I’ve found a travel show I love even more than watching Anthony Bourdain stroll strange streets, stuffing food into his mouth.
It’s House Hunters International on HGTV. In 30 minutes, a regular single person or couple, not always American, who wants to relocate to another country checks out 3 properties there, then picks one as home.
There’s a domestic House Hunters, too, but every time I’ve watched, married twits with budgets inadequate for their outlandish expectations rejected great homes for dumb reasons. It would be amusing only if they’d let the real estate agents snap and cuss out the stupidest clients or beat the living crap out of them.
But back to International. They price everything in U.S. currency so you can relate, and show where real people live in Paris, Aruba, Tuscany, Hanoi. In so many places, the spectacular everyday views of water, city streets, and mountains are drool-worthy.
Thinking of Bourdain, I really got into the Hanoi episode, where a single guy wanted a one-bedroom apartment in a real Vietnamese neighborhood. In his search (the places all came furnished), he found a fridge in one living room, and a shower in a closet off the bedroom, but the toilet and sink off the hallway.
A local friend helped him snag a beautiful, modern place and they negotiated the rent down to $360 a month from $450.
After you see the 3 properties, the people discuss the pros and cons of each place before picking one. I don’t think I’ve ever guessed the right property, and they NEVER pick the one I would have chosen. Weird.
The show ends by following up a few months later, and the people are always deliriously happy in their new home.
Sigh. It really makes you want to pack up and just go for it.