9 TV Shows that Will Inspire You to Travel

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9 TV Shows that Will Inspire You to Travel
Winter is coming—which means it’s the best time of year for binge-watching great TV shows. But since you’re surely all caught up with Game of Thrones and Westworld, it might be time for a queue makeover. This year, let your winter TV inspire you to travel with these fantastic, addictive shows that take place around the world. No, they’re not travel shows, but the story lines and cinematography will have you so entranced, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation. Best of all, since both Amazon Prime and Netflix now allow you to download select titles to watch offline, you can even bring a few of these along on your next trip. Here are nine wanderlust-inducing TV shows to get you through the winter.
By Maggie Fuller, AFAR Staff
Courtesy of BBC Worldwide
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    1. The Kettering Incident

    What to Expect: If you haven’t heard of The Kettering Incident yet, you will. Dark, beautiful, and riddled with the supernatural, the Tasmanian gothic show is often compared to both Stranger Things and Twin Peaks. While there have always been odd happenings in the small town of Kettering, such as inexplicable lights or sudden nosebleeds, things take a more terrifying turn after the disappearance of a young girl. The story follows the Kettering-born doctor Anna Macy, who has returned from London and is haunted by the eerie resemblance this recent disappearance bears to that of another young girl 15 years earlier. But what really makes The Kettering Incident special is the way the very real otherworldliness of Tasmania becomes the centerpiece of the show. While it doesn’t take much of a twist to turn the magic of the stunning island into something sinister, you’ll still come away enchanted with the place.
    Where to Find It: Amazon
    
