Off the Beaten Path: Three YouTube Channels to Watch If You Want Something Different
Try something new when you plan your longed-for trip this year.
Now that travel is slowly opening up again, I know the temptation is to visit beautiful places like Paris, London, or New York. Perhaps a safari in South Africa, or a jaunt to Seoul.
However, why not try something off the beaten path and go to places you would’ve never thought of before, like an underground shell temple in Margate or an abandoned Italian party town? If there’s anything COVID-19 has taught us, it’s to seize the moment when you can, because who knows how many choices we have left.
If this hasn’t tempted you, perhaps a few of these videos will.
The Tim Traveller
Ever wondered what the least used train station in France looks like? Or what happens to an international border when a river changes course? Or see an abandoned ironworks factory in Germany?
None of these things might sound exciting to anyone used to more glamorous climes for a vacation, but recently, I’ve been binge-watching the Tim Traveller, a channel dedicated to travel with a decidedly nerdy (in the best way) bent.
Channel owner and host Tim used to work at a desk job before he decided the way to go was to visit random, interesting places, usually with his favorite things: train stations, mountains, and irregular borders and make videos about them.
The videos are fun to watch and easily digestible, and his wry sense of humor makes the facts fun to hear and not at all boring.
Danish Travel Youtuber Sebastian Holdum, better known as Spaghetti Road, blew up on YouTube after a series in which he wrote a Python script to automatically email every possible consulate in the world, asking for their national flags.
Embassies and consulates responded with enthusiasm (well, most of them), with some even sending guidebooks, pens, and other merch (the Iranian consulate in Denmark invited him to come for a cup of tea). Fans soon started sending in flags from other countries, and viewers were inspired and began asking for flags as well, which inevitably created a flag shortage in other countries.
The series caused his viewer count to blow up, and since then, another fun series popped up: Sebastian and two friends decided to buy the cheapest car possible, to drive from Denmark to China.
The route was crazy, and the adventures even crazier: from the car malfunctioning in Bosnia and Herzegovina (they were luckily helped by some kind strangers who took them in for a few days and helped repair the car), one of his travel companions falling sick and needing to cut the trip short in Turkey, a car accident in Iran, a nervy trip to the dictatorship of Turkmenistan and countless of adventures in trying to cross land-borders, it was an exhilarating watch.
Through it all, Holdum is very funny and very respectful of each situation he comes across, proving to be the perfect example why we should always have open borders. Did they make it to China? I won’t spoil you, you’ll have to watch yourself.
Driving from the UK to Australia
Speaking of driving, another favorite genre of mine is watching dashcam videos of driving trips of extremely long distances. It’s possibly because I can’t drive, but I find it very calming to watch as the scenery changes in each country.
From crowded city scenes to stretches of calm countryside, to long desert views and treacherous mountain heights, you get to see everything. By the time the video ends, it also feels like you were part of the car ride.