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Recruiting: Team FlyerTalk for Amazing Race-style travel competition

Recruiting: Team FlyerTalk for Amazing Race-style travel competition

Old Jan 15, 09, 1:19 pm
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Currently fais la navette entre les US et Paris. Lived in Scotland, Netherlands, and virtually everywhere in the US
Programs: AA 1M miles, UA Premier 1K, AF FB Gold, Hilton HHonors Gold VIP, Starwood/Marriott Gold Elite, etc.
Posts: 50
Why I'm Team FlyerTalk

Dear Randy,

What a great idea to have a FT Team - thanks so much for thinking of it, and for sponsoring it. Having read the description, I have to say that this event does seem to have my name all over it! Let me try to succinctly summarize why:

  • I'm available then
  • I'm bilingual French/English and fluent in Italian. Also speak enough Dutch and Swedish to get by in Netherlands/Belgium/Scandinavia.
  • I've lived in several different countries - Europe, UK, and the Caribbean - over my lifetime. I've visited more than 40 other countries.
  • I'm a researcher by training - and that's still my job today - so I know how to find and obtain information.
  • I spent a whole year, in 2002-2003, on the road, doing academic research, in 21 different countries, on 6 continents. Each visit involved finding a family in a foreign country, finding the way to get to that family's house (in rural tea country in Bangladesh, for example), finding out enough about their culture and language so as to know how to make them comfortable, and converse with them, and then spending a whole day with them. Still have contacts in all of those countries, and many others where we did email interviews.
  • I've traveled to every continent (except Antarctica)
  • I led language-learning-and-adventure tours for teenagers in Europe for several years. That experience made me both a good leader, and good team player. It also taught me how to convince virtually anyone to let me and my crew do virtually anything (I got the teens jobs, with the circus, picking artichokes, learning folk dances . . .).
  • I am million-mile on AA and PremExec on UA
  • I'm extremely tech-savvy.
  • In the old days, when I was a student, I traveled as a courier. I haven't checked luggage since then.
  • I'm a great travel companion / people love traveling with me, so my teammate and I will enjoy the trip, and bring back fabulous reports to FT.
  • I'm endlessly resourceful and energetic, but also flexible, fun, unflappable and unstoppable.

Too cool!

JayCey is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 1:25 pm
Join Date: Feb 2006
Programs: USAirways Chairman's, Continental Elite Platinum, HHonors Diamond, Hertz Gold President's Circle
Posts: 5
Europe Calling

It's great that you're sponsoring a team to participate in this awesome competition. Thank you!

Just a little background about myself: My name is tj, and I currently live in Washington, DC, but I spend most of my time working in New Orleans helping with its recovery. I'm originally from Columbia, SC, and I've spent some time in Durham, NC for college.

My thoughts about Competitours: I've actually considered doing something like this before GreatEscape, Global Scavenger Hunt -- but it was super expensive to participate, so I never got to do it, despite being accepted as one of the teams. What made me want to participate was the opportunity to combine my sense of adventure and competitive nature with my passion for traveling. I think Competitours is such an interesting way for people who normally like to plan their vacations (daily itineraries, etc.) to get out of their comfort zones and literally fly by the seat of their pants. It sounds really exciting

My travel skills: I'd consider myself fairly well-traveled for a 25-year old. So far, I've been to 21 countries across North and Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia. In each place I visit, I try to find a balance between "seeing the sights" and enjoying the "local scene."

I wouldn't call myself fluent, but I can get by in French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and Filipino (Im sure there would be opportunities to chat with Japanese tourists or Overseas Filipino Workers in Europe!). While being able to fluently converse with the locals may be an advantage, I think attempting to communicate with them (struggles and all) is a part of the whole adventure.

I am a huge fan of public transportation, and I've studied the metro maps of many cities. I'd say one of my favorite books (in fact, it's on my nightstand right now) is Metro Maps of the World. Being able to navigate cities and their methods of public transportation would be one of my strengths.

