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Recruiting: Team FlyerTalk for Amazing Race-style travel competition

Recruiting: Team FlyerTalk for Amazing Race-style travel competition

Old Jan 14, 09, 11:09 pm
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Washington
Programs: United 1K 1MM, Marriott Plat, Hilton Gold, Hertz Prez
Posts: 250
Although I am new to this forum I would love the opportunity to be considered. I work for myself so I am flexible and March 21st is my birthday so would be a perfect day and excuse to celebrate the end of the trip.

I did most of my traveling before there were frequent flyer programs and flew so often crisscrossing the US, Canada and Europe that I even noticed when FA had a day off. I never had jet lag because I was never in any one time zone long enough to know what was normal.

I don't need three meals a day and can survive on beer alone...maybe some cheese and bread added in. I can sleep anywhere...although a good 4 star hotel doesn't hurt.

I have been across to Europe about 50 times. Probably most of you are too young to remember the days of Freddie Laker DC10's $99 New York to England.

I have resources (friends) in France, England, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Norway and Italy. Just reconnected with one of my friends from my early years in Venice. Lorenzo was a water taxi driver (beautiful wooden Riva boat) when we first met and I was traveling around Europe in a custom Chrysler van (California license plate "A PARTY") that a friend and I had built and got sponsored by Chrysler Corp., Hooker Headers, Holy Carb. (Colt Industries) House of Stewart Van Conversions, Hexel Skis (anyone remember Hexcel...they gave us 6 pairs of skis for the sponsored trip) to take over to Europe and do a tour. I think that was 1976. We received coverage in 6 US auto magazines and 2 European magazines. At any rate when I met Lorenzo at the train station on the Grand Canal this last June he said that he no longer drives his boat because he is the president of the company...so he had his driver take us around. But this is drifting from the subject...so I have some in place connections.

I speak a little German. My university says I'm fluent (I beg to differ) after attending the Goethe language institute in Kochel am See in Bavaria for 2 months. In order to really be able to speak I have to have had a liter or two of beer. I speak a tiny bit of French but understand more. I lived with a French fireman in Cannes for 5 months as I was trying to sell a 600 HP turbo charged Corvette a year after I had spent 11 months traveling around with the sponsored van. I have 4 years of Latin and two years of Spanish but in all honesty I would most likely call my niece (who speaks multiple languages ) in Milan or Lorenzo in Venice and put her or him on the phone with anyone who we might need to communicate with that our team couldn't.

As I live in DC I have dined at the residences of and with the French, Italian and Swiss Ambassadors who could possibly be of help.

I have a pilots license and have flown a private plane in Southern France. Also fly gliders but all that would be worth is some good fun.

I've been able to get into places that are hard to get into when required such as the RCC at Dulles today to meet someone when I wasn't traveling today. Or ride the Senate subway in DC or get back stage passes to an Eagles concert (years ago) and 10th row center seats just because I was gutsy...or into the Country music awards Ball. Country music is not my favorite but the party was fun.

I have not been on all the continents but one of my college professors (Conducted Research in Oceanography) had a green VW with Antarctica license plates that he was able to get away with using for 15 years in San Diego before they caught up with him and made him buy California plates. I rode in the car.

I am ready for some fun and this sounds like my kind of fun. I lost out on my last big fun trip when I was asked to accompany a three day NASA atmospheric research trip on a DC 8 from Moffet Field in California over the pole and back with a days stop on an island to recoup. My wife was OK with it until she found out that the island was Tahiti. Said no way...go figure.
Flyingeagle is offline  
Old Jan 14, 09, 11:32 pm
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SEA
Programs: DL Gold
Posts: 1,510
As the one who started the initial thread on this, I would so be interested if other obligations didn't conflict with these dates! But I will definitely follow Team FlyerTalk with interest!
AquaDyne is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 12:10 am
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7
The trip sounds like a blast and I would love to do it if you will have me.

I have experience traveling to all sorts of places and staying in everything from fancy hotels to sleeping alone on the ground 100 miles form the nearest person with all of my supplies in a small backpack.

I have traveled to many other countries including a decent amount in Europe including Spain, Italy, England, Ireland and France. I used public transportation of one form or another in all of them and have extensive experience with trains, buses and walking long distances. I know how to travel by any means necessary not just the normal touristy methods. I love to travel the local ways as they are often cheaper, much more fun and sometimes faster. In addition to English I speak some German and Spanish. I once knew enough Italian and French to get around and can pick up the basics of any other languages I need to know along the way.

I get along with just about everybody and love to meet new people when I travel. The challenges that they assign sound like a great way to meet and interact with people.

I always travel very light. For example when I go on scuba trips I take all of my scuba gear(everything but the tanks) along with all of my other personal belongings carry-on and have no problem fitting my bags in the overhead compartment and under the seat in front of me.

I am great with directions even when I don't know the language. It is amazing how much you can get from someones hand gestures and expressions. I have an excellent natural sense of direction that has always gotten me back where I need to be even when I have no idea which roads or paths lead there.

I am young and very athletic. I am capable of completing whatever tasks will be thrown at us and still have enough energy to hang out and have a good time.

I do freelance work in the film business for a living so I have no problem with taking some time off for this trip. With my job I am used to working at a new location almost everyday solving the many new and unique problems that constantly appear. I do camera work for a living, so when it comes to shooting video or taking pictures I am very qualified.

I work great under pressure and am an extremely laid back guy who stays calm even when the .... hits the fan. (I am from Austin after all)

I have a current passport.

I like to spend a lot of time preparing for trips with useful information like languages, bus schedules, places to stay, things to do yet only make definite plans when absolutely necessary because the adventure of just letting what is going to happen happen is the best part of traveling.

JessH is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 12:58 am
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Programs: AC, NW, Delta
Posts: 153
Thumbs up


what a cool experience this would be.
here's my pitch ...

I'm a fit and healthy IT-guy, with no obstacles to travel and no allergies to stall me.
This challenge will be a great use for my laptop, and will be my excuse to buy a USB-capable videocam.
Sensible, attentive to detail, inventive, good eye-hand, organized and frugal are my strengths; food and history can distract me (wonderfully)!
European history is my "vice".
I do the priorities first - I'll sleep when I'm dead.
My home climate (mid-west Canada) is >6 months winter, so if we get to a chilly place it'll be like home.
I love packing more compact than my travel partner(s) - cause I know I can!
I'll buy what I need and leave what I don't along the way.
Getting to NYC is no prob.
My 5-week trip to cover France kept me in the north part of the country b/c I regularly found too many people and unique places of interest to move farther than 100 kilometers per day, and all with the limited knowledge of the first few chapters of basic textbook French.
I made it work and it was wonderful relying on B&Bs only where no one speaks English.
I also keep some German and Spanish words on hand.
I have driven Europe and utilized their public transportation, all with great success.
I like going w/o a schedule to see where the trail and my time will take me.
I've hosteled in Auzzie land and NZ, and B&B'd in France, Ireland and the UK.
I have contacts in the Australia, NZ, UK, Ireland, Holland, France, Norway and Italy, if needed.
I collect maps (new and ancient), and love a reason to use 'em!
Dead reckoning works for me too.
City, cottage or country - if I'm traveling that's where I'm happiest, and even better with someone to share it with.

ready when you are.^
mrgender is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 4:00 am
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: UK
Programs: BA Gold, BD Gold (RIP), TK Elite, HH Gold, Marriott Silver, SPG Gold, IC RA, Hertz 5*
Posts: 589
Randy this is a fantastic idea! Being a young poster on FT (in both age on FT and in life) I will still give this a shot.

I assume this is still open to us Europeans despite the travel starting in JFK?

Either way here is my pitch.

I'm a Dane living and working in the UK, I work as an IT consultant and travel regularly for work. I've always been an enthusiastic traveller and continue to travel loads for leisure. I have been bilingual since birth with my dad being Mexican and my mom Danish, learning both languages in parallel from when I first learnt to talk.

  • Speak 4 European languages fluently (English, Danish, Spanish and French) as well others at communication level (Swedish, Norwegian, Italian) and I understand and read German
  • Been to most of Europe and have friends/contacts in pretty much every European country. (travelled a lot around the world as well, but I assume European travel may be more relevant here)
  • Very savy with IT related matters (due to my job)
  • Travel regularly in Europe - I have knowledge of all the European transport systems (Plane, Train, Metro, Bus, Car and Bicycle). I notice a Eurail pass is included so I assume my knowledge of the European train network would be handy.
  • Light packer (I regularly travel around Europe on trips spanning 2 days to a week and know how to pack accordingly)
  • Team player (I work in teams for work and I am used to meeting new people and forming teams and partnerships quickly and spontaneously due to the project nature of my work).

