We enjoy exploring the world in a multitude of ways. Some of us take delight in indulgent rejuvenation at the world's most luxurious paradises. Others prefer ticking all the popular attractions in one go. Still, the silent moments that allow us to fully connect with the destination, the people around us, and ourselves are what truly stay with us long after we've returned. This relaxing charm of adventure is one of the things we miss the most at the moment. But while the future of our travel is hazy and as we safely wait for the go signal, vicariously experience these heart-touching moments through these Korean travel variety shows instead.
Chase the travel blues away with tvN's new show that premiered just last week. Also known as Our Little Summer Vacation, Summer Break features buddies Choi Woo Sik (Parasite) and Jung Yu Mi (Train To Busan) enjoying a quiet and healthy break for a month. The two stay for a month in a quaint house in Gangwon Province where they welcome friends to take a quick breather from their hectic lives.
What hooked us in: The show mainly documents how Yu Mi and Woo Sik navigate their every day in the rural area, but their lovely and oftentimes amusing onscreen interactions make the hour-and-a-half-long interactions pass by in a blink.
Don't you just love the quaint experience of railway journeys? Discover how it is to travel through one of the world's longest railways by watching Trans-Siberian Pathfinders. Here, five actor friends Lee Sun Kyun (Parasite), Kim Nam Gil (The Fiery Priest), Ko Gyu Pil (Crash Landing On You), Kim Min Sik (My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh), and Lee Sang Yeob (While You Were Sleeping) embark across Russia via the Trans-Siberian Railway. On their 12-day trip, they stop by breath-taking destinations that will inspire your own travel bucket list.
What hooked us in: It's really fun to see the five close friends bond together. With no holds barred, their reactions when they encounter mishaps along the way will amuse you. it's especially hilarious to see their reactions when they encounter mishaps along the way.
Little House In The Forest
tvN has quite a lot of Korean travel variety shows in their repertoire. They also produced Little House In The Forest featuring Park Shin Hye and So Ji Sub (My Secret Terrius). The two actors were challenged to live in — you guessed it right — a little house in the forest. The self-sufficient cabin in the middle of nowhere has no access to electricity, gas, or heat, forcing the two to lead a minimalist lifestyle for three days and two nights.
What hooked us in: The program is quite short with only 10 episodes, but it gave the two much time to reflect on how our modern routines are affecting us, therefore, leading us as well to appreciate the joys of nature.
Hyori's Bed & Breakfast
If you enjoyed staying in homestays when you travelled, then you'll definitely appreciate Hyori's Bed & Breakfast. The show surrounds first-gen K-pop star Lee Hyori and her husband, musician Lee Sang Soon, as they open up their home in Jeju island as a B&B for travellers. To manage their guests who come from all walks of life, they enlist the help of IU for the first season, and SNSD's YoonA and actor Park Bo Gum for the second.
What hooked us in: Hyori and Sang Soon's many, many pets light up the screen with their cuteness. But more than that, it's always touching to see strangers bond in their short stay, parting as unlikely friends in their bittersweet journey back home.
For a scenic and calm adventure at home, watch another one of JTBC's must-watch Korean travel variety shows: Traveler. For two seasons, it has followed celebrities as they embark on their backpacking trips across the world, completely without the interference of the production crew. The first instalment focuses on Ryu Jeon Yeol and Lee Je Hoon (Where Stars Land) as they explore colourful Cuba. Meanwhile, the second shows Jun Yeol's Reply 1988 co-star Ahn Jae Hong, Kang Ha Neul (When the Camellia Blooms), and singer Ong Seong Wu navigating the stunning landscapes of Argentina.
What hooked us in: It's quite refreshing when producers give celebrities a free rein in reality shows. This makes the set-up all the more exciting and unpredictable, don't you think?
(Cover photo from: @vacation.tvn)
Got you thinking of your next trip? Add these K-drama filming locations to your travel bucket list.