Just the FAQ's

The Frequently Asked Questions (aka FAQs) section...

We have gotten a lot of questions thrown our way over the last decade, here we try to sum them all up so that you have a pretty good idea about just what this event is all about and how to participate in it. Hope it helps...

Q) What is The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) The Global Scavenger Hunt™ (TGSH) is an annual around the world travel adventure competition that crowns The World's Greatest Travelers™ after fifteen two-person teams circumnavigate the globe taking A Blind Date with the World™ that takes them to ten countries in 23-days, all while performing/completing a series of highly participatory and culturally-oriented site-doing scavenges. It is in fact the world travel championship for over a decade.

The annual event is designed for adventurous spirits and is an extremely hands-on one of a kind around the world travel experience, filled with: secret missions, special challenges, exotic off-the-beaten path backdrops, amazingly colorful people and cultures all entwined in a fascinating competition. It is a 21st century Travel 3.0 event: authentic, challenging and participatory.

After over a decade of excitement (our first event was held in 2002) we know that this event is a life-changing escapade for many.

The event itself is filled with exotic global backdrops, extraordinary cultures, and of course, fascinating people—not to mention our passionate and adventurous travelers from around the world. It is indeed the Olympics of travel, the Super Bowl, Indy 500, X Games and the Kentucky Derby of travel adventures all rolled in to one annual event that crowns The World's Greatest Travelers! It is an event that thoroughly tests the travel savvy, Travel IQ and fluid situational intelligence of all our competitors. TGSH is all about creativity, having fun, being challenged, learning, getting out of your comfort zone and feeling alive, empowerment, novelty, authentic, participatory, spontaneity, serendipity...and trusting strangers in strange lands.

Q) What is A Blind Date with the World?

A) TGSH is A Blind Date with the World due to the fact that the participants in the annual competition do not know which ten countries they will be visiting! It is designed this way to keep participants in the dark as long as possible about their impending destination that they will be doing their scavenges in. The result? No maps, no guidebooks, and none of the usual endless pre-trip online research and planning. A lot of surprise, spontaneity and serendipity. It keeps all the teams on the same competitive footing—because no one knows any more than any other team. Our global pitch is truly a level playing field.  

It is the 21st century version of spinning the globe and throwing your finger at it—and that is sometimes how we set up the event course too!

Keeping the destinations a secret makes the event a true travel adventure competition. One that tests each teams well-honed travel savvy, Travel IQ and situational awareness in unique, challenging and ever-changing international environments. All the teams must effectively hit the ground running by dealing with foreign language barriers, confusing cultural differences, transportation and logistical challenges, team dynamics, the heat of competition, and three week’s worth of real-world and real-time creative problem solving.

Q) So that's it, you won't be telling us where we will be traveling to during The Global Scavenger Hunt, really?

A) Really! It is a fabulous Blind Date with the World.

I can tell you that each and every year we design a new international event course. No two years have ever been the same. It keeps us fresh and everyone always guessing. And guess they do.

In fact, over the last decade in conjunction with TGSH wenumber of countries have visited about 30% of the world's nations--over 55 independent nations of the world so far, 55! They have included: Peru, Uruguay, Belize, Colombia, France, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Burma, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia, Japan, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Oman, Italy, Portugal, Iceland and Taiwan, among dozens of others.

Our event has always been about restoring the magic of travel, the celebration of different people and places, and sometimes serendipity is the key to regaining that illusive magic.

Q) Is it a flat out race around the world?

A) No, it is not. In fact one of the many unofficial mottos of the event is: He who runs, cannot walk with dignity.

The event is designed in the style of a European auto rally. It is a stop and go affair and broken up into legs. For example, we visit China, Teams will be given a list of scavenges and are required to complete as many optional scavenges as they wish during a specific period of time on that leg—say four days. At the conclusion of each leg, all the teams will check-in, rest and enjoy some downtime. Only then does the event move on to the next secret destination and begin another leg for another period of time.

