7 Travel Documentaries to Stream

Ellie Swain

Senior Contributor

Wanderlust is difficult to shake off when you’ve been trapped at home for weeks, your summer holidays have been cancelled, and there’s nothing noteworthy to attend in the future. While you may not be able to venture out of the house right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t live vicariously through other adventurers. Grab a hot cup of tea, snuggle up on the sofa, and pop one of these inspiring and exciting travel documentaries on the box. Whether you’re after awe-inspiring panoramic views of United States’ Yosemite National Park or you’re keen to follow an epic voyage of four ballsy women rowing across the Pacific Ocean, there’s something for every traveller.

Free Solo

Free Solo is by no means a relaxing documentary to enjoy, oh no. Prepare for sweaty palms and a racing heart throughout the film as you watch free climber Alex Honnold attempt to climb to the top of Yosemite’s almighty El Capitan using nothing more than his bare hands. El Captain is 914 metres high from the base to the summit, meaning that any wrong slip or misplaced hand could spell a dramatic and gruesome death for Alex.

The camera crew who join Alex up the rock face do a superb job of catching the voyage in all its ground-breaking, heart-hammering glory.

In between the ‘oh my goodness’ breath-taking action moments, you’ll find yourself captivated by the mountainous and alpine landscapes of the jaw-dropping Yosemite National Park.

Expedition Happiness

What’s the purpose of life? Surely to be happy – but how? In Expedition Happiness, German filmmaker Felix Starck and singer-songwriter Selima Taibi set off on an epic adventure in a refurbished school bus to seek a life of carefree happiness.

Travelling with their beloved dog Rudi, the pair voyage on wheels from the bitter Alaskan mountains down to the palm tree-fringed white-sand beaches of Mexico. Live vicariously through the couple as the family of three attempts to figure out exactly what happiness is while living on the road.

You’ll soon discover that despite the name of the documentary, their free-spirited journey isn’t always full of excitement, love, and happiness. Get to know the ups and downs of the adventure and what it’s like living long-term on wheels in this honest depiction of a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

Grizzly Man

Directed by Werner Herzog, Grizzly Man tells the tale of Timothy Treadwell. A bear enthusiast, documentary filmmaker, and environmentalist, Timothy lived with wild bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park for 13 summers before being tragically killed and eaten by one of them. The documentary teams old footage filmed by Timothy with outside narrations to paint a full picture of his life and death with the bears.

While the documentary features a dose of both humour and happiness, be ready to shed a tear or two. It’s evident that Timothy adored his adventures with the bears in the wilderness, but, of course, there’s a sadness that surrounds his death.

Losing Sight of Shore

Epic adventures don’t come much bigger than this. Losing Sight of Shore follows four tough women known as the Coxless Crew paddle a whopping 8,446 miles across the Pacific Ocean from California to Australia in a rowboat. Sounds pretty unbelievable, right? As you can imagine, the voyage is just as crazy and demanding as it sounds.

Spanning across nine months, watch in wonder as the documentary zones in on how the ladies managed to achieve this superhuman accomplishment, from how they trained to how they connected as friends.

Live with them through the exhilarating highs and the draining lows from the terrifying storms to the relentless seasickness. The expedition is everything from gut-wrenching, emotional, inspiring, and beautifully shot. Watch it.

If the journey wasn’t impressive enough, the foursome also raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research and awareness during their gruelling sail.  


Here’s another ocean-themed travel documentary for you to gawk at. Our planet’s mesmerising and humungous patches of blue are a source of happiness, inspiration, and challenge for us humans who live on earth.

Surfer-turned-director Keith Malloy explores the relationships people have developed with our oceans in Fishpeople, following different personas from swimmers to divers to photographers.

Here’s a warning though – this one is sure to amp up feelings of wanderlust as you long for a refreshing dip in the crystal blue waters of our oceans.

Pedal the World

Before teaming up with Selima Taibi in Expedition Happiness, Felix Starck completed a solo adventure, which he documented in Pedal the World. As you may have guessed from the title, Felix made it his mission to cycle across the world, crossing 22 countries over one action-packed year.

Pedal across the globe with Felix without breaking a sweat and follow him on his journey. The adventure is nothing but scenic, arduous, and incredibly inspirational. 

Street Food

Produced from the creators of Chef’s Table, Street Food combines travel with scrumptious grub. Each season concentrates on a different region of the world, with the first being Asia.

Your stomach will grumbling as you navigate through the street food stalls of countries like Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea learning about the significance of the dishes in detail and meeting the fascinating people behind the food.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds from the comfort of your couch and imagine the intense fragrances of the colourful foods on the screen.

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