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Walking Dead popularity due to thirst for adventure travel

Walking Dead

Walking Dead promo – Wikimedia Commons

Walking Dead popularity is not solely due to a thirst for gore and blood of many viewers, but a thirst for adventure. In an age where people are so connected via their phone and internet, many times the adventure is taken out of everyday activities. The convenience is great, but what we gain in facilitation we lose in the spontaneity of figuring problems out first hand instead of through a gadget.

One researcher from Clemson University attributes the rise in popularity of the show and the zombie apocalypse phenomenon to a cultural trend in feeling disempowered.  Clemson University professor Sarah Lauro states: “And the facts are there that, when we are experiencing economic crises, the vast population is feeling disempowered. … Either playing dead themselves … or watching a show like ‘Walking Dead’ provides a great variety of outlets for people.”

Walking Dead popularity

This person is dying for a trip to Costa Rica – Wikimedia Commons

Everyone has their own reason for watching the show, so there is no single cause to explain the fascination many viewers have with the zombie subject. Lauro’s point is valid and interesting, but I think there is a bigger reason to explain the lust many have for the Walking Dead and the Zombie Apocalypse.

People are craving adventure and the Walking Dead is an outlet for this desire. You have a group of people completely cut off from phones, computers, and civilization, trying to survive using whatever means available.

Viewers secretly desire they were a part of the show. They fantasize what it would be like to be on the run with an army of flesh eating former humans seeking them out. Professor Lauro states that people feel dead to their loss of economic power, but I would argue they feel dead due to the lack of adventure in their lives. They seek out this show as they often feel like a zombie going through the same cycle of their life day after day and week after week.

It is interesting that the gadgets and instruments that people love are also secretly resented.  Facebook is a good example of this. Many are completely addicted and could not go a day without looking at it, but on the other hand people mock it and think they do not need it.

What people need is more adventure in their lives, which can only be found in travel. I wrote a piece about why more Americans should travel. One of the benefits of travel is it creates confidence for the explorer.

Kaieteur Falls Guyana

People need to see for themselves the highest single drop waterfall by volume in the world in the jungles of Guyana – Kaieteur Falls

When watching the Walking Dead, many people wonder how they would fair in the Zombie Apocalypse. Would they be a Rick or Daryl and be strong in face of the biter onslaught. Would they be a Glenn or Carl and really grow into a bad ass from the experience, or would they be weak and be an early casualty.

If you are thinking this when watching the show, I hope you never find out the truth; however, you can prepare yourself and have adventure by traveling overseas or take a journey to a nearby national park. Leave the phone, the internet, and even the Walking Dead (you can always watch it later on demand) at home and step out of your comfort zone. You will get the adventure you need and prepare yourself for the coming apocalypse at the same time without hungry dead people chasing after you.

Quetico Provincial Park

Get in a canoe and go hiking outdoors and hone those Zombie Apocalypse skills

I thoroughly enjoy the Walking Dead and many of the earlier zombie movies like Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. I think they all have been well directed and acted. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a fixation in such a violent show.

I do think that our society leads us into lives that can be restrictive and routine. The popularity of this TV show is in my opinion is indicative of this truth. Go out and travel to a place you have never been to before and break out of the barriers you and society have placed upon yourself.

One way to help this frustrating reality is by subscribing to this blog. My posts will give you the information and the motivation you need to break out of your own zombie existence.


The goal of Traveling Ted TV is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

24 Responses to Walking Dead popularity due to thirst for adventure travel

  1. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures March 31, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    I just could never get into zombie stuff, so not my thing!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..Cayman Islands: Day 3

    • Ted Nelson March 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      Besides watching an occasional movie and the show, it is not mine either. I think the dressing up in zombie costumes and walking for no reason is kind of silly, but we all have to have hobbies.

  2. Charles Higgins March 31, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Ted..If your suggestion applies, I might need to drop my wife off in the Grand Canyon or an
    analogous place. She’s crazy about the WD… I’m not sure why. Reasonable tie-in here…

    Charles Higgins recently posted..Las Vegas Strip and Downtown casino departmental revenues in 2012

    • Ted Nelson March 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

      I think everyone needs to be dropped off at the Grand Canyon or an analogous place whether they are a fan of the show or not.

