Couch surfing Travel the world from your couch

Most of us dream of walking down the aisle — the airplane one — and the awkwardness that comes with trying to find your seat while avoiding people putting their bags in the overhead bins. While travel is mostly off the table for the foreseeable future, the itch to visit new places only grows every day. To tide us over as we wait for some sort of normality to return, get comfortable on your couch, fasten your seat belts, adjust your entertainment screens and let Guru take you around the world!

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

Travel to: Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, USA and Australia

If you don’t know Jack, be prepared for a chaotic good time. Aside from starring in Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, you’re bound to find a couple of his stand-up specials on Netflix and a few clips on the interwebs.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

One of the best things Jack has done is Travels With My Father, which features his dad, the equally hilarious Michael. The original premise of the show was that Jack wanted to do the classic gap year trip that many European backpackers take and he wanted to do it with his dad. The carefree Jack and the uptight, and at times out-of-touch, Michael make for a great comedic pairing.

Don’t miss: A good chunk of the first season takes place in Thailand and features a lot of ridiculous things from Michael, like unknowingly hitting on a transgendered person, Jack being shoved into the pond by Steven Segal in the lobby of what is now the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel and Michael adopting a luk thep doll and naming it Winston. Continue watching as Michael refuses to take part in naked yoga in California, enters a drag competition in Australia with Jack and stays in a ridiculously expensive hotel, which he absolutely loves, in Istanbul, with Jack, of course.

Long Way Up

Apple TV+

Travel to: South America

If you prefer adventure with heart, check out Long Way Up on Apple TV+. It’s the third series in the “Long Way” brand (the previous two are also available on Apple TV+), which follows actor Ewan McGregor and his friend, and fellow motorcycle enthusiast, Charley Boorman, as they ride from the bottom tip of South America to Los Angeles, California.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

Long Way Up .

They travel more than 21,000km and through 13 countries, giving viewers a look at the wonderful and diverse environment, people and culture. But it’s not just a laid-back road trip, since they’re riding the new Harley Davidson electric motorcycles, and with a scarcity of charging stations throughout the continent, it makes the trip a little more challenging.

Don’t miss: Episode 7 takes Ewan and Charley to Peru, where Ewan fulfils a childhood dream: visiting the legendary Machu Picchu. There are more stops like this on their trip but their visit to Machu Picchu is definitely a memorable one. For both of them and the viewers.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted

Travel to: Alaska, Mexico, Morocco and a whole lot more

While it’s fun to watch Gordon Ramsay in his element, yelling and swearing at people making a mess or helping restaurants that are being hindered by horrible food or poor management, it’s even more fun to see the famed chef outside his comfort zone and that’s exactly what Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted is.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

The two seasons you can watch on Disney+ Hotstar takes the Brit all around the world from Guyana to the bayous of Louisiana to learn about their different cuisines and try to make it himself. For those who love visiting new countries and trying their food, this is definitely a show you want to check out. Of course, in true Gordon fashion, there are good chunks of his speech bleeped out thanks to his notorious mouth. Nothing like watching an episode full of swear censoring on Disney+.

Don’t miss: It’s easy to wish we had snow in the cool Bangkok winter, but the last episode of the first season shows just how difficult that may be with Gordon travelling to Alaska where he finds himself climbing a rock face for a cup of tea and having to cook outside in the freezing cold — all while getting bleeped out for swearing, of course.

The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals

Travel to: Bali, USA, the Bahamas and more

You’ve probably watched many shows that feature places where you can only hope to visit. That’s what sets this show apart as it tries to cover all budget-level traveller options, from the cheapest to the most luxurious. The show’s three hosts take on each budget level: Megan Batoon gives you the most affordable yet enjoyable option; Jo Franco introduces the unique places for those with a little more dough to spend; and Luis Ortiz, who has worked as a New York real estate agent, gives you the upscale options. From floating rentals to private islands, this show is going to satisfy your imagination of staying in beautiful spaces abroad and paradoxically make you long for the day you’re able to travel again.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

Don’t miss: There’s an episode dedicated to private islands and while it does start off with a property that costs US$15,000 (B494,322) a night, there’s also one that’s a lighthouse. Yes, you can actually rent a lighthouse.

