If you are looking for a new challenge to do this year, join the Ultimate Train Challenge!
It’s the month of May. You’ve got 31 days to make it from Saigon to Lisbon or Lisbon to Saigon. 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers). You choose any route you want to take. Choose to stop and spend time wherever you want. Just make the whole journey in the end by rail.
The benefits are detailed more in full here. In short, you can blog your trip on their website to keep family and friends up to date with your journey; they have a live-mapping feature on the site, so you can everyone can keep up with you in real time; Intrepid Travel is offering two fabulous 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line in each direction; they are going to throw a fun pre-launch party in both locations; Eurail is offering up at least four of their Global Passes that they will be raffling off and giving away as prizes; HostelWorld is offering two free nights’ stay in each city beforehand and… more.
But the primary benefit is just you taking a chance to do an adventure of a lifetime, along with a couple dozen other fellow adventurists.
First things first that everyone needs to understand – this is not a tour. You have to make your own plans, get your own visas, and make sure that you know what you are doing on the ground. The challenge of it all is that it is you verses the rails – all on your own.
That being said, they have put together some resource pages here for you to start making your plans. You can also feel free to email them with any questions that you have about anything at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to doing the challenge for themselves and possibly for some of the great prizes that are being offered by the sponsors, the Ultimate Train Challenge has partnered up with Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to make this whole project also help out some needy children.
They are asking each person to try to raise $500 for that charity. Intrepid Travel has agreed to match each contribution dollar for dollar, up to a $10,000 total. So, in addition to having an adventure of a lifetime, the entire group of participants is going to help make a small, but positive change in the world.
In order to keep up with the latest developments on new sponsors, prizes and other news, you can sign up for their free newsletter via this link also. As an extra bonus, they will be doing a drawing from all the newsletter subscribers in February and will be giving away a new Samsung Galaxy SIII to one lucky subscriber.