Further I am used to very stressful and time pressured situations and generally operate under a "can-do" model when it comes to tasks at hand.

I would genuinely be very honoured and proud to represent FT if we Europeans are illegible for this.

Last edited by TuxTraveller; Jan 15, 09 at 4:06 am
TuxTraveller is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 5:44 am
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Just a lowly Blue ;(
Posts: 1,780
Sounds like great fun.

Unfortuantely I cannot take part which gives one of you an extra chance

However, I will be in Valencia from the 15th - 20th as it's the Fallas festival. Which is a huge festival that the whole of Valencia celebrates with LOTS of fireworks.

It would be AMAZING if this ended up as part of your trip.

Good luck to those who get chosen to take part.
mdj1 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 6:37 am
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lithgow, NSW
Programs: QF Bronze, Velocity
Posts: 1,049
Sigh - I'd LOVE to do this, but unfortunately my thesis comes first...maybe next year....
TIMP is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 7:46 am
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: UK
Programs: AA, QFF eternally Bronze. Accor Advantage Gold
Posts: 29
This is a great opportunity you are offering.

My credentials for this trip.
1. I am available. I am having some down time between jobs and my next job is in Libya which I am going to be stuck in and this will be a great way to get some travel bug's out of my system
2. I am not well travelled through Europe and would relish an opportunity to travel and take in the sights of some amazing places and cultures and be required to appreciate them in order to move through the competition.
3. I am an experienced navigator and I have never been lost even in cities that are foreign to me. My parents will happily acknowledge that I am a human street directory and have told me to apply for a london cabbies job.
4. Team player / travel partner. I like to work in a team but I especially enjoy travelling with a partner. Another insight into the the places you visit together often gives you a chance to see things you woul normally have missed.
5. Creative thinker. I enjoy mental challenges and taking differing outlooks on regular situations.

I hope you would seriously consider me for this role as I woulod represent FT with the greatest of my ability

.. Didi I mention I was Australian?
OzinUK is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 8:32 am
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BCN
Programs: Bombay Sapphire; Sephora Plat
Posts: 802
I want in!!!!

I may not have status in any airline and/or hotel program in the world, but I certainly have a master's degree in budget travel around Europe, with several years of proven experience in interrails, hostels, 'visiting a city in a day because tonight we're sleeping on the train again', and surviving a month with 500 bucks and a lot of tunafish cans on my backpack while hitting the road. Did I menction that I don't care if the hotel I'm staying in is not *wood? And I'm Europe-based, so I already have the european cellphone

By the way, I'd love to do this with missydarlin!
dragonfirebcn is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 9:50 am
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
count me in!

I am available and very interested in participating. Sounds great. What do I do?
Yamaira18 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 9:56 am
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Time after time

When I've been travelling with my wife we have often been faced with funny situations and because both of us enjoy solving these little problems that always seem to crop up when you are away from home I feel that I would be ideally suited for the the travel competition!!! I am a senior citizen, have travelled extensively over the past 30 years, know my way around most major cities in Europe and Asia...and work well with people....know how ask for help when needed and lastly, I'm available!!! and flexible!
the brick is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 11:54 am
Moderator: Information Desk, Women Travelers, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 15,415
Hi Randy,

Thanks for giving us the opportunity to do this! I'm an Amazing Race fanatic, so of course I think this sounds like a fun, cool vacation.

I'd love to throw my hat in the ring as a potential competitor.

My qualifications:
* I've lived in 3 countries (the US, England & Saudi Arabia) and visited about 50 countries on 6 continents. Needless to say, I have a valid passport!

* I've spent time in many European countries, including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Denmark & Russia. But there are still some European countries I haven't visited (Portugal, Greece, some of the former Eastern Bloc countries) so this might also be an opportunity for me to see some new places, too!

