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 movie 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 are 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 have 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.