Gerry Obrecht, and his son and travel partner Phil Bouchard, of British Columbia, Canada (aka The Ogopogos), were crowned The World’s Greatest Travelers™ in Toronto, Canada on Saturday May 4th after winning the 9th edition of the 23-day around-the-world travel adventure competition known as The Global Scavenger Hunt™.
““We’re thrilled, surprised and absolutely gratified,”” said Gerry, a retired and savvy traveler, after winning the around-the-world competition in the last hours of the last day. ““We worked hard together, depended on the kindness of strangers in strange lands, and trusted our combined travel skills and instincts. It was a challenging 40,000-kilometer event against some great competitors from around the world. And in addition to this awesome trophy, we get to come back again next year FOR FREE. We can’t wait…only 364 days to go!”“
As revealed on The Global Scavenger Hunt event blog, teams touched down on four continents and visited 10 countries including: China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Nepal, Qatar, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, over the three-weeks between April 12th - May 4th, that took it’s contestants on their international treasure hunt from Los Angeles to Toronto—the long way! The Teams of two were required to seek out and answer cryptic clues that sent them on to other more challenging site-doing and interactive cultural scavenges on their global quest, ferreting out the answers to locations and extraordinary places, and doing remarkable things, all while eating exotic foods and experiencing bizarre local festivals…even modern ballets in Oslo!
““We felt very lucky to win this event and it was great to succeed against other great travelers,”” said Phil, loyal son and welding contractor, ““We literally went on a blind date with the world, from riding elephants and visiting sacred temples in Kathmandu to helping Cambodian orphans and visiting ancient bazaars—it was truly amazing! And we beat some very hardy and well-traveled international competitors too—especially the three-time champs and those Kiwis. I’m amazed and happy, but thoroughly exhausted. I need a relaxing vacation from my vacation!”“
In the spirit of true Indiana Jones, Gerry and Phil were crowned The World’s Greatest Travelers and presented with twin crystal trophies for winning The Global Scavenger Hunt at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, on Saturday afternoon after completing almost 600 global scavenges. All the Teams participating in this, now an annual travel adventure competition, were helping to raise funds towards a $1 million goal for lauded organizations like: KIVA and Free the Children, among others to build schools and provide micro loans.
““I am really proud of my fellow Canadians. They simply outworked, outhustled and outlasted everyone else. But it was close winning it in the last hours of the last day. It turned out to be a great global competition among some truly worthy travel adventurers,”” stated William D. Chalmers the Event Director (aka Ringmaster) and recent author of soon to be published America’s Vacation Deficit Disorder: Who stole your vacation? ““The Global Scavenger Hunt is a true cultural immersion and travel adventure competition that challenges our competitors to solve some really neat cultural puzzles along the way of their international quest. We believe that travel brings people closer together, fosters global understanding and improves compassion for all involved,”” continued Chalmers, ““Going around-the-world on one trip is an exciting prospect and when we add a little Indiana Jones-like scavenger hunt adventure to it, we feel that The Global Scavenger Hunt is a classic travel adventure competition bar none that is just getting bigger and better every year. We threw everything at them this year and the competitors were equal to the task. I’m delighted for Gerry and Phil and they deserved to win, I know they will come back to defend their title in 2014!”“
The Global Scavenger Hunt has garnered a tremendous amount of global media attention too:
• Outside magazine calls it, “”…one of the most amazing trips in the world!””
• NPR’s Savvy Traveler thinks it, “”…is just such a great idea!””
• Time magazine says, “”…would be Indiana Joneses will have a chance to follow in his footsteps…an international event that restores the curiosity and adventure.””
• Peter Greenberg says, “Unlike the Amazing Race, this challenge is more about your ability to connect with cultures than speed and agility.””
• National Geographic.com says, “”“...like Survivor, the Amazing Race and the Eco-Challenge all rolled into one except with much more cultural interaction…”“
To date, travelers from almost 50 countries have applied to join the annual adventure over the years making it truly an international global travel competition that combines a treasure hunt with the style of the 19th Century Grand Tours and the jet-setter reality of 21st Century travel.
Thank you to all the sponsors of the 2013 event, including: Travelpro, Columbia, Eagle Creek, photozini, Cloudz and PacSafe.
Applications are already being accepted for the exclusive 15 Team filed participating in the 2014 event. We know Gerry and Phil will be tanned, rested and ready for all comers!
Please visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com for additional press information, including: travel photos, contestant bios, video news release (VNR), official e-press kits.