The Best Episodes of Departures
Last Updated: May 3, 2019
Aimed at the adventure seeker, Departures is an action-packed and personal journey about two travelers. Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach leave their lives behind in search of unique experiences through some of the most beautiful and remote places on earth. From epic landscapes and unforgettable culture, to the often trying times that come with international travel, the series chronicles the unforgettable friendships, personal successes and sometimes crushing disappointments that befall them on their journey. Accompanied by their friend and cameraman, Andre Dupuis, Departures showcases the revelations of two travelers who strive to find themselves and new perspectives while trekking across the globe. Departures is as much about the journey as it is the destination. No prizes, no contests, just real life and real travel.
#1 - Indonesia: Ring of Fire
Season 3 - Episode 14
The trip begins on the caldera of Mount Bromo - an active, yet serene volcano in the middle of the island of Java. With their l`ocal friend Oka, they continue to the slums of Jakarta, meeting with a young boy and his family, and participating in daily activities to learn of the many hardships facing the locals. Heading to the island paradise of Bali, they take part in an explosive, traditional bull race. Scott gets “dirty” while Oka loses his chariot altogether. The trip winds down when they meet a Balinesian Prince, and join his party as guests of honour.
#2 - Brazil: Piranha Soup
Season 2 - Episode 3
The guys reunite with Gisele, whom they had met on their previous trip to Jordan. A native to Brazil, Gisele shows them around Rio de Janeiro. She takes them hang gliding, to a football match, and into the ghettos before they hit the road for the Pantanal. Here they find poisonous plants, the worlds largest living rodents, and catch piranha for lunch - none of the reasons why Justin ends up in the hospital. This is a great opportunity for the guys to learn about Brazil’s dangers before reaching the Amazon.
#3 - Papua New Guinea: Without a Paddle
Season 3 - Episode 6
Leaving the islands, the guys head into mainland PNG and drive up into the rugged Highlands with their friend Nick. They travel through Goroka, where they take part in an embarrassing Mudmen dance ritual involving bows, arrows and loincloths. They prepare for an epic journey: A private flight north to a remote grass airstrip, where they have three days to make their way down the extremely remote Sepik River and try to become true men of the Sepik.
#4 - Indonesia: A Home Away
Season 3 - Episode 15
For three years, Scott and Justin have travelled the globe, experiencing so many people’s homes, while getting further away from their own. In their friend Oka’s home island of Bali, the guys witness both spiritual and illegal aspects of Balinesian life - grand temples, noisy bird markets and betting on underground cricket fights. They then travel back in time to the island of Sumba, staying overnight with a tribe who live in close harmony with nature and their ancestors. While Justin ponders returning home, Scott realizes that after three years on the road, there are more similarities between people and cultures than differences.
#5 - Australia
Season 3 - Episode 16
From the southern coast of Adelaide, all the way to Darwin, the guys take on another road trip - this time with their own purchased 4x4 to get them through the perilous, dusty outback. Fighting constant breakdowns, they reach the underground town of Coober Pedy, where they search for opal with the help of an explosives “expert”. The crew travel from Uluru, staying on a working ranch, before tackling the ultimate offroad adventure through searing sand to remote Boggy Hole. Pushing on through a sudden rainstorm in the north, to the last miles to Darwin, Scott, Justin, and Andre have now travelled to all seven continents. What’s next?
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#6 - Brazil: Treading Water
Season 2 - Episode 4
There are so many things that can kill you in the Amazon. The guys rent a boat as protection and head down river to explore the rainforest. They find poisonous insects, angry snakes, and natives living in hand-built huts. After getting stuck in a 70 meter high tree in an Amazonian thunderstorm, and attacked by vicious pink dolphins, they hop on a plane headed for the island of Fernando de Noronha. Here they try their hand at scuba diving and witness the hatching of close to 1000 baby sea turtles. The dynamic changes when Justin and Gisele know their time together will soon be ending.
#7 - Cambodia
Season 1 - Episode 12
Scott and Justin meet up with their friend Sarorn and his family who show them the real side of Cambodia. The villages, the poverty, and the amazing people. The guys find new purpose with their year long travel and commit to another year-long trip.
#8 - Canada: Pushing North
Season 1 - Episode 13
A year out, Scott and Justin arrive back on home soil, but can't part ways without one more challenge. An epic adventure which takes them from Vancouver, past the Arctic Circle, to the end of the road, seeing some of the most remote areas in Canada.
