Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is What's Next

Since the close of the kayak trip I haven’t been back out on the water in my kayak, but that is just a function of the weather and not my lack of interest. In the interim I have been on the bike and playing hockey to keep active. For the most part though I have been spending the lion’s share of my time in Vermont: snowboarding, cross-country skiing, hitting the climbing gym and trying to get in some ice climbing, though unseasonably warm temperature in VT have precluded it (where were those temperatures on the kayak trip).

The question I have been bombarded with in the past month is, of course, “what’s next?” As to that, well, I will be out in Los Angeles next week, but that’s not what is really next. Next up in March will be a travel competition in Europe. Travel competition? What’s that you ask? I would too.

A new company, Competitours, is starting up an “Amazing Race for regular people”. I don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so this is an excerpt from the Hampton Roads Daily Press Sunday, of February 8:
The company is giving 17 teams and opportunity to turn an ordinary European vacation into a travel game experience. Teams can feature any pairing of people with a serious travel itch. At their own expense, the teams will compete to earn points by accomplishing a series of challenges, documented via video cam for a panel of judges. At stake is a worldwide travel spree grand prize, featuring up to 40 nights at over 115 Starwood Hotels and Resort facilities in 51 countries, plus four international airline tickets and $6500 in spending money. Unlike " The Amazing Race" reality TV show, Competitours is open to anyone willing to pay their own way.

Here is the beauty of it: the folks over at , a web-based community of frequent fliers that I have been active with, is picking up the tab for the entry fee and throwing in some spending cash. It almost feels like a MasterCard commercial. When travel finally starts to pay you back: priceless.

As for the competition, the only information I have is that I need to show up at the airport in New York on March 15th. Other than that, it will all be a mystery until it all unfolds.

The challenges are not physical, but rather based on creativity and involve recording a number of short videos, which need to be uploaded on a daily basis for judging. I have been teamed up with a former air-traffic controller / trial attorney from Chicago to undertake the task.

I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t stick around in Europe afterwards to visits some family & friends as well as do some exploring. It will preclude my finishing the last few hundred miles of the Appalachian Trial by April 25, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. It will get done though.

I will be posting more information as the trip draws near, so keep checking back and in the mean time visit the website of Competitours at

1 comment:

Roy Mauritsen said...

awesome stuff!
Good luck!