Our 5 Favorite Travel Documentaries
December 4, 2020
By Erica Hayton

Whether you’re looking for an escape without shelling out money for a plane ticket or you need some inspiration for planning your next adventure, travel documentaries are a great way to explore somewhere new without leaving your couch. Here are five of our favorites. 


1. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

jiro dreams of sushi

Jiro Dreams of Sushi follows the 85-year old sushi master Jiro as he runs his 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant Sukihabashi Jiro, located in a Tokyo subway station. Even if you’re not a fan of sushi, the film showcases just how much hard work, dedication and attention goes into creating sushi omakase. By the end of this movie, you’ll have a new appreciation for the art of sushi. 


2. Fishpeople


Craving a beach vacation? Fishpeople can fill that void. The film follows a group of people who have dedicated their lives to the ocean, including surfers and divers. They share how the ocean has changed their lives and why they feel called to spend their lives in the sea. 


3. The Dawn Wall 

the dawn wall

If rock climbing is more your speed, The Dawn Wall is the travel documentary for you. In this movie, Tom Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson attempt to climb the 3,000-foot rock face The Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park, California. But this story is just the beginning. The film also dives into Caldwell’s challenges, including when he was taken hostage by rebels in Kyrgyzstan. The Dawn Wall shares the six-year journey of planning, practicing and ultimately executing on the pair’s lifelong dream. 


4. The Salt of the Earth

salt of the earth

The Salt of the Earth follows someone we don’t normally get the opportunity to see—the person behind the camera. This film is a biographical documentary about Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado, directed by his son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. Salgado’s work primarily explored natural environments, including those who inhabit them, and are praised for their highlighting of how the environment and humans are exploited for global economic profit. In this film, we see Salgado’s 40-year career traveling through South America, Africa, Europe and the Arctic. 


5. Antarctica: A Year on Ice

Antarctica penguins

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live on our southernmost continent? Antarctica: A Year on Ice tells you all you want to know (without having to live through the isolation and brutal elements). This film highlights the unique challenges that come with living in Antarctica, as well as the experiences you just can’t get anywhere else.

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