“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” – Agnes Repplier
Now that quarantine decisions have been made, cities are either in lockdown or people are advised to work from home and minimize social interactions. So it’s come down to just us and the internet. Social media is currently as depressing as could be, with every refresh there’s at least five ‘BREAKING NEWS’ right there in your face, which might get overwhelming and stressful. It’s not about how you perceive the glass as half empty or half full, but quarantine does not necessarily mean just staying inside and reading about how the coronavirus cases just increased by one. You can still experience some things from the comforts of your home while still sticking to social distancing. It's time to stream some wanderlust into your life.
These are a couple of shows and documentaries to enlighten the explorer in you and satisfy your wanderlust -- temporarily at least, until all of this is over and we’re back to ticking off new places on our maps. So grab some popcorn, get comfy, wash your hands, and get ready for some quarantine and chill.
DARK TOURIST (2018)via Scribd
When you think travel, you might think of popular sites, museums, monuments, bus tours, stadiums, beaches, or maybe hiking, but that’s just standard tourism. There’s this whole concept of travel that’s known as dark tourism, which involves visiting places that are historically intertwined with death and tragedy. It may sound scary or intriguing, depending on what you can handle, but journalist David Farrier traveled the world hunting for these places so you don’t have to. Farrier focuses on that area of travel known as dark tourism through this docuseries. In each episode, he travels to a different destination to experience something that’s not really on everyone’s bucket list. From death-worshiping cults in Mexico, to vampires in New Orleans and soaking up radiation in Fukushima, this is certainly a very interesting watch scratching the surface of all the intriguing things that exist in our world. This show has eight episodes and you can find it on Netflix.
EXPEDITION HAPPINESS (2017)via Pinterest
If you’re looking for a light watch, this documentary of a couple in pursuit of happiness is perfect for a night at home. It’s about a filmmaker and his musician girlfriend attempting an epic road trip across North America in their attempt to break free from routine. So naturally, they take their time refurbishing an old school bus to turn it into their home away from home. This show is about two free spirits, their dog, a home on wheels, and their journey from Alaska to Argentina. You can watch Expedition Happiness on Netflix.
STREET FOOD (2019)via Decider
The creators of Chef’s Table take to the streets to dig into some street food. They travel to the world’s most vibrant cities where they explore the rich culture of street food around the streets of Asia. From stalls in Singapore to food carts in India, Thailand, and more, they explore the markets and meet the people. Unlike normal food shows that are always on TV, this show highlights the intense personal connection between the people, the cultures, and the meals that bring them together. It’s a mishmash of sights, sounds, delicious food, and beautiful cities. Bring a snack cause this show will get your stomach grumbling. It’s a bit of an inspo to add some things onto your bucket list. We're still waiting for the second season where they get to try some street food from other conteninents -- hopefully, we get to see things that are as interesting as Asia. You can find Street Food on Netflix.
THE KINDNESS DIARIES (2017-2019)via PG Daily News
The Kindness Diaries is a documentary series on Netflix about a former broker who drops everything to travel the world. Leon Logothetis quit his job as a broker in London when he felt uninspired and depressed and took off to live a life on the road. But it’s not like your regular adventurer story, inspired by the movie The Motorcycle Diaries, Logothetis chose to rely only on the kindness of strangers for food, shelter, and gas. It’s just him, his vintage motorcycle, and how kindly he’s treated by strangers crossing paths with him. After the success, the second season was just him and a vintage Volkswagen Beetle convertible in a journey from Alaska to Argentina. The heartwarming thing about this show is not just how generous the strangers he meets on the road are to him, but also in the unexpected inspiring ways he chooses to pay them back. You can find this show on Netflix.
