The first series of Race Across the World had us gripped. If you didn’t see it, briefly, it followed the journeys of five pairs of people travelling overland from Greenwich in London to Singapore. The restrictions were that they were not allowed mobile phones or credit cards and were just given a world map, a travel guide of possible temporary work locations, a gps tracker and cash equivalent to their air fare (around £1300 each).
Jonno followed the back story about how the production team researched the numerous routes, visas, no-go areas that the travellers could encounter. The winner at the end of the “race” was a retired couple from Yorkshire who made lots of strategic time-conscious decisions. This made me a little sad because, for us, it is the incidental as well as planned things that we see that makes a memorable journey.
As soon as that first series finished we received a whole host of emails, messages, and texts telling us that we really ‘had to‘ apply for the next season. What did we have to lose? After much hilarity recording a video application we pinged off our entry for the second series knowing that we were probably far too “ordinary” to be considered.
An email confirmation for receipt of our application arrived and that was the end of it. Our suspicions confirmed, too ordinary, too used to spending time together so less relationship drama which all makes good TV. Would we watch the second series to see who made good TV. Probably.
But we had to make sure that we didn’t continually keep saying ‘that should have been us‘ or ‘we wouldn’t have done that‘.
Race Across the World – S2 Ep1
Curiosity got the better of us and we made the effort to see the new route and new set of 5 pairs. The route is from Mexico City, North America to Ushuaia, Argentina. Basically 25,000 km to the southern most tip of South America in seven stages.The equivalent air fare is £1453 which they said equates to roughly £52 per pair per day to cover transport, accommodation and food.
Possible day-work locations are given so that the budget can be topped up. All these things are familiar territory to us, perhaps too familiar to be contenders? Getting out of Mexico City seemed to be the first challenge to start the first leg to Copan Ruinas in Honduras (1600km).
So who were the successful applicants, few facts and initial thoughts:
- Dom and Lizzie – siblings in their 20s – not too much known about these two as yet.
- Michael and Chantel – a couple who met via Tinder. Michael is ex-army and has a survival technique approach to travelling whereas Chantel, an accountant, wants a bit more luxury. Refused to sleep in a tent and even a hostel wouldn’t do.
- Jo and Sam – mother and son – Sam has Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and seems very close to his Mum. Jo is well-travelled and type 1 diabetic. She wants to give Sam the opportunity to see the world and gain the confidence to travel alone. (Trying hard not to be biased – I am Jo with a son called Sam! – Maybe they processed the wrong application!)
- Emon and Jamiul – uncle and nephew – they have been estranged for 10 years and want to reconnect. These could be the bad decision making pair. Blew the equivalent of £70 on a taxi to speed things up and catch a ferry that only goes once a day! If only the ferry hadn’t been full!
- Rob and Jen – married couple in their 30s – Rob has only 20% hearing and Jen wants him to grow in confidence to communication more. Although she openly admitted that the cash prize is a strong motivation!
As with all second series, the travellers have the knowledge from the first programme. We will try and catch up with the shows as and when we can and it will be interesting to see how they get. Trying not to say, “If it was us, we would …….“. The winners of the race receive £20,000 cash which would be more than useful but the experience of being totally out of our comfort zone of planning and booking ahead would have challenged (or broken) us!
My only proviso if we had been successful in application was to travel the entire journey slowly in reverse – seeing all the places that we had been too time-focused to explore. Perhaps we would be more suited to “Dawdling Across the World – with bookings“.
So who do you think is going to win? Who do you like, or dislike?