Don't watch this film unless you are ready to quit your job. Seriously. It's about the emotional challenges and sheer joy of long-term travelling -- as in backpacking around the world for a year. This kind of vagabonding is more a state of mind than a state of motion. The film explores the mellow subculture of (mostly) young people who trek along an invisible international traveller's circuit. There's a kind of endless distributed global party going on every day of the year (plainly visible here), and to join it all you need is a ticket to any country and the address of the local hostel. I was part of this mind-set for many years and boy, does this film nail the peculiar delights of perpetual cheap travel. Not just the highs (everyday is Saturday, each new person an instant best friend), but also the lows (always saying goodbye, and loss of connection). Something weird happens when you travel longer than 10 days, and that wonderful transformation (which no one can explain to their family when they return) is what this superbly written, fabulously edited, deeply personal and wonderfully likeable documentary is all about. But this bug is contagious. It is impossible to watch this fun film and not confront the fact that you are here instead of there, on the road, soaking up the world of all you-can-eat $3 dinners and $5 rooms, traveling the world for a year, as the filmmaker did himself. If you are headed in that direction, this disc will also work as a great orientation course, offering advice. It's the Zen and the Art of Long-term Travel.
A Map for Saturday
2006, 90 min.
$15 ($20 with shipping), DVD
Available from the filmmakers' website