What I can bring to Team FlyerTalk: Youthful energy; a propensity for strategizing the next best move; a great sense of style; an iPhone (which will work in Europe) full of awesome traveling music. I work and play well with others; Im goal-oriented; and Id do my very best to win for FlyerTalk!

Thanks for considering me, and good luck to those who get chosen!
jtpineda is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 1:44 pm
In memoriam
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Seattle WA
Programs: Kimpton IC, Hyatt Diamond, Gold Marriott, Lifetime Platinum Starwood
Posts: 8,665
I think this would be a blast and would like to apply. My qualifications:
  • I LOVE to travel
  • I am an extrovert and have no problems asking for directions, becoming friends, and help when needed
  • Sleeping isn't an issue - really - ask people who have travelled on a plane with me and how I keep them awake! (what if the pilot needs me?!)
  • I am very computer literate and a great photographer (kodakgallery.com shows some fabulous examples
  • Packing light- I figure
    there's always a mall to be found
ldsant is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 2:33 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: West Seattle, WA
Posts: 10,469
Randy, first and foremost, thanks for this generous offer to the Community.

Now, here is your team:
chexfan and geo1005

Why? Plain and simple- We are already a team.

Resume-wise we both possess extensive global travel experience. Our joint escapades have already taken us across the USA, through Europe and even through an unforgettable Halloween experience in Hong Kong (not to mention dozens of planes, trains, taxicabs, rickshaws, trams, bicycles, metros and canal boats!). Competitours would be a natural and obvious extension of our collaborations.

Most importantly, we bring senses of humor and laid back personalities to this competition. With that said, with a task at hand we are at our best- whether it's the fastest way to the pub or talking our way through the VIP line at the RijksMueseum.

Individually we both are spontaneous, creative, daring, clever, resourceful, original, persuasive, and dare should we say zany.

At any point we can be serious or silly; and knowledge of when each time is appropriate is a key determining and unique skill we possess.

Why should you allow us to represent you and FlyerTalk? First, we are willing to be walking billboards for FlyerTalk. But more importantly, you will need a team. That's us.

You will need a team of communicators. Thats us.

Youll need a team that is tech-savvy. Thats us.

Youll need a team that shares that hidden ability to instantly read the other team members mind and act decisively. Thats us.

Youll need a team that knows the race is won by applying hard work, ingenuity, and creativity with a healthy dose of craziness. Thats us.

You need fun & smarts. That's us.

You need the recklessness of youth coupled with the wisdom of age. In no particular order and subject to change at a moments' notice, thats us.

In short we are there!

Randy, we respectfully request that we be allowed to represent you and FlyerTalk in this endeavor! We will not let you down!

Very Sincerely,
Mike & George

PS: We dont even care about the miles and points this time!
chexfan is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 3:36 pm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Alexandria, VA - DCA
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Posts: 5,071
Originally Posted by chexfan
Randy, first and foremost, thanks for this generous offer to the Community.

Now, here is your team:
chexfan and geo1005

Randy, we respectfully request that we be allowed to represent you and FlyerTalk in this endeavor! We will not let you down!

Very Sincerely,
Mike & George

PS: We dont even care about the miles and points this time!
My name is George and I approve the above message!!!

geo1005 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 6:50 pm
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 229
Ah, what the heck. Count me in. Competitours sounds like a genius business plan, and a fun structure for travel.

I'm sort of a quiet type here on FT, absorbing all the knowledge. But on the road, I get the story.

I'm a guidebook author by trade, which means I've basically done Competitours in the past, but without the thrill of winning anything. By the end of a typically frantic guidebook "tour," I've also visited 90 hotels, eaten 5 meals a day to maximize restaurant reviews, logged 3,000km on my car and washed my laundry in the sink a few times.

I'm certainly inventive (repaired a toilet with dental floss in Cuba), and I have an excellent sense of direction. My language skills consist of decent French, better Spanish, bad Dutch (no use anyway) and good Arabic--which I once used to get myself a dawn ride out of a Spanish village when no cab was to be found.