#9 - Ethiopia: Saints & Snakes
Season 3 - Episode 8
Scott and Justin explore the spiritual side of Ethiopia. In Lalibella, they visit ancient churches carved entirely out of stone, and Justin tries teaching a class of school children some new words. They visit the castles in Gondor and the Church of Saint Mary of Zion, which claims to house the lost Ark of the Covenant. At the Debra Damos monastery, accessible only by climbing a rope up a sheer cliff, they share some difficult but hilarious conversation with a well-spirited monk, who has some poignant things to say about brotherhood and human origins.
#10 - New Zealand: Risks & Rewards
Season 1 - Episode 9
Adventure in New Zealand does not come without consequences, especially when Scott and Justin meet up with their "larger than life" kiwi friend Ellis. Justin's competitive risk-taking side takes over, while Scott deals with his own fears.
#11 - Russia: Comrades and Capitals
Season 3 - Episode 1
Anything is possible in Russia. Scott and Justin meet up with their friend Bogdan and visit the last man living in the radioactive zone in Chernobyl. They visit St. Petersburg for some homemade vodka and to celebrate Bogdan’s birthday, before hopping on an overnight train to Moscow. The adventures in Moscow are diverse: An awkward visit to a Russian bath, a wild night out in an exhilarating dance club and a chance to drive a cold-war military tank. Next, they fly to Siberia and meet a vodka-slamming shaman, who puts them all to shame on the dance floor.
#12 - Ecuador
Season 3 - Episode 7
The guys’ adventure begins by zip lining across jungle canopy, rappelling down waterfalls and bungee jumping off a city bridge. They dive with sharks off the Galapagos Islands, and realize the human impact on animals there. On the mainland, they stumble upon the Intiraymi festival, where celebrations are contrasted by near-riots between conflicting tribes. Next, they venture into the Amazon to find the Hourani tribe, and arrive the day of the Chief’s father’s funeral. Attending the ceremony, they learn how the tribes are fighting to keep their traditions alive and protect their land.
#13 - Chile: Ends of the Earth
Season 2 - Episode 12
History repeats itself as Scott and Justin push as far south as they can go. Adventure, fate, chance and the infestation of the travel bug all play a huge role. On one of the most remote islands on Earth, Easter Island, the guys experience the breath-taking awe of the infamous heads and try scuba diving again. They then head to Patagonia to help with Gaucho sheep-sheering and to visit a penguin island where a brave little penguin develops a crush on Scott. Their experiences in the southern-most town on Earth ultimately wins them a ticket to Antarctica, when by chance they run into a pilot friend who took them on an Arctic cargo plane one year previously.
#14 - New Zealand: Adrenaline
Season 1 - Episode 10
Christmas approaches as Scott and Justin continue their travels through untouched New Zealand. Finding adventure and uninhabited landscape reminds them of how long they've been on the road and of all the family and friends waiting for their return.
#15 - Ethiopia: Dances with Bulls
Season 3 - Episode 9
Scott and Justin meet up with Robel, who takes the guys to visit his sisters in his village of Harar. They visit the bustling chat market, and learn how to prepare the traditional stimulant. That night, Robel takes them to feed some wild hyenas by hand. Leaving Harar, they take a long drive to visit the Hammer Tribe. Here they witness a rare ceremony in which the women of the village offer themselves to be whipped, and one soon-to-be married man has to run, stark naked over a dozen bulls, to prove his worth as a husband.
#16 - India: Sacred Ground
Season 1 - Episode 3
Scott and Justin meet up with their friend Monica to take a gruelling train ride to the desert. Then to Varanasi, to witness the everyday mayhem and discover the depth of India’s culture and religions before flying to New Delhi in time for the Diwali celebration.
#17 - Cook Islands
Season 1 - Episode 8
While visiting four of the Cook Islands, Scott is challenged about his commitments to the year trip while Justin learns from the locals how to live off the land. That is until his love for animals is challenged by "the head hunters" – the local school boys, who take the guys on a traditional pig hunt.