TGSH is usually made up of between six to eight legs, with each leg lasting between six hours to five days. Typically, we are usually in each country for between 48 and 72 hours.

Here is a nifty composite event I cooked up made from some of our previous ten events, enjoy!

Q) When is the annual event scheduled to take place?

A) The same time every year. The annual event takes places during what we believe is the best time to travel around the world—the Spring/Fall shoulder season (Depending of course on whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, right!) of mid-April and the first week of May. It is the Goldilocks time to travel—not too hot, not too cold—just right.  

This year, our world travel championship event begins somewhere in North America (tba) on Friday, April 10th and will end 23-days later, also somewhere in North America (tba), on Saturday, May 2nd...and can be back to work May 4th if you need to be.

Past events have been held in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014--our 10th anniversary event!. (FYI: We took a hiatus in 2006 and 2007 due to very small children.)

Q) How do you get crowned The World's Greatest Travelers?

A) By participating and playing the game the right way within both the well-defined rules and philosophical spirit of the event.

Simply put, the team that completes the most scavenges or earns the most points wins. Some scavenges are worth a lot—but are extremely challenging to complete. While other scavenges are easy to complete—but worth significantly fewer points. The teams that work well together and create the right risk-reward formula, will win the leg. The teams that win the most legs, usually wins the event. Consistency is the key to success over the 23-day event.

The winning team is then crowded The World's Greatest Travelers™ and holds onto the title for one year. The winners are automatically entered into the next year's event to defend their title—with all their fees waived! In essence, the winning team wins a free trip around the world.

What it really takes primarily to do well, and secondly maybe win this annual travel adventure competition, is this: acquired travelers savvy and genetic Travel IQ. Competitors in the TGSH will be constantly challenged with: language barriers, cultural differences, jetlag, personal team dynamics, logistical snafus, and the heat of the competition itself. Clearly all our participants come packed with a great amount of curiosity and tolerance for others, as well as high levels of the O-Factor—an openness to new experiences, new ideas and new people. They can also easily overcome the unique challenges of visiting diverse environments (urban, rural, big city, small village, hot, wet, cool, dry) and countries (democratic, authoritarian, developed, undeveloped, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, rich, poor). After conducting nine successful events to date, it is clear to us that the winners of The Global Scavenger Hunt all exhibit a special combination of exceptional qualities, including: 1) having an innate Indiana Jones-daring and an outgoing thirst for adventure; 2) being able to quickly size up any situation in any environment—situational awareness; 3) being able to readily anticipate travel obstacles before they occur and quickly figure out a Plan B—or Plan C; and maybe the most important asset of all, 4) possessing great people skills and being confident with themselves enough to trust strangers in strange lands and ask for help. Ironically, a key to winning is letting go and knowing what you don't know!

Q) Who can participate in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) The Global Scavenger Hunt™ is truly an "open" international event, meaning that anyone who feels that they have the right stuff and are good travelers may apply*. However, the competition is designed for an exclusive group of just 15 two-person teams to compete each year. Just thirty travelers a year get to go.

We have received thousands of applications over the years from worthy travelers around the world—over 45 countries to date in fact! Travelers have participated from: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, England, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Iceland and the United States. In fact, as the world travel championship event brand grows in stature globally, about a third of our teams are now international.

TGSH teams come in all shapes and sizes too. Teams of talented travelers have been comprised of: buddies, old friends, husband-wife, mother-daughter/son, father-son/daughter, grandparents-grand kids, couples, sisters, and even complete strangers, ranging in age from 13 to 75.  

*Needless to say—but we will anyway—that no one will be discriminated against entering TGSH on the bias or race, color, ethnicity, country of origin, sex, weight, height, sexual orientation, age (must be over 13 and accompanied by a legal guardian), residence, IQ, fashion sense or hair color. We do indeed run an equal opportunity international event. 

