6 Netflix Travel Documentaries You Must Watch

Depending on where you live in the world it is likely that the pandemic has dampened your wanderlust. For those who are itching to jet away on adventures, it could be time to take your adventures online and live vicariously through some incredible Netflix travel documentaries. From captivating voyages to the outright peculiar, our list of documentaries below will certainly transport you overseas without you even leaving your home.

Expedition Happiness

Join a young German couple as they convert a school bus into their home on wheels and travel from Alaska to Mexico. Felix and his musician girlfriend Selima Taibi (whose music scores much of the documentary) are joined by their Bernese dog Rudi as they travel the Pacific Coast Highway. As a viewer, you join the young family through incredible lows and complications and skyrocketing highs as they take in the inspiring landscape and learn more about one another. This thought-provoking and inspirational is a must-watch for anyone with a Netflix subscription.

Pedal the World

If Expedition Happiness wasn’t enough, get another dose of Felix Starck in his lesser-known documentary, Pedal the World. Produced in 2015, two years before Expedition Happiness, a then 25-year-old Starck takes to the world on two wheels, cycling across 22 countries over 365 days. The result is a breath-taking view of the countries he visits, as well as reliving the struggles and tribulations of riding mammoth journeys on a bike.

Dark Tourist

Each episode brings to you the weird and wonderful of little know locations around the world. Host David Farrier, a New Zealand raised journalist, takes us from exorcisms in Latin America to learning about voodoo in Benin, Africa. Dark Tourist is a documentary series ideal for those of us who are naturally interested in the side of travel the holiday brochures don’t tell you about.

The Last Shaman

Director Raz Degan sets out on a voyage with twentysomething James Freeman. The college student, hailing from Andover in Massachusetts, starts the documentary as a stressed and clinically depressed individual blaming the Western world and its highly competitive nature for his declining mental health.

In a bid to discover the meaning of life beyond the pursuit of making money, Freeman heads into the Amazon jungle. His aim is to discover the healing effects of Ayahuasca – a tea produced by mixing a vine and a shrub. Typically administered by shamans in traditional or spiritual ceremonies but is becoming more widely recognised beyond indigenous tribes.  The Last Shaman chronicles Freeman’s journey on the hunt for the elusive concoction and his experiences in the Amazon.

Street Food

Whilst many of us have hopped on lockdown trends such as baking banana bread and rustling up matcha lattes, the pandemic has meant many foodies are stuck in a culinary rut. From the creators of Chef’s Table, Street Food is a gastronomic pursuit that visits a different region every season. Focusing on Asia, the documentary visits markets, stalls and restaurants in the likes of Japan, South Korea and Singapore, tantalising your taste buds with the local cuisine. Unlike other food orientated shows, Street Food focuses on the connection the local people have with meals, going as far as to interview the people who make them. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds, then reach for the cookbook and create new flavours of your own.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron

Many of us associate Zac Efron with High School Musical and his various other cinematic pursuits. However, in his Down to Earth documentary series, the actor travels the globe with wellness expert Darien Olien to highlight different healthy and sustainable ways to live. The docuseries highlights solutions to sustainability issues rather than solely dwelling on the issues themselves; a refreshing take on environmental concerns in the media. Whilst many of you may be put off, questioning how knowledgeable a famous Hollywood actor could be on such issues, you’d be very surprised by this docuseries.

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