The Global Scavenger Hunt’s Travel Adventure Principles:
The Global Scavenger Hunt creator, William D. Chalmers, sketched out “Travel Adventure Event Principles” back in 1999 on a couple of bar napkins in Pokhara, Nepal—following his trek around the Annapurna Circuit. He fashioned them as his working philosophy for the event that he was about to create. They were the nine ideals that would shape what has become the annual event’s operating culture. Who knew…
Travel Adventure Event Principles
I believe that travel can be a transformative experience; one that benefits people in immeasurable ways. I believe that people never feel more alive than when being pushed and challenged—and traveling can do that. I believe that travel makes you think about things that are bigger than yourself, and that it radicalizes people whether you are left or right, conservative or liberal. I believe that people don’t take trips, but that trips take people…and that is why I want to create an innovative and uniquely different international travel adventure event. (It won’t be for everyone—and that is okay.)
Independent Travelers: Not a tour. No pre-arranged mandatory activities—everything is optional. Designed for travelers that can deal with daily travel issues on their own. Respect individuality. Provide a canvas for our travelers to paint on and allow those extraordinary experiences to affect them. (A blind date with the world!)
Authentic: A cultural immersion, albeit quickly, that promotes participants constantly needing to interact with locals. Put them in situations, and create experiences that will be impossible for them to be neutral about…that will make them laugh and cry. Experience how locals live, shop, eat, create, think, feel, worship, engage civilly and get around—directly and personally. Interactions over transactions. (Trust strangers in strange lands!)
Challenging: The event should regularly take travelers one-step beyond their default/autopilot comfort zones to jarring juxtapositions, encouraging them to be mindful, exercise their inner resources and acquired travel skills, in order to: explore unfamiliar territory, overcome cultural and language barriers (testing their intercultural competence), confront the unknown, logistic issues, and efficiently manage the vicissitudes of modern travel. More risk equals more reward. (Travel IQ?)
Participatory: The transformative magic of travel occurs when you immerse yourself in highly participatory experiences. When you play and do, you are challenged; you open your heart, you become engaged and absorbed, your senses are alive, you discover and learn. Interactive participation changes everything. (Active site-doing not passive sight-seeing.)
Adventure: The event should capture the romance, nostalgia and daring urge to explore the world’s legendary destinations a la Indiana Jones and Phileas Fogg’s Around the World in 80 Days. (It must circumnavigate the globe!)
Wow! Them: Visit extraordinary destinations. See extraordinary things. Do extraordinary things. Meet extraordinary people. Have extraordinary moments. Stay at extraordinary places. Intense culture and intense action, all day…every day!
Inclusive Competition: Event must attract world-class participants as the annual travel world championship. An open event. Welcome any and all enthusiastic, inquisitive, adventurous, experienced, savvy and gung-ho globetrotters. (Attract the world’s greatest travelers!)
Uncompromising Spirit: 1) More is not a goal…having more resources won’t help anyone win this event; 2) Not a race; and being the fastest won’t win this event…stop and smell the roses (he who runs cannot walk with dignity); 3) Don’t let modern-day technology get in the way of face-to-face human connections; 4) The use of public transportation is a must; 5) Participants must exit traditional corporate travel cocoon to explore and meet real locals (listening over talking, understanding over judgment); 6) Don’t pack plans and expectations (You can’t plan for a blind date with world!); 7) Never one-size fits all…have dynamic possibilities (allow for creativity, spontaneity and serendipity); 8) Character is what you do when no one is watching! (a competition based on trust but verify); 9) Karma always prevails (You get what you give!); and 10) It is just a game…so make it fun!
Give Back: Do some good. Create a positive and lasting legacy of helping others help themselves. Empower people; don’t just give and create dependency to make yourself feel good. Small gestures do add up. Just showing up sometimes to show you care can make a world of difference. Become goodwill ambassadors. Adventurous empathy building. Giving over taking.
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