Can Television Motivate Travel (Part 2)


Robin, Cat, and Haechi

In Part 1  we questioned whether television could truly take you from couch sitting to world spinning. We talked about how my feeling to escape the doldrums of Canada were motivated by the amazing documentary series ‘Long Way Round’ with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. Getting off of the couch is maybe the hardest part, but we wouldn’t want that motivation to end there with no place to put it. Now let’s look at how television can continue to give us great ideas for where we can go and what we might see.

So, we’ve got the fire to travel burning in the pit of our soul like a white hot ember…but now what do we do to make our trip the best that we can. Where should we go, what should we do? You might already have these answers, and that’s great if you do, because what I am going to explain can help you too, as it helped me. This recollection is a bit foggy, but I remember the general gist of it. I was already living in Seoul, Korea for about a month and was hosting one of my oldest friends, Robin and his now wife Catherine. There was so much to see and so much to do to show them Seoul, but where to start? Street food, the Fish Market, Gwanghwamun? I had no idea how prepared Robin was. He seemed to know everything already and all of the places he needed to see and food he wanted to definitely try. He learnt well…from Anthony Bourdain.

I only had a vague sense of who Anthony Bourdain was until Robin raved about the show he watched about Seoul on the popular show ‘No Reservations’. After seeing how driven Robin was to try many of the things even I hadn’t had the chance to see or know about yet in the new city I was living in, I needed to know more. I watched a few episodes and loved the travel ethos of Anthony Bourdain. He had a sly ‘try anything once’ charm to him and I felt as if I was on the trip with him exploring while watching. The great thing is that I kept a notepad next to me while watching episodes on places I already wanted to go and wrote down key places and foods that I wanted to check out. Check out the clip below for Anthony Bourdain in Osaka.



The great thing is that this show goes EVERYWHERE. There isn’t an major city or area that is really passed over. If it isn’t covered on ‘No Reservations’, chances are that Bourdain has been there on another similar show, which is also great. That is both it’s strength and weaknesses though. there are so many interesting places in the world, and I wouldn’t want you to feel that you shouldn’t go to a place if it isn’t featured on the show. That said, if you are just leaving the couch, a person would be lucky to go to any of the places featured. They might even be in your own backyard.


Wangfujing Night Market, Beijing China

So, if you are still trying to get the motivation to get off the couch, see if you have access to any of Anthony Bourdain’s shows on television. I know that he has some content on Hulu and Netflix, so check there as well. Keep a notepad close and write down any interesting places or things you may want to follow up on later. Perhaps you already are a seasoned traveller. I found that watching this show when I already had a destination in mind was like watching a travel guide and laughing along the way. You’ll see things that you’ll want to do, as well as avoid.

Stay tuned for Part three, when we talk about using television for Staycation ideas!

Leave us your favourite travel shows in the comment section!

-Happy Globetrotting