Here is a PDF copy of our 2015 Event e-Brochure. Enjoy.

 Q) I'm currently low on friends or family that can travel with me. Can I apply as a single?

A) Yes you may. Again TGSH is an "open" international event and anyone who feels that they are high-quality travelers may apply. We get a lot of applications from passionate single travelers needing to be paired up with equally remarkable travelers. Here's how it works...

What we do is process all legitimate applications—yes, ready-made teams are easier to process and more likely to participate—after those slots are filled, and we still have space available, we then attempt to match up single applicants as likely teammates. About 80% of our teams come ready-made, while about 20% are eventually successfully matched up for the competition by the event staff.  

So you know, good travelers are good travelers, and the event has been won three times by successfully paired up single applicants. We've gotten very good at matching up passionate, gung-ho and like-minded travel savvy partners over the years, so please apply, you have nothing to lose.   

Please note however that the Team entry fee is based on double-occupancy.

Q) What is this "process" you speak of?

A) The process is simple. You apply online and tell us why you want to participate in TGSH. We then ask you a few questions. You answer them and complete some simple paperwork. That's the first hoop—just following through! If you are still interested and available to participate, we will set up an interview between you (and your teammate) and either the Event Coordinator or the Event Director via Skype or telephone. We'll have a conversation. We will get to know you and you will get to know us. More questions and answers. That's the process. We will then deliberate on your application, your attitude, your travel bona fides, etc—the tangibles and the intangibles that we believe make for a great event. And then we make a decision.  

We would then let you know if we have space available for you in this year's event. Yeah! Then more paperwork and you are done. There is nothing more you can really prepare for, right—because you don't know where you are going!

Frankly, we sometimes get hundreds of applications each year from passionate, distinguished, impressive and confident savvy global travelers—Century Club and Circumnavigator Club members, Adventure Club members, outdoor adventure racers, pilots, flight attendants, travel writers, ex-special forces, travel agents, retired spies, and even former The Amazing Race participants. But at the end of the day, we are really keen on making each and every event the best it can be. It is like mixing a good cocktail—too much or too little of one ingredient can spoil the whole drink. So sadly, with only 15 two-person teams open each year, not everyone gets to go. We do have to say, "no thank you" at times.

Q) Can you give me a few real examples of previous scavenges?

A) Yes, of course. As mentioned earlier, the event is broken into usually six to eight legs of varying lengths. Teams are each given their scavenger hunt lists at the same time at the beginning of each leg. There is no way any team can complete all the scavenges—it is simply physically impossible—so it is up to each team to devise their own competitive high risk-reward strategy for completing scavenges and thus earning points.

With over 500 optional scavenges from the 2014 event to choose from, here is a really short list of a dozen scavenges from our last event.

In Shanghai: Take the bullet train to Nanjing, and locate and visit the Presidential Palace. Prove it.

In China: Visit a Chinese herbal medicine shop and have them diagnose you without mentioning any aliments. What is your qi? Do you have any afflictions? What is your Traditional Chinese Medicine Rx for whatever ails you?

In China: Locate a family-friendly KTV (video karaoke booth) and have some fun overcoming your performance anxiety. We want video of a team member singing with at least two willing locals for at least one minute.

In Shanghai: Do a morning exercise regime and practice some t'ai chi for at least 30-minutes with others along the Bund or in Lu Xun Park.  

In Viet Nam: Take a 4-hour morning cooking class that includes a trip to a local produce market at your choice of schools—not at the hotel.
In Cambodia: Buy some supplies (20 tubes of toothpaste, a dozen bottles of shampoo, and some large tins of cookies, maybe a few soccer balls too) at Lucky's supermarket and then personally deliver your supplies to either: a) the Lighthouse Orphanage; or b) the Sunrise Children's Village outside town.

In Malaysia: Visit the Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Farm and help the trainers wash them.

