The Ultimate Train Challenge was a concept that Michael Hodson came up while traveling in South America in 2010. He had recently finished a 16-month travel challenge to circle the globe without flying and his mind wandered to the question: “What is the world record for the longest continuous train journey?”
So it began…
In September of 2011, Michael set out with two travel-blogging friends to answer that question. The challenge: Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days – all on trains, of course. From the edge of Europe to the edge of Asia. The furthest you can go entirely by rail.
They each chose different routes through Europe, then reunited in Moscow, and travelled together to Saigon. All in all, they each racked up almost 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometres), and had the time of their lives.
Now it’s time for YOU to join the fun – this time with great prizes up for grabs, including an Intrepid trip. Plus, you are going to be doing it all for a great charity.
Here are the basics of the Ultimate Train Challenge, coming in May 2013:
You have to make it from Saigon or Lisbon – or Lisbon to Saigon – in the month of May. All by train. 31 days. You make your own schedule. You decide where you are going and how much you are going to push yourself. The framework has been set up for you, but you are going to be the one to decide exactly how you are going to succeed.
What do you get for your entry fee? It’s explained in full here. In short, you can blog your trip on the Your World, No Rules website to keep family and friends up with your journey; they have a live-tracking feature on the site, so you can map your trip in real time. Intrepid is offering two amazing 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line each way; there are going to be great pre-launch party in both locations; Eurail is offering Global Passes that will be raffled off and given away as prizes; HostelWorld is offering two nights stay in each city beforehand and… more.
But really, it’s not about the prizes. It’s not about the pre-event parties for everyone. It’s not about the stuff…
It’s about having an adventure that you are going to be able to tell your friends and even your grandkids about. It’s about challenging yourself and doing something that very few other people have done. From one corner of Europe to the far corner of Asia… all by the best mode of transportation you can use to experience the vastness and wonder of the planet we live on.
We are also doing this for a good cause. We have partnered with Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to raise much-needed funds. We are asking each participant to raise $500 and Intrepid Travel has been generous enough to agree to match each donation dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000 total. So not only are you doing this whole adventure to challenge yourself, as a group we are going to do a small part to make the world a better place.
Everything you need to know about this event is explained on the Your World, No Rules website. There are also resource pages to help you decide on your route and work through your visas.
Sign up before 15 February for entry fee savings. You can sure that this will be an adventure that changes the way you look at the world!