Thumbnail - Traveling Vicariously – The Best Travel Shows on TV

So much to see, so little time! Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your next adventure or just need a break from binge watching your period drama of choice, we recommend these weekly installments of wanderlust:

The Wonder List with Bill Weir

Host Bill Weir began his career as a reporter, eventually making it to “Good Morning America” and “Nightline.” In 2013, he switched networks, landing at CNN, where he began developing new programs for the cable news outlet. In “The Wonder List,” Weir visits parts of the world that are in a state of flux, whether due to the tourism industry, environmental concerns, political issues or the speed of modernization. Weir aims to connect with the people of these destinations themselves and in his own words, to “create time capsules of places we all agree are precious.” Featured destinations have included Cuba, Peru, the Colorado River, Botswana and Iceland.

An Idiot Abroad

Leave it to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant to develop a hybrid adventure-reality-comedy series in the UK and make it funny enough to catch on with US audiences. Thanks to the Science Channel, folks in the US could witness the journeys of one Karl Pilkington, whom Gervais and Merchant sent off into the world while they remained home and “watched.” Of course, by “watched,” we mean got him to do outrageous things with absolutely no prior knowledge of what was to come! The show aimed its focus on the unique cultural aspects of each destination, visiting such renowned places as the Great Wall of China, the iconic Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, The Dead Sea, Thailand’s Songkran Festival, Japan’s Mount Fuji and the nostalgic Route 66 in the US.
*While An Idiot Abroad no longer airs, it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Expedition Unknown

For a fix of history and travel, look no further than the Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown. Each week, host Josh Gates, who holds a degree in archaeology, investigates one of the world’s best known (and usually unsolved) legends. From the real “Temple of Doom,” made famous by Indiana Jones (Cambodia), to Genghis Khan’s lost tomb, the mythical city of Shangri-La (Nepal), and Captain Kidd’s pirate treasure (Caribbean & Eastern US seaboard), Gates takes viewers on an often comedic, always educational trip to some of the world’s most famous sites and overlooked locales.

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

Long a staple of CNN’s original programming and currently in its ninth season, Parts Unknown features host Anthony Bourdain around the globe in search of untapped destinations and under-rated cuisine. This hour-long series has showcased such varied cities and regions as Myanmar, Quebec, Charleston, Sicily, Congo, Jamaica, the Mississippi Delta, Copenhagen, Beirut, Vietnam, Istanbul, and Detroit.

Traveling Vicariously – The Best Travel Shows on TV

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