Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions thrown our way from travelers around the world wanting to participate in our annual around the world travel adventure. We know that taking a mysterious trip to places we’re not saying where is a giant leap of faith. Therefore, we try to be as transparent as possible about everything. Below is our best attempt at answering all the questions that have come our way of the last 18 years. We 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™ and in 2019 is offering a US$50,000 cash prize to the winners of the world travel championship (WTC).

The event takes an exclusive collection of great travelers (two-person teams) to at least ten secret countries (A Blind Date with the World™) over 23-days while circumnavigating the globe. In each of the ten mystery countries we visit, teams perform/complete a series of highly participatory and culturally-oriented site-doing scavenges, thus proving/testing their accumulated travel IQ and their collective travel savvy. The event is in fact, the annual world travel championships and has been conducted 14 times since its establishment in 2000.

It has been called: the Olympics of travel, a Magical Mystery Adventure, and it is the Super Bowl, Olympic Games, X Games and the World Series of travel adventures all rolled into one annual event that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers. One participant even called it: “The Amazing Race for real travelers”. It is breathtakingly fun.

It is an event that thoroughly tests the fluid situational travel intelligence of all participants. TGSH is all about creativity, having fun, being challenged, learning, getting out of your comfort zone, feeling alive, empowerment, novelty, spontaneity and allowing for serendipity…and trusting strangers in strange lands. It is designed for curious, adventurous spirits, and independent-minded travelers who relish an extremely hands-on and one-of-a-kind travel experiences filled with: authentic exotic off-the-beaten path backdrops, interesting cultures and amazingly colorful people; entwined in a fascinating competition/adventure—while going around-the-world (Circumnavigators Club here we come!). Don’t forget the secret missions, cryptic clues, special challenges! It is a 21st century Travel 3.0 event: authentic, challenging and participatory.

Frankly, our travel adventure hits on all the reasons people want to travel in the first place: to escape their daily routines; to take a real adventure; to get outside their comfort zones; to spend quality time with loved ones; to relax, rejuvenate and be inspired; to explore new lands and discover diverse cultures; to meet new people; to strengthen relationships; to learn something new; to challenge themselves; to expand their horizons; to be immersed in the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the smiles of new places; to celebrate their lives; to feed their wanderlust; to live in the moment longer than a moment; to become more interesting people/storytellers; and, to cross off items on their personal Bucket Lists.

If any of those are your unspoken “Why I travel” goals—have we got an adventure for you!

Check out this year’s video…

Q) When will the 2019 edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt take place?

A) The event will take place over 23-days, starting on April 12th and ending three-weeks later on May 4th, 2019. Our start/return destination will be announced later. (Part of the mystery vacation!)

The event is usually scheduled for the same time every year, between 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.

FYI: Past events have been held in: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2018. Our 2003 event was cancelled due to the Iraqi War and SARS outbreak…we took a family time hiatus in 2006 and 2007 due to very small children.

Q) Speaking of mystery vacations, what is A Blind Date with the World?

A) TGSH is A Blind Date with the World for many reasons…first and foremost, it is exhilaratingly fun! And what that means is that our participants won’t know which ten countries they will be visiting over their 23-day adventure until they are given a “4-Hour Notice” before boarding a plane to a new destination.

It is designed this way to keep travelers in the dark as long as possible about their impending destination so that wonderful elements of surprise, mystery and anticipation can be maximized. The result? No maps, no guidebooks, and none of the usual endless pre-trip online research and planning; but counterbalanced with an overwhelming amount 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 as long as possible makes the event a true travel adventure competition as 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 weeks’ worth of real-world and real-time creative problem solving.

As we mentioned, our travelers will only learn of their impending destination when they are each given a “4-Hour Notice” …which is plenty of time to get to the airport to catch their next flight. Thrilling screamsExciting looks. Amazing words. Really!? Wow feelings…is usually what follows the announcements.

Q) Really!? No hints at all?

A) Really…a truly fabulous Blind Date with the World.