Plan Your Trip: Tasmania, Australia

    Courtesy of BBC Worldwide
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    2. Srugim
    What to Expect: Srugim is an Israeli drama series that details the love lives of a group of single, religious, 20-something Modern Orthodox Jews living in Jerusalem. But while the struggles of love, yearning, heartbreak, and personal growth are familiar, the new cultural context (new by mainstream media standards) makes Srugim feel refreshing. The show masterfully presents the difficulty characters face in trying to balance the traditions of religion with the needs and interests of an ever-evolving society. You’ll be quickly drawn into the tightly woven community, following the story lines from apartment to café through Jerusalem, and find yourself feeling like you, too, have been living the single life in Jerusalem. You may even start to feel homesick for it.
    Where to Find It: Amazon
    Plan Your Trip: Jerusalem
    Courtesy of YES Network
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    3. The Time in Between (El Tiempo Entre Costuras)
    What to Expect: An adaptation of a Spanish novel by the same title, El tiempo entre costuras is a thrilling costume drama set during the time of the Spanish Civil War in which a young seamstress named Sira gets caught up in a world of espionage. The show follows Sira’s escapades from the sunny streets of Madrid to the elegant diplomatic halls of Tangier and the coasts of the Mediterranean. With Downton Abbey-esque glamour and opulence mixed with intrigue, danger, and squadrons of sinister Nazis to defeat, it’s no wonder the show was wildly popular in Spain. You may not be able to book a ticket back in time, but this show will have you dreaming of your next visit to the romance of the Mediterranean. 
    Where to Find It: Netflix
    Plan Your Trip: Madrid, Spain; Tangier, Morocco
    Courtesy of Netflix
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    4. Lilyhammer
    What to Expect: Fans of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo know that Scandinavian mysteries are a dark, brooding genre of their own. Shows like Bron/Broen, The Killing, and Trapped are all outstanding, moody mysteries set against the beautiful yet unforgiving backdrop of a Nordic winter that are worth a watch. But the Netflix Original Lilyhammer, while not quite a mystery, deserves a special mention as a kind of intro to the darker side of the Nordic countries. Starring Steve Van Zandt (of The Sopranos fame), the show is about a gangster who gets dropped into the middle of nowhere, Norway—courtesy of the witness protection program—and has to learn to adapt. It’s an amusing blend of fish-out-of-water hijinx and the violence of a burgeoning organized crime syndicate, peppered with sheep, and set in the quaint, snowy world of a small Norwegian town. Besides, the opportunity to watch a hardened New York mobster stomp around in a Nordic sweater is too good to pass up.
    Where to Find It: Netflix
    Plan Your Trip: Lillehammer, Norway
    Courtesy of Netflix
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    5. Moone Boy
    What to Expect: Heartwarming and hilarious, Moone Boy is a story about an awkward and unflaggingly optimistic boy and his imaginary friend in Ireland in the early 1990s. The show is written by and loosely based on the life of comedian Chris O’Dowd (who stars as the imaginary friend) and is nostalgic and retro without being campy. But while it’s a story that could be (and probably regularly is) lived by young people around the world, Moone Boy is unfalteringly Irish, from the mannerisms of the characters, to the running joke about the perpetually drizzly weather, to the theme song. But watch out! While the half-hour episodes seem snackable, before you know it, you’ll have watched half a season.
    Where to Find It: Hulu
    Plan Your Trip: Ireland
    Courtesy of Sky 1
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    6. Tomorrow’s Cantabile
    What to Expect: Tomorrow’s Cantabile is a South Korean romantic drama, or K-drama, based on the Japanese manga series “Nodame Cantabile” (which was also made into a Japanese live-action movie). The show centers on Yoo-Jin, a handsome musical prodigy who appears to have everything, but his great ambitions are hemmed in by his professors and a crippling fear of travel that keeps him from pursuing an international education in conducting. Then he meets Nae-Il, a messy, free-spirited piano genius who follows none of the rules. While her disregard for convention frustrates Yoo-Jin, the two eventually fall more and more in sync (spoiler alert, but who didn’t see that coming?). The series sets just the right balance of drama and comedy against the gorgeous pastoral scenery of the Gyeonggi Province and ties it all together with a classical soundtrack that would have anyone dreaming of the natural beauty of South Korea.
    Where to Find It: Netflix
    Plan Your Trip: South Korea
    Courtesy of Korean Broadcasting System
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    7. Bloodline
    What to Expect: A thriller-drama, Bloodline revolves around a family living in the Florida Keys with a dark secret and a black sheep. After years of absence, the prodigal son returns home to make good, bringing a tension to his family’s world that eventually erupts into tumult. Amid drug smuggling, human trafficking, and murder, the show’s real monster is an anger that repeatedly drives good people to do bad things. But despite the show’s dark premise, you can’t help but be distracted by the pristine beauty of the Keys. Even dimmed by the clouds of a gathering storm (both metaphorical and otherwise—the show often features both) there’s something about those white-sand beaches, swaying palm trees, and crystal-blue waters that will make you forget the show’s sinister events and think instead about how much you want to visit Florida.
    Where to Find It: Netflix
    Plan Your Trip: Key West, Florida
    Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television
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    8. The Samaritans
    What to Expect: The Samaritans is an enjoyable mockumentary with a refreshingly funny take on the frustrations of life in NGOs and other humanitarian organizations. With all the hallmarks of The Office—terrible boss, secret relationships, relatable personnel stereotypes—the show lovingly, if constantly, pokes fun at the aid industry’s champagne dreams and tendency to become mired in wasteful bureaucracy. But by far the most delightful part of the show is its insistence on portraying a different side of Kenya. Shot by Kenyan filmmakers, The Samaritans showcases Kenyan comedy, a diverse cast of actors of ethnicities from around the globe, and the middle-class, metropolitan side of Nairobi that’ll have you pricing out tickets.
    Where to Find It: Aidforaid.org
    Plan Your Trip: Nairobi, Kenya
    Courtesy of Xeinium Productions
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    9. Planet Earth
    What to Expect: The award-winning show Planet Earth is a thrilling visual journey around the natural world. The series was one of the most expensive documentaries ever commissioned and one of the first to be filmed in high definition, giving the audience an unprecedented intimate look at the world at large. Now that a second series of Planet Earth has been announced (to be released by BBC America on January 28), it’s time to rewatch the entire first season on Netflix. Truly, if the stunning, sweeping scenery and animal life of this show don’t inspire you to get out there to see the wonders of the world for yourself, then nothing will.
    Where to Find It: Netflix
    Plan Your Trip: Where to Go 2017
    Courtesy of BBC Worldwide
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