Who Else Likes “Challenge Travel??”
I have been talking about this topic for months now, but finally… FINALLY, the day has come where I can make the announcement I have been waiting on. Some of you hopefully followed along last year when I came up with the idea of the Ultimate Train Challenge. Along with two fellow travel bloggers, Jeannie and Nora, I went from Lisbon, Portugal to Saigon, Vietnam in 30 days — almost 15,000 miles — all on trains — all in a month. It was a blast.
Shortly after that, I decided it was so much fun that other people might like to take up the challenge themselves. So this new project and business came into being.
YOU are invited to the Ultimate Train Challenge this November.
You want details? I’ve got details.
So how does this whole Ultimate Train Challenge work exactly?
You can go either direction — Lisbon to Saigon or Saigon to Lisbon. Everyone leaves on November 1st and you need to arrive in the other destination by the end of the month. All travel must be completed by train. You are on your own for designing your route, buying your train tickets and getting your visas — the challenge is not only making it, but having as much as you can manage to have along the way.
We have also picked a great charity to partner up with and raise a little money to make this even more worthwhile. Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation supports street kids, children with disabilities, the rural poor, and victims of trafficking. They have established several unique programs which address the issues keeping children and families in the poverty cycle. We are asking each UTC12 participant to commit to raise at least $500 for that charity and in a above-the-call-of-duty offer, Intrepid Travel has agreed to match each contribution dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.
Signing up will allow you to put your profile up and blog on the Your World, No Rules website, people will be able to track your progress in real time on our interactive map, we’ll throw a heck of a finishing party in Lisbon and Saigon, and you’ll be eligible to win some great prizes….
Did I hear something about great prizes?
Why yes. We have secured some great sponsors (and hopefully another one in the next week or so). First, the wonderful folks at Intrepid Travel are going to give away the two Grand Prizes, for the person that crosses the finish line first in each direction.
The first person to the finish line in Lisbon will get the 15-day Morocco experience (value over $1,900), and the first person to the finish line in Saigon will get the 15-day Bangkok to Hanoi tour (value over $1,600).
Pretty great stuff, right?
But that’s not all. I know that not everyone will want to rush to the finish line, so the great folks at Eurail.com have donated a few of their 10-day Global Passes (value of over $800 each) that we will be raffling off on September 1st, for those people that have entered by then. Everyone will have an equal chance to win those passes, which are a necessary lifesaver on this journey.
They have also agreed to donate two more of their 10-day Global Passes to two other fun contests along the way. One will go to the Best Photo on or of a Train, and the other will go to the Best Video created on the trip. Both prizes will be voted on by fans and followers of this website and Eurail.com, so you can have family and friends out there leading the charge for you to bring home those valuable prizes.
Additionally, the people of Urban Adventures, who run some great day tours all around the world, are providing two different opportunities they have made available only to UTC12 participants: First, they are offering 15% off any of their Urban Adventure tours to any participant and second, they are offering a “buy 5, get 1 free” discount. Both offers are valid for any purchases through December 31, 2012, so you have time to use them, even after the challenge is over.
Who is ready to sign up for the adventure of a lifetime?
First, if you are up for a little adventure and a big travel challenge, I hope you click over to the new website, Your World, No Rules, read about UTC12 and hopefully sign up. I promise you this — you will be talking to family and friends about it for years to come.
Second, I need to ask a favor. I need to get word out about this quickly and to as many people as you can think of that might want to sign up. You know a friend that is into crazy stuff? Please forward this post to them. You have someone in mind that might want to email me for more details? Tell them to shoot me a note and I’ll get back to them immediately. If you are willing to put up a link to the page that describes the UTC12 concept (and prizes) on your Facebook page? Or share it on your Twitter account? Or write about it on your website?
If so, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
A couple more links. Here is the link to the UTC Facebook page and also the link to the UTC Twitter account, so you can follow along with announcements and such.
This is just the biggest thing I’ve got going on in my life right now. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m hopeful that a couple dozen of you are going to meet me in Lisbon (at the beginning or end of November) and have some drinks with me and tell me how much fun you had on the Ultimate Train Challenge 2012.
Hopefully this is just the beginning of the next stage in my life. Challenge travel is my passion. I’m ready to start bringing it to your lives… if you’ll let me.