about us

Dear Friends & Fellow Travelers:
My name is William Chalmers. Thank you for visiting our website. Please feel free to browse around and enjoy our photos, travel insights, links, and maybe even our sense of humor. We of course welcome your comments. That said...

Growing up with a farm across from my front yard and another country across from my backyard, you could say that I've always had an international perspective. Okay, so I was only looking across Lake Saint Claire at the United States--but it was really another world, as all us Canadians know!

From there I went on to save stamps and coins. Where the heck is that postcard from? Who is that guy with the funny hat on that coin? In school I was passionate learning about the famous explorers during the Age of Discovery. My favorite movies were all travel-related: The Sheltering Sky, Out of Africa and The Man Who Would Be King, to the Indiana Jones series. My love for travel has set in stone, I was hooked. And it simply has never stopped for me and I've been living and traveling around the globe ever since--captivated, fascinated and intrigued, by all I've been blessed and lucky enough to see and do, and for all the people I've met along the way. Conversations fill my mind. Images overwhelm me at times. My own personal Big Book of Life (a listing of all the things I should see and do before I depart this physical world, aka a Bucket List) is, instead of getting shorter with all my travels, paradoxically, getting longer the more I travel!? Some wise man once said: that the more you learn the less you know...indeed.

For a period of time all my friends worked for airlines, Pan Am especially (Jezz I really miss that airline...RIP Pan Am), because they had so-called Buddy Passes in which I could circle the globe for a nominal fee with my buddy du jour--usually in seat 1A on a mighty blue and white 747 I might add! Having the good fortune of being educated in three countries: Canada, United States, and England, I really consider myself a citizen of the world. Yet, I'm having the greatest of difficulties applying for a passport for the Global Village. Mother Earth, it seems, doesn't have any bureaucrats and immigration is impossible--so far. (BTW: I consider myself a North American; being neither simply just a Canadian, a Mexican, or a United Statesian, but, all of them at the same time--a Newlander if you will.)

In 1989, I was involved in a travel adventure like no other before it--or since. It was truly a mad, madcap wacky race around-the-world on public transportation called the HumanRace. To make a long and sordid story short, my partner Andy Valvur and I won that race, traveling more than 40,000 miles in just 17 days. Participating and winning that race around the world earned me a lot of free drinks in crazy bars around the world from some great fellow travelers...and a few accolades too. But since the day it ended, I always wanted to participate in that type of travel competition again, but alas, no one was ever able to put something, anything, like it together since.

The Global Scavenger Hunt™ idea came to me, somewhat divinely, in 1999 while trekking in Nepal. It seemed so obvious when that little light bulb went off in my head. Clearly, I had the experience to do it, indeed still a passion for adventerous and culturally-oriented travel, and I certainly had learned about all the pitfalls from participating in a previous race around-the-world event. Indeed, it was oh so obvious that I should be doing this. That on top of being able to mix it with my other real passion of helping others help themselves with our Foundation's charitable work. What more could I ask for?

That was until we finally started planning for The Global Scavenger Hunt™ in the summer of 2000. GreatEscape2001, as they were called back then, was planned for October 2001, but that was postponed after 9/11--not such great timing, eh! We persevered and eventually held our first event, GreatEscape2002: The Global Scavenger Hunt, in the spring of 2002.

So, here we are...and what we have delivered to all the travelers for over a decade now--the 2015 edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt will be our 11th event--is to literally, take you on A Blind Date With The World™ to sweetly exotic destinations around the world. Places that are truly sacred, unique, and wonderful. We have created for you an opportunity to interact with people from different cultures and histories. Indeed, The Global Scavenger Hunt is all about cultural immersion. You will not only have more fun than you thought possible on an around the world travel adventure, but, you will also learn things about the world, and yourself, that you never imagined. The event will help you refill your memory banks and replenish your soul at the same time; with sunrises, sunsets, markets, natural beauty, truly WOW! world-class sights, exotic festivals, along with helping others and meeting engaging people. It is our hope that when the event is over, you will understand how connected we all are and how much alike we all truly are...and of course, how big and beautiful this world really is.

As an active Global Scavenger Hunt participant, you will do and learn things not by passively reading a travel guide, listening to a tour guide's canned briefings, perusing a glossy travel magazine, being herded from site to site, or being an armchair traveler watching travel shows on cable TV--you will be an active participant in the world's special party of life. And you will enjoy that party up close and oh so very personal. The experience we create each and every year is new and unique. Those three weeks of travel will be forever etched in your memory. You'll be able to relive these memories with your children, your grandchildren, your family and friends. You might even become famous being crowned The Worlds Greatest Travelers™!

