If you live for travel, adventure, and getting outdoors but currently find yourself stuck at home then you might just want to get some much needed escapism in your life by watching a travel documentary of some sorts. More specifically than that, you might want to get the escapism in your life by watching a good travel documentary (trust us when we say there’s a lot, and we mean a lot, of rubbish out there).
These, right here, are some of the best travel documentaries around. They’re not as good as going on an adventure in real life obviously but as alternatives go they’re not a bad shout. Have a look.
Hosted by New Zealand’s version of Louis Theroux, David Farrier, ‘Dark Tourist’ is a documentary series on Netflix that looks at a form of travel known as dark tourism. In short, dark tourism is like regular tourism except instead of people heading to Paris and doing selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower they’re actually spending their money on making visits to sites known for death, destruction, and generally pretty grim stuff.
Each episode of ‘Dark Tourist’ sees Farrier visiting a different country or region on earth. In one episode, for example he goes to Japan and pays a visit to the haunting and now very much evacuated area around the Fukushima Nuclear Power. While in Japan, he also explores the abandoned Hashima Island and goes for a wander round Aokigahara; an infamous forest on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji that’s known for being a suicide hotspot.
“Aokigahara; an infamous forest… that’s known for being a suicide hotspot”
Other episodes of ‘Dark Tourist’ see Farrier travel to a Soviet testing site for nuclear weaponry in Kazakhstan, the site of JFK’s assassination in Dallas, and Benin to experience voodoo ritual.
Despite the bleakness of some of the stuff he encounters, Farrier’s extremely Kiwi sense of humour makes this series a surprisingly enjoyable one to watch.
Well worth a look this, whether you’re into the macabre side of life or not.
You can watch Dark Tourist on Netflix.
An Idiot Abroad
‘An Idiot Abroad’, if you’ve never seen it before, is a comedy travel documentary series which essentially boils down to Karl “head like a f*cking orange” Pilkington, a man who hates travel, travelling the world and getting well outside of his comfort zone. He’s guided remotely throughout his adventures by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.
Series one of the globe-trotting show sees Pilkington visiting the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, making observations along the way like “It’s not a Great Wall. It’s an alright wall. It’s the Alright Wall of China.”
“It’s not a Great Wall. It’s an alright wall. It’s the Alright Wall of China”
Series two of ‘An Idiot Abroad’ sees Pilkington reluctantly tick off various things from a classic “things to do before you die” bucket list (not his). Series three follows Pilkington and Warwick Davies as they loosely follow in the footsteps of Marco Polo’s journey to China.
A travel documentary that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face, this.
You can watch An Idiot Abroad on Amazon Prime Video.