The Agoraphobic Traveller

Words by: Kiera Eardley
Art by: Martina Fenech

Planes are grounded, we’re supposed to be hungover on a boat in Croatia right now, and things are feeling a bit gloomy. We’re stuck indoors, but who says we can’t make our own holiday from the safety of the couch?

If you’ve got an incurable case of wanderlust and access to Netflix, you’re sorted: grab the remote, get your comfy clothes on, and pop some corn, because we’ve got a one-way ticket to home, sweet home. 

For our first stop, we’re jumping over to New York — minus the 20-plus hour flight time. Picture this: long strolls through Central Park as the leaves turn golden and crunchy, cable-knit turtlenecks worn in world-renowned museums, and lunch in an iconic Lower East Side delicatessen. When Harry Met Sally is the quintessential NYC movie, and its romance lies as much in the city as it does between the film’s two namesakes. It’s light-hearted, it’s hopeful, and re-watching a classic story of young love through the seasons is just what the iso-doctor ordered. 

Adventure is calling, so let’s voyage down to South America
with Up. This animation is utterly gorgeous. The music is buoyant, the protagonist’s undying love for his late wife tugs at the heartstrings, and an ageless sense of adventure lies at the crux of it all. With vibrant colours and breathtaking scenery, the destination of Paradise Falls is based upon a real tabletop mountain in Venezuela. More than anything, who doesn’t love the idea of tying balloons to your roof and travelling from the comfort of your own home? 

Paris is awaiting us next, replete with more baguettes, berets and bonjours than we could imagine. Amélie is a French classic about the power of imagination, a poetic joy of a movie that’s guaranteed to make your socially-distanced heart soar. It’s set in historic Montmartre, and if you sit close enough to the TV you can almost smell the croissants, see the artists, and sit in the cafes, all in the shadows of the beautiful Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Oui oui, merci! 

While we’re in the same continent, it would be rude not to channel surf down to Italy for an hour or two. Set on a lush, sprawling estate in Lombardy in the ‘80s, Call Me By Your Name is a summer romance, and one of the most aesthetically luscious coming-of-age movies in recent history. For your vicarious travel pleasure, there’s swimming, dancing, sunbathing, and bike rides through cobbled Italian laneways. Also, Timothée Chalamet. Need I say more? 

Next up on our silver-screen itinerary is Tokyo, with Lost in Translation. This Sofia Coppola masterpiece is pensive and softly-spoken, focussed on the slowly-unfurling relationship between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Tokyo provides a bustling backdrop, and we can lose ourselves in the romance of its busy street crossings and late-night karaoke outings despite the fact we can barely leave the house, let alone get
to Japan. 

And suddenly we find ourselves in Singapore, immersed in the glitz and glamour of Crazy Rich Asians. Based on the novels by Kevin Kwan, the film is a love letter to Singapore and a testament to the power of representation in Hollywood. It’s the perfect escape to the glittery, effervescent world of the rich and famous, and a rom-com that’s more luxurious than any other. 

Our round-the-world trip is coming to an end, and with the touch of a button we’re on the African savanna. That’s right, we’re finishing with The Lion King. It may be animated, but it really does make you want to go on a safari and befriend some lions, warthogs and meerkats. Just maybe not hyenas. Based upon Kenya’s Hells Gate National Park, the plains of Disney’s Pride Lands are visually stunning. I just hope there are hordes of singing animals waiting whenever I actually get to visit. 

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