Departures is a Canadian travel show starring Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach. These boys love to travel off the beaten path. They love to get out in the desert, or in the mountains. They go to rarely visited countries and continents. They meet locals in rarely seen nooks of the world. Wherever they are, whatever they are doing, they always find a way to (paraphrasing Scott) “push farther.” Sometimes that push is making it to the top summit of the mountain of the day, sometimes it’s another jump off a cliff in New Zealand, and sometimes its pushing to the ends of the earth (AKA, mainland Antarctica).
Season 1 is all about how Scott and Justin decided to take a year out of their lives and travel the world. By the end of Season 1, they are clearly addicted to travelling the world. As Scott narrates in the intro, “a year goes by in a blink.” Hence, Seasons 2 & 3. I predict you will be addicted to Departures by the end of episode 2.
“That travel bug gets in you and it’s got you.” -Scott Wilson, Departures
Scott Wilson (Creator, Host)
Meet Scott. He is the one that gets things done on this trip. Find tickets? Scott does that. Provide reliable and informative impromptu interviews and diary cams? Yes. Learn phrases from the local language? Scott does this, and tries to get Justin to do the same. Organize renting a car? Scott. Figuring out what to do when the rental car suffers some abuse and breaks? Scott. He and Andre created the show, so it might be for professional reasons, but it seems like he would always be the more responsible one in the Scott/Justin dynamic.
Scott is friendly, calm, and communicates respectfully with locals. He often has connections/friends in the countries they visit. If there is a tall mountain nearby, Scott will climb it. He is in love with travel, and he approaches the world with respect, curiosity, and responsibility.
Scott’s Best Moment: See the photo above. They boys visit a penguin colony in Chile, and this curious penguin adds a delightfully playful tone to the interview Scott is recording.
My Question for Scott: If money, permission from networks, cultural barriers, and legal issues were non-existent, where would you film a bonus episode of Departures? Also, can I come?
Justin Lukach (Host)
While Scott is the responsible, thoughtful traveler, Justin is the playful one. Their differing personalities and approaches to life make for excellent travel TV.
Find alcohol in India on a dry holiday? Justin can do that. Drive this friends crazy with Yoshi, the uber-awesome dolphin hand puppet? Yes. Are there children nearby? They are already following Justin around like he is their Alpha. An opportunity to buy cookies or ice cream? Justin’s sniffed it out. An animal? According to Scott, “The whole world is your personal petting zoo.” And it’s true: Justin is constantly running after animals, petting puppies, and naming camels, rabbits, and chickens after sweet foods he enjoys (lollipop, pancakes, and waffles, in case you were wondering). In fact, Justin missed Scott’s impromptu jump in New Zealand because “I was busy chasing a goat.”
Justin’s Best Moment: The fight in Thailand. I love watching his emotional prep and fallout in this part of the episode. It seems like he really challenged himself on this one. Also, the entirety of Season 2. Justin changes so much after his first year of travel.
My Question for Justin: What animal (that you have not already seen) would you like to see in its natural habitat?
Andre Dupuis (Creator, Director, Videographer)
It wasn’t until the second time watching the departures series that I realized that Andre was my favorite out of the three guys. This is simply because I am an idiot it wan’t until my second viewing of the show that I realized: he is filming ALL OF THIS. ON HIS OWN. Andre is an extraordinarily talented director and camera, and therefore worthy of being a favorite. His filming is absolutely breathtaking. See?
Have I mentioned that he is the ONLY ONE filming all this?
Andre’s Best Moment: They are in Libya, visiting the abandoned city of Ghadames. This is basically a series of empty tunnels. Justin and Scott declare Andre “It” and run off. Finally, Andre is on camera! We follow him as he tries in vain to find the boys in this massive tunneled city.
My Question(s) for Andre: How much unused footage do you have from all three seasons? How do you respond to people who (angrily) tell you they don’t want to be filmed? What was your biggest challenge in filming Departures? Do you ever consider hiring local professionals to help you film?
It’s very hard to pick a favorite episode for this show, but I think I would have to go with Mongolia: Tribes and Tribulations. The boys spend several days travelling by bus, then by horse to visit a nomadic Reindeer Tatsun Tribe. They spend several days living with a group of people who, in my opinion, seem like the happiest people on earth.
Departures is all about travelling off the beaten path, then pushing further and leaving the path off the beaten path. This episode epitomizes that travel philosophy.
Other favorite episodes: Jordan, India: Sacred Ground, India: Quest for Himalayas, Thailand, Cambodia, Morocco, Libya, Brazil: Piranha Soup, Brazil: Treading Water, Cuba, Chile: Ups and Downs, Chile: Ends of the Earth, and Antarctica. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet seen Season 3. C’mon Netflix!
Where Can I Watch Departures?
Seasons 1-2 are on Netflix. It is rumored that Season 3 will be available on Netflix early next year. I believe it also airs on the National Geographic Channel and OLN.
In Love with the World?
Are Scott, Justin, and Andre in love with the world? Absolutely. There’s no way that they would travel the distances they do if they weren’t in love with the world. Just watch one episode and as Justin and Scott run down a sand dune, eat a grasshopper, marvel at cremations in the Ganges, building a snowman in Antarctica, or throwing themselves into waves on the shores of Brazil, you will feel their love for the world emanate off your screen.
For their love of the world, Andre’s stunning cinematography, Scott’s thoughtful reflections, and Justin’s unabashed, child-like enthusiasm, I give Departures 5/5 airplanes. And hey, Netflix! Give us season 3 already! And then, howaboutmaybeyoufundseason4asaNetflixoriginal?
Wanderlove is all about the tv shows and movies that either: 1.) Tide us over between travels or 2.) Inspire us to jump of the couch, grab our passports, and run out the door. Have a suggestion for a Wanderlove review? Leave a comment below!