Day 2: A Canadian Test Run

Day 2
: Saturday, 13 April 2019 – Vancouver, Canada (49.2827° N, 123.1207° W)

The cool thing about being famous is traveling. I have always wanted to travel across seas, like to Canada and stuff.” – Britney Spears

Good morning and welcome to Vancouver. We have a few mild hangovers from all the cheer at last nights gala Bon Voyage Party at nearby The Coast Restaurant where towers of seafood awaited us. A fun time was had by all…and all the Teams are chomping at the bit, excited to begin their adventure! Us too…

Our YVR home away from homeFairmont Hotel Vancouver

That said, we will be conducting a test run, a trial and error one-day event here in Vancouver (Canada’s 3rd largest city after Toronto & Montreal)–and perennially ranked among of the world’s most livable cities (along with: Vienna, Melbourne, Osaka, Auckland, Munich and Zurich). It is an area we used to call home. This relative calm before the international storm that awaits the Teams aboard will acclimate all participants into the inner workings, rules and scoring of the world travel championship competition. Like any game, there are rules that need to be followed. And like any game, sometimes playing it once with nothing on the line helps them better compete later on down the line. We want a level playing field, and with all the new rules in 2019,  we knew this tester would help all the teams gain confidence to hit the ground running in our first international stop. They would know what to expect–if that’s possible?!

Our Teams minus one…

Quick Observation…lingering since my elementary school days in Riverside, Ontario: Although I do indeed find it refreshing, I must confess that I am still utterly confused with Canada’s muted patriotism in the face of America’s unabashed “We’re #1” boosterism, as to just what Canada’s national anthem? Is it, “O Canada,” The Hockey Night in Canada theme? “God Save the Queen,” or “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams? Nuff said…

Okay, Vancouver is graded an Easy Par 1 urban safari--on the 2019 event scale of 1 to 6. It serves as the first of nine such legs in the coming three weeks. So, we Road Officials have calibrated all the Team’s cameras, offered some general event tips (ie: read their scavenge hunt booklets completely before heading out willy-nilly!), acknowledged any specific leg rule changes (ie: they may use their smartphones in Vancouver; but were warned not to get too attached to them!), and then sent on their way to have a great day. We will see them all again tonight at our 8:00pm hotel lobby check-in deadline.

5 Sample VYR Scavenges:
-Attend a Vancouver Canucks NHL Playoff game…kidding!
-Take a marine sea safari…
-Assemble a picnic @ Granville Island Market…
Team Challenge: The team that gets closest to an anchored cargo ship gets all the points…
-Walk to the center of Lion’s Gate Bridge…

FYI…Although we have no idea where they get the time (or energy); some of our 2019 teams are blogging, and open to social media interactions:
Lawyers without Borders (blog) –
Order & Chaos (blog) –
Transformed Goddesses (blog) FB & Instagram links –
MargoPolos (blog) Twitter fed –
The FILLIES (blog) FB + FB & Instagram links –
NEXUS (blog) –

Pre-Event Global Literacy Test: Question 1
Yesterday we asked our teams to answer a few question (16) about the state of the world…it is the Hans Rosling Chimpanzee Test…in that a non-thinking chimp would answer the questions correct 33% of the time; whereas thinking humans with their biases and alleged facts, get it wrong more often. An interesting suggestion as it pertains to our global literacy and how we see the world.

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school?
A – 20 percent
B – 40 percent
C – 60 percent
What do you think ? No cheating…answer at bottom of page.

Great seeing Coast friends the Hindmarch’s…good times.

Team Order & Chaos almost touching an anchored tanker.

Their Vancouver map…

Truer words we know not of…

By the way, we also occasionally help out our travelers with some trusty language tips to help them get through the day; here’s our
Canadian Language Tips:
loonie = One Dollar coin
toonie = Two Dollar coin
Doctor = A medical professional everyone in Canada has!
Eh = What did you say?
Eh? = What do you think?
EH? = something to say just to end a sentence
Eh!! = WOW!!
EH!? = What do you mean?
Eh?? = You’re joking!!!??
Hoser = a good friend
Keener = suck-up, brown-noser
Take off! = you’re kidding, no way
Skates = the first shoes of every Canadian
Sorry = Something Canadians say a lot—and mean it!
a serviette = a napkin
Smarties = M&Ms
winter = 7-month polar vortex
Newfoundland = pronounced noofunlan
Toronto = pronounced trawna
Two-Four = a case of beer
Pop = a soda
Hydro = electricity
The States = The Unites States of America (FYI: Because we all live in America!)
Double-Double = a Tim Horton’s coffee with 2 milk & 2 sugars
Bob’s Your Uncle = Everything will work out great.
tuque = a winter hat
Molson Muscle = a beer belly
Chinook = nasty wind
Z = zed not zee
Washroom = the loo, a toilet, bathroom

a Canuck = a Canadian
processed orange plastic cheese = American cheese
Police = Mounties, OPP’s

We welcome your comments, sorry.

Answer to question 1 is C  60%…NONE of our travelers got that correct! 90% chose A only 20%. (And that is why as a Foundation we are so happy building co-ed elementary schools that emphasize girls equal education…)

More later…

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Day 1: Vancouver’s Bon Voyage Party

Day 1: Friday, 12 April 2018 – Vancouver, Canada (49.2827° N, 123.1207° W)

Hello all and welcome to the greatest travel adventure on earth. It is time to start the 15th edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt™ and world travel championship. It will entail a quick 23-day lap around our planet visiting 10 still secret countries with hundreds of highly participatory, authentic and challenging scavenges to tackle along the route. We know first-hand, as the hundreds of savvy travelers that have participated  in past events know, that this can be a transformative travel experience…if you let it…if you embrace it and have fun.