In Kula Lumpur: Taste Test Time: Visit a local produce market and purchase three fruits: a durian, a rambutan and a mangosteen. Try them while making a short video.

In Nepal: Visit Chitwan National Park for a photo safari and locate a black rhino atop an elephant. Bonus points for a royal Bengal tiger photo!

In Kathmandu: Either take a meditation lesson at a Nepali Meditation Center; or, practice yoga at a local yoga center.

In Doha: Visit Souq Waqif, try on and price out some traditional clothes: Men a dishdasha/thobe; and women a hijab.

In Qatar: Team Challenge: How high can you get in Qatar? Do it and prove it.

Q) Okay, you got me! How do I apply and how much does it cost?

A) Great. Please apply online to submit your TGSH application. We will then be in touch with you.

The 2015 event entry fee is $25,000 per team ( that fee includes both teammates). That entry fee including: all your international airfare to and from North America, all your hotels between April 10th and May 2, about 40% of your meals will be covered, and transportation from each airport to our hotels. We also have two major hospitality events, a Bon Voyage Party where you will meet all the teams for the first time in our North American departure city, as well as our Winners Gala on May 2nd in our return North American city. We also usually have two or three hospitality events on the road in exotic locales during downtime between legs somewhere. In addition to this, we have been known to put together spectacular pre-departure travel goody boxes (read: swag), that includes some great travel-related stuff we procure from official event sponsors, as well as some of our own official event-related gear—t-shirts, hats, etc.

Please see the 2015 Event Terms & Conditions for exactly what is and what is not included.

BTW: If you have more will than wallet and passionate about joining the event and need help raising the dough or want to obtain sponsorship, we have some great ideas on how to do it. But it will be all your own doing to make it happen. As they say: when there is a will, there is a way.

We are what we say we are too: the event's entry fee is the same for all participants (except the previous year's winners who of course are defending their title on our dime)...there are no special insider deals and everyone participating pays the same fee.

Q) Is it all togetherness and socializing for 23-days while we travel around the world?

A) No, not really. This event is designed for independent travelers. But yes, you will see your fellow competitors and be able to swap war stories at our (always optional) hospitality events. Yes, you will see your fellow competitors at the beginning and ends of each leg. And yes you will probably encounter your fellow travelers as we transit from one destination to the next. However, while each leg's scavenger hunt is conducted, it will be just you and your teammate seeing and doing what you want to see and do. Some legs last 5 hours, some 5 days. No two teams ever do the same scavenges A to Z, it just doesn't happen with the wildly varied options you are given.

So, you can socialize as little or as much as you really want to and as others are willing. Some travelers love sharing their stories with other travelers, some don't. Some travelers always seem to end each day at the hotel bar, some don't. To thy own self be true...

BTW: We have had life-long friends meet on our adventure. We have had marriages as a result of our journey and had babies made too! No divorces though...

Q) What type (or style) of travel can we expect? Backpack and camping, or is it suitcases and spas?

A) Someplace comfortably in between. Remember my Goldilocks Theory of Travel.

First off, smart travelers know that one roller bag and a small day pack will most certainly do you for any length of time. Less is more. No backpacks or camping are necessary during this experience, as you will have comfortable first class hotels available each and every night over the 23-day event. And frankly, we do stay in really nice places—and I will tell you why.

The event is designed for you and your teammate to go out into your new and exotic environment, wherever it may be, for a full days worth of highly participatory, engaging and interactive site-doing. You may be gone from dawn to late in the evening each day conducting thrilling scavenges while getting from here to there. We want you to be doing stuff, having unique experiences, competing with others and creating lasting memories. But, we don't want you to worry a wit about where you are staying. We take care of, book and prepay all that infrastructure well in advance for you.

