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Pack your bags! Come with us on a journey of the mind…to destinations both near and far-flung, the familiar and the unexpected… in search of what the tourist never sees. An armchair travel show that scratches the surface of the world around us.
25 Episodes
In 1962 all eyes were on Seattle for the World Fair. It was the height of the space race between the U.S and the USSR — the city’s landmark Space Needle and monorail are relics of that time.  Fast forward 60 odd years and Seattle will soon be the world’s focus once again, this time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. But a very different Seattle will be on display.  While Seattle has produced numerous global exports such as Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Starbucks and Boeing, we don’t often hear much about what makes this Pacific Northwest city so special and unique, beyond the weather! So, we’ve enlisted some amazing local guides to show us around.  Come fly with us as we head to Seattle to hear how the cultural milieu of the city is changing and what that means for its identity.  
When you read the world Dublin, it’s hard to escape the romantic literary associations that James Joyce’s Ulysses kicked off a century ago. Central Dublin still bears the traces of Joyce, Beckett, and Wilde — Dubliners who left the city to write about it. But the contemporary Irish capital is a world away from Joyce's literary portrait.  Today, Dublin is among the world’s most expensive cities on the planet, resembling more of a tech hub than a lit hub. And yet, many are still drawn to Dublin’s literary possibilities, despite its challenges. It’s made space for Rooney, Enright, and a slew of diverse writers. So just what is it about Dublin and the written word?  
Fiji has certainly come a long way since television was first introduced in 1991.Back then, a rugby-mad nation had its first taste of screen for the World Cup. Today, Fiji is fast-becoming one of the world's top filming destinations for a range of screen productions, from reality tv to big Hollywood blockbusters.But has this interest from the screen industries translated into more Fijian stories getting told? And what's the reality of life for Fiji… beyond the tourist-facing tales of tropical escape?
When you think about Rio de Janeiro, what comes to mind? Beautiful beaches, parties, Carnival and music? It's all of those things, but it's a little more complicated than that too. Inequality, inadequate public infrastructure and violence are also persistent issues that plague the city. So come fly with us as Jonathan Green meets some wonderful guides who give us a local's sense of this marvellous and complex city.
Indonesia's award-winning poet Goenawan Mohamad once said that Jakarta has a congenital disease. It's a capital that was never seriously planned for… simply an accumulation of growth that became a city. And we know the symptoms: Jakarta's polluted, congested, and thirsty.But despite all of this, some 30 million people have put their faith in this Asian megacity by choosing to make it their home. So what role does faith have in defining Jakarta, and perhaps, what it could be?
It's one of the world's most notorious tax havens that houses the permanent addresses of oligarchs, tennis pros, and entire Formula 1 teams.There's also no such thing as income tax here.But to live in Monaco, you have to pay to play… you'll need at least 500,000 euros in the bank, and afford to buy or rent property in one of the most expensive places on earth.So what's there to discover if you lived like a local just for one night… ?
We're back! Where do you want to go?Here at Return Ticket — RN's seasonal travel show — no money or passports are required. We just need a curious mind and your time.In season three, we'll venture to Monaco, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, Fiji, Seattle and Dublin — searching for what the tourist doesn't see. Come fly with us, we've saved a seat just for you.
Iceland's capital Reykjavik is a place where people navigate geographic isolation, long periods of light and dark, unforgiving weather… and the intermittent threat of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.Put together, this perhaps has led to a portrait of Iceland being an intrepid, exotic place — a place where visitors want to live out their Game of Thrones fantasies.But in actuality, daily life is — as many things are in the Nordics — beautifully pragmatic.
Its name is a byword for remote obscurity and intrepid adventure, a medieval trade centre and cradle of African scholarship perched on the edge of the Sahara. But those historical perceptions are so far removed from the reality of the Malian city's current predicament. A place worn down by a decade of conflict, desertification, and sheer isolation. So, what's the truth about Timbuktu?
It was Columbia Pictures President Harry Cohn who once said, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont" — and trouble they had.In uncovering the razzle-dazzle of Hollywood, we track the 95-year history of the Chateau, from its beginnings as onion fields, to its rise as a place of decadence, scandal, fame and murder.Plus, how did the palm tree become an emblem of LA, and could Marilyn Monroe really act?