One request: Pair me with someone who can sort out the crazy scoring system. Just looking at the Competitours website is making me feel a little addled. (Shouldn't be a problem--I'd guess 95% of the FT community is into crazy scoring systems...or you wouldn't all be here!)

In return, I'll use my ability to judge a restaurant at 15 paces, and my knowledge of street food, to make sure we eat fabulously (I'm down with the "dead man's finger"!). An army travels on its stomach, after all.

Looking forward to hearing more about this...
zloneill is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 8:13 pm
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Japan--NGO
Programs: JGC / OW Sapphire
Posts: 308
First of all, Randy, you're just too cool.

Second, after looking at the website I've decided that my bum knee would be too much of a disadvantage to consider myself a contender for teammate status. It looks like a lot of fun and if I had two good knees I'd throw my hat in the ring.

Best of luck to the two who get chosen! I look forward to your report of how you won!
whkento is offline  
Old Jan 15, 09, 10:23 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Sydney - Australia
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Posts: 11,079
Althought this does not relate to miles and points, it looks like a fun way to promote FT and generate some interest.

Randy, thanks for offering this opportunity.

I'm outside your feeder zone so must reluctantly decline this kind offer.

Will you be offering further detail on your criteria (or other method) for selecting the winners?

BB, back in Sydney
BiziBB is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 12:27 am
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate, NY
Posts: 3,358
Amazing Opportunity!

Wow what an amazing opportunity! Looking at the Competitours website the daily competitions look like a lot of fun and not as physically or emotionally demanding as the "Amazing Race" type challenges...

I've had quite a few adventures since joining FlyerTalk and would be honored to represent FT in this competition.

I have a valid U.S. Passport and as a PhD candidate, my schedule is very flexible at the moment!

Travel Skills
-I enjoy traveling and have a sense of adventure
-I am very good at figuring out foreign maps/subways/trams/schedules/etc and how to navigate them.
-Being friendly and outgoing, I am VERY good at making new friends and getting help (see story below)
-Speak some French
-Familiarity with Europe as I have traveled there to visit family, for conferences, and to teach English in Spain for a week.
-Get along brilliantly with others (as long as they aren't related to me!)

General Skills
-I can be very funny and have actually done formal stand up comedy routines in amateur venues
-Technically very savvy as I have an engineering background
-Low maintenance! I travel light and am able rough it!
-Excellent communication skills. At my undergraduate university I was in charge of campus tours which gave me the opportunity to meet people from around the world who would come to visit and to convey the essence of what made our school the top Technical Institute anywhere.

Illustrative Story
Since joining the FT community I have learned a lot and have tried to contribute in return. There have been several international trips I've taken thanks to FT. Most recently I went to Dublin, Ireland for 26 hours. On the flight from JFK to DUB I chatted up the crew and found out that they would be the same crew for my return flight. I told them my plan to explore Dublin and stay up the whole time and got some tips. In Dublin I did some touristy things (Museums) but also chatted up some of the shop keepers and found out the best places to eat and which tourist traps to void. I spent the night pub hopping. The return flight was somewhat empty and the head FA told me to find an empty row. Once I did she THEN announced that boarding was complete and people could move around. After telling the crew about my adventures (and finally sleeping) they gave me a bottle of wine before landing!

Of course all my family and normal friends think I am nuts for taking such a trip, but I know my FT friends can appreciate that when the airfare is low enough, there is no reason NOT to go!
Burj is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 1:23 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland
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Posts: 5,054
Originally Posted by zloneill
One request: Pair me with someone who can sort out the crazy scoring system. Just looking at the Competitours website is making me feel a little addled. (Shouldn't be a problem--I'd guess 95% of the FT community is into crazy scoring systems...or you wouldn't all be here!)
Scoring is pretty straightforward- based on degree of creativity/merit of a given challenge and distance from central train station.

