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Last Updated: February 19th
Are you dreaming of that next adventure? Maybe with this exclusive travel club or even virtual reality? We all need to get away at some point. It’s hard to decide where to go, when to go, and why to pick one destination over another. Luckily television (teacher, mother, secret lover) is here to help. Netflix has a long list of travel shows to stoke the fires of your wanderlust.
Here are some of the best travel shows on Netflix streaming, available to watch right now.
Related: The 10 Best Travel Documentaries On Netflix Streaming
8) Tales By Light
Tales By Light isn’t your average travel show per se. The focus here is on great photographers and how they operate. The photographers they follow just happen to be some of the best in the world who have devoted their life to globetrotting so as to find the absolute best shot. Every corner of the world is covered over two seasons of breathtaking episodes and crazy escapades. Seriously, one episode is about swimming with anacondas in the Amazon.
7) Somebody Feed Phil
Phil Rosenthal has cut out a pretty great second act after his days running Everybody Loves Raymond. Rosenthal is traveling around the world eating great food. It’s a trip of discovery that does have a food focus but ends up being just as much about the journey as a great bowl of pho.
Departures is back on Netflix with all three seasons streaming. The show follows friends Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach as they galavant around the world filming their adventures and misadventures. Wilson and Lukach offer a clear glimpse into the wider world of travel as a pair of good friends who ying and yang their way from one great place to another.
5) Human Planet
This companion piece to the Planet Earth series is every bit as captivating as the original. What makes this docuseries stand above the rest is its unflinching view of humanity. There are people out there living almost unfathomable lives to the average westerner. Yet there they are. Realizing there is so much more to humanity than what your life represents is a cornerstone of travel, life, and personal evolution.
4) The Moaning Of Life
Karl Pilkington is back on the road. This time he’s shed Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and is tackling the world all on his own. He’s also tackling some of life’s biggest question while traipsing around the globe. Is he suited for marriage? Would he make a good father? Is he ready for death? He finds these answers and more with his usual dry acerbic wit in tow.
3) Planet Earth
This is the show of shows. BBC spent years filming the wild world and, wow, did it pay off. This series single-handily set a new bar in what is possible in worldwide, nature-based documentary cinematography. Touching on each geographical area the world has to offer, Planet Earth is a feast for the eyes. It also offers a glimpse into the natural soul of the planet in an intimate and brutal way. It may seem a little odd for a travel list. I’ll counter that if this series doesn’t make you want to travel the wonders of the natural world, nothing will. If film crews can go, you can, too.
2) Stephen Fry In America
Stephen Fry is a bit of a legend in the UK. He’s made history with comedy shows like A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster (both with comedy partner Hugh Laurie). It’s fascinating watching someone so thoroughly British travel the whole of the United States — in a black London taxi cab no less. The series’ episodes are in-depth looks into the quirks and wonder that is America from an outsider deeply interested in what makes Americans tick. It’s a travel show about making new friends, having conversations, and finding some authenticity.
1) Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain has spent the better part of the last two decades perfecting our age’s travel show. Parts Unknown is the gold standard for which all others grasp. Our own Vince Mancini has given you a reason to watch for the food aspects. I couldn’t agree more. However, the real heart of Parts Unknown is travel and people. The food is often tertiary.
Bourdain realized long ago that going to a place is more about walking around and eating food than having a canned experience. Sometimes he misses the mark (Peru, Libya, Congo episodes, I’m looking at you). More often than not Bourdain gives you an insight that takes real balls to find.
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