In 2020, our worst nightmare came true. Thanks to COVID-19, the entire world went into lockdown and travel became non-existent.
With all the time that circuit breaker afforded me, I had entire days to just Netflix and chill. As if to fill the travel shaped hole in my heart, I realised I started to watch quite a few series shot at several exotic locations around the globe.
Most of these involve travelling to various cities around the world and exploring a side of that city or country you may not have seen before. No need to grab your backpack, just scroll down and join me on my journey around the world.
1) Someone Feed Phil
In this series, you follow the footsteps of Phil (Philip Rosenthal) who is best known for creating the show Everybody Loves Raymond. After that series ended, he decided to focus more on food and travelling. One of these spin-offs would be called ‘Someone Feed Phil’.
There’s currently 4 seasons produced so far, and each episode focuses on a particular city or country that Phil will travel to.There’s only about 5-6 episodes per season, with each episode is about 40 to 50 minutes long.
You’ll see Phil try a lot of the local cuisines in each country as he travels around. Typically, he’ll try everything from street food to Michelin star restaurants in each city and country. Besides the food, you’ll get a chance to explore some of the scenery and scenic places as well which can be quite breathtaking.
And in case if you’re feeling homesick (which I really doubt so lol), there’s an episode on Singapore in season 4 where you’ll see him try things like Chwee Kueh and Sugarcane juice as well.
This series is rated PG, but it’s generally ok if you have kids who want to watch too.
2) Dark Tourist
The average tourist who goes on holiday will typically go for the food, scenery, and people. But there are a group of people who travel to places associated with things that are of a darker nature - things that are related to death and destruction.
Welcome to Dark Tourist.
Also known as Dark Tourism, David Farrier is the host of this show and he’ll experience all the dangers so you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home. In this series, he explores dark tourism in each country. You’ll see things like being in a World War 2 Re-enactment in Europe, and how it is like to cross the border illegally from Mexico to USA and how many times the people who engage in these acts face death.
While some of it might be weird, some of it is really scary. There’s an episode that also explores the aftermath of Fukushima and the radiation issue that residents still face till today.
This series really taught me a lot of things, like how not everyone is just traveling to relax on the beach. There are some people for experiences that most people will find strange and weird.
This series is M18, so no kids allowed because some parts can get scary! (No jumpscares though, don’t worry)
3) Death By Magic
How can a show be both interesting and scary at the same time. Well, Death by Magic is. The premise of this show follows Magician Drummond Money-Coutts where he attempts to replicate a magic act in each country that killed another Magician who tried to do the the same exact magic act.
Of course, the obvious “Do not try it at home” applies to this series.
In each episode, Drummond starts off each episode showing the magic act that killed the magician performing it in the past. He then goes on to explore how he can re-create the act and make sure he is successful at the attempt while doing so.
The best part, he’ll be performing magic acts and tricks along the way while building up to the finale act where it’s a ‘do or die’ magic act.
Spoiler alert, he’s still alive of course.
So far, only one season has been produced so far and features various cities around the world from Los Angeles, to London, and Cape Town. I can say this series definitely kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, especially with the finale act. And yes, this series is definitely M18 due to its frequent flirtations with death - definitely not for kids too!
4) Street Food Asia
Going back to a MUCH lighter note after coming back from the dark side, this series explores the various street foods around Asia. There is no host like in the previous show in this one, and every episode is created rather differently.
Each episode usually features some of the national dishes of the country, and some of the hawkerpreneurs behind it. There’s usually an overall narrative that follows one of the hawkers, with bits and pieces from interviews with others as well.
In the Thailand episode, we follow Jay Fai who is best known for her Crab omelette as it follows her story on how she got to where she was. In the Singapore episode (of course Singapore is going to be in it lah), K F Seetoh is the narrator who tells the story of Aisha who is behind Haig Road Putu Piring.
Each episode isn’t very long as it is only about 25 - 30 minutes so you’ll see at most 4 to 5 dishes of each country. Of course, remember to eat or get some food to munch while watching, or you’ll get hungry watching this series 😅
This series is rated PG so there’s nothing much to worry about.
This was a series that I didn’t expect to watch but in the end I was really glad I gave it a shot because it was seriously nostalgic.
This reality show follows the Korean star Lee Seung Gi and Chinese Taiwanese actor Liu Yi-Hao (Jasper Liu) as they travel across various countries in Asia such as Indonesia and Thailand.
During their visit to each city, they complete missions and tasks in order to get clues that will eventually lead them to meeting the fan who suggested the places they should visit. In the end, they’ll meet the unsuspecting fan at their house for a quick meet and greet.
Anyway, if you’re a fan of either of them, then this series will definitely captivate you even more. Also when you put two people who don’t speak the same national language, what do you think would happen?
It’s very entertaining as well as a reality show, and there’s only 8 episodes in this entire series. The first 6 episodes are consecutive where they fly from country to country, with the last 2 episodes filmed the following week.
Want More Recommendations?
Hopefully these shows can help stave off that wanderlust and help you explore the world from the comfort of your own home.
Travelling will probably never be the same again but these shows perfectly capture the times before COVID came about. Personally, I watch way too much Netflix for my own good but hopefully you got something out of my obsession.
In case you're looking for something else to watch, I wrote about some other interesting Netflix shows that might just be right up your alley.
Check them out here:
Remember that if you’re streaming shows on the go, then I highly recommend getting an Unlimited Data Plan for just $20/month from Circles.Life so you don’t ever need to worry about running out of data watching these shows.