Being a digital nomad implies traveling and living adventures, as well as working to finance this lifestyle, looking for the best countries for digital nomads, countries with less taxes for nomads… but there are times when you need to kick back and watch a movie or two and forget the daily challenges of the wandering life, or see someone else suffer them. So what are the best inspirational movies for a digital nomad? You ask yourself, What should I watch after Nomadland, the iconic van life film of the woman who loses everything in the great recession? Is there a movie called Nomad? What movies and documentaries would inspire me? Is there a true story about a nomad? Or a nice work of fiction which would keep me inspired when the weather is bad and I wish I was at home? Or are you just setting out, and looking for inspiration? Here is a list of inspirational nomad movies and documentaries for your to pick from, from minimalism a documentary to Into the Wild, there’s something for everyone.
Must Watch Movies for Digital Nomads.
0. Nomadland, It’s a classic for nomad movies.
It is the story of a woman who lost everything in the great recession in the United States and begins to travel throughout the American West. A classic for many nomads, this film is a must see.
1. Minimalism a documentary about the important things in life, for me the best nomad movies
Minimalism a documentary, is about the important things in life, as told by people from different walks of life who are trying to live a very simple life with as little as possible. Stars include a Wall Street broker, journalists, artists and numerous others, who have got rid of most things in order to live simply. It is an inspiration to those who are travelling and living with only the basics as a result. There are some interesting stories in there.
2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Adapted from a 1939 short story, The life of Walter Mitty seems normal, even mundane on the outside, but in his imagination he lives an adventure while doing mundane tasks such as taking his wife shopping, in his imagination he is powering up a navy hydroplane, carrying out surgery, taking part in a court trial and flying a plane in the war before facing a firing squad. Then he gets involved in real adventure by accident. and the story keeps you riveted as one exciting twist and turn after another is revealed. The story is an inspiration to anyone whose life has been mundane, to change things, to go out and seek adventures.
If you’re looking for movies about nomads, Wild is a must. This film features Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl, a hiker who is walking in order to come to terms with personal tragedies and traumas. Nomad movies don’t get more real and nomadic than this. The star has no experience of hiking and trekking and is realistically depicted as learning as she goes, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone.
Cheryl struggles for several days alone before support of all kinds starts to arrive, with people sending food and letters, and helping her to get fuel, correct gear and helping her to pack her gear properly, this is very relatable, we all learn as we travel, and Cheryl’s encounters with unpleasant men is something that many lone female travelers will identify with. Then there’s survival, getting through the snow having lost a boot, and being without water. If you’re someone on the road, you will totally identify with this film.
More digital nomad movies
4. Eat, Pray, Love.
For inspirational movies about nomads this is unmissable. This thought provoking movie based on a true story, is about a successful modern woman trapped in relationship where she is unhappy, while her husband husband is unaware of this, when he raises the subject of children, she realizes just how unhappy she is, and how much she wants to go to Italy and learn Italian. She gets a divorce and goes, spending months in Italy, learning Italian and enjoying the food before moving on to a religious institutions in India and Bali, and meeting her new partner, who is Brazilian. In her travels she broadens her mind, learns new languages and cultures and makes new friends, changing her life and finally finds peace. This film encourages you to be bold and make changes, follow your dreams and grow through travel.
5. Bucket List.
Two dying men meet in hospital. One is a mechanic with a loving family, but who has struggled to make ends meet in life and has had little by way of luxuries or holidays, the other is a rich man who has all the luxuries possible, even while in a hospital bed, and who is furious at first to be sharing a room with the mechanic, until they become friends. The rich man finds the bucket list that the mechanic has written, and as a result decides to have them both discharged to travel the world and live a bucket list before they die of their illnesses. It’s a poignant, moving and inspirational film that tells us that it’s never too late to travel and to make the most of life. And unusual and emotional end of life nomad life movie to edge us all out of our comfort zones.
6. White Fang.
If van life is getting you down, how about a classic in adventure nomad movies? White Fang is travel, adventure, excitement and drama. The story of the tamed wolf dog who a young adventurer, Jack challenges himself to teach affection to, and their dangerous hikes across the frozen wasteland of Alaska in search of gold. The wolf dog bonds with Jack, but when Jack loses his money, he has to sell the dog to a man who arranges dog fights for a living. The wolf dog is unbeatable until a fight with a persistent bulldog, whose way of fighting is different to other dogs, and he’s beaten, Jack comes back, saves his life and takes him back to the cabin where Jack is finally mining the gold claim he came to seek. He manages to re-bond with the dog and heal him, and gain his affection. The dog fighter comes for revenge and the wolf dog attacks him, Jack takes the dog fighter and his men prisoner and takes them into town. Then Jack nearly leaves for a normal life but realizes he can’t leave the wolf dog or take him, he finally stays in Alaska.