First and foremost though, we will personally take care of you and offer you the most seamless, hassle-free, carefree, worry-free, and safe adventure-of-a-lifetime. For three weeks your life will be transformed, leaving the daily grind behind and taking on an entirely different dimension in places you have only dreamed of going. You will be a safe and happy fish-out-of-water from your daily routine, learning to trust strangers in strange lands. We promise that you will never, ever, travel the same way again. And chances are, you will want to do it again!

Of course we feel that we ought to be giving something back to the world that allows us, truly the privileged few, the ability to experience such wonderful, beautiful, and fascinating sights. And so, aside from taking you on The Global Scavenger Hunt travel adventure-of-a-lifetime, we hope to help empower you to help raise both consciousnesses and significant sums for our GreatEscape Foundation's noble causes and worthy efforts of building co-ed elementary school in places of need, and dispersing equally empowering micro-loans. We trust that you will share in our enthusiasm.

So come and join us! The Global Scavenger Hunt has become an annual international phenomenon--truly the travel world championship event--and the first ever international competition designed for real travelers to test their real skills against other equallypassionate and talented travelers.

Being a small town hick, and old school in ways, please know that we will always keep our promises to you and to our most fundamental and cherished philosophies--having fun and doing good.

Thank you for your time. As always, we welcome your comments.

Please feel free to write me anytime at: ringmaster [at] globalscavengerhunt.com


William D. Chalmers

Event Director (aka The Ringmaster)
The Global Scavenger Hunt™

Who We Are?

Event Director - William D. Chalmers (aka The Ringmaster)

Raised in Ontario, Canada, and educated at universities in Canada, the United States and England, Bill is happily married and the proud father of two children (Petra 18 and Lucca 8). He splits his time between Santa Monica, California and British Columbia. Bill has circumnavigated the globe on twelve separate occasions and stepped foot in over 100 countries (Okay, a few toes!), and was dubbed the “World's Greatest Traveler” by National Geographic Traveler in April 2002. The winner of the 1989 HumanRace—an around-the-world race using public transportation—he won the event in 17 days collecting the $25,000 first place prize. He is a former Cold War-era summit groupie who has hiked in Borneo to an orangutan rehabilitation center (Who knew they had drug problems in Borneo?); searched for black rhinos and Bengal tigers along the Nepal-Indian border (On a really big elephant!); reenacted Roman gladiator scenes in Tunisia (He was spared!); and canoed to the world's highest waterfall Angel Falls (Someone forget to turn it on that day!). His favorite place in the whole wide world remains the undisclosed location known only as "Bob's dock"!

The author of “A Blind Date With The World” (2000), and "On The Origin of the Species homo touristicus: The Evolution of Travel from Greek Spas to Space Tourism" (2011), and "America's Vacation Deficit Disorder: Who Stole Your Vacation?" (2013) Bill is also an international travel speaker, and a regular op-ed contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times and the American-Statesman, among others, on the weighty social issues of the day. He also does a periodic features for the Huffington Post. For the last decade he has served as the Event Director (He calls it like being a three ring circus Ringmaster!) for the world's only real around the world travel adventure competition known as The Global Scavenger Hunt™.

In a previous incarnation, Bill served as a legislative assistant to a Member of Congress (1983-85) and then as an advisor to a global entrepreneur (1986-92), until he became a political consultant to numerous trade organizations and elected officials, including: the President of the United States, United States Senators, US Members of Congress, the Governor of California, and a multitude of state representatives and ballot initatives (1993-99). Bill retired from consulting challenges in 1999 to devote his full attentions to his children, philanthropy efforts, writing, and his annual international travel event.

Event Coordinator/Media Liaison - Pamela L. Chalmers (aka The Transactional Elf)

Raised in Southern California and educated in Denver, Pamela was overwhelmed with the friendliness of Coloradans and claims that’s where she learned to smile. Happily married and proud mom (mother sounds too formal) of two (yes, the same two mentioned above), Pamela is the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Follower” (she even followed Bill in the bio section). Having visited over 50 nations (She is working on her own type of century club...if you know what I mean ;)...), she loves to travel and explore new places, and is working on a photo book about local markets—because of all their life and color...and that’s where the locals hang out. (The project is in its fourth year of development! Ouch...)

Having majored in art history in University (after economics and statistics failures—okay, do you really count it as a fail if you don’t show up?) was the first notable life changing moment that Pamela said, “Life is too short.” An unanticipated successful career followed as a political consultant to the leaders of California having worked with Governors, Senators, Treasurers, and leadership in both legislatures, along with assisting several non-profit organizations.

Her next “Aha” moment was when she realized that taking a month off to teach children English in Italy and travel meant that her consulting business would still be there when she returned...and that she wasn’t so important that the world of politics would come to a crashing halt with her departure. Indeed, a life changing month that was all about children, family, food (it was Italy of course!) and falling in love (yes, to the guy above).