The Arm Chair Traveler

In my pre-travel writing days, I wouldn’t think much about having one major vacation per year. It’s pretty much the American norm. Now that my soul has been awaken, I feel a huge loss not being somewhere new every couple of  months.

Currently, my reality has me mellowing out at home, until June when I start my full-time travel life for an unknown period of time. Between now and then, I’m traveling vicariously through others within the pages of a magazine, fellow bloggers and Netflix.

To ease my wandering spirit, though I’m not a big TV fan, I have a few favorite shows that helps me dream, plan and see new sights.

Here are my faves:


The Long Way Round

In 2004, Ewan McGregor (Star Wars – Obi Wan Kenobi) and his best mate Charley Boorman circle the world. Traveling on motorcycles from London to New York covering 12 countries, 20,000 miles in only 115-days.

Due to the timeline, the guys don’t spend much time in any one location, yet…. you get the gist of each place. This is a journey that deserves an encore.



Which brings us to…..


The Long Way Down

Once again the guys jump on their bikes for an adventure of a lifetime. The duo heads down to Cape Town, Africa in this series departing from John O’ Groats, Scotland. Ewan and Charley make tracks over 18 European and African countries in 85-days. This is one epic ride!

Thank you, Ewan and Charley…. The Long Way Round/Down have inspires me to motorbike around the world, when the opportunity arrives (travel partner wanted for motorcycle shenanigans … any takers?….huh?, huh?).



By Any Means – Ireland to Sydney

Charley Boorman sets off from Wicklow, Ireland to Sydney, Australia using 112 different types of transportation, appropriate to each country, making the journey through 24 countries. No easy jumping on a plane here. This BBC series captures Charley getting to his destination through any means possible, as stated in title. For those of us that want adventure and open to all possible ways to get from point A to point B, this show really gets you thinking. Especially for travelers who are more ballsy.

Check out Charley’s adventure as he takes a variety of buses, trains, tuk tuks, trucks, rickshaws, ships and even an elephant to arrive in Sydney.

(*I do not support elephant transportation due to cruelty)



By Any Means – Sydney to Tokyo

Charley’s now tackling Sydney, Australia to Tokyo, Japan – via Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines and Taiwan.

There’s only 6 episodes in this series, but it’s one sweet ride.

The Long Way series and By Any Means displays how friendly people are all over the world. Of course, there are horrible beings no matter the country, but overall, people are people no matter where you go.



The Way

This El Camino De Santiago film stars father and son team, Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. Sheen’s character walks the Camino in honor of his son (Estevez) who died at the start of his pilgrimage walk from Saint Jean-Pied-du-Port (the French Way) to Santiago De Compostela.

Pilgrims have been making the trek to St. James’s tomb since the middle ages. There are 12 main waymarked routes. The most popular route is the French Way. All but 3 routes (Camino Portuguese, Camino Finisterre and Camino Ingles)  merge into Camino Francés. On each route when you come into a new city, you receive an official stamp which marks your Camino passport. When you arrive in Santiago De Compostela you are awarded an official document, with your name, for your achievement.

Everyone walks the Camino for their own personal reasons. It’s on my list simply to say I did it.

To get the upgraded stamp book,  tell the clerks that it’s for spiritual reasons.



An Idiot Abroad

Okay, I love this series! Ricky Gervais sends his travel phobic friend around the world. Not only do you get to see some great places, Karl is hilarious. He doesn’t pretend he is okay with the accommodations, people and detours that Ricky puts him through.

Simply funny stuff here folks.


Okay, your turn….

Do you have a favorite travel show to help you escape reality?



4 thoughts on “The Arm Chair Traveler

  1. I’ve been watching ‘An Idiot Abroad’ and also saw ‘The Way’ (which I also really liked). Wish I could find Long Way Round/Down on Netflix but I can’t…do you get it in US? Annoys me the way you can get a show in one location and not another.
    Actually, I wish Netflix had a genre for ‘Travel’. Speaking of which, one of my favorite shows used to be the Amazing Race but since we started travelling full-time 2 1/2 years ago haven’t seen it. Wonder if I can find it on youtube or something…

    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. The Long Way Down/Round comes and goes randomly on Netflix. I just checked and currently it’s not listed. It’s on Youtube though. I agree, it’s annoying how you can watch something in one location, but not in another. I haven’t seen Amazing Race… I see season 5 is on Youtube, so I’ll check it out. Thanks for the show tip.

  2. I have seen all of the above, since travelling vicariously is also great and inspiring. I love all of the Michael Portillo tv series : Great Continental Railway Journeys, Great British Railway journeys and most recent the Great American Railway journeys.

    1. I’ve forgotten about the railroad shows, thanks for the reminder Gilda. I just looked on Netflix and there’s a few that look to be worth watching – SLOW, Train Ride Bergen to Oslo … Mumbai Railway and India’s Frontier Trains.

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