7. The Lady in the Van.
This Alan Bennett classic shows how life can be ruined in an instant, and redeemed. Alan Bennett tells the story deadpan, quietly and factually, but there is so much emotion behind it, and some imagination. This is the story of an educated, intelligent, community-minded woman with some dysfunctions, whose life was destroyed by an accident and who went on to become a fugitive van-dweller whose behavior could be off-putting, even obnoxious, but she was finally accepted and settled, in her van and in Alan Bennett’s driveway, with Bennett and his neighbors caring for her. Very emotional and poignant, especially at the end.
8. Into the wild.
This is a classic of nomad movies, based on a real life story, and with a cautionary tale. Many college graduates and young people get restless and decide they are going to do ‘The great adventure’ hitchhiking, road tripping or van-living, but it doesn’t always end well. The nomad lifestyle isn’t all adventure and freedom, you need to go prepared and you need to be tough. This is one of the movies about nomads which doesn’t have such a happy ending, as the character in the film finishes school, donates his money to charity and embarks on a journey across the USA and into the incredible Alaskan tundra, hoping to build a home there, only to meet his death starving in an abandoned bus.
9. This is Nowhere.
A nomad documentary of life in parking lots. Not all van living and nomad life is spent waking up to beautiful scenery and peace and quiet, a lot of travelling life is spent in not so comfortable places and at risk of being disturbed by cranks and local authorities. This documentary is nomad life following the atlas of Walmarts around the USA and living in Walmart parking lots. The tough and survival side of houseless life in relation to the USA’s increasing consumerism and culture of more. At least there are toilets, coffee and groceries nearby in Walmart parking lots, unlike when you’re in the wild. There is both humor and grimness in this realistic documentary.
10. The Way.
The story of a man who goes to collect the body of his son who died while travelling the Camino de Santiago Way, a famous pilgrims’ route in the Pyrenees. The father and son were estranged, but the father ends up walking the trail, taking his son’s ashes with him. He meets other people on the journey, all trying to change their lives, and gradually he changes too and finally understands his late son’s love for travel. After the Camino de Santiago Way, he sets off on another trail, having scattering his son’s ashes in the sea. An unmissable film for the scenery, story, emotion and drama. All travelers will identify.
11. The fundamentals of caring.
Another road trip across the USA, this time with a disabled teen and his caregiver. An unemployed man trains as a caregiver while trying to avoid his estranged wife. He subsequently becomes caregiver to a troubled teenager, and persuades the teen’s mother to take them on a road trip to see the world’s deepest pit. They meet a number of interesting characters along the way, some of whom join them. During thetrip they confront Trevor’s absent father, and then there’s drama when Ben confronts their mysterious stalker, and then one of the road trip group goes into labour and Ben is overwhelmed with memories of his dead son, who he accidentally killed. It all comes to a peaceful conclusion with Ben agreeing a divorce with his wife and starting a novel based on Trevor.
A romantic and emotional drama about a male couple who decide to take a road trip while they still can, as one of them has dementia. They take a campervan across England, visiting family and favorite places, with the Lake District as their destination. During the trip, as they stay with family, the partner without dementia finds that his partner is deteriorating more than he’d realized and can hardly write the book and diary he’s been working on, and has planned on suicide, but he says nothing at the time, and confronts him later when they reach a rented cottage, they fight and then make up and have a romantic night, and the suicide decision seems to be accepted. The ending implies that the partner with dementia has died, and his partner plays a beautiful piano piece on stage in his honor.
13. Pedal the world.
A young German man leaves everything behind, gets on his bike and explores the world. The world is a place full of good and bad, pain and joy, and he discovers all of this and meets many people from all walks of life in the 22 countries which he visits. This is a good one for bad weather inspiration and daydreams of freedom and wild travel. A modern day travel story where social media is utilized to overcome travel problems.
