by Anj Santos
“To go around the world … in such a short time and with the means of transport currently available, was not only impossible, it was madness.” – Jules Vernes, Around the World in 80 Days
These days, circumnavigating the world is no longer a remote possibility. Rather, it’s a challenge reserved for a brave few who are willing to test the limits of their endurance, spontaneity and determination. If you’re up for that challenge, then this might just be the trip that you’re waiting for.
Now on its second decade, The Global Scavenger Hunt is looking for this year’s batch of 15 tandems to go on a round-the-world adventure competition for 23 days. The exclusive group will circle 10 countries in 6 continents and complete a series of culturally-oriented, on-site scavenges. That is, without maps, guidebooks, private transportation or any knowledge of where they’re going next. Talk about testing your Travel IQ.
While it’s often dubbed The Amazing Race without cameras, the event actually started a year before the TV show aired, and has none of its pre-staged stunts and drama. All the tasks are performed as they happen in the real world.
Participants have free reign to choose from about 500 scavenges, which have included in the past, some interesting but true-to-life ones: practice t’ai chi for at least 30-minutes with others along the Bund in Shanghai, take a photo with a royal Bengal tiger in Nepal, or learn how to tango properly in Buenos Aires. All aligned with the company’s core philosophies of authenticity, challenge, and participation.
That said, a great deal of curiosity and tolerance for others will help, but to truly make it in this competition, they must be ready to get through greater stressors within and outside of themselves – the diverse environments, jetlag and time differences, team dynamics and the heat of the competition itself.
So, how do you take part in this adventure of a lifetime? Go to Global Scavenger Hunt and send in your application by January 30, 2016. Hopefuls will be interviewed and chosen based on travel experience, endurance and attitude. There are no restrictions on sex or nationality, but participants have to be at least 13 years old and accompanied by parents to join. Single participants are welcome, and will be paired with others.
Is there an entry fee and will you win anything? There is an entry fee of $25,000 (or 1.4 million pesos), which includes all your airfare, accommodation, transportation from the hotel to airport and about 40% of meals. Winners will be given the title The World’s Greatest Traveller™ and the chance to defend their throne the following year with all fees waived. So essentially, you get a free round-the-world trip.
Moreover, your participation will help raise $1 million dollars to support small business loans and school building programs in developing countries like Kenya, India, Ecuador, among others.
The trip does command a hefty price, but if you’re the type who craves adventure and the unparalleled chance to see the world, then you’ll come out of this journey many times richer, win or lose.