Travel documentaries that inspire

In the pursuit of happiness, few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest than our travels. In the light of recent disruptions, we highlight a few travel documentaries that may rekindle the joy of discovery, the reward of perseverance – or just the pleasure of doing nothing in particular. Viewing recommendations may vary based on your device and connectivity but should always be enjoyed with a glass of quality wine and the memory of someone special to share the moment. 

Around the World in 80 Days with Michael Palin

https://youtu.be/fohbKoXPjkMNostalgia may not be what it used to be, but everyone’s favourite Python’s take on the Jules Verne classic will kindle a longing for everything from the 80’s to an era when presenters were kind, informed and kept their political opinions to themselves. Available on YouTube  and Google Play

The Last Aztec


The secret of life is said to be honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made. DBC Pierre can do both – the controversial author revisits the Mexico of his youth to tell the story of the downfall of the Aztecs. Part documentary, part road movie, it should come with a disclaimer of ‘any parallels with recently unfolding events are coincidental and not meant to direct viewers to any specific conclusions. 

The Trip

Within the first two minutes, you will be able to tell if you will love or hate The Trip. Comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden take the viewer on a journey to scenic locations, bickering, joking and indulging in self-loathing along the way.  The show’s appeal lies in its many mainstream references and in-jokes that make it surprisingly relatable. 

Free Solo

If your supreme accomplishment in life is ruined by a nagging feeling that there may be someone, somewhere, who has eclipsed you, you are probably right. Enter Alex Honnold, who climbed El Capitan – 2 307 meters of sheer vertical granite – without ropes. Although you know the outcome (he succeeds), this movie will leave you drained and exhilarated by Honnolds’ sheer determination. In-between you will experience a cast of characters and vistas that will send you packing, off to the ends of the earth. Available on Netflix

Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Any good list deserves a happy ending – a reminder and reassurance of the myriad possibilities that lurk within even the most confining of circumstances. Set mainly in a 10-seater Tokyo restaurant with no view, it tells the story of Jiro Ono, Japan’s Michelin acclaimed sushi master. An ode to patience, JIRO is also about the power of simplicity, respect and the legacy we leave behind. Available on Netflix