Here’s a Way to See the World — And Earn $50,000

Sep 26, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Love traveling the world? Check. Love scavenger hunts? Check. Think “The Amazing Race” would be awesome… if only it weren’t televised? Well, here’s the event you may want to consider.

Oh, one more thing: Do you and a traveling partner have $12,500 each to spend, which would pay for international airfare, ground transportation, hotel stays (double occupancy), a portion of your meals (40%) and some travel gear — all with the hope of capturing a $50,000 prize for the winning two-person team?  If so, the Global Scavenger Hunt may just be for you.

The event, which launched in 2000 but has been held annually since 2008, promises to hook would-be explorers up with unique cultural experiences, including “meditating with monks, training elephants, taking flamenco lessons, cooking local dishes with local chefs, searching out Lost Cities, cracking sacred temple mysteries, joining in local celebrations and learning local languages enough to decipher their scavenger hunt clues.”

The three-week race/rally, from April 12 to May 4, 2019, will take you to 10 unnamed countries, beginning in San Francisco and ending in New York. In 2018, the race began in San Francisco, then hit Taiwan, India, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay and Peru before finishing in the US.

To put it in a more map-friendly perspective, here’s a look at the places visited in the 2014 race, which started in Vancouver and ended in Miami:

This winner-takes-all event is open to anyone, but “event participation is limited.” (Read: Just 15 teams will be chosen to participate.) Here’s where to register.

Your team wins by accumulating the most points over the three-week journey. Event organizers say you’ll have to “actively participate in a series of culturally-oriented site-doing scavenges across four continents. Teams must use available public transportation to get from scavenge to scavenge.” The more legs you win, the better your odds are of winning the race. But all challenges are not created equal, as some scavenges are worth a lot — but are extremely challenging to complete, while others are easy to complete, but worth fewer points. “The teams that work well together and create the right risk-reward formula, usually do well. Consistency is the key to success over the 23-day event.”

Past scavenges include:

  • Singing “Born to be Wild” in a karaoke bar with at least three people you’ve met in Seoul, South Korea.
  • Learning how to make baklava in a traditional Turkish bakery.
  • Learning how to tango properly in Buenos Aires.
  • Donating time helping out at an orphanage in Cambodia, a Tibetan refugee camp in Nepal or a medical clinic in Kenya.

Speaking of, the organizers also say they have a charitable mission. Past teams have helped raise funds for schools in the places they’ve visited as well as helped in funding interest-free micro loans.

You’ll receive no clues before you start. So, beefing up on 4,000-year-old Egyptian tombs probably won’t do you any good.

“It is designed this way to keep travelers in the dark as long as possible about their impending destination so that wonderful elements of surprise, mystery and anticipation can be maximized,” the organizers say. “The result? No maps, no guidebooks and none of the usual endless pre-trip online research and planning; but counterbalanced with an overwhelming amount of surprise, spontaneity and serendipity. It keeps all the teams on the same competitive footing — because no one knows any more than any other team.”

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.