While cooped up quarantining at my parent’s home in North Carolina I have had more free time than usual. What better way to kill some time than vegging in front of the TV? When it comes to TV shows I am a documentary and reality TV guru. I can’t tell you how many times I have stayed up too late watching wildlife documentaries. Netflix is my go-to place for binge worthy travel and nature shows. Some of these shows help inspire what trip I want to plan next. Since traveling isn’t an option right now television is a good alternative to satisfy my wanderlust cravings without every having to leave my couch.
Our Planet is a nature documentary exploring Earth’s natural beauty and interesting places. This is the show you put on when you simply want to relax. It captures some of the most dramatic natural landscapes and wonders of the world. The show features eight episodes including exotic frozen tundras, jungles, desserts, and grasslands. Many places you might not even get the chance to explore even if the travel ban was lifted. The combination of the slow instrumental music and dramatic British narrator makes it meditative to watch.
The Dark Tourist
If dark leisure is your pleasure the Dark Tourist is the show for you. Narrated by journalist David Farrier the documentary takes you through some of the most dangerous and sketchy places all over the world. Including Pablo Escobar’s former apartment in Columbia. The places David visits are extremely interesting, even if I would not be thrilled to follow in his footsteps.
Many are ditching the white picket fence American Dream for a life full of travel and exploration. Expedition Happiness follows a couple that have done exactly that. This couple ditched their life in Berlin to live in a renovated bus and travel around North America. As many of you know I am a huge advocate for van-life, so this documentary is a gem. Do not be surprised if this documentary inspires you to want to live out of your Honda instead of your home.
Tales by Light
Tales by Light follows photographers such as Simon Lister capturing people, places, and cultures from all over the world. The three seasons take viewers to the local high-risk dangers of Bangladesh to the Aboriginal Culture in Austria. This show is right up my alley. Gorgeous landscapes and cascading waterfalls, the show wants you to connect with cultures and people who live there. It sheds light on problems and places I might never have known about otherwise.
National Parks Adventure
I am a huge fan of National Parks. Free land with the most stunning landscapes on earth. Could it get better than that. Narrated by Robert Redford the National Parks Adventure shows some of the breath-taking scenery these parks have to offer along with the most dare-devilish activities such as rock climbing. Of course, I haven’t had the chance to climb since the quarantine started but watching Conrad Anker climb to Devil’s Tower is enough to leave me inspired and ready to get back outdoors. Most of all this documentary has helped me create a new bucket list of which parks I want to visit next. Glacier National Park I am coming for you!
Night on Earth
Night on Earth is a limited series on Netflix focusing on how new technology has shed light on what happens in the nocturnal worlds of remote places. This documentary will bring you closer to wildlife than you ever would want to be in real life. It unveils the world of wildlife that only exists while we are still sleeping. From the African Savana, the Ocean, to the animals who roam urbanized cities this show is all about the creatures of the night.
The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes
If you want to see some of the most jaw-dropping architecture from all over the world this is the show for you. Somehow these designers and homeowners defy the norm and create revolutionary spaces. Each home drastically different from the last show will take you to another location for each episode. From fortresses to farmhouses World’s Most Extraordinary Homes lets viewers explore the most interesting homes in countries such as Spain, Norway, and India.
Paul Hollywood’s Big Continental Road Trip
You can learn a lot about a country by the cars they drive. Follow Paul Hollywood’s European road trip to learn more about people, culture, and cars. He drives the sexiest, smallest, and silliest cars each country has to offer. This show is perfect for car lovers and road trip enthusiasts. Paul’s charming personality and dreamy locations make this show one of my favorites for satisfying wanderlust.
I am both a rock climber and mountain enthusiast. The opening scene captures a rock climber scaling a ginormous mountain in slow motion I was hooked. Mountain is a dramatic and captivating documentary gives viewers a mountain-top experience. The cinematography is unreal, and I wished I could have been one of the ones to film such epic footage.
Want to go scuba diving while still in bed? This documentary will let you see what swims and crawls beneath ocean currents without ever leaving your own home.
The Calling is a reality TV show that follows travel enthusiasts compete for an ultimate travel experience. The contestants compete in activities in new areas, testing their travel skills to the max. Does anyone know how to sign up for this show? I think I would be a perfect next contestant?
The Dawn Wall
The Dawn Wall documentary follows the legendary rock climber Tommy Caldwell as they ascend the area known as the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park for the first time in history. The documentary follows Tommy Caldwell from childhood to recent times and how he began one of the best climbers in the world. I have watched this documentary several times. It is one of my favorite climbing documentaries out there. Each time I watch it I want to pack up everything I own and head to Yosemite immediately to see El Capitan myself.
You Vs. Wild
You vs. Wild challenges Bear Grylls to face some of the harshest places on Earth. The exaggerated and dramatic race makes for great reality TV. The best part about this TV series is that is it interactive. The show allows you to make key decisions to help him survive such as to what gear he uses and which route he should take. This added bonus made me feel like I was really a part of the daring expedition. I consider myself pretty fearless, but Bear Grylls faces things I would only face in my nightmares. He eats termites, challenges alligators, and that is just episode one.
Although being quarantined is less than ideal for travelers and adventure seekers I am using this time to spend with my family and take on a slower pace of life for a change. I hope you liked this list of travel and nature shows on Netflix. Let me know if you want any more recommendations for travel-inspired entertainment content.
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