  3. Jeremy Branham April 1, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    Walking Dead? Honestly have no clue what you’re talking about. Never seen and didn’t even know it was about zombies (although the title makes sense). Guess it doesn’t inspire me to travel 🙂
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Easter Island travel guide for budget travelers

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:07 am #

      It is actually a good show. It does have a lot of gore, but it is well directed and acted as opposed to many other horror genre endeavors.

  4. Kieu ~ GQ trippin April 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    I’m with Andi, I can’t do it. It gives me bad goosebumps just thinking about it. Lol
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted..Weekend Getaways: Sonoma Wine Country

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:08 am #

      It is definitely not for everyone. We all have different tastes and some don’t like seeing zombies with a taste for brains.

  5. Fiona April 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    Interesting post Ted – I think anyone who works a 9-5 has felt like a zombie at one stage or another – and yes, travel is definitely the perfect escape – a thought provoking read, indeed!
    Fiona recently posted..Behind the Scenes at Camp Nou

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:07 am #

      Thanks Fiona,

      Some prefer to escape via horror movies, I prefer travel (although I like a good horror movie/story now and then myself.)

  6. Leigh April 2, 2013 at 1:38 am #

    I’ve never watched the show and rarely even have time for TV. I’d rather be on an adventure or deep into a good book.
    I always enjoy coming along for the ride on your blog Ted.
    Leigh recently posted..A Stop at The Columbia Icefield on the Icefields Parkway

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:06 am #

      Thanks Leigh,

      I just canceled my cable TV subscription. I can watch Walking Dead on Netflix and now I will have more time for adventure and a good book. I am going to read something right now.

  7. Lola April 2, 2013 at 2:15 am #

    hahahaha very funny comparison. yes, i don’t like scary movies but i totally get your point. nothing frustrates me worse than society trying to impose upon us to have a life of routine, normalcy & keeping it on the grid. talk about living with a foot in the grave! BORING!!
    Lola recently posted..It’s Spring Break Season!

  8. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) April 2, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Interesting take, Ted. I can see where you’re coming from but I could not handle The Walking Dead. Too gross for me. I stopped watching after episode 3 of season 1.
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..Explaining my absence (including an announcement!)

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:04 am #

      It is good to see your avatar on my blog is not the same as your Facebook. Getting tired of seeing Cubbie blue- speaking of walking dead 🙂

  9. Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) April 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    I totally agree that people need to venture out more: whether to exotic locations, to nearby mountains/lakes, or just outside their home and walk the streets of their town. Too much TV, Facebook, and other simulated realities!!
    Raul (@ilivetotravel in Twitter) recently posted..Safari on Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:02 am #

      Yep, it is okay to enjoy those realities, but a healthy balance needs to be found.

  10. thelazytravelers April 3, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    interesting assessment! one thing we’re sure of: 100% chance we would not survive a zombie apocalypse.
    thelazytravelers recently travel required

    • Ted Nelson April 3, 2013 at 2:01 am #

      Maybe you would get lucky and find an abandoned winery.

  11. Shivangi April 5, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    I have never or have no intentions of watching the Walking Dead. (although I do love the Zombie Smasher game on Play store :-p)…i completely agree with your take, incorrigible slaves of technology we have become….what i do is switch off my phone n jus take a walk by myself….it’s beautiful !
    Shivangi recently posted..Tales of Romania: Who was Count Dracula?

    • Ted Nelson April 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      I agree Shivangi, sometimes the phone needs to be turned off.

  12. Craig Zabransky April 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    a restricted Society, like enjoying violence in zombie movies or TV are both choices. I agree people want to escape yes, but if I cast my judgement, I’d say that seeing violence constantly will not influence our society in a positive way except breed more violence… as for adventure… well of course, that is positive…

    stay opinionated, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Sunset Sunday-The Arctic Cold of Churchill, Manitoba

    • Ted Nelson April 10, 2013 at 2:13 am #

      It is unfortunate that everyone cannot just watch and enjoy it for what it is: fantasy. Some people cannot differentiate between reality and fantasy.

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