Yes, it will be a safe place. Yes, it will be a clean place. Yes, you can get something to eat there if you want to. Yes, you can meet others in the bar. Yes, you can get online to blog, communicate with home, or conduct important business if necessary. Yes, you can do laundry if you need to. And yes, you can even pamper yourself after a long day if you desire. So, to that end, yes we have stayed at some really off-the-chart nice places over the years; sometimes big places, sometimes boutique hotels, sometimes palaces, and sometimes once-in-a-lifetime truly amazing places. 
Q) How much out-of-pocket money will I need over and above the event Entry Fees?
A) This is the hardest question to answer over the years. It truly varies from person to person, team to team.

But here is what I can tell you; we get some wealthy Type-A people, some self-described Master's of the Universe, who want to win The World's Greatest Travelerstrophy badly—for bragging rights and their mantle places. That said, the team that throws around the most money will not win this event. It is not about whoever can spend the most will win. It is about one-on-one personal experiences and doing extraordinary things. Not buying stuff. It is about using your Travel IQ to solve and overcome the challenges lying before you. It is about being efficient travelers in sometimes notoriously inefficient destinations. The highly participatory culturally-oriented scavenges themselves are all optional and are not expensive endeavors, ever. You always have the option to pick and choose which scavenges you want to do and which ones you can do. More is simply not the goal here. We have a lot of participants with much more will than wallet, and it must be said that they win The Global Scavenger Hunt event just as often as not.

That said, this is a practical question that demands a practical answer. So, here it is: people have different needs, wants and desires. I am comfortable telling you that on average your team will probably spend between US$90 to $125 a day out of pocket. And that depends on how much you drink, which optional scavenges you do, how much you eat—what you eat, what you buy along the way to take home, how you pamper/indulge yourself, and what style and class of public transportation you employ. A train is just as fast in coach as in first class—but the cost is very different! And of course traveling in places on the Indian-subcontinent or sub-Sahara Africa can be a tad cheaper than Northern Europe or the Gulf states. 

We try to poll a few practical, down-to-earth teams each year as to how much they do actually spend out-of-pocket. And because of this, we are comfortable with that US$90 to $125 a day per team range.

Q) What do some previous travelers say about their participation in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) Well, they say a lot of course. We always thought that this event was a once-in-a-lifetime around the world travel adventure. Boy were we wrong! Overt 25% of our participants each year now are repeat participants. We think that speaks volumes. Happy travelers willing to come and experience the world like we provide them again...and again...and again.

There must be something about participating in our travel adventure that is enriching, exciting, fun, challenging, and for many, truly life-changing. We've also been told that has been transformative to some and turned others into Thrillionaires.

Here are some quotes and videos from former alum. Enjoy.

Q) What does the global media have to say about The Global Scavenger Hunt travel adventure competition?

A) Again, a lot...here are some international media quotes and links to check out. Enjoy.

Here is our 2015 Event e-Media Kit too...

Q) Okay, if I don't know where I am going, what about visas?

A) Great question. After all TGSH teams are selected and fully aboard, we then research everyone's passports to see if and when any visas are required for entry anywhere. We usually are required to organize a few so-called visas-on-arrival for travelers in advance without their knowing. On the rare occasion that we do need a tourist visa before we depart on April 10th (read: India, Russia); we will certainly let everyone know at the same time with more than enough time and instructions on how to obtain them as well. Frankly, most places are still rather easy to get into with only a valid passport, the filling out of a simple form, and maybe a few bucks. 

We have visited over 60 countries over the last decade and haven't left anyone behind yet! (Okay, there was that one guy...but nobody really liked him anyway.)

Q) Again, I don't know where I am going, what about getting special shots or inoculations I might need?

A) Another good practical question. And again, part of TGSH process with all our questionnaires, interview and getting to know you chats, is that we want to fully understand each and every  personal medical issues you have, if any. If the Event Coordinator needs to personally contact your physician on your behalf, they will.

