What I Learned From Watching the Amazing Race (TV Show)

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I’m not the kind of person who watches a whole lot of television, so when I do watch something I like it to either make me laugh (which is why I like sitcoms), teach me something interesting or inspire me.

CBS’ The Amazing Race is a TV show (Now in its 20th season) that sees pairs of contestants competing against each other (by taking on a series of races/tasks around the world) for the grand price of $1 million.

So why do I watch this show? It provides a great source of inspiration/ideas for the traveler, as the contestants are constantly being moved from one amazing country to another and undertaking incredible tasks (such as skydiving, white water rafting and running marathons in their underwear).

Aside from helping me improve my geographical knowledge of the world, watching The Amazing Race has taught me (or helped me realize) many other things about traveling.

Here are some of the things I’ve learnt from watching the show (and how they relate to traveling):

The Amazing Race

Realize That You Will Get Lost at Some Point (But That It’s Not Necessarily a Bad Thing)

The season finales of The Amazing Race often see the teams racing through a busy city to collect their $1 million prize.

The team that wins the prize is usually the one who happens to stumble across a taxi driver who is extremely knowledgeable of the local area (meaning he can get them where they need to go in a hurry).

Getting lost at this point of the game usually means its game over for you, so for the contestants it’s vital they know where they’re going as they have no time to spare.

How does this differ from ‘real’ traveling? When most people travel to another country, they’re there to see the sights and to explore that part of the world, not because they’re in a mad rush to get somewhere (to win a prize).

This means that ‘regular’ travelers shouldn’t worry about getting lost (unless they have dinner reservations or are trying to catch a train), as getting lost in a strange place is a great way to explore and to see things that aren’t in the guidebook.

Pack Only the Things You Need

The Amazing Race is all about getting from one place to another as quickly as possible, so the lighter the contestant’s backpacks are, the quicker they’ll be able to move.

For backpackers, the lighter your bag is, the better (providing you’ve packed all of your essentials).

Packing light is something of an art, and even for those who have been traveling countless times, packing more than you need is still an issue. It’s incredibly tempting to pack ‘just a few more’ (useless) things because you ‘might’ need them.

Cherish Your Experiences as They’re Happening

Most of the contestants on The Amazing Race barely get the chance to actually take a look around and cherish the moment as it’s happening as they’re so focused on getting to the finish line (and who can blame them with $1 million on the line).

It’s often at the end of the programme when you hear them talking about all the special moments they’ve shared with their partner, all the amazing places they’ve visited and how lucky they feel to have been a part of something special.

When you’re traveling the world, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be in such a rush as the participants of this TV show, so don’t wait until the journey is over before you actually start to appreciate the experiences.

Take a quiet few minutes to yourself every now and then to soak in your surroundings and to appreciate what’s around you.

Traveling isn’t just about crossing places off of your ‘To Do’ list so that you can say you’ve been there, it’s about experiencing those places for what they are.

Related posts:

  1. What I Learned Travelling as a Single Woman
  2. 10 Amazing Travel Jobs (and How to Get Them)

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