I know, we are all feeling it! We are getting a little antsy- a little uncomfortable looking at the same thing every day. We are feeling too cooped up for our own good! On top of that, we travelers are getting those sad, sad e-mails telling us about the cancellation policies that affect our upcoming trips. What’s a wanderer to do?! How can we all quench our thirst for wanderlust? While there may be nothing that we can do about the COVID-19 crisis that has us all grounded, we can certainly help our spirits with a little virtual travel!
In fact, it may be just the time to take on learning as much as we can while we all adjust to this temporary new norm. Maybe this is the perfect time to engage in boosting our global literacy. Lots of resources are now available to pacify our inner gypsy’s wanderlust. We can digitally city hop around the globe in so many different ways. Quite frankly, everyone of these wanderlust gems can make us think a little, remember a little, educate us a little and dream a lot! So, here are 9 picks to help calm your traveling spirit while we wait out the storm.
I’ll Have What Phil’s Having/ Somebody Feed Phil (PBS/NETFLIX)
Sometimes, you just need a little joy in your life. Sometimes, there are personalities that have the gift of imparting that joy over the TV. Enter Phil Rosenthal. Phil loves lots of things but he really loves food. He loves it so much that he will travel to the ends of the Earth to try anything- and eat it all! Phil’s wide eyed love and respect for where he explores and the food preparers that he meets – whether a street vendor or a Michelin chef never dissapoints. He is filled with glee as he noshes down on everything from ants to hot dogs. The cherry on top? Phil’s video check in with his parents in which they always ask to speak to his brother. I feel like I’ve heard them before on Everybody Loves Raymond!!
You know that girlfriend you have? The one who seems to have it all together but you like her anyway because she’s super down-to-earth? Well, meet Samantha Brown. She’s that girlfriend. Sam does a great job of balancing her places with plenty of in country content with tons of overseas destinations. She has an easy nature and a clear motivation to get the most out of the people she meets both near and far. Gone are the days of checking out hotel rooms because now she makes sure her show is full of locals and experiences that make each place one to love. So pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy right along with her.
Meet Jack. Jack has decided to take the ultimate gap year trip to Asia at 30 years old. With his father. His very British father. Jack and his dad have very different ideas of what their trip should look like and that’s what makes this show shine! While the commentary is more comedy than travel Jack and Michael keep you in stitches as they go off the beaten track as well as first class- depending on who’s turn it is. As Jack searches for the meaning of life and what drives his wanderlust, his father searches high and low for the creature comforts of home. They are quite the pair and make you want to book a trip with your parents and purchase the next spot on a solo travel tour at the same time. Warning: there is a bit of rough language in this one. Another Warning: There are 5 seasons and they are all funny.
Curious Traveler (PBS)
If who, what, where, when and how are at the top of your list, then Christine van Blokland’s Curious Traveler is for you! Christine’s PBS based show brings the viewer to the major travel stops of the world and digs in to that first outer shell showing all of the must do’s. I love the way she burrows just a bit deeper by peppering local tour guides and experts with questions that gather the whole story up into one neat package. Put simply, Curious Traveler is a great 22 minute break to give your wanderlust a quick boost!
Brit Box (multiple platforms like Prime and Roku)
Craving a little Brit lit? Looking for a change in accent? Need a little British melodrama in your life right now? Then, Britbox is for you! Half BBC and half Masterpiece Theater, Brit Box delivers the hits and keeps up with their perennial faves that have kept us all entertained for years. So, go, binge watch! It’s a can’t miss!
Ready to connect with women who totally get your travel addiction and you wanderlust? Then this pick is perfect for you! Wanderful is an online, world-wide community of super-cool traveling women. This subscription service has information on everything from travel FAQ to homes haring opportunities. With in-person meet-ups and online webinars ranging from belly dancing to french language circles, Wanderful is saving a place at the table just for you. Hurry! Open enrollment ends on May 1st. Click the pic or the title for lots more information! I think I might have just fan-girled a little…
Have you ever heard the saying “if the Mohammed can’t go to the mountain then the mountain will go to Mohammed”? With everyone having to shutter up their ticket booths, all kinds of places are working to stay connected with barred visitors. Try tapping into the unbelievable amount of free virtual tours that are being offered by museums right now. Everybody from the Smithsonian to the Louvre is flinging open their virtual doors and inviting you to visit from your own home. Click the title link for a curated list courtesy of Good Housekeeping. So, grab the kids for the best museum pass we can get our hands on these days and go EXPLORE!
We all know National Geographic but can I just say that they are really working their Instagram feed?! Wow! They don’t joke around! That old fashioned yellow bordered magazine is a digital giant these days! Sometimes I just like scrolling through the photos artistically posted by its stable of amazing photographers and dream of catching shots like that. I’ve yet to scroll past a photo and not scroll back just to check out the intricate details that accompany every single post. NG gets an A in just being pretty.
Everyone has that one relative in their family who has been everywhere. Rick Steves is that guy in our travel family. While he has all kinds of other branded products out there, my latest interest in the Rick Steves world has been his podcast. They’ve kept me very busy on my daily walks since I’ve been home bound. Rick interviews people from not just Europe, as he is so famous for, but from all corners of the globe chiming in on topics such as road trips, cultural music, travel books, wanderlust, and expert tips.
My kids always complain that Steves’ shows are a bit dry. I can’t tell them that they are wrong but, let’s face it, he really knows his stuff! That nuts and bolts approach seems to evaporate as Rick interviews people and has an honest conversation rather than just overdubbing on camera. So, take a walk and listen in! As RS would say “happy travels”!