From countrywide lockdowns to business closures, more than a third of the world’s population is currently under some form of restriction due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The travel industry has also grounded to a halt, and millions of vacations have been either postponed or cancelled.
But the good news is there are plenty of ways to satisfy your wanderlust without leaving the house. From globetrotting father-son antics to culinary travel and dark tourism, here are six travel shows that will make you feel like you’re on holiday even while you’re self-isolating.
Tales by Light
Tales by Lightis a five-part docu-series that follows five photographers from Australia and around the world as they work in rarely photographed remote areas. Filmed in 11 countries over the course of a year, season one explores the natural world and features Art Wolfe, a nature and cultural photographer, Darren Jew, a nature and underwater photographer, Krystle Wright, an adventure sports photographer, Richard I’Anson, a travel photographer, and Peter Eastway, a landscape photographer. Each episode offers a behind-the-scenes look at different photographic assignments, from Papua New Guinea’s masked mud men to India’s colourful festival of Holi. Streaming now on Netflix
Lost Cities With Albert Lin
A six-part National Geographic series,Lost Cities with Albert Lin sees American explorer and scientist Albert Lin track down some of the world’s most famous lost cities. Utilising high-tech imagery and 3D scanning, Lin brings to life unexcavated worlds such as the Knights Templar in Israel, the Lost Kingdom of the Pacific in Micronesia, and El Dorado in the jungles of Colombia. Along the way he also speaks with local archaeologists and historians to discover the origins of the legends. Watch now on National Geographic and Disney+
One for the foodies, Street food is a mouth-watering documentary series that celebrates the local heroes of street food in Thailand, India, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. Created by the same people who brought us Chef’s Table, each episode looks at how food influences a culture while digging deep to discover local delicacies. The next season, focusing on Latin America, is set to hit Netflix later this year. Streaming now on Netflix
Travels With My Father
InTravels With My Father, British stand-up comedian Jack Whitehall and his father, Michael, travel around the world in a bid to strengthen their bond. Season one of the road trip comedy follows the duo as they take on Southeast Asia, including Thailand’s infamous full moon party and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. In season two of the travelogue series the pair head to Eastern Europe where they visit the stunning ice-capped mountains of the Bavarian Alps and embrace kitsch Europop in Moldova. Streaming now on Netflix
If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘dark tourism’ has been defined as “tourism involving travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy”. While it doesn’t sound like a holiday many of us would want to take, this strange travel trend is on the up. Presented by New Zealand journalist David Farrier, Dark Tourist is an eight-part series that examines the lesser-known cultures and traditions found around the world. From nuclear disaster sites like Fukushima to a voodoo festival in Benin, Nigeria, each episode is divided up by region – Japan, Africa, Central America, South-East Asia, Europe, the ‘Stans’ (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) and two episodes for the USA. From the locals who make a profit out of dark tourism to the travellers who are drawn to these offbeat destinations, nothing is off-limits, regardless of how grisly the subject may be. Streaming now on Netflix
PJ Madam is an Australian journalist, her fiancé, Tim Noonan, is a filmmaker with a penchant for exploring remote areas of the world. In Extreme Engagement the twosome embark on a yearlong journey to “explore marriage customs in diverse cultures” while putting their own relationship to the test. Throughout the series the pair live with remote tribes including Indonesia’s Sasak Tribe where they train warrior’s for love, Nigeria’s Wodaabe Tribe, where the men beautify themselves to attract women, and a Cameroon Tribe, who claim to have the world’s happiest marriages. Streaming now on Netflix ◼
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© This article was first published in Feb-Mar 2020 edition of World Travel Magazine.