#18 - Chile: Ups and Downs
Season 2 - Episode 11
Despite Justin's difficulties with altitude sickness in India, they make their way up to 15,000 feet in the Altiplano of northern Chile. Justin gets sick and requires a hospital visit and oxygen. Beat down, he tries again, this time in the adventure mecca of San Pedro by biking down a mountain. They sleep in tents amongst the beautiful landscapes of active volcanoes, salt flats and pink flamingo reserves before heading to the mystical island of Chiloe. Here they experience life as it was one hundred years ago, and meet strange and wonderful characters, including the moonshine-making Grandma Rosa and the mythological Filiberto, who gives Justin and Scott advice that may change their lives.
#19 - North Korea: The Musical
Season 3 - Episode 13
North Koreans are a fiercely proud and creative people. North Korea continues to completely defy all expectations, as Scott and Justin take part in a high school English class, are pulled into numerous musical performances, visit a water bottling factory, a farm and an old funfair. Their experiences are capped off by the largest and most impressive choreographed spectacle on earth – the Arirang Mass Games – where 100,000 people perform the ultimate homage to their country and ideologies. The guys are sad to leave their trusted guides and friends behind when they depart by train back to Beijing.
#20 - Libya
Season 2 - Episode 2
After many visa difficulties, Scott and Justin are finally allowed to enter Libya. They travel from Tripoli to Jebel Nafusa, before getting lost in the abandoned city of Ghadames. They wander around the maze of empty streets and homes before finding each other again, and drive deep into the Sahara desert to climb some of the world’s largest sand dunes, and sand-board in their own private oasis.
#21 - Vietnam
Season 3 - Episode 4
Scott and Justin catch up with their high school friend Fran, who is travelling to Vietnam to explore his motherland and family history for the first time. They travel south to north, through the commotion of Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong River floating markets, and experiencing haunting remnants of the Vietnam war and visiting magical and mysterious temples and caves along the way. Further north, surrounded by the beauty of Halong Bay, the guys realize that spending time with Fran’s family, and seeing the country through his eyes, has given them a fresh perspective on travel.
#22 - Mongolia: Meals and Wheels
Season 2 - Episode 7
The guys stay with the Tsatsaan Reindeer tribe for a couple more days before the long trek back to Ulaan Bator. Scott and Justin stop along the way at a complete strangers ger (traditional Mongolian tent) where the three are invited in for fermented yaks-milk and some mix of goat-organ soup. Craving adventure of a different variety, they rent ATV’s and drive freely into the Gobi desert. Camping at night, and driving by day, the trio discover the ultimate idea of freedom, before running into various trouble on the road.
#23 - Mongolia: Tribes and Tribulations
Season 2 - Episode 6
After being separated at the airport and put on different flights, Scott arrives to find that his bag has gone missing. The guys grab supplies and climb into an old soviet van to start a long trek out to a Nomadic Reindeer tribe. But to get there, they will have to travel by van then by horseback for four days. Scott and Justin take part in the tribe’s traditional way of life and come to understand the necessity of the nature and balance around them.
#24 - Antarctica
Season 2 - Episode 13
The crew are headed to a place they never thought they would ever see in their lifetime - Antarctica. Claimed by some, owned by no one. A continent for peace and science, the betterment of all mankind. Scott and Justin are granted a rare opportunity to stay in the Chilean scientific base on King George Island. They spend a week learning about life on the continent, while visiting the nearby Russian and China bases, all perfect microcosms of their home countries. The three then get on a Russian expedition ship and head down the Antarctic peninsula to witness some of the world’s most breathtaking and serene atmospheres imaginable. They discover all the wonderful flora and fauna of Antarctica, and end it all by claiming a little piece of Antarctica for themselves in Paradise Bay, and building a snowman to guard their claim.
#25 - Cuba
Season 2 - Episode 5
Avoiding the resorts and the all-inclusive vacation, Scott and Justin rent a car and head towards the tobacco fields around Viñales. They’re looking for a specific farmer to return a picture to him from a friend who visited years ago. After the successful search and a visit into the farmer’s home, they grab a couple of horses to ride into the countryside and try some sugarcane rum. On their way to Trinidad they pick up a hitchhiker, play a game of baseball with some kids, and are invited to take part in a traditional Santeria ceremony. But even the swinging machete, beating drums, sacrificed chicken, rum and cigars won’t end this trip. The three drive along the south east coast and visit Fidel Castro’s remote hideout on their way to Carnival in Santiago de Cuba.