People always ask us about shots and inoculations, and obviously we are not medical professionals (and you of course need to consult with your own family physician)...but, what we always suggest is to make sure that all our Hep A, Tetanus/Diphtheria and Typhoid/Polio pricks are all up to date (aka boosters). In the past, I would say that just about 25% of our travelers go on some type of anti-malaria regime. It is a personal choice and decision, as everyone has their own risk tolerance and health and safety thresholds.

Obviously your safety and health on the road are our prime concern, so please take all necessary precautions. Make good choices, because what we say here is no substitute for a personal consultation with your qualified medical professional. Nuff said...

Q) Do I need travel insurance?

A) Everyone is different and has a different set of personal risk factors, real and psychological.   

That said, we highly recommend that you always protect your travel investment and hedge yourself financially from any and all unforeseen out-of-the-blue mishap. If you need travel insurance, and reside in North America, our Event Coordinator can help you find and wade through some competitive travel insurance rates. If you reside outside North America, you will have to find them on your own. Be smart.

Q) Will we travelers be safe everywhere we go on The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) Of course the long and the short of it, and truly the only honest answer we can give you is that, no one really knows, right. Shit happens!

Having said that, if you are a real traveler who's got some real-world travel experience, you personally know that, the world is a really big place. Ands we are going to make a provocative counter-intuitive statement: That the world is actually a more peaceful, less violent and safe place to travel in than ever before! Yes, we have just a handful of global violent issues confronting us today: Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Darfur/Sudan, Kashmir, the Occupied Territories, and Syria recently. But that's just a few localities out of the almost 200 nation-states in the United Nations. In fact we have a 97% conflict-free zone to travel within. Frankly, as students of international relations and personal relationships, that is unprecedented. I'll take those odds anytime. The world is being pacified (for good or bad) by democracy, the United Nations, literacy, globalization, social media, urbanization and secularization. Collectively, it is all having a positive effect on reducing violence in the world. That is great news. So, please forget the crap you hear nightly on those shrill cable news shows about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket, those fear-mongering sensationalistic reports only feed the insidious Mean World Syndrome. The world is not going to hell in a hand basket. The truth is that I have no problem finding safe places to visit each and every year. And here's a fast fact for you: statistically speaking, traveling is 40 times safer than staying at home!

And forget about random acts of terrorism too. According to Brian Jenkins, one of the world's foremost terrorism experts at the RAND Institute, "It is statisticall
y so unlikely that a traveler will be a victim of terrorism that we'd be better off telling people how to avoid lightning." And of course we agree. As participants in TGSH, we have several things working in our favor that keep us out of harms way: 1) we have no known predictable travel route, internationally or locally, for anyone to plot or plan against; 2) we don't travel with any visible corporate logos and signs or on tour buses for that matter; 3) we don't even really travel as a group save for a couple specially-planned cultural events; 4) we are all seasoned travelers with a greater understanding of a travelers best friend on the road—situational awareness; and finally, 5) we all know how to blend in and trust our well-honed instincts.

Of course bad things can and do happen on the road: ordinary petty crime, car accidents, food poisoning, and the odd ferry or train disasters. But those things also take place in our own communities too. So, yes you will be safe, we would not take anybody anyplace we would not take our kids (and we do!) and we want to come home safe and sound too. So be vigilant, be smart and be careful, but of course you are safe!

Knock on wood, after nine successful adventures around the world we have had zero issues to report!

Q) I’m not a marathon runner.  What is the physical degree of difficulty in participating in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) A good question. The TGSH is not an athletic competition a la the Eco-Challenge, nor an endurance race like the Whitbread around-the-world sailing event. It is also not a silly stunt-filled TV drama like The Amazing Race. On the flip side, it is not a sleep-on-the-beach resort vacation or a pre-packaged on-off bus tour serving three square meals a day either. You will be engaged daily in extraordinary activities.