Hamish And Andy’s Gap Year

Travel to: Asia, Europe and South America

The shenanigans of Australian duo Hamish and Andy may be known to some of you. If not, there’s no better time to check them out. The two Aussie comedians have had their fair share of videos that have gone viral thanks to their hilarious antics. A very well-known one is featuring British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who they finagled into performing in a “peep show”. This means that for A$2 (B48), people get to watch a very, very brief but intimate performance by the award-winning artist. They’ve also taken their ridiculousness all around the world, like Cambodia, Tokyo and many more. If you want to travel the world with a load of laughs and encounter ridiculousness along the way, Hamish and Andy are the duo to travel with.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

Don’t miss: I know we’re talking about travelling i.e. going anywhere else but Thailand, but it would be a mistake not to mention the time the comedy duo were in Thailand and got into a Muay Thai match… with a bunch of kids. It’s as hilarious as it reads.

NHK World-Japan

Travel to: Japan

Streaming services and apps are plentiful and of course, that means paying so many subscriptions fees and remembering numerous passwords or at least making an attempt to. It’s rare to find one that’s free and provides a wide range of content — the NHK World-Japan app. NHK, otherwise known as the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, is well-known as a TV channel but its little-known app is a treasure trove of programming. Who doesn’t want to pay a “visit” to Japan? From a comedy-drama about a Japanese-British household to a documentary that gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Japanese railway system, the app gives you more than enough to satisfy your longing to travel to Japan. You can also brush up or begin to learn Japanese with their lessons tailored for travelling, work and many more.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

Don’t miss: There’s a slew of programmes available but one of the best ones is Cycle Around Japan where a number of foreign cyclists take you through different places and locations in the country. The show also provides great stories and backgrounds for all the places they visit.


VIRTUAL HISTORY

For most people, museums are a must-visit when travelling as they tell the history of the countries they’re in. Since we are stuck at home or at least inside our own countries, we will have to settle with visiting them virtually.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, USA

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, succinctly known as the Met, is as iconic as the city it’s located in. Housing more than 2 million works of art from across the globe, the Met is also a centre of pop culture and fashion thanks to the annual Met Gala, a fundraiser for its Costume Institute and where a yearly gathering of who’s who show off their fashion chops.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

The Met’s 360º Degree Project showcases some of the museum’s iconic locations. Take in the museum as you “stand” there after-hours with its corridors devoid of people or watch a time-lapse as people guests bustle about in galleries.

The Louvre Paris, France

It would be a grave mistake not to include the museum that houses masterpieces like the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Nike of Samothrace (no, it’s not a sculpture of an Air Jordan. That’s a different Nike). For someone like me who hasn’t visited the museum in person, imagining looking up at towards the peak of the glass pyramid or traversing through the corridors of the galleries would be a dream come true. For those who have already visited, I’m sure most of you wouldn’t say no to visiting again.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

The Louvre has a number of virtual tours that take you through some of its exhibitions like “The Body In Movement”, which showcases art that shows its subjects dancing and “The Advent Of The Artist”, which features Renaissance greats like Rembrandt. Thanks to these virtual tours, you feel as if you’re walking through the hallowed halls of the Louvre.

The Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The tragic yet brilliant Van Gogh left behind a number of magnificent artworks as his legacy. While we did get a taste of it in Bangkok with River City’s exhibition last year, you can pay a virtual visit to the Van Gogh Museum in the capital city of his home country of the Netherlands. The “Enjoy The Museum From Home” section of the website gives you a glimpse of some of their exhibitions, the ability to view their collections online, as well as a 4K virtual tour of the museum.

Couch surfing  Travel the world from your couch

The “Unravel Van Gogh” feature, accessible on tablets and smartphones, which showcases paintings from the renown artist but also gives you a detailed look at each of them as if you were face to face with the works of art.

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