Wanderlust itch? Stream these shows.

Maybe you’re reading At Home in the World, and you’ve officially got the travel bug. Or maybe you’re reading it, and you’re thanking God you’re actually not going anywhere but the kitchen to refill your coffee.

I get both these sentiments.

To quell any sort of wanderlust itch, and to further your armchair traveling experience, I’ve got a few suggestions on what to stream from the comfort of your living room. Enjoy watching other people travel after you put down the book.

blank tv

1. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having

I’ve talked about this show several times. If you can stand the occasional dad joke, you’ll love this one (and it’s family-friendly—our kids adore it). Watch Phil Rosenthal eat his way around different global cuisine hotspots; so far it’s only six episodes, so you can easily finish the series in a week. Sadly.

Trailer:

  • Stream on: Netflix, PBS
  • Recommended episode: Italy

2. Planet Earth and Human Planet

Both of these fantastic documentary BBC series leave you in awe of the world—the first for its geography, topographical diversity, and its flora and fauna; the second for its many people groups and cultures. Out of this world cinematography.

Human Planet trailer:

  • Stream on: Netflix
  • Recommended episode: Grasslands

3. An Idiot Abroad

F-bombs aplenty, I can only watch this show in small doses. But it’s a funny take on the annoyances of travel and cross-cultural differences, and what it’s like to transform from a stubborn curmudgeon to a slightly more seasoned-traveler curmudgeon.

Trailer (language warning):

4. Parts Unknown

The best of Anthony Bourdain’s series, in my opinion. Though his negativity can be frustrating at times, I love his willingness to wander off the beaten track and show us the non-touristy stuff. He can be a softie at times, too, and that’s fun to see. Good for older kids, but you should preview it first.

Preview:

  • Stream on: Netflix
  • Recommended episode: Istanbul, Vietnam

5. Stephen Fry in America

The well-known British commentator takes on all 50 of the United States. As an American, I appreciate his insight into our multi-cultural nooks and crannies, though sometimes I scratch my head at why they highlight certain parts of some states and not others. (And clearly, he does not like Florida, for whatever reason.)

Trailer:

  • Stream on: Netflix, Hulu
  • Recommended episode: Deep South

6. Rock the Park

This new-to-me series tracks two friends on a mission to explore all the national parks in the U.S. Since this is a lofty dream of mine, I’ve enjoyed living vicariously through them. Good show to watch with kids.

Trailer:

  • Stream on: Netflix, Hulu
  • Recommended episode: Glacier Bay

7. Rick Steves’ Europe

The classic PBS king of travel, it’s a bit scripted at times for my taste, but he has a genuine love of Europe and its many cultures, and he’s a legitimately good guy (follow him on Twitter, too). This is a good show for trip-planning ideas, and it’s a low-stress, almost calming pendulum swing from the likes of Bourdain.

Trailer:

8. GlobeTrekker

This is my all-time favorite travel series, and I so wish their full episodes were free to stream. In the meantime, a few episodes are available on Amazon Prime. I first started watching this show right after my move back from Kosovo, and it was a salve for my hankering to get back out there. Ian Wright is the best host, hands down.

Preview:

  • Stream on: Some on Amazon PrimeYouTube with a subscription
  • Recommended episode: Russia (if you can find it)

Geared for Kids

There’s also a few video series out there that are geared specifically toward kids—some are definitely better than others. Here’s some of the better ones:

And of course, I’d be remiss not to mention our favorite resource for globally-minded storytelling, Around the World Stories. Set in various countries (right now they’re in Europe), each weekly story features a kid from a different culture, infusing the method we all learn best: storytelling. Our kids clamor for each new episode.

And speaking of kids… It’s thrilled me to no end the messages you’ve sent me saying you can’t wait to share At Home with your kids. A few of you have even said it’s officially required reading for your teenagers. Fantastic! I had graduates (both high school and college) in mind when I penned the book, so I’m glad to hear you think it’ll resonate with them, too.

What’s scratching your wanderlust itch right now?

9 months, 5 backpacks, 4 continents, 3 kids,
1 husband.

(It was worth it.)

9 months, 5 backpacks, 4 continents, 3 kids, 1 husband.

