To travel is to live,” the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen had said in his autobiography. In today’s mad and confusing world, which is filled with deceits and inconsistencies, one thing that we all can relate to and agree with is that travelling is something that helps us escape this reality. And what better way can a young mind find to expand its horizons?
Three Delhi University students are about to set out on a unique expedition across Europe with a view to learning more about the world.
But these aren’t your run-of-the-mill tourists. The students are among the winners of a recent online contest, and the journey is their reward. So the trip across Europe comes pro bono!
Remember the TV show The Amazing Race? It had teams travelling around Europe or America or Australia. The Red Bull Can You Make It? Is a similar race that has several teams from different countries going on global expeditions. 165 teams from 50 countries will have a week (12-19 April) to travel throughout Europe from one of the five starting points to the finishing line in one of the continent’s dazzling cities, Paris. The contestants will only be using cans of the energy drink Red Bull as currency.
The contest will be telecast daily on Red Bull TV, while the judging will be based on three factors: “Checkpoint Challenges”, “Social Following” and completing tasks on an “Adventure List”.
The application process for race was simple. As per the website, all the aspirants needed to do, was to create a minute-long video explaining why their team should be chosen, and had to upload the clip online. The video needed to show the participants’ love of adventure, their smarts and sense of humor.
The process of selection, though, was just like any other reality show, for the teams that received the most votes from each country became the finalists, among whom were these three college youths, who are now representing India.
The team calls itself IndieSants, comprising a group of three motivated and passionate individuals from the University of Delhi. The members profiles on the websites say: “Aman Raj is a passionate aspiring Photographer and Traveller. He is pursuing his Masters Degree in Philosophy from St. Stephen's College (University of Delhi).” Aman, who is pretty much excited about this competition and looks forward to meet new people and visit new places, claims to have had pushed himself at every stage of life and says that this is what brought him to this competition.
All three members of the winning team will be invited to be Contiki Travel Ambassadors this summer, having the time of their lives travelling across Europe and experiencing the best of Contiki’s amazing European adventures.
Apoorva Sood, the other team member, says she is on a mission “to carve a life I don't need to take a vacation from!” Her profile says: “Usually upbeat and spontaneous, I absolutely love being outdoors. I am currently pursuing my graduation from Delhi University and am a professional dancer. The idea in life is to travel as far as I can and as much as I can. I take it upon myself to spread positive and jovial vibes.”
And Chugkham Sonny Singh, announes his likes and dislikes thus: “I am better described as individual who is a go getter and a doer. I am Passionate about Travel and Photography and most importantly anything that challenges me. I always belive in following my Instincts. I believe that if we have the will and Instinct, Anything is Possible. Great Things Never came from Comfort Zones."
As per Aman, they stumbled upon the contest through social media. For, “every Delhi University college has a student brand ambassadors who promote Red Bull. And one of these ambassadors posted about the competition online.”
The team will be sent to one of the five starting points in Europe — Barcelona, Florence, Berlin, Edinburgh and Prague. During the competition they will have to stop at a minimum of six checkpoints, of the forty five there are, before reaching the finishing line in Paris. These checkpoints are spread across 40 European destinations such as Copenhagen, London, Budapest, Geneva, Bordeaux, Vienna, Krakow, Venice and Madrid.
When asked whether he is at all concerned about his finances in Europe, Aman told Guardian 20, “It’s not that we won’t have money at all. For every team will have a money packet which can be used in extreme cases but there’s a catch, that the moment you use the packet you are disqualified. So we are planning not to touch it all.”
Red Bull says that each member of the winning team will be awarded an epic summer adventure in Europe, provided by Contiki — one of the sponsors. “All three members of the overall winning team will be invited to be Contiki Travel Ambassadors this summer, having the time of their lives travelling across Europe and experiencing the best of Contiki’s amazing European adventures.”
IndieSants who are all set and excited for their week-long test are now, as their website says, “promising to live each day to the fullest, this team is intent on making the entire journey fulfilling and memorable, rather than focusing on winning alone.”
Aman says with a smile that in preparing for this expedition, “we are learning how to convince people to help us out using Red Bull as currency. Along with trying to figure out what kind of puzzles we will be given during our week-long escapade.”