For me, the best way of getting inspired is by visuals, nothing captivates me more than a few cinematic scenes that are paired with equally emotional music, especially when it comes to travel. The more drone shots the better! So you can guess that I have definitely watched my fair share of travel documentaries on Netflix, that being said, I thought I would round off my favorites that are available now.

Expedition Happiness

Expedition Happiness is a documentary made by filmmaker Felix and his musician girlfriend, Selima, who embark on the road trip of their lives. What is the reason they do this? It is to find the true meaning of happiness, something that all of us here at Travelettes are familiar with. So Felix and Selima set off on a journey in their converted American School bus, with minimal belongings (of course they still brought their dog!) and a sense of freedom.

Watch as the trip from North to South America unfolds, the handheld style footage and beautiful music composed by Selima herself, adds to the magic of the documentary. Watch if you feel like taking off on your own adventure, or be prepared to after this.

Destinations: North and South America

 

Tales By Light

Tales by Light is quite possibly one of my favorite shows on Netflix, combining two of the things that I am passionate about, photography and travel. There are currently three series available on Netflix.

Each episode focuses on a different photographer who has dedicated their lives to traveling the globe in search of the perfect image. The show explores so many different cultures across the world, often touching on controversial topics, this really gives you a look into the beliefs and lives of many people around the world.

My personal favorite episodes are ‘Life and Death’ which focuses on photographer Stephen Dupont who travels to India to discover the unique ways that they view the circle of life.

Destinations: Everywhere from the East to the West.

Street Food 

If you’re like me, then food is a huge part of traveling, it inspires me, giving me ideas for my next destination. Food is ever-changing and impacts many people’s lives in such a unique way, whether it be good or bad.

This series focuses on various street food vendors in Asia who put their hearts and souls into the food that they make, shaping their communities and bringing people together. What makes Street Food so different from other food documentaries is the time that they take explaining the correlation between the food and the lives of the people who make it.  It delves deep into the history of the area and the ways in which it has shaped the lives of those around it in different ways by various events, whether it be war, poverty or politics. It discusses the vendors themselves, who comprise of mainly elderly women, and how they managed to master their craft during often turbulent times.

Whether it is the food that inspires you or the stories of the people, this cinematic look into parts of Asia will have you longing to hop on a flight there.

Destinations: India, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam.

Magical Andes

The title of this show really says everything that you need to know about the theme of it. The Magical Andes features different tales from those who live around the Andes Mountains in South America, from Argentina to Colombia, this documentary series features awe-inspiring landscapes from start to finish. Told in both English and Spanish, by the end of this series you will be dying to visit this place of marvelous nature and wishing that you could fullying immerse yourself in the culture.

Destinations: South America

BODH GAYA, INDIA – Morgan Freeman speaking with His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa at Bodh Gaya.

(photo credit: National Geographic Channels/Seth Nejame)

The Story of God

Although not necessarily a travel documentary, The Story of God follows Morgan Freeman exploring religions around the world and not just those that are well known to us. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of life itself, for example, Birth, Death, and Creation. It gives tales and first-hand experiences of members of different communities around the world, who discuss their way of living and why they believe the things that they do. The show features hundreds of different locations around the world, inspiring you to think about traveling to these somewhat off the beaten track places. This documentary is another one of my favorites on this list, mainly as it focuses on something that many of us aren’t taught about in school or college, touching upon different cultures, morals and ways of lives, which is a huge interest of mine, and something that inspires me to travel more.

Destinations: Worldwide

There is a wealth of information about travel online, on our mobiles and of course in books, but there is something about watching a creatively shot documentary or film that just ignites that spark of wanderlust inside you a little bit more. Hopefully, after reading this post, you will check out some of these incredible pieces of work yourselves and they may just help you decide where your next adventure may be.

What is your favorite travel documentary?