* Competitours' describes the challenges as testing a team's ability to be "creative, resourceful, inventive, a bit zany, spontaneous." I'd certainly describe myself as creative (work in a creative field), resourceful (people come to me when they're trying to find the answers to all sorts of questions, because I usually know how find the answers), inventive (I'm innovative, and a natural-born problem solver), a bit zany (I'd go so far as to say that I'm even quirkybut not the kind of zany/quirky that would make me an annoying teammate or travel companion) and spontaneous (I'm dating a man who usually gives me about 4 hours notice before we board on planehe forces me to be spontaneous).

* I have friends in several European countries and can tap that network for assistance if it's allowed as part of the game. (Then again, I guess any of us could tap into the wonderful resource that is Flyertalk and its fantastic members!)

* I'm fit (run 3 miles a day, lift weights, do yoga, bike, etc.) so I have the stamina that's necessary for any endurance-type competitions.

* I'm naturally competitive, but also laid back. Trust me, I'd play to win, but I'd enjoy myself while I was doing it.

* I am a student of FT...what travel skills I haven't learned first hand, I've absorbed from these boards and the combined experiences of the other members.

* I play well with others. I often work in team-based groups. I'm always willing to take a leadership position, but I also know when to step back and let someone else take the lead.

* I have a great sense of humor, I know how to lighten the mood when things get tense and I am a repository of completely useless trivia might even come in handy!

* I can read maps, train schedules, plane schedules and bus schedules. I'm great at solving logistical challenges. And I'm not scared to ask for directions!

* I'm a good photographer and decent videographer. I'd make sure to get a lot of great photos that you could use. I have the equipment--video camera, digital camera, PDA, European phone, computer, converters and adaptors--that would be required.

* I'd wear the Flyertalk wardrobe well!

(In the interest of honesty, I'd admit that my biggest weakness are my language skills. I speak passable high-school Spanish, plus have the basic ability to understand other Romance languages. In other words, I'd be best matched with someone who has stronger language skills.)

In addition, I'm self-employed, so I can easily take off for a couple weeks in mid-March!

Thanks again.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 12:07 pm
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: PEK
Programs: A3*G, UA Gold EY Silver
Posts: 8,798
I will attempt to not write an essay.

1. I don't have a problem not sleeping while travelling. Example: I did SFO-LAX-BOG/BOG-LIM-CUZ/CUZ-LIM/LIM-BOG-LAX-SFO over 5 days, sleeping maybe 15-20 hours during all that time (half of it on airplanes). I don't get jetlagged going east (most people are the opposite).

2. I speak multiple languages: English, Russian, Ukrainian, German -- fluently; I can read and understand other slavic languages (CZ, PL, SK, etc...); Same goes for Spanish. I can understand other European languages (Italian, French), by deciphering word roots. In general, I find that I don't need to know a language to get directions or get something from someone. Europe feels like a second home to me.

3. I am energetic when needed, but calm, cool and collected when it comes to dealing with people (especially gate agents and phone reps). Semi-proficient at social engineering.

4. I can look like and fit in as a local in about 70% of Europe.

5. I'm in my early 20s, so maybe you want to mix up the ages of team members a bit. (Don't know if this is a plus or a minus)

6. I work in the transport industry, and one of my hobbies is public transport -- so I know things or can figure things out pretty quickly.

7. I'm a techie, so technical problems are not problems, they're puzzles, waiting to be solved.

8. I pack light. 10 Kilos is the most I'll need (including my laptop).

9. May be a plus/minus: I am an alpha person, so I generally lead, but if paired with another alpha person, I can work well with them if I feel mutual cooperation.

10. I try not to make mistakes, but not afraid to admit them.

11. Have photography and videography skills that maybe useful.

12. I always have a map in my head of where I am and where north is.

13. I love combinatorics.

14. I know how to use Bahn.de for train schedules .

There, I didn't write an essay.

Last edited by Palal; Jan 15, 09 at 2:17 pm
Palal is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 12:09 pm
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SFO, CA, USA
Posts: 122
Wink Team FlyerTalk - The Team to Take

Terrific task-driven team takes talented tact to traveling, taping, and traipsing. This twosome talks travel, tests, and tells all - tune-in Tuesday to be treated to this Top Traveling Team.

Last edited by Elizabethh; Jan 27, 09 at 1:46 pm
Elizabethh is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 12:09 pm
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: CLT
Programs: FT Member #8119 F & J Free Agent
Posts: 6,550
I'm ready to go, just need Randy to join of my team.
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