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!