Escapist TV Shows For When You Can't Travel IRL

I get it. Your friends are going away on amazing vacations, traveling across the globe to exotic locations...but you’re stuck at home without the privilege of leaving your daily responsibilities. Fear not! Just because you’re not physically traveling to a different country doesn’t mean you can’t mentally travel to a different universe! I admit, I love watching TV. I only traveled outside of the U.S. when I was a little girl, so I don’t have strong memories of partying it up in the Bahamas. But I love immersing myself in fictional worlds that almost feel real! I’ve gathered a list of shows that I like to watch when I want to feel like I’m living a life that isn’t filled with checking tasks off my to-do list. Here are 5 shows I recommend to anyone who wants to feel like they want to escape:

  1. 1. Over The Garden Wall

    Over The Garden Wall is an animated mini-series starring Wirt (played by Elijah Wood) and his brother Greg (played by Collin Dean), two ordinary boys who get transported to a mysterious dimension where humans do not exist. The boys face monsters, demons, and talking animals in a mysterious forest. Their goal is to escape back to the real world, but they don’t know how. Along their journey, they make friends with a talking bird named Beatrice, who helps them find the way out of their world. I love watching this mini-series every year around Halloween, because it has spooky autumn vibes. But this show can be watched at any time of the year. Watching all of the episodes in one sitting is satisfying, because we get to see how the boys escape from beginning to end. Plus, it only takes two hours to watch the full series! Over The Garden Wall can be watched on Cartoon Network and Hulu.

  2. 2. Summer Camp Island

    I attended summer camp twice, once as a camper and another time as a counselor. Both times were nowhere near as awesome as the times spent on Summer Camp Island, an island where anything can happen. Hedgehog and her best friend Oscar are two campers stuck on an island for the summer, who get into trouble on an island where the magic creates chaos. When they’re not fighting evil, they’re having summer fun. This is a fun show to watch when you want to destress and go into a colorful, happy world. This cartoon can be watched on Cartoon Network and Amazon Prime.

  3. 3. Little Witch Academia

    This anime is one of the newer shows in the magical girl genre. Anko is a girl who has always wanted to be a witch ever since she was young. When she grows older, she decides to chase her dreams and attend a witch academy where young witches are trained to be the best at their magic. The problem? Anko isn’t born a witch! She decides she wants to pursue magic as a human girl, which is complicated due to the fact that all of her magic is her belief in herself. Despite not being born with magic, Anko is able to create it because she is an empowered young woman who will do anything to reach her goal of becoming a grand witch. This show makes me feel like I can accomplish all of my goals, because the main character and her friends work hard to accomplish theirs. Plus, the setting is a magical boarding school (think Harry Potter but all-girls). It doesn’t get anymore exciting than that! This anime can be watched on Netflix.

  4. 4. Once Upon A Time

    This show ended last year, but its strong 7 seasons make it worth the watch. Emma Swan is a woman who gave up her child at a young age to foster care because she did not have the means to take care of him. However, he shows up unexpectedly in her life a decade later, and tells her that he is her son. He also says that she has fairytale blood, telling Emma that she is the daughter of two fairytale characters, Prince Charming and Snow White. Emma of course doesn’t believe him, but then she meets a colorful cast of characters in the town of Storybrooke who all claim to be fairytale characters. This show is a collision of the mortal world we all know of and the world of make believe. Once Upon A Time is great for people who love fantasy, because this show deals with magic, riddles, and charms, oh my! This fantasy drama can be watched on Netflix.

  5. 5. Friends

    Lastly, I would like to write about a show most people on campus have watched or at least heard of, Friends. This 90’s classic became popular once more to Millenial and Gen Z generations. Something about that 90’s humor is once again relevant for the college audience of today. I love watching this show, because it’s one of the only shows I’ve watched that consistently keeps me laughing. The New York setting hits close to home, and the characters remind me of people I know in real life. Although New York isn’t a fantasy destination for Jersey folk, the show is still great to watch for someone who wants to forget about their problems and laugh their hearts out. I definitely recommend Friends to anyone, whether they want to escape or not, because it’s just so darn good. This comedy can be watched on Netflix.

Television is one of the greatest technological inventions in human history. Not only can I catch up on what is happening around me, but I can escape from my world into other worlds from the click of a button. I don’t have to feel sad for too long about not going where I want to go for vacation, because I can watch a series that lets me feel like I am already there.