“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal!” is a famous quote from Brazilian lyricist Paulo Coelho. If you live for adventure and love to travel, you might be feeling overly contained while practicing social distancing. We’ve got just the thing to help you feed your wanderlust!
Netflix is home to a variety of nature and travel documentaries that are a great way to escape the confines of the home. We know a TV show is nowhere near actually experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells of a place, but it can inspire your future travels when this is all over. Here are 10 of our favorite travel and adventure shows that serve as perfect vacations for eyeballs. All of them can be found on Netflix.
10. Night on Earth
If you’re really looking to escape, like away from the human species, consider getting a little wild with this thrilling and fascinating nature documentary series. Netflix has released one season of the show, but we hope there’s more! The show takes a look at animals and their nocturnal habits. From the Peruvian Desert to the deepest depths of the sea, this show explores nature as you’ve never seen before.
9. Conan Without Borders
Netflix has one season of Conan Without Borders a series that shows comedian Conan O’Brien on adventures around the world. From Cuba to Korea, the host takes you on tours of some amazing countries and makes you laugh while he does it.
8. Taco Chronicles
Do you love tacos? Do you want to travel to the beautiful country of Mexico? If you answered yes to either, you will love Taco Chronicles. Each episode is about a different style of taco and how it’s prepared across Mexico. The docuseries explores the amazing story of the taco and how it became ubiquitous across Mexico and around the world.
7. The Kindness Diaries
The Kindness Diaries is an adventure show, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The show follows Leon Logothetis as he travels the world on an old motorcycle. He depends on the kindness of strangers to lodge, feed, and fuel him. Each episode features a different lesson or “gift” and they’re always from a place of genuine humility. It’s a beautiful thing.
6. Dark Tourist
Join journalist David Farrier as he travels the world and adventures to some of the most macabre tourism spots. The show is fascinating and you get to learn about different cultures with mores that are probably very different than your own. The docuseries is darkly funny and not for the weak of heart. While you can enjoy many of the adventure and travel shows on this list with kids, we do not recommend that for Dark Tourist.
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5. Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father
If you’re looking for a funny and dim show, Jack Whitehall and his father, Michael Whitehall bumbling around the world might be a treat for you. Comedian Jack and his dad find themselves in a number of cringe-inducing adventures that will make you a better tourist on your next journey. Don’t do as the Whitehalls do.
4. Moving Art
The most impressive art in the world belongs to nature. If you love “slow TV” or deeply serene television without tons of frills or urgency, Moving Art is going to please you. This soothing nature docuseries was created by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg and features an impressive musical score.
3. Our Planet
Where the David Attenborough stans at? This impressive nature documentary adventures to the depths of the ocean and the heights of the mountains. Attenborough narrates this docuseries and produces some truly stunning visuals. If you’ve already seen this beauty, now is the perfect time to revisit and get lost in nature’s grandeur.
2. Somebody Feed Phil
Watch as Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond embarks on a culinary adventure around the world in this funny and sometimes moving docuseries. Rosenthal has a sort of everyman quality that allows him to connect with people in a very unique way no matter where they’re from or what language they’re speaking.
1. The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
Part travel show and part architecture show, Extraordinary Homes is an escapist dream. The show is hosted by two offbeat presenters: Caroline Quintin and architect Piers Taylor. Quintin is especially delightful and she always has the most interesting observations. The homes toured are located everywhere from chilly mountaintops to scorched deserts. It’s a blast.
A stray observation: there aren’t very many travel shows with female hosts. Dear Netflix, you need to change that. Extraordinary Homes and Salt Fat Heat Acid, hosted by Samin Nosrat (which you should also watch and we wrote about here as well) are the only two on Netflix that come to mind. That being said, these adventure television shows are such a treat and will definitely transport you from the couch to exotic locales.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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