Six Must-See Travel Shows
By Jennifer Mangan
A balmy ocean breeze blows the hair back from my face as I peer down a cliff’s edge into the welcoming crystal blue waters below. It’s 80 degrees and I’ve already worked up a respectable tan. After the dive, perhaps an icy piña colada to cool off… So, this is paradise. I take the leap, finally free, free falling towards this tropical cradle, open my eyes, and a huge stack of papers is slammed down on my desk. The post-it reads “immediate attention.” Oh – I, right. Work. I’m at work.
Daydreaming at the office is par for the course this time of year, when summer vacations are around the corner yet so far away, or merely coveted plans that may or may not even materialize. Whether you’re planning your next trip, getting in the mood for a serious travel documentary, or simply indulging in some wanderlust on your lunch break, KoldCast TV’s travel series are the Internet’s premiere destinations for transporting to another world via stunning video. The shows’ diversity of locales, hosting styles, subject matter, and even lengths present something for everyone to love.
Another Shade of Blue with Ty Sawyer (Photo above by Ty)
First up on our tour is Another Shade of Blue. Host Ty Sawyer is a world-famous adventure writer and photographer whose welcoming vibe makes you feel like you’re already onboard his scooner, ready to dive into the water. His talents as a man of nature shine through lushly filmed locales, but even that’s only a backdrop for his informative and entertaining interview style.
Each twenty-two minute episode starts out in the water and then branches inland to include information about local customs and society of the world’s most remote, real, and raw outposts, both past and present. Ty has a great way of giving background information on his subjects – for instance, Manta Rays – that provides the viewer with a bona fide education without the humdrum feeling that they’re back in school and should be taking notes.
Another Shade of Blue is for travelers looking for experiences not found in run-of-the-mill tourist guides. As such, you’ll need to have a strong sense of adventure, leave your ego at home and, most importantly, make sure to pack your child-like sense of awe. Ty is about to introduce you to some incredible pockets of our little planet, not found in any tourist guidebook.
Enjoy the blue of Cozumel in Another Shade of Blue
Our next stop is literally Next Stop with Jon Olson. After spending just a few moments with Jon, you’ll feel like you are listening to your wise, caring next-door neighbor as he gives you invaluable travel tips for your next trip. Jon is a vivacious host, similar in style to famed California’s Gold host Huell Howser.
Next Stop focuses on family-friendly activities at affordable prices. Jon finds unique activities to do within well-known destinations, such as the always-gorgeous island of Oahu in Hawaii. The result is a well-rounded presentation showing off the natural beauty of the area and inviting everyone to experience some traditional elements of Hawaiian culture, such as hula dancing and a luau. Then he changes it up by including modern attractions: water parks, go-cart racing, activities that both tourists and natives generally enjoy.
With a keen sensitivity towards families that are operating on a budget, Jon includes loads of practical information on hotels, restaurants and even souvenir shopping. One such helpful tip he shares is where in town to find the best local coupon book for additional vacation savings. No, Jon is not leaning on a lawnmower, wearing plaid, and smoking a pipe – even better than your sweetest old neighbor, he’s a pro vacationer.
Travel to and through Tahiti with host Jon Olson in Next Stop
BoxTick America brings us a British Invasion, only this time instead of the Beatles or Rolling Stones, we are entertained by Tom, Ryan, and Jonny: three unassuming, irreverent blokes on a mission to explore the fanciful wonders of the United States that Yanks consider perfectly normal.
They learn that a game of beer pong against Berkeley college students cannot easily be won, that sifting for gold in California is tedious labor, that searching for UFOs in Roswell may prove fruitless, and that in America just about any drink is available at a drive-thru window.
Follow them as they “box tick,” or check these quintessential Americana to-do’s off their list. Their MO is random, often improvised, and always amusing. Hunting down the most delicious hot dog or making like an early 90’s Will Smith and shooting hoops in West Philly, the boxtickers remind us that the good ole U. S. of A is kind of a strange place, while keeping us chuckling the whole way through.
BoxTick America This: I Love You, Tan
For those of you suffering from wanderlust and burning pocket syndrome, you’ll definitely want to catch In Transit with Peter Bragiel. Each episode runs roughly five minutes and is geared toward young, bootstrappin’ folks eager to experience the world before getting bogged down with responsibilities such as kids, a mortgage, and all that jazz. The show also serves as a nostalgic escape for those of us with a few more wrinkles, who want to remember when they, too, could once pack a bag and explore the world at a moment’s notice. Peter starts in his hometown of Los Angeles with only a vague plan of getting to the Panama Canal – only a four thousand mile overland trip covering seven countries – working on a shoestring budget.
Each episode unfolds like a chapter in one of those strange relics of the past, books. Renowned Greek poet Constantine Cavafy said in Ithaca, “To arrive there is your ultimate goal, but do not hurry the voyage at all. It is better to let it last for many years and to anchor at your destination when you are old, rich with all you have gained on the way.” Peter Bragiel might as well have this poem tattooed to his forehead. He’s well on his way to becoming a wealthy man.
In Transit from L.A. to the Panama Canal
The Inland Sea: An Australian Odyssey
Rich in information, The Inland Sea, hosted by journalist Steinar Ellingsen, chronicles an Australian road trip that cannot be described in any terms less than epic. Ellingsen’s crew consists of three other personalities who, along with their Norwegian leader, explore the great Down Under, coming into contact with bull enthusiasts, the Opal capital of the world, and the gracefully aging prince of a micro nation that seceded from Australia, just to name a handful of their exploits.
Ellingsen’s journalistic roots are fleshed out in his documentary style filmmaking, as he also covers such topics as eco-living in the Australian bush and the endangered flatback turtle’s fight for survival. Inland Sea is narrated both in English and Norwegian with English subtitles. The series is broken up into digestible three to eight minute segments, ideal for streaming on your smartphone or tablet.
The Inland Sea: Crocs and Christmas in Darwin
The Healthy Voyager
Staying healthy during the summer season – especially while traveling – is not an easy feat. Lucky for us, it is doable by watching The Healthy Voyager with Carolyn Scott-Hamilton, a foodie-travel show geared towards those who think fit! Each episode focuses on healthy places to dine in various cities within the United States.
Carolyn spends an entire day eating, eating, and eating while giving us her valuable two cents on the experience. She goes to great lengths to uncover those gem restaurants that serve vegetarian and vegan fare, and even the occasional gluten-free option.
Each episode is devoted to a particular city, featuring destinations such as Palm Springs CA, Savannah GA, Kansas City MO, and Portland OR. Cancun, Mexico is also on the grid. Watch the episodes as one-offs to beef up (grass-fed, of course) your knowledge on the various destination your cross-country road trip may take you to. Bon Appetit!
A Healthy Voyage to Big Bear lake, CA
Jennifer Mangan is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles, CA. She is a proud alumnus of both Second City and Santa Clara University. For upcoming projects, check her out at www.beautifuldayproductions.us
Ariel Nishli contributed to this story.