It’s been said before and it’ll be said again – the 9-5 normalcy of Western life leaves much to be desired. We all know by now that the world offers us more opportunities than many of us are willing to take. Not so for filmmakers Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach.
The Canadian documentary series Departures follows longtime, high-school friends Scott and Justin as they pick up and leave their 9-5 normalcy to start a year-long global trek to experience new foods, music, customs and landscapes, accompanied by cameraman Andre Dupuis.
“That travel bug gets in you, and it’s got you.” – Scott Wilson
They start off traveling in a small motorhome across the vast expanse of their home country of Canada from the east coast to the west, viewing their home from the sky in airplanes and helicopters, traveling to the badlands, to the beach and the Canadian prairies.
Departures balances the importance of the journey with the destination.
“Before we start traveling to others countries we have to appreciate what’s in our own backyard.” – Scott Wilson
Just in the first episode (Ep 1. Canada: Ocean to Ocean), they experience white water rafting and cliff jumping and a flat tire – as well as more traditional modes of young adult adventure like their late night drinking escapades and playing frisbee with strange, beautiful women on the beach… And also exploring the mountains and forest in a sometimes hungover daze.
When they get to the Canadian portion of the Rocky Mountains, they decide to go mountain climbing by helicopter and see the rockies from the air.
“Taking a helicopter is a pricey ordeal, but this whole trip is about now or never – so it’s now or never.” – Scott Wilson
Justin often reminds the viewer that watching this show is not enough to experience the real world, and urges us to visit these new places, meet new people and to take our own adventures.
“Justin’s goal and my goal was to leave the everyday behind and get out of our normal surroundings for a year and learn something and experience something as we went.” – Scott Wilson
“Neither of us have any idea what to expect…” – Justin Lukach
The series spans 3 seasons and 30 countries – each with their own lessons and customs to be learned.
Traveling is an important part of understanding our planet, the complexity of cultures and the beautiful diversity of people, plants and animals that inhabit it. Expanding your global consciousness will make you appreciate where you are and the resources we have and take for granted – and it’s no question that we take things for granted.
After watching a few Departure episodes on Netflix, you’ll be sufficiently jealous and travel-buggy enough to start your own adventure – and when you do, check out these awesome articles on how to prepare for your own trek into the unknown.