It has already been a month and a half since I last posted. Can you believe that? Where did the summer go?
I am the type of person that loves to watch travelogues. Whether it’s a vlog on YouTube, an entire movie, or a television series, I am always eager to see it, but it’s so hard to find ones I enjoy or that I will actively watch.
In the past six months or so, I have begun to actually search for different travel media, and though language and simple travel do not seem to be wildly popular on television, in movies, and in mainstream literature, I have found a few places to get my travel fix.
So without further ado, here are my three favorite travelogues.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
This may not technically count as a travelogue since it is a work of fiction, but I’m including it anyway because it is my favorite movie.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is an all-around beautiful film with amazing cinematography and gorgeous locations. Walter (played by Ben Stiller) travels to Greenland, Iceland, Afghanistan, and the Himalayas to track down a photographer. This film captures the incredible majesty of a variety of countries but doesn’t overload the viewer with touristy locales. The spots Walter visits are less famous and more nature-friendly.
Though it does not delve into detail about the places that are visited, it doesn’t feel like it is lacking. It gives an account of what he did, what he saw, which is interesting when you’re absorbed in the story line, and it doesn’t overwhelm the viewer by dragging out the time spent in each country. Walter’s time is spent well, and he is focused, but you still enjoy a beautiful, secondhand experience.
Expedition Unknown is a television series on the Travel Channel. It is a breath of fresh air, seeing as it is hard to find actual travel-related shows that aren’t just about food.
The show is hosted by Josh Gates, an archaeologist and explorer. Josh, who is the older version of what I imagine to be my ideal husband, travels the globe and investigates myths, legends, and mysteries in various cultures. This is a fantastic show for history buffs and travel addicts alike, especially if you’re curious about less-well-known facts and stories.
Expedition Unknown is also on Netflix.
I am just stating this as a YouTube section, but there is a specific trip by a YouTuber named Jeffrey who does not actively post videos. He has two playlists, one for a Japan trip from a couple years ago and one from a recent trip to both South Korea and Japan.
I enjoy a little bit of commentary on videos, but at times, it can be overwhelming. Sometimes I just want to see where they go and what they eat because I am interested in that for myself, but other times, I am happy to listen to their voice-overs about their experiences with people on the street and in the shops. Jeffrey, who seems to be from Australia, does not overlay his videos with commentary and allows the experiences, conversations, and encounters to speak for themselves in real time.
He also does a lot in his five days of staying in South Korea, and it is so interesting to see the diversity in his activities. From eating street food to visiting a spa, he does so much. His editing is clean and his camera quality is very good, both of which seem to be somewhat difficult to find in a YouTube channel that does not actively post.
I have watched all the videos from his South Korea trip twice now, and they are still so enjoyable. He has a sense of humor, and all his friends make the videos even more amusing. It’s fun to watch how their relationships affect the editing and the conversation, and I will always recommend his playlist to anyone interested in the location and not the person vlogging.
This is a link to his South Korea and Japan playlist.
Honorable Mention: House Hunters International
I am addicted to all the House Hunters series, but my absolute favorite is International. I absolutely adore seeing the various styles of homes and apartments that different countries offer. I have very little interest in the families that are moving, but I always get excited when they explore the town, even though those segments only last a minute or two.
This is another one that technically isn’t a travelogue, and a certain realtor shattered the illusion for me by telling me the truth about the show, but I still love seeing all the different places to which people move for a variety of reasons, and I always imagine the type of life I could have or which house I would pick if I was the one moving there.
I am always on the search for new and interesting travel shows, movies, videos, books, etc., and I truly hope that I will eventually be able to say that I have visited all or most of the places in my favorite travelogues. I started traveling internationally at 19, and there is no end in sight.