The fun and somewhat 'addling' part of the scoring is deciding WHICH combination of challenges and point values to choose.

There are FIXED point challenges where points are awarded for doing something objective- ie- eat some exotic food, have a street vendor translate the headlines of newspapers from 4 different foreign languages,

There are RISK/REWARD point challenges where points are awarded for doing something subjective- ie. produce a mock TV commercial pitching a 9th century Viking ship cruise to a 21st century family. Our judges will award higher point value to top 50% of teams and lower point value to bottom 50% of teams.

More points are offered for challenges that are farther from town, since fewer of them can be accomplished. So, there is equal motivation to do a lot of challenges intown versus fewer challenges located on the otskirts of town or as a half-day excursion.

So, depending on each team's point earning strategy, they will choose a different mix of fixed vs. risk/reward point challenges.

Hope that helps.
beaubo is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 9:54 am
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: NYC
Posts: 229
It does help! Thanks, Beaubo! Now I feel like a bum for not sitting down and concentrating enough to figure that out myself...
zloneill is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 10:39 am
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: California; DO-RAGS: Old Gold tagged, PIP, LatPass 1/2, AA 4MM, HH Diamond, Marriott Titanium, Omni
Posts: 9,106
Wow, this thread has brought out a lot of first time, or near first time, posters. Ill throw my hat in the ring:

1. I prefer luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants.
2. I passed Spanish 2 in high school, and can still count to ten-ish in Spanish
3. I have had massages in probably 10 different countries. I like to have body work when on vacation.
4. I can get up early, if the need is pressing. I like to run and/or work out before doing anything useful.
5. Will wherever have a Jacuzzi?
6. Upgrade, miles and points the whole way, I assume?
7. My schedule is tight, the dates may have to be moved, and then moved again.
8. I will expect my partner to be hot, and discrete.
9. I may have to take a break or two to fly back for personal or corporate business. This race thing can be suspended until I return, yes?
10. So, as long as we can incorporate some theatre, art galleries and national parks into the itinerary, this should work for me, let me know when/where I can pick up my plane tix.
Jailer is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 11:41 am
Moderator: Hilton Honors forums
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Marietta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 24,923
Originally Posted by Jailer
I will expect my partner to be hot, and discrete.
Jailer, how many times do I have to tell you that you are not my type?!?
Canarsie is offline  
Old Jan 16, 09, 6:58 pm
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 3
team travel race

Looks Like it could be great. No T.V. is a giant plus. I would do this with my ex girlfriend and she loves to travel. Just made a mileage run to the U.K and as a side visit ,to Malta. Malta is cheaper than most of Europe .It has a unique look,because of all the city citadels. It would be great if the race went there. I think Malt deserves more world recognition. yb4111m
yb4111m is offline  
Old Jan 17, 09, 6:23 am
Moderator, El Al and Marriott Bonvoy, FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hyatt Contributor BadgeMarriott Contributor Badge
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SIN
Programs: TG*G, Mar LTBT, Hyatt Glb, AA PLT-LTG, LY, HH, IC, BA, DL, UA SLV
Posts: 11,969
I'm game!
  1. US citizen - A virgin US passport is en route as we speak.
  2. Used to traveling at a moment's notice - 10AM phone call leads to a 5PM, 27 hour trip to SYD with my luggage getting lost at LHR is a normal occurrence for me.
  3. Experienced actor and roleplayer - Not afraid to put myself into situations which may be considered silly.
  4. Enthusiastic storyteller - I'm in Sales!
  5. Writer - I'm so sick of responding to RFPs...
  6. Competitive team player - We will win!
  7. Regular person - Easy to identify with me, I'm overweight like the rest of America.
  8. Technology guy - We'll have no trouble getting the materials uploaded.
  9. Hungry - Recently bought "1000 places to see before you die" and realize I have a lot of ground to cover.
yosithezet is offline  

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