But what we can tell you, based on taking hundreds of travelers, so far, to 85 secret countries across six continents over the last 18 years, is that our annual 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. Each and every year, we design a new international event course—no two events have ever been the same. It keeps us fresh, and everyone always guessing. And guess they do—and so will you!

Over the last decade we have visited over a third of the world’s nations—85 to be exact. Yes 85, from Argentina to Zambia! They have included: Andorra, Colombia, Romania, Sri Lanka, Japan, Morocco, Tunisia, Fiji, Oman, Iceland, Russia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Peru and Laos, among scores of others.

Where we have been to…and haven’t been…


More importantly…Where are we going in 2019?

Q) Why would anyone take A Blind Date with the World?

A) If we had a dime for everyone who has contacted us since we started our around-the-world event in 2000, we could retire…people love the idea!

Believe it or not, people really like surprises. Psychologically speaking, people are known to thrive when serendipity comes into their lives. It is a scientific fact—our senses are heightened, and we feel more alive. Yep, it’s true, some people have great sense of adventure lurking in them…sweet anticipation.

Many travelers love the idea of not knowing where they are going, because not everyone likes spending endless hours of their limited free time researching possible destinations, planning logistics, and then booking their trips. People tend to overthink options and the details, often creating a too much analysis leads to paralysis mindset; others suffer severe bouts of buyer’s regret wondering if they got the best deal. Who needs the stress some say? Other folks just don’t have the time, and of course no two travel companions can always agree on where exactly they should go. Who needs the relationship strain? More importantly though, and another scientific fact, is that too much Internet research surfing leads to inflated expectations, that sadly cannot be met.

So, what better way to avoid those pitfalls and enjoy something by not having any expectations or preexisting biases attached to their experiences, knowing that they will see all the best things and enjoy all the most exhilarating experiences. And that is where our almost two decades worth of real world, real destination planning experience comes into play: We have personally visited hundreds of global destinations (passed the 100-country mark decades ago) and have taken our larger annual event to over 85 countries to date. We are travel professionals, experts with real-world experience; we know where to look, what to book, and what the most compelling things to see and do in every destination we go are—that is our job, and we are really very, very good at it.

Surprise, mystery adventures are thrilling; and we know this from the personal feedback we have gotten from taking hundreds of travelers around the world for almost two decades. We have learned first-hand that open, curious travelers always embrace the unexpected.

But, if you hate surprises and international intrigue, and want to control everything, frankly, this adventure might not be for you.

Q) So, is The Global Scavenger Hunt a flat-out race around the world?

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

The event is designed not as a pole-to-pole race, but in the style of a European auto rally: it is a stop and go affair, broken up into a series of geographic legs—usually six or seven for each event.

For example, we visit an area of China; Teams are given a booklet full of “China” scavenges and are asked to choose and complete as many optional scavenges as they wish to during the specific period of time we are in that area of China—say three days. At the conclusion of each leg, all the teams will check-in, rest, swap war stories, and enjoy some refreshing downtime, maybe even a hospitality event. Only then does the event move on to the next secret destination with a “4-Hour Notice” to begin another leg in another part of the world.

Past TGSH events have been made up of between five and eight legs, with each leg lasting between a short and sweet easy six hours (AKA A Layover Challenge), to a more in-depth and challenging leg that could last five days and include a few regional countries and movement. Typically, we are usually in each country for between 48 and 72 hours.

Q) Did you say a $50,000 cash prize and being crowned The World’s Greatest Travelers
for the winning Team?

A) Yes, we did. US$50,000 cash dollars to the winners…winner-take-all!

Q) Okay, how do we win? Explain the competition part?

A) Travelers participating in the 2019 edition of TGSH will compete with other fellow travelers by earning points based on completing scavenges and devising their own risk-reward strategies: What scavenges you choose to do? What ones you choose not do? When, and how, you choose to do them?We will keep track of the points/scores and then will have winners at the end of the three-weeks traveling around the world. We have clear well-defined event rules, as well as a philosophical spirit of the event, that all participants follow.

So, yes, it is a competition. People love this element of our travel adventure. And by keeping the destinations a secret, it makes the event a true travel adventure competition in that all the teams must effectively hit the ground running.

What it really takes primarily to do well, and secondly maybe to win this annual travel adventure competition, is a combination of acquired travelers savvy and genetic Travel IQ. Competitors in the TGSH are constantly challenged with: foreign language barriers, confusing cultural differences (place lag), jet lag, personal team dynamics, transportation and logistical challenges, and the subtle heat of the competition itself. Three-week’s worth of real-life, real-world and real-time creative problem solving with an emphasis on intercultural competence—the ability to successfully communicate with people of other cultures (AKA trusting strangers in strange lands). And with no team having any prior knowledge—thus have any ability to have done any prior research on any of our secret destination or scavenges—it makes our travelers feel alive playing a big game; a fun game in which no one really loses.

Simply put, here is the event’s gamified calculus: the team that earns the most points completing scavenges wins each leg. The more legs you win, the more likelihood of winning the event. Some scavenges are worth a lot—but are extremely challenging to complete. While other scavenges are easy to complete—but worth significantly fewer points to complete. The teams that work well together and create the right risk-reward formula, usually do well. Consistency is the key to success over the 23-day event.

The winning team of travelers will win the US$50,000 first place cash prize, along with the crown and title of The World’s Greatest Travelers™ which they hold for 2019.

Obviously 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. But, it is clear to us, after conducting 14 previously safe and successful events, that the winners of TGSH have all exhibited a special combination of exceptional travel-related qualities, including: 1) having an innate Indiana Jones-daring—a 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—contingency planning; 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 the world travel championship is letting go and knowing what you don’t know!

Ask yourself: Am I that type of traveler? Do you want to be?

Q) Who can participate in The Global Scavenger Hunt?

A) The Global Scavenger Hunt™ is 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 two-person teams to compete each year.

We have received thousands of applications over the years from worthy travelers around the world—from over 60 countries to date. Residents and passport holders of: Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands, China, Belgium, England, Poland, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Barbados, Iceland and the United States have participated to date. In fact, as the world travel championship event brand grows in stature globally, about a third of our teams are now international participants. Winners have hailed from: Canada, USA, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium.

TGSH teams come in all shapes and sizes too. Teams of talented travelers have been comprised of: travel 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 80.

Here is a PDF copy of our 2019 Event Brochure Enjoy.

*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 18 and accompanied by a legal guardian), residence, religion, IQ, fashion sense or hair color. We do indeed run an equal opportunity international event. That said, we do reserve the right to refuse anyone based on event suitability.

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

A) We get it: schedules, priorities and resources, sometimes don’t match up. So, yes, you can apply as a single. Please do.

Again, TGSH is an “open” international event and anyone who feels that they are high-quality travelers, or just curious adventurous souls, 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—but 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 do come ready-made, while about 20% are eventually successfully matched up for the competition by our crack event staff.

So you know, good travelers are good travelers, and obviously only like-minded folks would even think about participating in this adventure, so you are half-way to finding a suitable teammate because clearly all our travelers 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. That is what it takes to partake in such a giant global leap of faith—taking a trip to somewhere unknown. And the event has been won on three occasions in the past by successfully paired up single applicants. We’ve gotten very good at matching up passionate, gung-ho like-minded travel savvy partners over the years, so please don’t let not having a partner dissuade you from participating and applying—you have nothing to lose.

Please note however that the Team entry fees are based on double-occupancy.

Q) What is this “process” you speak of?

A) The process is simple. Travelers 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.

Then, if you are still interested and ready, willing 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, Facetime or telephone. We’ll have a conversation. We will get to know you and you will get to know us. More questions and easy 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 decide.  (We just don’t have room for everyone who applies, sorry.) We would then let you know if we have space available for you in this year’s event. Yeah! Then a little more paperwork to complete and you are done. Start packing.

There is nothing more you can really prepare for, right—because you don’t know where you are going! (Good luck explaining that to family, friends and co-workers.)

