Around the World in 23 days

March 24, 2009
More by this author
Where in the world is Nanny & Ben?

What do 67 year old grandmothers and their 13 year old grandsons do together? Some play cards, some garden, some even talk to each other about life. Some travel the globe in an intense scavenger hunt, competing against the clock and against tens of other teams. Me and my grandmother – well were going to try out the latter. Great Escapes, similar to The Amazing Race, is, in essence, “a blind date with the world”. It works like this: Pairs of people (teams) will arrive in Seattle, Washington on April 17. From there on, we have no idea where we are to go. The organization buys all the tickets and books all the hotels, to ensure that no one knows where we will go next. Until they hand us the tickets to the next country, we are clueless. All we know is that 10-12 countries, 4 continents. When we arrive in a country they will hand us a book of Scavenges. Let’s look at some examples:

Finding Buddha's tooth in Sri Lanka, entering a camel race in India, finding and taking a photo of a wild orangutan in the rainforest, tracking down specific markings in the Underground City in Beijing, bathing and feeding elephants at an elephant conservation camp in Malaysia, attending a public sunrise Hindu funeral service at a temple in Nepal or finding a local to translate the prayer that is inscribed on the altar of the Painted Church that is built into a hillside outside of Sofia, Bulgaria.

All of these scavenges have different point totals. All of the points are tallied up at the end of each country, and the team-members with the most points at the end of the 23 days are pronounced “World’s Best Travelers”.

Now one of the hardest challenges of this trip: Packing. We will only be in a given country for a matter of hours, usually no more than 42 hours per country. Also, the less luggage the easier it will be for us to haul it across the globe. So the question arises, what to pack? Well I have a small bag that barely fits the three pants and shirts I will take. However, these clothes need to be that ugly camping material. This is, of course, so they can dry after we wash them out in the sink. No washing machines.

Now for our team planning. Basically Granny is the brains and I am the brawn. She has the wisdom of age and has already seen the world. But I can run.

So Nanny and Benny are ready to see the world. Want to follow our travels? Well, read our blog:

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback