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Frequently Asked Questions

We have gotten a lot of questions thrown our way over the last decade from travelers around the world wanting to participate in our annual event. We try to be as transparent as we can, so below is our attempt to answer any and all the usual questions we have been asked. 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™. The event takes a limited group of fifteen two-person to ten secret countries (A Blind Date with the World™) over 23-days as teams circumnavigate the globe. While in each country teams perform/complete a series of highly participatory and culturally-oriented site-doing scavenges proving their travel savvy. It is in fact, the world travel championship.

It is indeed the Olympics of travel, the Super BowlIndy 500X 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 participants. TGSH is all about creativity, having fun, being challenged, learning, getting out of your comfort zone, feeling alive, empowerment, novelty, spontaneity, serendipity…and trusting strangers in strange lands.

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

After over a decade of watching travelers trust strangers in strange lands and getting outside their comfort zones, we know that this event is life-changing for many.

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 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 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.

Teams only learn of their next destination when they are given a four hour notice in which our next flight is departing. Thrilling screams. Exciting looks. Amazing words. Really!? Wow feelings…is usually what follows.

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!

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.

Over the last decade we have visited over a third of the world’s nations—71 to be exact. Yes 71! They have included: Andorra, Colombia, Romania, Sri Lanka, Japan, Morocco, Tunisia, Fiji, Oman, Iceland, Kenya and Taiwan, among dozens of others.

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 are given a list of scavenges and are required to complete as many optional scavenges as they wish to 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 with a four hour notice to begin another leg in another part of the world.

TGSH is usually made up of between six to eight legs, with each leg lasting between an easy six hours (A Layover Challenge) to a more in-depth and challenging five days. Typically, we are usually in each country for between 48 and 72 hours.

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

A) The same time every year. Our event takes places during what we believe to be 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 2017 world travel championship event begins somewhere in North America (tba) on Friday, April 14th and will end 23-days later, also somewhere in North America (tba), on Saturday, May 6th.

Past events have been held in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

FYI: The 2003 event cancelled due to the Iraqi War and SARS outbreak, and we took a hiatus in 2006 and 2007 due to very small children.

Q) How do I win a free trip 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 earns the most points completing scavenges wins each leg. The team that wins the most legs, wins the event. Some scavenges are worth a lot—but are extremely challenging. 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. 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. (See:2017 – Terms & Conditions)

What it really takes primarily to do well, and secondly maybe to win this annual travel adventure competition, is this a combination of acquired travelers savvy and genetic Travel IQ. Competitors in the TGSH are constantly challenged with: language barriers, cultural differences (place lag), jet lag, 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.

But they must also easily overcome the unique challenges of visiting 10 secret and 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 eleven successful events to date, it is clear to us that the winners of The Global Scavenger Hunt have 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 the travel world championship 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 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—from over 60 countries to date! Residents and passport holders from 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: 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, religion, IQ, fashion sense or hair color. We do indeed run an equal opportunity international event.

Here is a PDF copy of our 2017 – Event BrochureEnjoy.

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

A) Yes you can. 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 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 on three occasions 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 apply, you have nothing to lose.

Please note however that the Team entry fee is based on double-occupancy. (See Terms & Conditions)

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, various 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, 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 the same 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 to choose from annually, here is a really short list of a dozen or so 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 LumpurTaste 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 QatarTeam 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 2017 event entry fee is $12,500 per person ($25,000 per team for both teammates). The entry fee including: all your international airfare to and from North America, all your hotels between April 14th and May 6, 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 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 also usually have two or three hospitality events on the road in exotic locales during downtime between legs. 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.

Please see the 2016 Event Terms & Conditions for exactly what is and what is not included.

Most of our travelers are self-financed, but 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 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.

Q) Okay, you got me! I can’t go in 2017, but this is a Bucket List item for me! 

A) Great. Bucket List Us here.

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. 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 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 had few 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….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 available each and every night over the 23-day event–although safaris and over-night cruises have occurred. But frankly, we do stay in really nice places—and I will tell you why.

The event is designed for you 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 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. Yes, you can meet others in the bar. Yes, you can get online to blog, Skype 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 amazing places.

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

A) This is one of the hardest question to answer. 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 Masters of the Universe, who want to win The World’s Greatest Travelers™ trophy badly—for bragging rights and their mantle places. Knowing that, we have organized event so that 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

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 scavenges you want to do and which ones you can do. More is simply not the goal here. We have a lot of participants that have more will than wallet, and it must be said that they can and do 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 on average between US$100 to $150 a day out of pocket. And that depends on how much you drink, which optional scavenges you do, what and how much 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 can be a tad cheaper than Northern Europe or the Gulf States. As they say, your mileage may vary.

We try to annually poll a few practical, down-to-earth teams as to how much they do actually spend out-of-pocket. And because of this, we are comfortable with that US$100 to $150 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. When we first put this event together back in 2000, we always thought that it was an 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! 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 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 2017 – 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 (read: Kenya, India, Russia, Brazil, etc.), we let everyone know at the same time 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 over 70 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. 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.

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 25% 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 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 and all unforeseen out-of-the-blue mishap. If you can’t self-insure and are in need of 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 world: Afghanistan, Iraq, Congo, Somalia, Darfur/South Sudan, Shia-Sunni, and 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 97% 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 and secularization. Collectively, it is all having a positive effect on reducing violence in the world. 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 12 circumnavigations to 71 countries with over 240 travelers. Not one bad encounter. Think about that.

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 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 in TGSH, 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; 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!) and we want to come home safe and sound too. So be vigilant, be smart and be careful.

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

A) A good question. The TGSH is not an athletic competition a lathe Eco-Challenge, nor an endurance race like the Whitbread around-the-world sailing event. 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 I would call a soft adventure, not a physically grueling hard adventure. 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 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 (walk around the block a few times with your bags), 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) iWatch/smart phone/tablet/laptop?

A) Yes, of course. Our participant’s 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, frankly 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. 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 2017 – 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 2017 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—2018—of The Global Scavenger Hunt for free—with their entire entry fees waived, win or lose the 2017 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 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 compete who would seriously have no business competing. Can you just imagine if we dropped some neophytes in Delhi for four 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 sadly. Almost daily in fact. The short answer is NO!

We started our event in May 2000, a year before The Amazing Race 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. Our competitors perform real authentic site-doing scavenges, not just perform pre-staged action stunts. (Can you do it again, we didn’t get that!) And finally, our event crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers™ in the only annual around the world international travel adventure competition. It is the travel world championship. Finally, our event attempts to raise consciousnesses and fund for worthy cause, not worry about ratings and ad revenue. (I know, all sour grapes, right!?)

That said, on occasion, portions of The Global Scavenger Hunt are recorded and eventually seen in numerous media outlets: network news, in documentaries, on YouTube and in our participant’s homes during family video-watching night. :)

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

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