(It was worth it.)

18 Comments

  1. Andrea Manz

    The show Departures on Netflix is good too! I like it as a 20-something since a lot of other travel shows feature older people (typically middle-aged white men, come to think of it…) but Departures has 2 younger guys traveling around.
    And Parts Unknown is Bourdain’s best, yes.

    • Sarah

      I totally second Departures- especially the second and third seasons.

      • Shannon R

        Came here just say … You should check out Departures!and two other people already agree! It’s worth the watch!

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      I keep hearing about Departures so I’ll have to give it a try!

  2. Clayton McWhite

    I have to add The Amazing Race! to this list (CBS) – Now in it’s 29th season it is totally scratching an itch as I am reading through your book (currently hanging out with you guys in the Singapore Airport!) – Really enjoyed the book signing last Friday, glad I got to be there,
    Clay

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      It was great to meet you!

  3. Sarah M

    Not sure if you can get this show in the US (Canadian netflix is different, unfortunately sometimes!) but I love Girl Eat World. She travels around the world and hooks up with local foodies & writers to discover the food of the area. It’s short, fun, and you find *plenty* of new bloggers to follow 😉

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Nice!

  4. Monica Deskins

    Tsh, loved your book and just ordered a copy for a travel friend. The book did a great job of balancing an appreciation for home in our own nest, discovering the feeling of home around the world and most of all recognizing home in your inner self no matter your geographical placement. Loved it!
    I recently heard you talk about “I’ll have what Phil’s Having” on the simple show and FELL IN LOVE! Thank you for the great recommendation that my hubby and I blew through in just a few nights of couch potato-ing! 🙂

    • Tsh Oxenreider

      Isn’t it a fun show? And thanks so much for your kind words, Monica! They mean so much.

  5. Shawna

    Tsh – Loving your book (and have read (and loved) your others as well)! Had to pipe in and share a show I’m loving – The Wonder List with Bill Weir. I caught it on a rerun on CNN and only recently found that I could watch all of the episodes using the CNN app (on Apple TV). I wasn’t able to find it anywhere else, so I was very excited about this. As an INFJ I can’t help but wonder if Bill Weir is one as well – he’s SUPER down to earth, so compassionate, and just has a rather lovely personality and “story-telling” style. I’ve found it fascinating to see parts of the world I may never get the chance to travel to (or at least not before they see some major changes… hence being on his “wonder list”). I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t speak to what age groups might best appreciate this, but I don’t recall him using any inappropriate language or anything, so I do think it would be family-friendly. Hope you get a chance to check it out!! One of my favorite episodes so far has been the New Zealand episode 🙂

    • Shawna

      Also, thought I’d add – I’m a long time reader here (back when it was Simple Mom – even though I wasn’t a mom LOL), and have read your personal blog as well. I love your writing and work, and so appreciate you being willing to share it with the world. Reading your newest book in between life, but I’m loving every minute of it, as I knew I would. 🙂

  6. Amanda Yeung

    I LOVE Globetrekker and agree that Ian is the best! I haven’t watched any episodes in ages. Now I have a hankering for them again. Thanks for the reminder. Also, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of your book and can’t wait to start reading it!

  7. Rhonda

    I absolutely love your podcast. It’s my favorite one right now. I am a single mom enjoying life at home but I do miss my days of traveling all over the world. Listening to these descriptions your book is like a breath of fresh air. Need to read it for sure!

  8. Yvonne Reynolds

    Loved your book and am loving your podcast! Had to add Rock the Park to my list of shows to watch since I love Yosemite and live close enough to go there just for the day. Looking forward to binge watching this one!

  9. Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    I totally agree with you on Globetrekker being the best (& Ian). Our library has a TON of Dvds, so you might get lucky with yours, too!

  10. Hannah

    Globe Trekker has always been my favorite too! I used to watch any one I could get my hands on from the library when I was a teenager (read: nerdy homeschooler). hehe. All the travelers were so funny and they really went off the beaten path! Ian was my favorite though 😉

  11. marijka

    Yep, gotta love that Ian on GlobeTrekker! He’s like your naughty little frat brother or something, always a bit cheeky, but also very kind.

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