The Amazing Race…and the travel contestant

You’re in the taxi on the way to the airport.  Of course, the driver is chatting on his phone and decided to take the beltway to JFK since it’s longer and maybe he thinks he can travel it without having the use the brakes.  It’s the typical kamikaze ride to the airport.  Most taxi drivers enjoy the guarantee of a high rate and will pick up someone at the airport who will guarantee the same back to the city.  You get out, pay the rate which is always higher than the one you paid a week before and grab your pack that weighs more than you remember it.  You have arrived at JFK and begin the journey of the unknown to hopefully a new and unfamiliar place.  There are still many challenges ahead which include interaction with check-in, the idiots in the TSA (will they take something you need away?), and unknown passengers you will sit next to, fight for arm and overhead room and the usual quick-tempered flight attendant.  This is your own personal Amazing Race and you are up for the challenge.

I’m not really a fan of reality television shows since most are done on the cheap and seem to exploit anything and everything.  I’ve started to watch the latest series of the show the Amazing Race and find that this one is more than meets the eye.  It may even either inspire people to go out and explore the world or just learn a thing or two about what goes on when couples unpreparedly go out and explore the world.  When I catch an episode it always takes me back to my own travel experiences.  It’s nice to see others suffer the usual travel conundrums.

As most, the show has recruited the usual dumb blonde, senior citizen, macho guys/girls with strong accents, and hill billy teams.  These people are for better or worse a good cross-section of the U.S. population.  It’s hard to say who is a typical American but there is a good mix.  The teams all can be stereotyped and they are all guilty of pointed that out along the way.  It makes for good drama since the stereotypes ended up not being so stereotypical.  Who would have thought that the cowboys would have finished first in the second round?

As travelers, we can all relate to situations that they encounter along the way.  I have personally  had problems of being at the wrong bus terminal not knowing that there are more than one in town,  been misunderstood by locals since I unfortunately don’t know spanish well enough to have a conversation, and have missed bus connections and had to stay a night in a town where I wasn’t planning on visiting.  These are all things that travelers encounter and it’s all a part of the learning process.

Yeah, it’s another reality tv show but it at least shows how easy traveling to a foreign country can be.  The only requirement needed is just the drive and the desire to see and experience new things and learn something new about others and yourself.  A new traveler doesn’t need to even know the local language to get around.   The Amazing Race teams all look like they are having the times of their lives even when they end up getting eliminated.

I’m secretly hoping for a complete meltdown between couples on this show.  Couples traveling usually have at least one good one.  These guys are just seemed to cooperate wat too much and are too forgiving when one majorly screws up.  It just won’t be a reality show if there wasn’t any real drama right?  I’m sure it’s coming soon.

What do you think?  Can you relate to the Amazing Race?

Published by farflungistan

I'm a curious traveler who enjoys sharing street, architectural and landscape images that capture daily life and represent how history has made its mark on the present.

%d bloggers like this: