Around-the-World Travel Adventure Competition Looking To Crown The World's Greatest Travelers


Ever sit on the couch watching The Amazing Race, and say: “I could do that!” Well, now you can participate in what Outside magazine calls, “…one of the most amazing trips in the world!” But could you win the real life around the world travel adventure competition?

The buzz in London last week at the annual World Travel Market’s get together among global travel professionals was: Who are The World’s Greatest Travelers? Travel writers, tour guides, travel agents, former reality TV contestants? None of the above—at least not yet!

Many of those travel pros and regular Indiana Jones-types have participated in the international challenge known as The Global Scavenger Hunt, but so far, the winners of the annual around the world travel adventure competition have just been wonderfully resourceful and instinctive travelers, not travel professionals.

The 5th annual three-week international travel adventure competition that will visit at least 10 nations on 4 continents begins again next April 19th, 2009, and the field of 25 two-person teams is filling up fast.

“We had some good chuckles in London,” says Event Director William D. Chalmers, “The challenge has been made that’s for sure. Travel agents always claim they are the best travelers, but someone in London said many were more a kin to high school guidance counsellors—they tell you where to go but have never personally been there themselves. We’ve had travel writers compete previously thinking they were the greatest travelers—but this is no fam trip, no press junket—it is a serious competition and they seem to wilt under the marathon-like pressure of actually having to do scavenges themselves. And then there are the professional tour operators who think they are the best travelers because of their ‘niche experience’. Well, their narrow experience doesn’t seem to prepare them for this worldwide event,” laughs, Chalmers a previous winner of an around the world race and travel book author.

And so, The Global Scavenger Hunt is now looking to fill the final few open slots with highly-motivated globetrotting adventurers who think they have what it takes to go on A Blind Date With The WorldT, compete against other travel savvy competitors trying to overcome the event’s numerous challenges and win the title of The World’s Greatest TravelersT. Travelers will race from Los Angeles to New York-the really long way!

One former participant said the travel competition was, “…like Survivor, The Amazing Race and the Eco-Challenge all rolled into one except with MUCH more cultural interaction!”

“The Global Scavenger Hunt is all about allowing real travelers to compete in a real travel adventure competition, for all the right reasons—the love of travel, trusting strangers in strange lands and giving something back to the planet,” continues the Event’s Director, “Some have called our annual event the ‘Olympics of Travel’, some refer to it as A Blind Date with the World because our travelers won’t have any foreknowledge as to what countries they’re going to until they’re onboard a 747 bound for parts unknown, and some have even called it a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. I like that one!”

A cultural immersion at its best, the travel competition event is designed to be a rally rather than a flat out race. The object is to test each Team’s ability to combat not only the inevitable jetlag, but language difficulties, cultural differences, their appetite for strange foods, logistical snafus, and Team dynamics in the atmosphere of a well organized competition. Truly the ‘Olympics of Travel,’ couch potatoes and armchair travelers need not apply. This real world travel adventure competition is only for the hardiest and most curious travel savvy Type-A globetrotters. GreatEscape2009 is for those who crave authentic adventure, genuine exotic travel, real competition and world-class fun while being a roaming travel ambassador.

But there is much more to this event than riding elephants, swimming with sharks, visiting the great ancient bazaars of the world and witnessing Sahara sunrises and Himalayan sunsets—there are lives to change! The event is a global travel-a-thon that has participants traveling a million kilometers for the $1 million goal to raise money for life-changing organizations. Last year’s event helped scores of families with micro-loans and helped construct and fund three elementary schools in Niger, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone in conjunction with organizations like Kiva, The Nomad Foundation and Free the Children. Funds raised also support Doctors without Borders, Partners in Health and CARE, among others.

The Global Scavenger HuntT is limited to 25 two-person Teams (singles may apply). The entry fee of $9,900 per person covers all international airfare, 23-nights in First Class hotels and about 40% of meals. Teams are interviewed for suitability. Visit and apply online at www.GlobalScavengerHunt.com or call 310.281.7809.

Source: Great Escape Foundation.

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".