Frankly, we sometimes get hundreds of applications each year from passionate, distinguished, impressive and confident savvy global travelers—Century Club and Circumnavigator Club members, various other adventure club members, outdoor adventure racers, pilots, flight attendants, travel writers, ex-special forces, travel agents, retired spies, and even former reality TV and 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, not everyone gets to go. We do have to say, “No thank you.” a lot. Sorry.

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. Each team is given the same scavenger hunt lists (AKA proprietary crafted and copy-write protected instructions/guidebooks) 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 risk-reward strategy for completing scavenges and thus earning points. Of course, we want our travelers to see and do all the best things in each destination we visit, and the scavenger hunt lists are designed in novel ways to experience them. They run the gamut: natural wonders, World Heritage Sites, adrenaline rushes, culinary hotspots, nightlife, chance encounters, special events, history, art, special adventures, meeting uniquely talented locals, and maybe even having the opportunity to do some volunteer work, if you wish, too.

  

Remember three things: 1) they are all optional—you don’t have to do anything—but we think that they might be fun for you to do; 2) all our participatory site-doing scavenges are designed for you to meet new people (trusting strangers in strange lands) and be fully engaged and immersed in the destination we are visiting; and 3) how you organize your activities, what each day on the adventure looks like—is entirely up to you!

All our travelers/Teams will each be given the same scavenger hunt lists at the same time at the beginning of each leg. (We are told that, “…it is like Christmas morning opening up new wrapped surprise gifts every few days.”) Then you and your travel mate figure out what you feel compelled to complete for your own self-satisfaction—and then do them.

With over 500 optional scavenges to choose from annually, here is a short list of the types of WOW’s we will be putting before you:

1 – (Vietnam) Take a four-hour market-to-table cooking class at your choice of schools (not at any hotel) that includes market buying, tasting and cooking. Suggestions include…

2 – (Cambodia) Purchase a mix of supplies (Suggestions include: a dozen note books, scores of pens and pencils, a few soccer balls, 20-tubes of toothpaste, a dozen bottles of shampoo, or tins of cookies) at Psar Thmei; deliver your supplies to either of these legitimate vetted Phnom Penh area orphanages…

3 – (Denmark) Ask three Danes (not at any hotel) to explain what hygge culture means to them. See if you can get someone to tell you a joke about their neighbors the Swedes. Video please.

4 – (Sri Lanka) Have a chat with a wandering monk and ask them about their Buddhist beliefs. Specifically, what are the “three poisons” of Mahayana Buddhism? Find out why they became a monk?

5 – (Nepal) Visit Chitwan National Park and take a photo safari: locate a black rhino while atop an Asian elephant. Bonus points for taking a royal Bengal tiger photo.

6 – (Zimbabwe-Zambia) Technically, there are five ways to cross the Zambezi River (helicopter, kayak, walk, car or zip-line) between these two countries; use three of them during your stay in the area.

7 – (Russia) Rent a bicycle while in St. Petersburg to complete at least three of your local scavenges.

8 – (Argentina) While in Buenos Aires, figure out how to have a Puerta Cerrada (closed door private home) restaurant experience. What did you eat? Who did you share your dinner with?

9 – (Peru) Taste Test Time: Find and visit what is considered Lima’s best cebicheria and sample 3-types of Peruvian ceviche: sweet, spicy & bitter. Which do you prefer?

10 – (Morocco) Take the Marrakesh Express from Casablanca and purchase some babouches in the ancient souk. Be wearing them at check-in time.

11 – (Jordan) Ride a four-legged beast at sunrise or sunset through the siqto the ancient city of Petra.

12 – (Oman) Taxi Cab Roulette: Take a taxi cab adventure and ask your cabbie, “Would you please take us to a restaurant, a place where you would eat with your family or friends?” Tell them you prefer a nearby local and non-touristy restaurant. Where did you go? What did you eat? Who did you meet?

13 – (Abu Dhabi) Team Challenge: Abu Dhabi is rising quickly; how high can you get in Abu Dhabi? Do it, prove it, and what time is it? The winning team earns 100 points.

14 – (Bali) Taste Test Time: Visit a local produce market and purchase three fruits: a durian, a rambutan and a mangosteen. Try and explain them.

Fun right! Well, doing the scavenges is just part of the adventure, because our travelers will also appreciate the unique challenges and experiences of visiting at least ten (10) secret and diverse environments (urban, rural, big city, small village, hot, wet, cool, dry, coastal, mountainous), and dissimilar countries (democratic, authoritarian, developed, undeveloped, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, rich, poor) on six continents. Eighty-five countries and counting

Q) Okay, you got me! How do I apply and what’s the bottom-line cost wise?

A) Please apply online and submit your TGSH application. We will be in touch with you soon.

As they say, when there is a will–there is a way. You will need 23-days off starting April 12th, the US$12,500 per person entry fees, and a valid passport…bottom-line. How much courage and curiosity you pack, is your call.

Your 2019 event entry fees include: all your international airfare to and from North America; all your hotels for 23-days between April 12th and May 4, 2019 based on double-occupancy; about 40% of your meals will be covered; transportation from each airport to our official hotels; at least two major hospitality events—a Bon Voyage Party where you will meet all the other teams for the first time in our North American departure city, as well as our Winners Gala in our return North American city; we usually have two or three on-the-road hospitality events in exotic locales during downtime between legs; and 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.

Most of our travelers are self-financed, but if you have more will than wallet and are passionate about joining our event and need help raising the dough or want to obtain sponsorship, we have some ideas on how to do it. But it will be all your own doing to make that happen. As they say: When there is a will, there is a way.

Q) Okay, you got me! I can’t go in 2019, but this is a Bucket List item for me!

A) Bucket List Us here, and we will keep you in the loop in regard to future adventures.

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

A) No, not really. This adventure is designed for independent travelers. But yes, you will see your fellow travelers and be able to swap war stories at our (always optional) hospitality events. And of course, you will see your fellow travelers while traveling to and from our destinations as we all travel on the same flights, and you will probably encounter a few of your fellow travelers conducting some of your (always optional) destination scavenges. But we promise you, that no two sets of travelers will ever do the same scavenges A to Z—there are just too many to choose from and they are too random…so, it just doesn’t happen with the wildly varied options you are given. Plus, everyone has their own schedules, be they: morning larks, night owls, never stop moving go-getters or siesta relaxers…

So, the long and short of it…you can socialize as little or as much as you really want to and as others are willing to indulge you. 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 even had few babies made too! No divorces though…fingers crossed.
 
Q) What type (or style) of travel can we expect? Backpack and camping, or is it suitcases and spas? What kind of hotels will we be booked into?

A) Someplace comfortably in between. Remember our Goldilocks Theory of Travel…. just right.

First off, savvy travelers know that one roller bag and a small day pack will most certainly do you for any length of time. Less is more. Camping equipment is not necessary during this experience, as you will have comfortable first-class hotels (5-star and 4-star properties) available every night over the 15-day adventure–although safaris and over-night cruises could occur. But frankly, we do stay in really nice places—and I will tell you why.

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

So, yes, they will be clean, safe places. Yes, you can get something to eat there. Yes, you can meet others in the bar there for a night cap. Yes, you can get online to blog, Skype/Facetime or conduct important business if necessary. Yes, you can do laundry if you need to. And yes, you can even pamper yourself with all the amenities of home 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 —all comfortable first-class hotels (5-star and 4-star properties); sometimes big places, sometimes boutique hotels, sometimes palaces, sometimes heritage hotels, sometimes glamping, sometimes once-in-a-lifetime properties, and most of the time all great places. Here’s a short list of a few of our favorite global hotels that we have actually stayed in.

Q) Over and above the entry fees, how much out-of-pocket money will I need?

A) Frankly, this is one of the hardest questions to answer. It truly varies from person to person, team to team, place to place.

But here is what we can tell you: We get both wealthy Type-A travelers as well as more-will-than-wallet penny-pinching adventurers; knowing that, we have organized the adventure so that the team that throws around the most money will not have any more fun than others—okay, maybe a little! But know that our fundamental travel philosophy is not about whoever can spend the most has the most fun; it is about one-on-one personal experiences and doing extraordinary things—not buying more stuff.