This is an unusual one, a Disney animation! This is the story of a man who loses his wife and decides that now is the time to take a dream trip. You have to be in the mood for this odd animation where this man ties balloons to his house and sets off to South America with a boy scout and dog in tow. Typical of nomadic movies, they meet a lot of interesting people along the way, as well as fascinating talking animals, and there are highs and lows. It’s a good one for cheering you up or watching with a drink when life on the road gets stressful.
15. Into the cold, A Journey of the Soul.
An epic trip to the North Pole, a classic theme. Two men walk 400 miles across stunning landscapes and struggle with all their might to reach the North Pole. A nomad or adventurer’s dream. This is a more serious documentary, showing how the men prepare for their journey and the challenges they encounter, especially the extreme cold. If you long for adventure in the snow but can’t get to a snowy trek, watch this instead.
Based on a true story and a diary, this is the adventure of a young woman who decides to leave society behind and trek 2,000 miles through the desert in Australia from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean aline with four camels and a dog. It’s a tough one, not everyone is kind to her, she struggles to earn money when her funds run out, although if you want to live outside society, money should be useless. She trains the camels to assist her, while observing the observing hardships and the wildlife of the desert. This is a real survival film with stunning scenery and it awakens the urge for adventure and travel.
17. Hunt for the wilderpeople.
In this critically acclaimed film, a rebellious Maori foster child goes on the run with his foster father and their dogs after his foster mother tragically dies. They roam through the wilderness of New Zealand, triggering a national man-hunt and dealing with hostile people as they go, including those who think the foster father is a pedophile. A tragic, dramatic tale with scenery from the New Zealand wilderness which will make you want to be there.
18. Easy Rider.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a motorbike road trip. Easy Rider is an older movie, 1960s, but still well worth a watch. It is steeped in the 60s drug culture. There’s a 60s sound track and a lot more to this piece than meets the eye, looking at why people go on the road rather than staying at home.
19. Free Solo.
Alex Honnold’s epic van trips round the USA to free-climb the best cliffs will pull you out of your comfort zone inspire you in your nomadic adventures.
This was an academy award winner for best documentary, and as well as the thrills of climbing sheer cliffs without ropes, Alex shows the highs and lows of van life.
20. Without Bound – Perspectives on Mobile Living.
A documentary looking at the characters of people who live a nomadic lifestyle. Some chose to live this way and some who had no choice but all fell in love with the lifestyle. If you’re a nomad, you will relate to these people and if you’re considering a nomadic lifestyle, this will inspire you. You will certainly learn from this documentary.
21. Seven Years in Tibet.
The ladies like this one as it stars Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer, a climber on a journey of disaster and discovery. Harrer leaves his pregnant wife at home and follows his ego to go climbing, meanwhile World War 2 breaks out, leaving him stranded far from home and family. Harrer’s whole arrogant attitude is changed by the unexpected situations which occur. Being German leads to Harrer and his climbing partner being imprisoned in the Himalayas, they escape and take a dangerous trek through the mountains, crossing the border to Tibet, where they meet the Dalai Lama, who Harrar becomes a friend and tutor to. Harrer doesn’t get to meet his new son, his wife sends him divorce papers and he and his climbing partner remain in Lhasa until 1950.
If you’re looking for action, adventure and a tale of how life can be changed by travel and challenges, or if you’re looking for Brad Pitt, this is the movie for you.
22. Expedition Happiness.
Another documentary on van lifestyle. A couple in the USA convert a van and attempt a road trip from Alaska to Argentina.
This one has a very home movie feel but offers a lot of insight into real van living, the good side and the real hardships. It’s very honest. The scenery will inspire you and if you’re planning on a van trip, you will get a lot of useful tips.
23. A Map for Saturday.
This documentary follows a number of lifestyle travelers in different parts of the world, Nepal, Vietnam, Australia and other places. The lifestyle is a never-ending ride of new and unexpected experiences, joys and lows, the unexpected, and the documentary makes you wish you were there. There are lessons for each traveler to learn as they travel. The scenery is unmissable and the film will inspire you, if you’re still at home, you’ll want to start packing, and if you’re travelling, you will want to visit the places featured.
FAQ Movies about nomads
Here are the most asked questions about the digital nomad films.
What is Nomadland movie about?
It is the story of a woman who lost everything in the Great Recession and begins to travel throughout the American West, living a nomadic life in a van.
Is there a movie called nomad?
There is no movie called nomad, the similar name is nomadland, which we have discussed in this posts.