If you were to win a contest where the prize was a trip around the world, would you accept it? Before you answer, there is a catch. You will be filmed for a TV show which will document your experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Oh, there is another catch, because the show needs to highlight certain destinations based on a book, and producers will need to adhere to a certain time line, and you'll get to see these great places, however you'll basically have to do what the producers tell you for 3 months.
The Travel Channel's new 1,000 Places takes a newlywed couple through 13 countries, and 100 of the places mentioned in the book 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. The station found the couple through a typical search that was open to the public.
I watched the first episode, where we are introduced to Albin and Melanie Ulle as they tour Alaska. They seem like very nice people, experiencing extraordinary places. I have little knowledge of the production aspects of the show, however I'm going to make some assumptions.
- The majority of their trip is paid for by the show (they pay for incidentals and souvenirs)
- The most interesting and adventurous activities are scripted (they have little say in what they do, where they go)
- They inherently act differently when being filmed (even if subconsciously)
The show has me wondering whether I would accept such a trip. On the plus side, I'd experience things I could not otherwise afford on a budget trip, such as the occasional five-star accommodations or a helicopter ride to a glacier. I'd gain some temporary fame as a result of being on a TV show, which could open up new opportunities. Just being on TV would be darn cool. On the down side, I'd lose the freedom of choice I love about independent travel – the ability to go anywhere I want, any time. I would have my travel experiences broken up by the need to share my thoughts in a video diary type format. Not having to pay for much, I would be lacking a sense of fulfillment because I didn't really have to work for the money in order to make the trip a reality.
What would I do, you ask? I'd like to think, deep down, that I would have the strength to decline the offer, in favor of doing it myself. Now, after the first RTW trip is completed, all bets are off!
Would you accept a sponsored trip around the world? Leave a comment and let us know.
Dave is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Go Backpacking and Feastio. He's been to 66 countries and lived in Colombia and Peru. Read the full story of how he became a travel blogger.
Planning a trip? Go Backpacking recommends:
- G Adventures for small group tours.
- World Nomads for travel insurance.
- Hostelworld for booking hostels.
- Rail Europe for train passes.
Monday 28th of April 2014
If I'm getting to see the best places of the world, with a management team looking after my accommodation, diet and trips, get all my memories recorded, become a part of reality show that most people won't be watching; and all for free, would I accept?? Hell yeah! Can I get such offers?
Friday 9th of December 2011
I'd accept it. It's just three months. It's like work only this time with pleasure. I get to experience what I probably wouldn't be able to experience without their sponsorship. Even if they'll probably be controlling everything I do and giving me the reputation I may or may not want on television, well, after 3 months, it'll all be over and I'll still have the time of my life because I got to experience something new.
Monday 7th of November 2011
I'm with most other people here. Travel for me is about freedom and that sounds more contained than working in an office.
Monday 25th of July 2011
I like the idea... The cameras taking the footage may in-fact record the trip for me and make my memories permanent....
Friday 1st of April 2011
I can't see a reason Not to accept such a trip. Traveling is my favorite thing to do and to experience brand new places and cultures at the expense of someone else sounds acceptable to me. If I would have to be a little inconvenienced with scheduling and cameras, that would be fine. I would go tomorrow. Where do I sign up!?