Transforming the Amazing Race From Reality TV to Reality.

Every time I sit down to watch The Amazing Race I think to myself ‘I could do that.’

Of course, it’s easy to say you could do something when you know it’s never going to happen.

But what if you did have the opportunity – would you jump on in with both feet or run away and hide?

Well,  some innovative and adventurous souls have been transforming The Amazing Race concept into reality, which means, if you are up for it, you can give it a try.

For those with a competitive spirit, there is the annual Global Scavenger Hunt, three-week international travel adventure competition that will visit at least 10 nations on 4 continents between April 17th & May 9th, 2009. In it’s fifth year, this is the real deal, aiming to “test each Team’s ability to combat not only the inevitable jetlag, but language difficulties, cultural differences, their appetite for strange foods, logistical snafus, and Team dynamics in the atmosphere of a well organized competition.” An Amazing Race without the cameras.

The Global Scavenger Hunt is limited to 25 two-person Teams (singles may apply). The entry fee of $9,900 per person covers all international airfare, 23-nights in First Class hotels and about 40% of meals. Teams are interviewed for suitability. You can sign up here.

If that sounds a little too strenous for you, then maybe Competitours might be a better match for you. According to Intelligent Travel, this new tour company has been set up by Steve Belkin, a former TV producer and life-long traveler,  to offer Amazing Race fans a chance to experience the Amazing Race concept without the frenzy or stress. Success depends more on creativity, resourcefulness, originality and the ability to be spontaneous than on speed and strength. You and a partner (spouse, sibling, friend) team up and fly to Europe to participate in a 14 day, 5 country travel game, competing with 16 other teams to earn points by doing fun, quirky and interactive challenges (no mandatory or extremely physical stunts required). But just like the Amazing Race, your itinerary will be a secret – you’ll only get a half-days advanced notice of your next destination.

It will be interesting to see if this form of travel takes off. Back in 2006, an Australian company The Real Race, offered ‘once-in-a-lifetime fully inclusive luxury adventure tours for anyone…[with]…no losers and no eliminations, contestants participate from start to finish and accumulate points. Everyone wins just by taking part and the team with the most points at the end wins back the entire cost of their holiday!‘ But they don’t appear to have any tours listed for the future which makes me wonder if they are still being offered.

So, what do you think?

Are you an Amazing Race Traveler or an Amazing Race Couch Potato?

Me, I think I’m a bit of both.

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