TGSH is what I would call a soft adventure, not a physically grueling hard adventure. It is an adventure of the mind, rather than body. In the past, our anything but average travelers, have been between the ages of 13 and 75—we won’t hold the young at a disadvantage for lack of wisdom, just as we will not hold the more mature at a disadvantage for their lack of youthful athleticism. Every traveler is equal in this competition. We always say that if you can take a good walk in the noon-day sun, albeit the Equatorial noon-day sun, you should be okay.

That said, it is a marathon of sorts because you will be circling the globe traveling through 24-time zones over a 23 day period. So get in shape, eat right and take your vitamins.

Q) Again, I don't know where I am going, how am I supposed to pack for 23-days?

A) Who knows? Our best advice is simple: If you can't carry it, don't take it. Because at the end of the day it will be in your best interest to pack as functionally light as possible. In our humble opinion, Spring is the best time to travel the globe. No rainy season. No tourists. Not too cold yet. Maybe even an Indian Summer in Southern Hemisphere and an early Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Like we mentioned earlier, a single roller-bag and a small day pack should suffice. Remember, they have stores in the rest of the world—and laundromats too!

In all seriousness, we will provide all team competitors with a packing list as the event's start draws closer.

Q) Can I bring and use my (fill in the blank) smart phone/tablet/laptop/GPS?

A) Yes, of course. Our participants blog, write articles, correspond with family and friends, and even conduct important business while they are traveling in TGSH. You just can't use any technology while you are actually performing scavenges. We want you interact with locals, to trust strangers in strange lands, not Google when the temple opens!? We have rules.
Q) What does The Global Scavenger Hunt's charity aspect mean to me?

A) Thank you for asking.

First off, this is why we do The Global Scavenger Hunt year after year. Trust us, it isn't because we grow rich pulling off this labor of love year after year. No, it's because we know how much good comes from the event and personally how it affects so many other people's lives so profoundly.

Simply put, we have disguised TGSH to be the stealth-like platform in which the GreatEscape Foundation can raise funds in order to help others help themselves and make that great escape from poverty. We don't like to pound people over the head, but our tax-exempt IRS-approved 501(c)3 non-profit GreatEscape Foundation (ID# 954831064), does some really wonderful things, like: build co-ed elementary schools in developing nations, build health clinics in the middle of the desert to service nomadic tribes and train mid-wives, and it has helped countless moms make some extra money so that they can better care for and educate their children. Check out our Doing Good section for additional details. Or see our What We Do brouchure.

So how does this affect you as a participant in TGSH? Well, if you help us raise funds we can maybe help you travel. Because as an added incentive to help the GreatEscape Foundation help others, TGSH team that raises the most funds using the 2014 as their creative, eye-catching and fun platform—over and above each team's goal of $40,000—will automatically be entered into the next edition—2015—of The Global Scavenger Hunt for free—with their entire entry fees waived, win or lose the 2014 event! A free trip around the world for helping others. It is as easy as that. That’s our way of giving back to you for helping others.

Now you should know that raising funds for the GreatEscape Foundation is an entirely optional endeavor. You do not have to raise a dime, or help us raise a dime, if you don't want to. Some teams do gangbusters, some do nothing. But what we have found over the last decade is two things: 1) it always enhances your life/adventure knowing that you helped others unselfishly and make what you do, more than just being about you—that you are a part of something bigger; and 2) since our travelers don't know where they are going, we find that they have a tremendous amount of built-up untapped energy to expend, and we have found that giving them a productive and effective way to use that positive energy turns into a win-win-win by doing some good for others.

Frankly, some people are great about raising money—it is as easy as asking—whereas, some could not do it if their life depended on it. We really do understand. So, to each his own. But if you want to help, we can help empower you in a proven and successful way. Who knows, there may even be some tax benefits for you too.*

*U.S. Federal Tax Law provides deductions where "there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation." You should consult your tax advisor if you have any questions. 

Q) I have never really traveled internationally, is that a problem?

A) Well, yea probably. TGSH is for the most creative, curious and travel savvy globetrotters and travel enthusiasts out there. Participants should have some experience in dealing with spontaneous travel circumstances and snafus, dealing with different cultures, logistics and language barriers. A strong curiosity and healthy imagination are also required. Oh yeah, wanting to partake in some world-class fun is an absolute must.

Frankly, we want to make sure all our travelers can survive our event philosophy of completing highly participatory cultural-oriented site-doing scavenges, of trusting strangers in strange lands, of taking an unplugged Blind Date with the World adventure while circumnavigating the globe visiting 10 countries over a 23-day period. Yes, we want to make sure we're not committing travel malpractice by allowing some greenhorn snowbirds compete who have no business competing. Can you just imagine if we dropped some neophytes in Delhi for four days and just said "go do you list of scavenges"!? Jeez, we may never see them again. So, yes, we do interview everyone for suitability and having traveled (you and/or your teammate, international and/or domestic) is kind of important to us...go figure.

Q) I am a (fill in the blank) tour operator/travel agent/travel professional, can I get involved?

A) Yes you may. Again we don't discriminate against any profession and we have an incentive program to get you involved and to send us your most intrepid travelers for the travel adventure of a lifetime. Not only will they thank you, but so will we! Contact us at tc (at) globalscavengerhunt.com.

By the way, there is currently some loose talk that there will be a type of competition within a competition this year whereby an internationally well-known travel magazine will be finding out who "The World's Best Travel Agents" truly are by having several of them compete in the TGSH—without the benefit of their computers, phones and safety nets. Should be illuminating...stay tuned!

Q) I am an educator and this travel adventure really excites me, how can I share it with my students?

A) Thank you for asking. We have kids (aged 8 and 18 who have both grown up with TGSH) and we dream of turning people on to the joys and benefits of travel. We are Travel Evangelists as it were because we know our annual event is a great way to turn kids onto geography, history, culture, food...it's all there. And we do presentations in schools all the time. Kids love it...

So, please e-mail and as the competition progresses we have plans for a more interactive website where real time scavenges will be posted, a Live webcast shown, photos exhibited and competitors dispatches traded. Our annual event is a great device to get your kids more involved in the Internet and interested in the real world and it's fascinating cultures.

Q) Is this just another version of those reality TV shows like The Amazing Race?

A) We get asked this question a lot sadly. Almost daily in fact. The short answer is NO!

We started our event in May 2000, over a year before The Amazing Race, oops, I said it, even aired on TV. We are flattered by the comparison—we think? But our travel adventure competition is "open" to all comers, real people, real travelers; not perfectly cast players for dramatic purposes. Our event does not induce drama between teammates or other competing teams. Our participants actually have to trust strangers in strange lands—not depend on the accompanying producer to make sure they get where they are going. We also don’t kick any team out of the competition for not doing well in any particular leg. One of our unofficial event mottos is: He who runs cannot walk with dignity, and we attempt to have our teams slow down and smell the roses as they perform their scavenges and immerse themselves culturally. Our competitors perform real authentic activities, site-doing, not just perform pre-staged action stunts. (Do it again, we didn't get that!) And finally, our event truly crowns The World’s Greatest Travelersin the world's only annual around the world travel adventure competition! Besides, how authentic could these shows be when producers cast participants, design faux challenges for the participants to perform, then edit and alter filmed scenes? While we respect The Amazing Races awards and financial success, we suspect after their ratings eventually dissipate, that The Global Scavenger Hunt event will be still going strong as an international event and still crowning The World's Greatest Travelers. Our event is about real travelers meeting real strangers, and then making those strangers become friends...and helping to raise a few bucks for some wonderful worthy causes!

That said and off our collective chests, yes, of course, The Global Scavenger Hunt will be filmed on occasion and eventually seen in the media. On the news, on YouTube, in a documentary and in our participants home during family video-watching night. :)

If you have any additional questions, please e-mail us: ringmaster {at} Globalscavengerhunt.com.

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