Friday, 11 December 2015

The Amazing Race 27, Episode 12

Macau SAR (China) - Hong Kong SAR (China) - New York, NY (USA) - Elmont, NY (USA - Southampton, NY (USA)

Diana and Justin, the self-styled “Green Team”, were edged out in the final leg of this season of The Amazing Race when they lost track of their priorities for travel spending and balked at an unexpected mid-trip demand for more money to get where they really wanted to go (the finish line of the race) a little faster.

There are places within the New York city limits where it’s hard or impossible to find a cruising taxicab. After bringing the “Green Team” and their camera and audio crew — four passengers who were obviously making a movie or TV show and in a hurry — to out-of-the-way Randall’s Island, their taxi driver wanted an extra $100 to wait for them while they completed a task of uncertain duration.

The racers had the money, but declined to pay the cabbie to wait. The cabbie didn’t wait, the racers couldn’t find another cab until they took a city bus from Randall’s Island back to Manhattan, and that cost them the race and the million-dollar grand prize.

It’s easy to criticize travellers who — in the heat of the moment and in the frustration of feeling price-gouged — lose track of the purpose of their trip, their goals, and their priorities for travel spending, and lose a million dollars because they are too cheap to spend an extra hundred.

But we shouldn’t think that we would never make such a mistake when we travel. I’ve spent money while travelling in ways I regret (or don’t think turned out to be worth the price). And I’ve not spent money on things I regret having missed the chance to do or see. How about you?

I often find that, in a place where things are very different from what I’m used to at home or have seen before in my travels, what’s ordinary for local people can be extraordinary for me. Immersing myself in everyday life and untouristed neighborhoods can be just as exciting and educational, and much cheaper, than the marquee attractions and more heavily touristed (and tourist-priced) places. What’s worth a splurge for you may not be on anyone else’s “bucket list”.

Some special places, events, and experiences are really worth the extra price. But how can you tell, in advance, which ones those will be — especially if you find out only part-way there that the price for what you want to see or do is going to be higher than you had expected?

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.’ll see you next year for the next season of The Amazing Race.

Link | Posted by Edward on Friday, 11 December 2015, 23:59 (11:59 PM)

Totally agree. Traveling out of the US , not much. Never as a tourist. Mexico and renting a room in a family home was to improve my Spanish and turned out to be just plain fun. The city I chose -- or that chose me, Morelia the very old capital of Michoacán, was full of friendly people and tons of social invitations involving smiling or intellectual or funny or politically active (!!) or all of the above type people and time to get to know them. Hanging out with a handsome guy at his family's mountain avocado ranch, playing pool and dancing swimming and discussing the unjust weirdness of the US-Mexico relationship, and eating avocados and using a machete to whack creeping avocado-eating (not really) vines off trees... In town, there was learning firsthand about class conflict in a student uprising -- streets barricaded with commandeered buses and boulders, and students' parents, indigenous and proud. They came to to town because nepotistic corruption had robbed their kids of teaching certificates in a country that desperately needed teachers. Some went to traditional lengths to demonstrate their anger and shame the guilty -- the fathers stripped and marched naked through the streets and over the boulders.

Yet there was still plenty of time to sit under the arcos of the Zocalo, people-watching and drinking excellent coffee.

I need to go back there...

Posted by: Cynthia Morse, 28 June 2016, 07:02 ( 7:02 AM)
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