10 Travel Documentaries That Will Satisfy Your Wanderlust During the Lockdown
These exciting travel documentaries will inspire your future itineraries—or allow you to live out your bucket list from the comfort of the couch.
Tales by Light
In these uncertain times, Tales by Light is an awesome reminder that the world can still be full of wonder. Created by National Geographic and Canon, each episode of this series follows a prominent landscape, wildlife or adventure photographer as they capture the world from their unique point of view. From tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda to photographing the elusive Himalayan snow leopard, Tales by Light is a veritable feast for the senses.
Chef’s Table may be one of the most beautifully-shot programs on Netflix, but there’s one huge downside: you’ll wish those expensive, gorgeously-presented plates of haute cuisine were on your table. This popular documentary series, which now spans six seasons and 30 episodes, follows innovative culinary masters shaking up the food scenes in cities as varied as Istanbul, Bangkok and Philadelphia. In a word? Delectable.
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Conan Without Borders
A spin-off from the popular travel segments that aired on his late-night talk show, Conan Without Borders is more than just a showcase for O’Brien’s wit and orange pompadour. Through six episodes, this series sees the iconic funny man enthusiastically step out of his comfort zone, whether it’s trying professional wrestling in Mexico City, getting his own Bar Mitzvah in Israel, or dancing the rumba on the streets of Cuba.
Somebody Feed Phil
More than a decade after creating and producing Everybody Loves Raymond, Philip Rosenthal sets his sights on his favourite pastime: eating! A revamped version of his James Beard Award-winning PBS series I’ll Have What Phil’s Having, this food-centric show follows Rosenthal as he travels the globe, sampling different cuisines and cultures. New episodes follow Phil as he travels to Marrakesh, Seoul, Montreal, Chicago and London.
Street Food: Asia
The creators of Chef’s Table turn their attention to Asia’s most exciting cities in this half-hour series. From a Michelin-starred street-side restaurant in Bangkok to a reef eel soup held dear by the residents of Cebu, Philippines, Street Food: Asia explores the connection between food and the lives of the people—mainly elderly women—who cook it. Other countries featured include Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and Singapore.
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Pedal the World
Armed with his bike, his camera and a few belongings, German filmmaker Felix Starck documents a year-long cycling trip that takes him across 18,000 kilometres and 22 countries. Starck’s adventure has its ups (he learns about many different cultures and even meets a potential romantic interest) and downs (his riding partner quits on him), but Pedal the World reinforces the idea that the journey is more important than the destination.
The thesis of Taco Chronicles is simple: Mexico and the taco are inseparable, and an in-depth exploration of this world-famous dish can no doubt provide a deeper understanding of the country as a whole. Over the course of six mouth-watering episodes, Taco Chronicles pays tribute to the taco’s fascinating history, global appeal and different varieties—while also doubling as a love letter to Mexico.
The Kindness Diaries
In this series, English adventurer Leon Logothetis travels the world in his vintage yellow Chang Jiang motorcycle and sidecar, while relying on the kindness of strangers for his food, shelter and gas. There’s a nice twist, however: Logothetis, a former stockbroker, pays back the various people who helped him on his journey in heartwarming ways. The Kindness Diaries has the power to restore your faith in humanity.
From white water rafting to hiking to stargazing, the Andes Mountains are an adventure traveller’s paradise—but this incredible region is so much more. From Argentina to Colombia, the exquisitely-filmed Magical Andes follows five locals who share a deep connection to South America’s majestic mountains.
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National Parks Adventure
Produced to celebrate the centenary of America’s national parks, this 42-minute documentary follows mountaineer Conrad Anker, photographer Max Lowe and artist Rachel Pohl as they make their way through awe-inspiring landscapes and historic sites. Narrated by Robert Redford and featuring immersive IMAX cinematography, National Parks Adventure takes viewers on a tour through America’s great outdoors.
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