Tasmanian residents and cartoonists First Dog on the Moon and Jon Kudelka tell everyone they know that Tasmania is awful. The snakes. The weather. The people. But in truth, why does half of Australia want to live there? 
Venice is the anti-tabula rasa. Here, residents and visitors alike must rise up to meet its demands. But you can't help but feel this old and adored city is being crushed under the weight of history, the literal weight of tourists, and the twin pressures of having too much water and then, not enough. So, is the Venice we know slowly dying by a thousand cuts?
The story of the Malaysian capital is a story of resources, from tin, petrol, and palm oil. But if there's one resource to understand the metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur today it's rubber.It's responsible for the city's art deco architecture, modern multiculturalism, and a roaring global trade. It's no wonder Malaysia still supplies half of the world's natural rubber.Editor's note 18/11/22: This episode has been revised to include an important reference to Malaysia’s ethnic tensions.
In a city where every flip of the card and roll of the dice could cost you, are the odds ever really in your favour?Exploring the maths of chance, we ponder: what are the odds of running out of water in Las Vegas? What are the odds of getting married by an Elvis impersonator? And what are the odds of coming home with more than you started with?Card sharks and the King may have the answers.Guests:Chad Collins, Elvis impersonator and wedding celebrant at the Little Chapel of Hearts, Las VegasMichael Shackleford aka The Wizard of Odds, a former professional actuary who has made a career of analysing casino gamesGiulio Boccaletti, a physicist and climate scientist. He is the author of Water: A BiographyCredits:Jonathan Green, presenter Hayley Crane, producer Alan Weedon, producerRhiannon Brown, executive producer Brendan O'Neill, sound engineer
Can it be true that 94 per cent of Parisians live less than five minutes from a bakery? In a country where eating lunch at your desk is illegal, and people-watching at the local boulangerie is a philosophy, what can the rise and fall of bread tell us about Paris and its inhabitants? 
Return Ticket is back with a new season… and we've got questions about travel.Like what the odds of getting married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas? Does bread make Paris or does Paris make bread? Why is Kuala Lumpur so rubbery? What's making Venice drown?And is Tasmania really that terrible? To find the answers to these questions and more, come with us on little journeys of the mind to destinations familiar and obscure.First episode out on October 14. 
Tokyo is one of the world’s most densely populated urban areas. So how do they manage the human crush? To answer that you need to look at Japan’s rich design history, and specifically, that design culture’s fondness for simplicity and efficiency.  It’s a hugeness constructed of smallness. A density set against the constant possibility of fragments of calm. In Tokyo, we find beauty in busyness, a place where minimalism soothes the maxi city. A place where mess is more.
The human crush of Mumbai is a sight to behold. Places where tens of millions make the jump from informal to formal space — or vice versa — daily. But there's one thing that unites one of the world's most populated cities — the need for a good feed.We're going to spend a day in the life of Mumbai via the routes of the city's famed tiffin delivery workers. By, foot, motorcycle, train, or car, a seemingly unimaginable number of home-cooked meals traverse the city in metal tiffins, making their way from home to workplace, or from more industrialised made-to-order hubs.
They’re universes unto themselves. Thailand’s newfound wealth has spurred on the development of Bangkok’s mega-mall. It’s a totalising form of urbanism that helps us understand the tensions of this modern, cosmopolitan capital.  In this episode, we head to a new mall that’s delivering Vegas Casino camp alongside Michelin Star eateries. IconSiam is multi-billion-dollar development where you can grab cheap street food in a mock Thai village, and then blow a million on a new Rolls Royce.
Welcome to a never-ending story. Beijing's the world's most populous capital city, and it's a place where the trials and tribulations of China's ascendancy are being played out in real-time. So how do you even begin to get into a place as complex and rich as this? Well… it's time to hop on the bike. In this episode, we'll be looking at how Beijing's relationship with the bike tells a bigger story about China's development, its current class tensions, and how some locals find sanctuary in an otherwise forbidding environment.
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