RESTAURANTS ON THE EDGE (2020)via Fine Dining Lovers
This show is about a team of experts that travel the world helping out failing restaurants. There are three sides for every makeover: the business, the design, and the food. Restaurants are on the edge of failure, but also, on the edge of a spectacular view -- seaside, lakeside, mountainside, or some other mindblowing location that ought to give that restaurant the buzz it needs. The team comes in together to explore the culture of the city for inspiration, the beautiful landscapes, the architecture, the local food, and the national treasures. By connecting the local culture of the city they’re in by the gorgeous views of the restaurants, they revitalize the places and save them from going bust. With every episode it’s a new city, a new culture, and a new restaurant to save. So sit back and enjoy watching some design makeover mixed with culture and local food from all around the world. You can watch Restaurants on The Edge on Netflix.
ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE (2013)via Amazon
Ever wondered what it would be like to live in Antarctica for a full year? Even if not, it’s a pretty interesting experiment of what it’s like to live where the sun doesn’t shine for months and even when it does, it doesn’t set. The documentary does not just appeal to curiosity, it’s also visually stunning. This visual masterpiece highlights the inhabitable features of Antarctica, it transverses the viewers through the life of technicians and scientists on ice for one whole year with its unforgiving winter. If you’re a nature lover with a curious mind, this one's for you -- one of the best travel documentaries of all time. You can stream Antarctica: A Year on Ice on Vimeo.
MOUNTAIN (2017)via Salt Magazine
For the adventurer in you. If you're a climber, you know what it's about, but if you're not and if you've been wondering why would people go through all the effort of getting to the top of a mountain, this one's for you. This documentary explores the world of mountain climbing; why people commit to it and why would people even put so much effort into a ‘recreational activity’. It dives deeper into humans’ urge to explore the Earth’s highest peaks. Mountains have turned from peril to a thing of beauty in our eyes and humans’ fear of heights have turned into an obsession of conquering a mountain.Through this documentary, the director along with a mountaineer showcase the most astonishing peaks around the world. You can stream this documentary on Netflix.
JACK WHITEHALL: TRAVELS WITH MY FATHER (2017-PRESENT)via Lifestyle Asia
Would you travel abroad with your dad? Jake Whitehall decided to get his father to go with him on an adventure and force them both out of their comfort zones. If you’ve traveled with a parent before, or even contemplated the idea, you can imagine all the differences you can have on a trip, and you can live them out through this series -- although it’s much funnier when it’s not happening to you. It’s the perfect representation of the difference between boomers and millennials: one would like to stay in a hostel while the other would rather stay in a five-star hotel. Throughout the three seasons of this series, you can watch how the odd couple of a son and his father travel through Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US in an attempt to strengthen their bond. It’s a very fun watch and you can stream it on Netflix.
PEDAL THE WORLD (2015)via IMDb
In this 90-minutes documentary, we get to see how a young millennial fueled by wanderlust travels the world on his bike. The 365-day journey took him across 22 countries, pedaling over 20,000 kms in pursuit of finding a meaning to his life. He makes use of the power of social media and his family’s support to overcome any obstacles he faces. Felix Strack filmed himself throughout the whole process and self-produced this documentary of this journey that will make you itching to try anything similar. You can watch Pedal the World on Netflix.
BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER (2019)via Bustle
Nothing better than mixing travel with food. This show is about a chef who travels the world to explore the cuisine and culture of different cities around the world. Each episode, he’s joined by a fun celebrity guest to join him on his quest of exploring the identity of cities and its food. From Marrackech to LA, Vancouver, and all the away across to Asia, this show is a fun light watch, and you can stream it on Netflix.
THE MAIDENTRIP (2013)via Film Forward
This documentary is about Laura Dekker, a 14 year old who sets out to sail the world on a two-year voyage. This is the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone, and it’s one of the best travel documentaries ever. Her journey takes her to St. Martins, Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Australia, and the Cape of Good Hope before getting back to St. Martins. It’s truly inspiring to watch someone this young on her journey around the world, and how she captured the world in her lens making for an incredible story. You can stream this one on Amazon.