,

    It was really intriguing reading your blog post about traveling when it comes to media. I think nowadays that there are so many different views when it comes to traveling. For example I really liked how you talked about both of your examples and how they showed the true importance of traveling. Personally when I watch movies I don’t actually pay attention or appreciate the true meaning of traveling in movies. It’s crazy because looking back now, there are so many different types of cultures and countries that do pop up in movies nowadays. I also agree with you about how media does help us perceive different places of travel. Another example is from the movie Forrest Gump. In this movie Forrest goes through many different places of travel that give an audience a perception of how these places real are. In the movie They show different states like Washington D.C, Georgia, and Alabama. This is inspiring fans to go visit all these places through media like this movie and the ones you listed above. In all I really like how you talked about the importance of traveling and how it’s affects people’s lives.

  3. Hello Carl,
    I thought that your article was excellent. What was interesting to me is when you mentioned that these characters seemed to find some sense of self-worth through their travels. They were able to see something in real life rather than only observing things in a magazine or on a television. Your article was refreshing because my personal passion in life is travel. My goal is to visit all seven continents (Including Antarctica). I also like the point you made about how personalities change after traveling. Instead of being in our personal comfort zones, experience in different cultures make us reconsider many habits and traits that we are use to.

  4. hi
    I enjoyed your blog post. yes a lot of movies we just watch, we never question where these places are and we never truly see the beauty in them. this upcoming February I am studying abroad to India, the only movie connection that I can make by that it slumdog millionaire, I think that it portrays the slums of India fairly accurately, although I have so far only seen study abroad videos that I can compare the two with. I will make sure to see the beauty in the country, hopefully I can compare the two.
    thanks for sharing and good luck with future classes!

  5. Hi Carl,

    I’m very interested in your topic. I like travel so much. This movie secret life is worth to watch, it have showed several good views around the world. I remembered one scene in the movie is the character take a helicopter to the Arctic. I like snow very much, however, there’s no snow in Portland. I hope it could snow here, so I can play snow with my friends. Another reason I like travel is I can experience more culture in difference place.

    Thanks for your posting.

  6. When I saw the title I thought that this was supper interesting, because I never really thought of traveling as being something that can effect our actions because of the media, but reading your post it made me think of a couple of other things and how it has made me change my mind about traveling because of movies or tv shows. Such as the movie Taken, after seeing that I was like I will never go to France and that is the one place that I have wanted to go to since I was really little. And although I have traveled the world so I am lucky to know that a lot of the time the media portrays the wrong idea about a place. One example is Japan. I traveled to Japan and I would have to say that it is my favorite place Ive been to so far and when I tell people that they look at me like I’m crazy and I think that is due to the fact that they have this idea in their head that they gathered from the media or something else so they would never think about giving this amazing place a chance. The media can effect our lives more then we actually think.

  7. Hello Carl,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog post as I am too a traveler. Being a person who has traveled to many places out of the country I found myself thinking about how I viewed certain countries and their cultures before actually visiting them. These views were certainly influenced by media but after all of the experiences I have had being submerged in different cultures my views on life are much different. Traveling truly has given me a new perspective that has changed many aspects of my life. I think your sources compliment your views on traveling, and your blog post was well written.
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. I loved how your blog post turned out! Good job! I loved the idea about showing that traveling is so much more than just sightseeing and eating. You are stop on with your whole idea. Traveling is the only way to truly have appreciation towards other cultures, without it we would all be ignorant to it. I’m glad we have such influential movies that help us to make proper choices on where to travel next. I would love to visit Iceland! I never would have thought it to so scenic and green!! I love when you stated that, “Experiencing new cultures and people can help us see a new side to life and help us understand what our true purpose is.” We all need to make travel a bigger priority. It is very interesting how life gets in the way. Working in order to live seem somewhat backwards. I love your post!

  9. I enjoyed your post. I decided to read it because the title caught my attention. I’ve been lucky enough to do some traveling myself, and all I’m ever trying to do is put myself in a position where I can travel again. I’ve never watched either of the movies you mentioned, but I’m definitely going to now. I hope it may inspire me to work hard at what i’m doing here in Portland, so I can continue on to see the rest of the world.

  10. Hi Carl,
    I was very excited to read your final blog! I really enjoyed your blog altogether because it touches topics that you really don’t think about while watching a movie. I saw the Bucket List when it first came out but when reading your description about it, it definitely made me see things that I didn’t recognize during the movie. I look forward to watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi Carl,

    I really like your topic. I also talked about films in my blog post, and I see that you have analyzed the films a little more and I love reading things like that. It’s nice to see different perspectives and hear the deeper meanings to these films. They are all related as far as travels goes, so I’m guessing that traveling is something that you do a lot, your identity as a traveler. You should have talked about yourself more! I would be looking forward to reading more about you! Great post!


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