As you can imagine, working for a travel management company means that we all have a passion for getting out there and seeing the world. We’re an inquisitive bunch at Gray Dawes, wanting to explore different cultures, see exciting places and meet new people. There aren’t too many corners of the globe that our colleagues haven’t reached for.
With the current and understandable limitations on travel we have put our personal adventures on hold. However, the same can’t be said for our need to explore the world… we’re just having to get a bit creative in how we do it.
Our teams have been scouring the internet and streaming services to view and pick out the best travel shows and documentaries. It helped us scratch that travelling itch until we can all head to these amazing places ourselves.
So, here is our run down of the top 5 travel shows and the platforms they are available on.
Ever thought about sacking off your 9-5 and going travelling for a year? That’s exactly what friends Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach did by backpacking and documenting their way around the world.
Departures is unique in many ways, but what is striking is how it is shot in more of a ‘vlogging’ format as opposed to it’s slicker and heavily produced counter parts. This all adds to the ‘spit and sawdust’ charm of Departures – the ‘getting there’ part of their travels is brilliantly documented, often leading them on different paths and adventures. In some instances, it can be just as (if not more) interesting as the headline footage of their main destination.
If you’re a travel purist, then this is a must watch.
Travel Man: 48 Hours in…
(All 4 & Amazon Prime)
If you want to place travel purity to one side and would prefer a large dry glass of comic relief, then Travel Man: 48 Hours in… is the show for you.
Presented by Actor, Director and Comedian Richard Ayoade who is joined by a vast range of famous faces including Paul Rudd, Noel Fielding, Jon Hamm and Katherine Ryan – Ayoade’s deadpan style blends fabulously with the more extrovert nature of his guests.
As the title suggests this show focuses on the wonders of a short city break. Although Ayoade and friends will introduce a slightly wacky activity (e.g. zip-lining in Oslo) they tend to explore the more familiar and well-known sights of their location.
It has to be said that this isn’t the most insightful of travel shows, however you get the impression that was never the purpose. Its raison d’être is to make you laugh and it certainly does that!
Internationally celebrated chef, bestselling author and Peabody award winner (for this very show) Anthony Bourdain has created something very special with Parts Unknown.
As you would expect from a chef of Bourdain’s stature, a section of each episode delves into the local cuisines, but this show is so much more than that. The eclectic nature of Parts Unknown is striking, from the very first season you will be placed in an acquainted culture of a western city (Los Angeles) and then head off to the very unfamiliar locations of Myanmar, Libya and Congo.
As the viewer you gain an insight into these regions in a way that no other show really touches upon. This includes the personal stories of recently liberated locals, sharing a drink with Barack Obama in Vietnam and showing us behind the curtain of some seldom travelled to parts.
Every episode is shot beautifully to almost mirror its surroundings. Bourdain was infamous around his attention to detail, that really comes across the more episodes you watch. Parts Unknown is widely regarded as the best of the bunch and it’s not hard to see why.
The Kindness Diaries
In these times where difficult to process news is taking over TVs and Twitter feeds (giving birth to the word doom-scrolling), we could all do with a hit of random acts of kindness…. Let me introduce you to The Kindness Diaries.
The show’s presenter Leon Logothetis is a motivational speaker and author who sets out from Alaska (in the middle of winter!) to Argentina in his 50-year-old VW Beetle.
The unique selling point of this travel show is that Leon relies exclusively on random acts of kindness from strangers. This ranges from a hot meal to pushing his car out of a snowbank. Despite having no place to stay, petrol or food he won’t accept any money – kindness is his currency, as Leon often says ‘True wealth is in our hearts, not in our wallets’.
If The Kindness Diaries gives you a taste for the positive things in life, then you might also like to try our article ‘Positivity during a pandemic’.
Ok, this one might be a stretch to be considered a travel show, however we had to get something narrated by Sir David Attenborough in. As with any series involving the GOAT of narration, we’re guided across the earth’s most naturally beautiful settings.
4 years in the making, Our Planet spans over 50 countries and every continent with the underlying and important message of how each one is being impacted by climate change.
Such is the importance of this documentary, Netflix has made every episode available for free on their YouTube channel. Perfect for wandering the planet with Attenborough and his team, or as an educational tool for those home schooling their children.
Just because we are restricting ourselves to the confines of our homes, doesn’t mean we can’t see the world in all its glory. Happy travelling!