Three Reasons Why A Traveler Like Me Won't Appear on The Amazing Race
With the advent of streaming TV and the binge-watching opportunities presented by a global pandemic, stifled travelers like me can temper their wanderlust postponed by re-watching the hit reality show The Amazing Race. For all the drama and foibles involved, it still looks like so much fun, doesn’t it? Hopping from one surprise exotic destination to another; sampling fascinating cultural particularities and exploring incredibly beautiful natural landscapes. And almost as an afterthought, there's also the prospect of winning a million dollars.
My love for travel and global exploration is well documented, so you may ask why haven’t I attempted to be a contestant when it's clear that my interests coincide nicely with the premise of the show? I can assure you that it’s most certainly not due to a lack of desire. Rather, I have some very valid reasons why I haven’t thrown my traveling hat in the ring, which I will share with you now. Technically, I originally shared these reasons when I first began blogging many years ago, but upon review their validity still holds, and maybe you too can find a reason that resonates with you - assuming of course you've never tried to be a contestant.
1) It’s Hard To Maintain Integrity Under Constant Surveillance
The prospect of a million dollars lurking somewhere beyond the final finish line is a sort of moral temptation that many would be hard-pressed to resist. After all, who wouldn’t be tempted to sell out - even just a little bit - for a shot at that large of a payout? By way of an example, what if you could get a slight advantage that might make all the difference just by telling a lie, or some other form of dishonesty? Most would argue that a little moral ambiguity is justified when there's a million bucks on the line—even if their indiscretions will be broadcast on national TV. Personally, as someone who strives to maintain high moral standards regardless of the (perceived) advantages of ignoring them, I’d rather not put myself into a situation that might lead me to compromise who I am, because I'm well aware that I'm just as susceptible to a little corruption as anyone else. And if I did stumble along the way, I’d definitely prefer not having it captured on video. I mean, I know - just know - that my mother would be watching.
2) If I Were Teamed With My Wife, I Would Be The Jerk
Over the years my wife has been a wonderful traveling partner. Besides still being ridiculously gorgeous at (insert undisclosed age here), she is patient, kind, and basically a better person than I am in almost every way imaginable. I say almost because she does have a (minor) flaw in her personality that would likely be fatal on The Amazing Race. For reasons that even science cannot understand, every time I park the car it takes her anywhere between 5 and 550 minutes to exit the vehicle. She’s tried to justify this anomaly with some lame explanations about bags and makeup but I’ve done the math—it does not add up. So here’s the worst case scenario I envision taking place that would cast me in the role of the team jerk:
1) As our taxi screeches to the curb I leap out, ready for an all-out sprint to the finish line ahead of the last team.
2) My wife disappears into whatever vortex in the time-space continuum it is that prevents her from leaving the vehicle.
3) Hailey’s Comet passes for the eighth time since the taxi stopped.
4) I stop my sprint, run back to the taxi, and yell at my wife for costing us a million dollars.
5) My wife assumes the role of the innocent victim while I am now cast as the big mean jerk.
There’s just too much truth in that scenario for me to risk playing it out to a national audience. And now that I've put this out there, I'm sure the producers would have lots of fun in creating just the right circumstances for such a high drama moment.
3) I’m Not Interesting Or Hungry Enough
Speaking of producers, their primary objective is to provide an audience with a compelling reason to watch. That’s what makes teams with tragic back stories or aspiring dreams natural choices out of the contestant pool. After that, you've got your unique-relationships, your traditional accompaniment of weirdos, and your obnoxious jerks that nobody likes but everybody loves to hate. Unfortunately, I don’t directly fall into any of those categories. I don’t need a million dollars to survive or make my dreams come true. My relationships are rather straightforward and not marked by the conflict or drama that makes for must-watch TV. A valid argument can be made that I can be both a weirdo and obnoxious jerk at times, but not to the point of inciting audiences to root against me. Sure I've got my razor-sharp sense of humor, effortless good looks, and quite clearly - abundant humility, but somehow I feel that I even if I did apply, I'm just not character enough to make the cut.
You might find these excuses lame, but they’ve been enough to keep me watching from home for years instead of trying to get out there on the course. I’ve done more than my fair share of traveling without the added pressure of racing other teams, double U-turns, and eating weird foods under duress, and found it to be plenty enjoyable without the drama. And if I never get the chance to appear on the race for the reasons listed above, I think I can live with that. After all, I'm still waiting for my wife to get out of the car.
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