9 Travel Shows To Keep You Inspired While You Self-Isolate

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How crazy is the world right now? No one expected things to go this way when they popped the midnight champagne and welcomed 2020 back in January. But here we are – flights are cancelled, country borders are closing, governments are suggesting (or enforcing) isolation, bars and restaurants are shut. It’s not a great time to travel right now, even if you could. So in lieu of seeing the world in person, sit back, relax, Netflix and chill to these travel documentaries and travel shows that will go some way towards satisfying your wanderlust.

#1 Street Food

Available on: Netflix

This show takes you to the streets of destinations around the world to introduce you to some of the most flavourful dishes available. The first season focuses on Asia, taking you to places like Bangkok in Thailand, Osaka in Japan, Delhi in India and Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Start making a list of all the things you will eat when travel is back to normal.

#2 Contintent 7: Antarctica

Available on: Disney+

Antarctica tops many peoples’ ‘To Visit’ lists but it’s one of the hardest places on Earth to get to – and one of the most hostile environments on the planet. Check out what goes on in the research stations, ecosystems and environments of the seventh continent in a six episode series by National Geographic, which also covers the people who work and live in the Antarctic.

#3 The Wine Show

Available on: Amazon, iTunes

What better time to top up on your wine knowledge than when you’re cooped up at home with little else to do than drink wine? Across two series, popular actors Matthew Goode and Matthew Rhys team up to explore the world of wine, from Italy to Australia, the United States to India, across two seasons.

#4 Dark Tourist

Available on: Netflix

This twisted look at travel takes you to some of the more macabre tourist destinations around the world, including a haunted forest, a nuclear lake and even real-life vampires. It’s hosted by Kiwi filmmaker and journalist David Farrier.

#5 Free Solo

Available on: Disney+

Explore Yosemite National Park in one of the most dangerous ways possible – just from your couch. Free solo is about the attempt by rock climber Alex Honnold to free solo climb the El Capitan peak in the park, meaning without assistance or equipment including ropes, harnesses or other protective equipment. It’s a test of endurance in one of the most beautiful natural areas on the planet – and it won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature.

#6 Chef’s Table

Available on: Netflix

Go inside the lives and kitchens of some of the world’s most famous and respected chefs. Food is one of the best reasons to travel, so take notes ready for when you’re able to freely explore the world again. The chefs hail from all over the world, from Ben Shewry, who owns Melbourne’s Attica restaurant, to Italy’s Massimo Bottura and Jeong Kwan in South Korea. This isn’t a wanky, exclusive kind of documentary (even though some of the restaurants might be); rather, it shows food people at the top of their game and lets you in on some of their secrets.

#7 Planet Earth and Planet Earth II

Available on: Stan

We’ve all heard of this one. And for good reason. Self-isolation or quarantine gives you the perfect opportunity to actually watch the thing, so you can stop pretending. Come on, it’s David Attenborough, and some of the world’s best videography. What are you waiting for?

#8 Travel Man

Available on: SBS On Demand

Richard Ayoade – yes, from The IT Crowd – teams up with a different celebrity for every episode of this show, and explores destinations as far ranging as Iceland, Marrakech and Istanbul with celebrities including Adam Hills, Paul Rudd, Rebel Wilson and Jon Hamm.

#9 Waltzing The Dragon With Benjamin Law

Available on: ABC iview

A more introspective and personal journey is traced by Australian writer Benjamin Law, looking into the history and long relationship between China and Australia. Law includes his family in the two-part series, and digs into their roots in both China and at home in Australia.

(Lead image: Madagascar / BBC)