Moreover, 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 site-doing scavenges you want to do and which ones you can do; and the expensive scavenges are marked ($$$). More is simply not the goal here.

That said, this is a practical question that demands a practical answer. So, here it is: people have different needs, wants and desires. We are comfortable telling you that on average your team will probably spend between US$75 to $125 a day out-of-pocket. And that depends on how much you drink, which optional scavenges you do, how much and where you eat, what you buy along the way as souvenirs, how much 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 tend to be a tad cheaper than Northern Europe or the Gulf States. As they say, your mileage may vary, but think between US$75 to $125 a day.

Money talk aside, we like to think that we have turned everyone that participates into Thrillionaires.
  
Q) Okay so, if I don’t know where I am going, what about visas?

A) Great question. After all we will be visiting at least ten (10) countries on TGSH travel adventureWe usually are required to organize a few so-called visas-on-arrival for travelers in advance without our traveler’s knowledge. On the rare occasion that we do need a tourist visa before we depart (read: Russia, Brazil, etc.), we let everyone know with more than enough time and instructions on how to obtain those visas. 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 85 countries and still 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 the shots or inoculations I might need?

A) Another good practical question. Travelers are always asking 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 your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR and MMRV) vaccine, Hep A, Tetanus/Diphtheria (Td and Tdap)and Typhoid/Polio pricks are all up to date (aka boosters).

As far as mosquitoes go, in the past, I would say that just about 20% of our travelers go on some type of anti-malaria regime. It is their personal choice, as everyone has their own risk tolerance and health and safety thresholds. We also suggest that people look into a new drug called Dukoral that is a cholera vaccine. Always bring a high-DEET bug spray with you.

Obviously, your safety and health on the road are our prime concern, so please take all necessary precautions. Make good choices and know that 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. We will not play the fear card here.

That said, we highly recommend that you always protect your travel investment and hedge yourself financially from any unforeseen out-of-the-blue mishaps. If you can’t self-insure and need travel insurance, our Event Coordinator can help you wade through some competitive travel insurance rates. 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!

Yet, contrary to the nightly cable news shows promotion of the Mean World Syndrome, we are living in the most peaceful and safest time in human history. The world is not going to hell in a hand basket. Don’t mistake the headlines for the trend-lines. Sure, there are a handful of civil wars taking place within a few pockets of resistance still simmering in the worldAfghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Darfur/South Sudan, Syria, and Eastern Ukraine recently. You could add the Gaza Strip and parts of Chicago to that list. But the indisputable reality is that we are living in a 96% conflict-free and safe to travel world. 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, rising incomes and secularization. Collectively, it is all having a positive effect on reducing violence in the world. And that is great news!

Statistically speaking, traveling is 40 times safer than staying at home. And our savvy travelers all listen to the little hairs on the back of their necks. Knock on wood…never had a bad encounter yet after 14 circumnavigations to 85 countries with hundreds of travelers. Not one bad encounter!…Think about that. (Sure, there have been a few taxi cab rip-offs, but that’s it!)

And forget about random acts of terrorism too. According to Brian Jenkins, one of the world’s foremost terrorism experts at the RAND Institute (and former co-worker), “It is statistically 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—avoid lightening. As participants of always new and changing event, we have several things working in our favor that help keep us out of harm’s 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; 3) we don’t even really travel as a group save for a couple specially-planned cultural events or to-and-from the airport; 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, crimes of opportunity, car accidents, food poisoning, and the odd ferry or train disasters. But those things 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!) to, and we want to come home safe and sound. So be vigilant, be smart and be careful and you will have fun.

Q) I’m not a marathon runner. What is the physical degree of difficulty for participating in the event?

A) A good question. TGSH is not an athletic competition. It is also not a silly stunt-filled reality TV drama like The Amazing Race. On the flip side, it is not a sleep-on-the-beach resort vacation or a prepackaged on-off bus tour serving three square gluttonous meals a day either. You will be engaged daily in extraordinary activities.

