We have had our one-way tickets booked for eight months now but the closer we get to our departure date, the slower the time seems to crawl. So, we have come up with a way to satiate our wanderlust as much as we can while counting down the days to our own adventure: travel shows.
(Watch on Netflix) I am not embarrassed to admit that we have watched the first two seasons of this show twice. Friends Scott, Justin, and Andre decide they need a change in their life and so they take a year off to travel. Conveniently, Scott and Andre ran a video production company, so they decided to film their trip and ultimately turn it into Departures. Add in Justin, the goofy and entertaining friend, and you have the recipe for a show worth watching. They are actually the reason we have Mongolia on our list.
I’ll Have What Phil’s Having
(Watch on Netflix) Phil Rosenthal was the writer for the US television show Everybody Loves Raymond and from the little that I know about that show, he is a real-life Robert. The show follows Phil around the world as he experiences new cuisines and brings viewers along to a few of his favorites. He is hilariously awkward in the most endearing way and is so excited about everything he does.
We love Anthony Bourdain. He is honest, crass, informative, and entertaining. While he has shared on many occasions that he wasn’t able to do what he wanted to do on his show, No Reservations, we still really enjoyed it. He traveled to some incredible places and told wonderful stories through food. His witty insight is always enlightening.
(Watch on Netflix) As mentioned above, we love Bourdain, and this show has taken him to the next level. He is not only visiting countries that most people aren’t but is also telling their stories in an almost journalistic way. There is still the Bourdain treatment with lots of food and booze involved but the depth of analysis that he is providing is much greater than it ever was on No Reservations. Fun fact, we were in Myanmar just before Bourdain was, and he ate at some of the same places we did!
(Watch on Netflix) There are six episodes to this show, and we watched them in quick succession. Each episode follows a chef to a different country, most often, a country that that chef has a connection too. They travel across the country to many different areas trying to experience the cuisine of that place. After the Malaysian episode Ben and I are set on trying a Mantis Prawn sometime in our lives.
(Watch on Netflix) I love HGTV and I really love House Hunters International. It isn’t only house hunting in exotic places (we watched an episode in Mongolia followed by an episode in Greenland!) but it is also a fun way to learn a bit of history and information about places that aren’t always at the top of our list.
China is a country that both fascinates and overwhelms us. I have a huge desire to go and spend a lot of time there, but I have also heard from friends that it can be a challenging place to visit. Watching Wild China only made me want to add China to our itinerary even more. This six episode documentary has incredible cinematography and travels to some unique and remote places in China. We were taking notes while watching so that we could make sure to see some of the places they filmed in real-life.
Girl Eat World
(Watch on Netflix) Kimini Pather could have the coolest job ever. She travels to different places in the world, meets up with food bloggers from the cities she’s in, and eats at the favorite places of those bloggers. It is a fun way to see some really cool markets and learn about the cuisine of each city she visits.
(Watch on Netflix) Friends Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman tackle two crazy-long road trips on motorcycles. In 2004, they drove from London to NY in Long Way Round and later drove from Scotland to South Africa in Long Way Down. People say it’s all about the journey, not the destination. For most it’s a catchy phrase but for McGregor and Boorman, it’s the essence of their trip. By sticking to overland travel, they traverse great distances, overcome challenging obstacles, and most importantly, humanize the often harsh landscapes the pair pass through.
(Watch on Netflix) Michael Pollan is the star of this series which brings his book, Cooked, to life and looks into the history of food through the four natural elements – fire, water, air, and earth. To really understand where our food started, they travel to different countries including India, Australia, and Morocco covering different ingredients, cooking methodologies, and delving into the history of where some of our favorite foods come from and how we cook and eat them today.
An Idiot Abroad
(Watch on Netflix) Ben really enjoyed this show. It follows around Karl Pilkington, a good friend of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, as he travels to cities around the world. The catch? Karl isn’t in to exotic cultural experiences and Geravis and Merchant line up some ridiculous things for him to do. While I did find myself laughing while watching, I struggled to enjoy it because in my opinion, Karl didn’t seem to respect the cultural experiences.