“Here we are at a popular tourist destination, let’s check it out!”. Dialogues like these have thrown together all travel shows in a stew of homogeneity. No more suspense or surprise awaits us. That being said, there are still quite a few hidden gems that bring out the best of travel with unique concepts and interesting hosts. While travelling takes a backseat—as it should—amidst the coronavirus pandemic, we suggest enjoying these 6 one-of-a-kind travel shows to spend your time wisely:
No more preachy, inspirational quotes about wanderlust. A refreshing cocktail of comedy and travel is presented in Vir Das’ Jestination Unknown. The show is a hatke take on humour, where the revered comedian, with other stand-up artists, travels to various destinations in India in an attempt to understand the culture, heritage, history and of course, the local sense of humour. With a mix of sketch-like situations and some exaggerated conversations, the show takes a light-hearted spin on travelling. Using the knowledge they gain while travelling, the comedians curate a comedy set for a group of locals!
Highway On My Plate
This show has become a classic for those who grew up in the early 2000s. It follows Rocky and Mayur as they traverse India and discover the local cuisine of various destinations. The duo lend their personality to the show, that sees humorous and fun commentary. Additionally, many interesting people, traditional practices and festivals take to the screen, with a backdrop of the country’s beautiful landscape. The show has featured on NDTV Good Times since 2007! There are more than enough videos on YouTube to binge-watch the show for hours on end.
Most Dangerous Ways to School
The image of a rickety yellow bus is inevitable when one thinks of children’s trips to school. Unfortunately, not everyone gets similar opportunities. Most Dangerous Ways to School is a documentary series available on YouTube that highlights the trials and tribulations of children in various countries as they take on the rough road for a better future. The series showcases the unique journey of these children—crossing mountains, rivers, lands in creative methods—as they make their way to school. Filled with interviews and information, it is a tough yet important insight into the lives of kids around the world.
Dark tourism has seen an incline in the past couple of years with Chernobyl and Auschwitz being turned into tourism hotspots. Dark Tourist is a Netflix show on which journalist David Farrier visits spots around the world that have gained fame through tragic events. Every episode unfolds a new destination and the history surrounding it. From war and murder to vampire tourism, the show covers anything one could label ‘grim’. However, while the concept is considered interesting universally, the show seems to have mixed reviews and may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Night on Earth
What happens in the dark now no longer stays in the dark. Night on Earth is a series on Netflix that unveils the lives of wild creatures in the dead of the night. From monkeys in the city to whales in the ocean, the show documents the habits and activities of a diverse set of creatures. Orange Is The New Black actress Samira Wiley is the narrator and does a pretty good job maintaining the thrill. The shots are mesmerising and extremely new and interesting. With only 6 episodes in the series, it is perfect for your binge-watching bucketlist. But hurry, it is a limited series and may be off the internet soon.
Bonus: Watch Night on Earth: Shot in the Dark to get a glimpse behind the scenes, and how videographers rough in the wild to get perfect shots.
Conan Without Borders
It is easy to connect to the host of a show who you have watched for years on television. Conan O’ Brien’s series takes the famous talk show host to various countries around the world as he delves head first into the culture and history of a destination. His classic humour and quirky personality add great value to the content, and also ease the interviewees onscreen. While comedy is obviously a major chunk of the show, important inputs on serious events are also given considerable spotlight. From Haiti to Korea, Conan takes us along interesting adventures. The show is available to view on Netflix.