Travel series used to be all about visiting the big landmarks and repeating stuff that’s on the backside of every guidebook. Moving on from Michael Palin and Ian Wright, a new standard for travel-related content was set by Anthony Bourdain as he was meeting up with ordinary people and telling their story instead of showing the same old tired monuments.

The last decade has seen a new generation of storytellers. Five years ago I wrote about inspirational travel movies, so it’s about time to mention a few great travel-inspiring series.

Globe The world is there for you to discover.
  • Simon Reeve: A British writer and filmmaker with angles outside the common glossy sphere of world travel, such as examining social injustice and political dangers. To quote him, “Life is too bloody short and the planet is too bloody special to waste it on just getting a tan”. Some of his series that I recommend are Indian Ocean (2012), Mediterranean (2018), Russia (2017), Places That Don’t Exist (2005) and Caribbean (2015).
  • Long Way Up: The first two series, Long Way Round and Long Way Down, has been around for some years, but last year a third series was released. Long Way Up chronicles the journey from Ushuaia to Los Angeles, and this time Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman goes all in with electric motorcycles. It is fun to see how much that has improved since their first journey in 2004. The production level is far better and the drone footage is a great improvement, but I especially enjoyed to see how everyone has evolved as a person.
  • Levison Wood: This British explorer is a writer and photographer among many other things. But even though I’ve read several of his books, he is probably best known for his walking expeditions. I’ve seen most of them and my personal favorite is Arabia (2017), where he travels around the entire Arabian Peninsula. I also recommend Walking the Himalayas (2015), Walking the Nile (2013) and Walking the Americas (2017).
  • Travel Man: In the show Travel Man, Richard Ayoade is like a cynic anti-traveler, reminding me of Karl Pilkington in An Idiot Abroad. Hilarity ensues.

Any other shows that you can recommend?


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