The Best of Travel TV Series
Did you know I just accomplished a straight 36-hour marathon and also managed to gain a couple of kilos? Yup, you read it right. Whilst I watched the protagonist hop-skip-jump from one country to another, I ended up dunking two tubs of ice cream and 6 cups of coffee.
Now I hope that you won’t become as addicted as I did, but believe me, every series on this list has successfully turned me into a TV series abuser. Because after all at the end of the day, spending an hour in all those exotic countries is always better than spending that non-existent money.
25+ countries. Three friends. One dream to travel and see the world. I know this sounds pretty much been-there-done-that but trust me there is a reason why this series tops this particular list. Scott Wilson and Andre Dupis, nomad across one country after the other while the third guy, Jessie Wallace follows them with the camera. I love this series because it’s more like a documentary than a TV show. They have managed to capture the real life onto the reel life. And although most of the times you get to visit with them, some of the most amazing places across the globe, what makes it realistic is that once in a while you get to see the hardships that comes with ‘the backpack’ once you choose to carry it. Crushing disappointments, unbreakable friendship and stunning adventures all of it will make your heart flutter.
2. Himalaya With Michael Palin
What happens when you follow a comedian-cum-traveller as he goes on a trip up to the Everest base camp? Well, you get a ‘Himalaya with Michael Palin’. This mini-series is one scenic journey as you follow Michael Palin up and down literally and metaphorically as he makes his way to the base camp of Mount Everest. Now what makes this series truly worthy of watching is the way Michael genuinely tries to amalgamate with the myriad cultures, the people and their way of living. His subtle wit and the ability to befriend anyone, right from Dalai Lama to the local shepherd is pure pleasure to watch. Believe me, if you love travelling among the mountains as much as I do, you are gonna have hard time de-addicting yourself from this, one crazy journey.
3. Michael Palin: Around The World in 80 Days
Another series by the very same comedian-cum-traveller Michael Palin is a modern day take on Phileas Foggs’ journey across the world in 80 days. Like Phileas, Michael chooses to travel the globe with a single self-imposed rule, he will not travel by air. The most extraordinary part of this series is its nostalgic touch. By revisiting the iconic places and retracing the footsteps of the fictitious hero, Michael makes sure he pays a worthy tribute to Mr. Foggs and his legendary journey. So what sets it apart from the previously told and retold versions of this cliched story is Michael’s undeniable charm and his acute observation about the people and the places. His constant commentary enthrals and enlightens both at the same time. Doesn’t matter whether you know this old epic story or not, you’ll still end up, stuck in your seat, praying hard that Mr. Palin would make it in time.
4. Ray Mears’ Bushcraft
Bushcraft. The literal meaning of this word is the skill to survive in a bush. Ray Mears’ Bushcraft is a survival documentary that is built around the basic concept of how to use nature to survive in nature. Each episode deals with different method operandi of survival but what remains constant is that every method is a brilliant combination of modern knowledge of science with ancient, primitive techniques to keep oneself alive. Although I hardly think you’ll ever need to succumb to these, what I love most about this series is that it subtly teaches you that to truly experience nature you ought to become one with it.
5. An Idiot Abroad
A three season series featuring Karl Pilkington is a travel documentary, that, to begin with, has a very interesting backstory. Karl Pilkington isn’t minutely interested in traveling. He is forced to do so under the belief of visiting the New Seven Wonders while his journey supervised by two other characters, Merchant and Gervais. In my defense, I have two reasons why I chose to marathon-watch this series sacrificing my sleep. Firstly because it is absolutely rib-tickling to see Karl’s visible struggle in accepting various cultural differences at the same time his sincerest efforts to blend in with these eccentricities. Secondly, because Karl is made to do some on the spot tasks relating to the culture of the country. And the best part is these on-the-spot moments are truly unplanned and spontaneous. From camel ride to a local dance, you too will have time of your life with Karl.
6. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
This 5 time Emmy award winner, weirdly named series will blow your mind, flatter your heart and rumble your stomach. A travelogue cum food show that follows Anthony Bourdain as he explores every culture, every cuisine, every corner of the city. I know it’s a long series with total 10 seasons but believe me, you’ll run out of hours, you’ll run out of Red Bulls and you’ll run out of nachos but you’ll definitely not run out of patience as your eyes will have a gala feast.
7. Long Way Round
A series documenting 19,000-mile long journey from London to New York and everything in between. Except for a couple of sections that were technically ‘uncrossable’ by bike, it is a through and thorough motorcycle journey where the duo, Ewan McGregor and Charley Booman along with the cameraman don’t think twice before plunging their bikes into riskiest mud patches to the knee deep water patches.
Well, these were our top favorite travel series. But then I might have missed your favorite series. So let us know, in comments, if you have watched series, maybe one where all the F.R.I.E.N.D.S end up on an impromptu trip or maybe where you see ‘Game of Thrones’ with the winter coming. Just kidding tell us your favorite episode or series and I’ll make sure I’ll get addicted to it.