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Need inspiration for your next move? Don’t miss these great expat films

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or are researching a move abroad, watching a film about expats living abroad can be enough to give you itchy feet. Here at Santa Fe Relocation we’re sharing the best movies about expats living abroad, from Lost In Translation, to The Beach. This is the ultimate inspirational film guide for expats.

Lost in translation

First off, we have Lost In Translation. Culture shock is something many expats experience, regardless of how many places they have moved in and out of. This film cleverly captures the excitement and confusion of being tossed into the deep end of foreign culture.

“A lonely, ageing movie star named Bob Harris (Bill Murray) and a conflicted newlywed, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson), meet in Tokyo. Bob is there to film a Japanese whiskey commercial; Charlotte is accompanying her celebrity-photographer husband. Strangers in a foreign land, the two find escape, distraction and understanding amidst the bright Tokyo lights after a chance meeting in the quiet lull of the hotel bar. They form a bond that is as unlikely as it is heartfelt and meaningful.”



The next best movie about expats living abroad is Casablanca. A classic, the story of Casablanca puts the feeling of anxiety and separation into better perspective, which are just a couple of emotions many of us feel when it comes to making the decision to move abroad.

“Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who owns a nightclub in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid). Laszlo is a famed rebel, and with Germans on his tail, Ilsa knows Rick can help them get out of the country.”


Eat Pray Love

Then there’s Eat Pray Love. This movie tells the story of Elizabeth Gilbert who decided to travel the world after realising that she is unhappy in her relationship and career. It’s something that many of us experience and, in most cases, is the primary reason for relocation.

“Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. Now newly divorced and facing a turning point, she finds that she is confused about what is important to her. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Liz embarks on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to Italy, India and Bali.”


The Beach

If you’re a fan of Leonardo DiCaprio, then chances are, you have already seen The Beach multiple times. Whether or not you’re an avid fan of the American actor and film producer, The Beach has a very real and relatable meaning behind it. Filmed in some of the world’s most beautiful locations including Krabi and Phi Phi Leh Island, The Beach has encouraged several backpackers and expats to travel to Thailand.

“The desire to find something real — to connect with something or someone — is what drives Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacker who arrives in Thailand with adventure on his mind. Etienne (Guillaume Canet) and Francoise (Virginie Ledoyen) join him on an adventure to “The Beach,” a mystical paradise. However, this paradise is less than perfect.”


If you’re thinking about moving abroad and would like to get advice throughout the relocation process, get in touch with a member of our expert team.

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