I don’t watch much TV, and reality shows certainly aren’t my top choice. But I do enjoy “The Amazing Race.” It’s travel-related, so I love seeing all the interesting places they visit. Plus there are always some logistical aspects that intrigue me since I love the planning part of travel. I’ve even had a few people in the past tell me I should try to get on the show because I love to travel so much. Despite all of this, with every episode I see, one thought is reconfirmed in my mind over and over again: I would NEVER want to be on this show!
They move too quickly
It’s baked right into the name, right? The show is a race. Teams compete every step of the way to make their way around the world, hoping to finish each leg on top, or at least not come in last, so that they have a shot at $1 million. They’re only in each location for about one to three days, which only gives them the slightest glimpse at the destination.
I’ve had my fair share of fast travel, and I know there will be more in my future. But I hope to minimize this as often as possible and focus on spending more time in each place. Rushing through every single destination is exhausting and doesn’t allow you to really get to know a place and its culture.
I need sleep
The competitors on the show often end up sleeping on airport floors, or arriving somewhere at 3AM and sleeping in front of a building until it opens. Sometimes they camp out in tents or sleep on planes, trains or boats. I’m surprised there aren’t more tears and emotional breakdowns based on this lack of good sleep alone. The constant jet lag must be so disorienting.
I’m not a happy person when I don’t get enough sleep. A night or two is manageable, but if I have too many nights in a row with bad sleep or attempting to sleep in transit, you should just stay away from me. Even too many nights on a bad bed could be disastrous. The exhaustion I would certainly experience combined with the fast pace of the race would do me in.
The challenges are insane
It’s definitely exciting to watch the teams try to complete tasks and challenges. Just in this season alone, they’ve dealt with a variety of boats, animals, bugs, memory exercises, and physically challenging tasks. Some are culturally relevant like learning a dance or making soup, but some aren’t nearly as specific to the location’s culture.
I do like to push beyond my comfort zone when I travel, but some of these challenges would be too much for me. I also don’t think I would enjoy the destination if I was participating in a race like this where the main objective is to win. How could I take in my surroundings if I was in the middle of a grueling challenge? And no time to stop for pictures? Yikes!
Relating to my own trip
While watching the first few episodes of the current season, Andy and I noticed the show went to many of the same places I visited on my round the world trip. Bora Bora, New Zealand, Bali, and Hanoi to be exact, so that’s why I used pictures from those places. I didn’t spend tons of time in Bora Bora, and I saw different parts of Bali than they visited on the show, but throughout those first few episodes, I just kept thinking, how much are they really seeing?
In New Zealand especially, it blew my mind how much they missed. They flew into Christchurch and immediately went off into nature to do some wacky obstacle course style thing. They spent a night camping before their challenges and then right afterwards they headed back to the airport to fly to Bali. I spent three weeks in New Zealand, and I felt like I barely scratched the surface.
I think I’ll stick to my way of travel. “The Amazing Race” is a fun and entertaining show to watch, and it gives both the viewers and participants a taste of places they might want to take a longer trip to someday. But the race is so completely opposite of how I enjoy travel. I’ll continue to watch, but I won’t be applying anytime in the near or distance future.