According to Dictionary.com, wanderlust means “a strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.” I love to travel and learn about new places. But let’s face it: time, money, and resources are limited to the majority of us who love to travel. So we often engage in our wanderlust through photography, books, TV, etc.
So today I am going to be counting down the top ten resources, one might say, to anyone who loves to learn more about the world. I am including anything from books to TV series, as long as they are filled with a traveling addict’s dreams.
9. The Mummy (American, Film Series)
This is a classic film series, comprised of three movies. If you are interested in Ancient Egypt, this is such a cool fantasy movie series. The first movie aired in 1999, followed closely The Mummy Returns in 2001. The third movie—The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor—came out in 2008 and moves the trilogy to China. It isn’t half as good as the first two, but it’s still a beautiful film. The series follows aspiring Egyptologist Evie and her eventual husband and adventurer Rick O’Connell, who discover an ancient city and accidentally awake a mummy bent on revenge. This series—at least the first two movies—holds a special place in my heart because this series helped me fall in love with history and travel (as well as two more I will mention later on this list).
8. The Lost Tomb (Chinese, Web Series)
First aired in 2015, this is a Chinese web series based on a book by Xu Lei titled Daomu Biji. Both the series and the book are based around the adventures of Wu Xie, a young man whose family is part of a long line of tomb robbers. This series follows his adventures (mostly in China, at least for the first season). If you are into The Mummy series, this is pretty much its equivalent from China. If you are interested, the entire first season can be found with English subtitles on Viki.com. The second season—The Lost Tomb 2: Furious Sea and Concealing Sand—is in the works currently. I personally can’t wait to see it.
7. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (American, Video Game Series)
No, I am not talking about the horrible movies; I am referring only to the video game series. The action games began in 1993 and are comprised of twenty games as of 2016. They center around Lara Croft, an archaeologist, adventurer, and all-over badass who travels the world in search of lost worlds and ancient relics. Throughout the games, she has traveled to Egypt, South America, Japan, and Siberia, just to name a few. While I’ve only played one game, I usually just go on Youtube and watch other players play them, mostly because I prefer watching beautiful places and not having to beat bad guys while trying to admire the ancient tombs. A similar game series to this is the Nathan Drake series of Uncharted, which is amazing as well.
6. Amelia Peabody Series (American, Book Series)
Similar to The Mummy trilogy, this book series, written by real-life Egyptologist Barbara Mertz under the name of Elizabeth Peters, follows an archeology couple in the late 1800s and early 1900s in Egypt. While it is in essence a mystery series, the setting and author’s knowledge gives a vivid, beautiful view of Egypt during a time when the height of excavations occurred in Egypt.
5. Magic Tree House Series (American, Children’s Book Series)
This is the one series that I read as a child which really inspired my obsession for traveling. Authored by Mary Pope Osborne, this series started in 1992 follows sister-brother duo Jack and Annie on their adventures through space and time. The first 28 books are my favorite, as the duo discovers a magic tree house which transports them across the world to different places in history—Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, China, the Amazon, etc.—on different quests. I lost interest after the twenty-eighth book merely because the series went into mythology and magic more than history and travel, but it is still such a great series. Even if you are not a child, I still like to go back and read these because of the pictures.
4. Vagabrothers (American, Youtube Vlogs)
This list would not be complete without mentioning one of the many amazing Youtube Travel Vloggers. While there are many who probably deserve a place on this list, this one is by far the best, most beautiful channel I have seen. Vagabrothers—short for Vagabond Brothers—features brothers Marko and Alex Ayling. According to their website, they are “travel videographers, photographers, and writers.” I know they are on social media and post beautiful pictures, but I mostly only watch their Youtube videos where they travel the world in real time.
3. An Idiot Abroad (British, TV Series)
I happen to love British humor, and when I saw this show which combines British humor with travel, I was hooked. Aired from 2010-2013, the series follows the clueless comedian Karl Pilkington as he travels the world on missions from producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. His reaction to the cultural differences he discovers is hilarious, and I wished this series would have continued longer. There are also accompaniment books by Pilkington which are amazing as well.
2. Lonely Planet Publishing (American, Book/Magazine/TV Series)
So this is not so much a series as it is a list of books. Lonely Planet Publishing, according to Wikipedia, is “the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.” Out of all the travel guides out there, I usually prefer and recommend anything by Lonely Planet. Any type of travel that interests you—whether it is exploring cities are backpacking in the wilderness—this series will have something that will interest you. Unlike many other traveling book companions, this one is more about frugal traveling while incorporating things like practical survival, less-known attractions, beautiful photography, etc. Attached to this company are also a monthly magazine and a television production company. Personally, anything I see or read from this company is amazing!
1. Tintin (Belgium, Comics)
Again, this is one of my childhood book series. Les Aventures de Tintin is a comic series created in French by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, first appearing in 1929. The comic series follows reporter Tintin and his dog Milou (Snowy in the American translation) on adventures across the globe on story scoops, along with a hilarious cast of characters. While this is a book series, because it is in drawn pictures, it shows beautiful travel art from Tintin’s adventures, from Russia to the moon to the sea. It is my favorite comic series of all time, and one of my favorite travel series.
Did I miss any mention you think should be on this list? What are your favorite sources for Wanderlust? Let me know down in the comments and, as always,
Best wishes on your life full of adventure,