And that is why we chose as our 2019 event theme: Chasing Life…go and get it. Or as Nike ad said: Just Do It!

We can’t take everyone who applies to compete/participate, but we think we have selected a great group for our 2019 event. So, without further ado, let us introduce all of you to you…the 10 teams competing in the 15th edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt

First the newbies, rookies & greenhorns:

1) Since we are starting here in Vancouver, Canada…their home turf, here are Team NEXUS (aka Ali & Michael) from Ontario, Canada.

We think they’re ready!?

2) Next up, we have two California-based doctors that make up Team Order & Chaos (aka Sal & Vivian)…

I think we’re all in good hands…

3) Also new this year we have Team Lazy Monday (aka Kathryn & Eric) also from California…

Our most experienced travelers CV-wise

4) Next up, we have two adventure-seeking ladies, who are actually on a blind date on our Blind Date with the World, paired up by Pamela…Team Transformed Goddesses (aka Tamara & Amy). Tamara hails from the DC-area and Amy is from Alabama.

The event has been won on three occasions by such a pair of matched travelers!

Now for the the returnees…the old salts,  seasoned veterans of previous events:

5) First off, we have half of a returning father/daughter team, Team Ying 2.0 (aka Alan & Emory), from Texas. Emory will be our youngest participant…but don’t let that fool you as Team Ying 2.0 has set their sights high.

Father/daughter teams warm our hearts

6) Also for her second time with a new partner in tow are Team MargoPolos (aka Margo & Karen), both from the New York area. Karen is the traveling writer/columnist/journalist covering the event from the inside out…BTW, Team MargoPolos have also never traveled together like Team Transformed Goddesses. It should be interesting…

Margo & Karen

7) Traveling with us for her third time (with her third different partner) are Team The Fillies (aka Barbara & Sally). Barbara is from Rhode Island and her life-long friend Sally is from Philadelphia. BTW: Barbara finished 3rd in the 2010 event!

Their first adventure together—Roma, circa a long time ago!

8) And we are pleased to have another returning team…also for their 3rd  time…the infamous Retired Traveling Chicks (aka Kim & Maria) who call the Pacific Northwest their home…they have never won the event, but tied for 2nd place in the 2014 event. Is the third time a charm?

Our Friends Kim & Maria...

9) Finally, here with us today at the Vancouver starting line…based on seniority…of events, not age…is the legendary Team Lawyers without Borders (aka Zoe & Rainey) from Texas who are participating for the 12th time! They are 5-time event champs (2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 & 2016).

Burners & Global Hunters...

10) Lastly, better late than never…we have one additional team who are not with us here today, but will be with us soon enough…Another returning team…for the 4th time in fact…and they are also the 2018 defending champs and reigning holders of The World’s Greatest Travelers™ crown…They are a couple from Central California who call themselves Team SLO Folks (aka Paula & Tom).

And they are anything but SLO!

So, good luck all…the 10 teams embarking on a quick lap around our crazy planet…this is our 2019 tribe of travelers competing for The World’s Greatest Travelers™ crown!

Happily, we know that, yes they may be strangers today, but by tomorrow they will be fast friends. Comrades who share more than just wanting to win our annual world championship event; but share a passion for travel, a desire to explore, a deep curiosity about people and places, and enjoy actively doing things (site-doing) than just passively sight-seeing. They all know that memories and experiences are more important than just acquiring more stuff; that trusting strangers in strange lands and being open to the serendipity of the moment are the key to immersive travel experiences. Indeed, they are a special breed  of people who are willing to take a giant leap of faith on an adventure of a lifetime not knowing where that adventure will take them; they are allowing themselves to be taken by a trip, instead of just taking a trip.

And we look forward to showing them all the world as we see it over the next 23-days, in full technicolor.

Thanks for spending a few minutes with us here on this annual blog, we will be reporting at least daily, occasionally more often with words, pictures, videos and sounds…the Who, What, Where, How, When & Why of the competition as it unfolds. So, buckle up, stay tuned, and enjoy the ride…we are all in for an exhilarating three-week adventure around the world. Truly A Blind Date with the World!

Finally…but maybe most importantly:

We try not to hit our readers/followers over the head about The Global Scavenger Hunt’s cause-related, charitable purposes, but this annual event raises funds for GreatEscape Foundation’s twin goals: building co-ed elementary schools in low & middle income nations, and distributing interest-free no-fee micro-loans to budding global entrepreneurs (mostly mothers). Both our methods of helping others help themselves are designed to facilitate their great escape from the cycle of poverty—one person at a time! Happily, we have improved the lives of thousands: building a dozen schools, a mid-wife training facility, and funding thousands of mothers wanting to make a better life for their families.

So, if you have it in your heart to not eat a lunch out this week in order to make a small secure PayPal GreatEscape Foundation donation during the course of the 2019 event, we know a lot of kids needing a basic education that would thank you. And we’ll thank you too…with a tax receipt. Thank you!

More tomorrow…we’re off to our Bon Voyage Dinner!

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