TGSH is what we would call a soft adventure, not a physically grueling hard adventure; no high-altitude mountain climbing and no deep-sea scuba diving either. It is an adventure of the mind and spirit, rather than body. In the past, our anything but average travelers, have been between the ages of 13 and 80—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. 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, traveling is not easy…so, get in shape (walk around the block a few times with your bags is always eye-opening), do yoga, bike, run, swim, hike, 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.

That said, we will give you a weather report forecast one week before we leave to fill in the what-if packing blanks. But remember, in our humble opinion, spring is the best time to travel the globe: No rainy season. No tourists. Not too hot 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 fluff-n-fold 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) iWatch/smart phone/tablet/laptop?

A) Yes, of course. Our traveler’s will be blogging, writing articles, corresponding with family and friends, and even conducting what we suppose is important business while they are traveling. That is the nature of being away from it all in the 21stCentury—we stay connected!?

That said, our philosophy is that we want you to interact with locals, to trust strangers in strange lands, not Google when a temple opens, get a reservation at a restaurant, or use maps to get you there!? We want you to ask directions. It is good to get lost once in a while. So, we would prefer you get off the grid—but to each his own. But we promise at the end of three weeks, you will thank us for trying.

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

A) Well, they say a lot of course. Funny, when we first put this event together back in 2000, we always thought that it was a once-in-a-lifetime around the world travel adventure. Boy were we wrong! Today, about 25% of our participants are now repeat participants. We think that speaks volumes! We are flattered. 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, becomes a trans-formative and life-changing event. We like to think that we have turned everyone that participates 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 2019 – Event e-Media Kit too…

  
Q) What does The Global Scavenger Hunt’s charity aspect mean to me?

A) Thank you for asking.

First off, frankly this is why we do The Global Scavenger Hunt. Believe us, it isn’t because we have grown 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. That’s why we do it.

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 2019 – What We Do brochure too

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 2019 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—2020—of The Global Scavenger Hunt for free—with their entire entry fees waived, win or lose the 2019 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. So, start early if you desire to make a real impact in our world!

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 go 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 at 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 adviser if you have any questions.

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

A) Well, yea probably!? We want to make sure we’re not committing travel malpractice by allowing some greenhorn cruise addict to travel who would seriously have no business traveling to some off-the-beaten track destination. Can you just imagine if we dropped some neophytes in Delhi for three days and just said “Go do your 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.

TGSH is for the most creative, curious and travel savvy globetrotters and travel enthusiasts out there. Participants should have some working knowledge and experience in dealing with spontaneous travel circumstances and snafus, dealing with different cultures, logistics and language barriers. Having said that some people know a lot after traveling through just a few countries, while some folks are still, well, not so competent, after visiting 100 countries. It is quality not quantity.

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

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

We started our event in May 2000, a year before The Amazing Race even aired on TV. We are flattered by the comparisons—we think?

Our travel adventure competition is “open” to all comers—real people, real travelers; not perfectly cast players for melodramatic purposes. Our event does not induce drama between teammates or other competing teams. Our participants have to trust strangers in strange lands—not depend on the accompanying producer to help make sure they get where they are actually going. We don’t kick any of our teams out of the competition for not doing well on a leg. Our competitors perform real authentic site-doing scavenges, not just perform pre-staged action stunts. (Can you do it again, we didn’t get the shot!) And finally, our event crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers™ in the only annual around the world international travel adventure competition. It is the world travel championship. Finally, our event attempts to raise consciousnesses, and funds for worthy causes, not worry about ratings and ad sales revenue. (I know, sour grapes, right!?)

That said, on occasion, portions of The Global Scavenger Hunt are recorded and do eventually end up in numerous media outlets: network news, imbedded in news articles, on YouTube and social media channels, documentaries, and in our participants homes during family video-watching nights.

If you like photos…enjoy this montage through the years…You are officially invited!

Please, if you have any additional questions, please e-mail us:
gsh {at} GlobalScavengerhunt.com.

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