Postcard Press Picks:
The Amazing Race
If you haven’t heard of the reality TV series that takes teams of two around the world in the race of a lifetime, then you may have been out of the loop the last 17 years. Currently in its 30th season, The Amazing Race is an exciting competition for $1 million that also showcases many cities and countries around the world. It gives the audience a glimpse different cultures every episode and inspires some serious wanderlust. And it’s this week’s Postcard Press pick.
Having watched The Amazing Race from the beginning, I can honestly say I’ve learned a lot about the history and everyday lives of people all over the world. The show has gone to many different countries on six of seven continents. Teams have to overcome several challenges in each location, once they actually arrive at their location; transportation can prove to be its own challenge for many teams. These challenges highlight a custom or activity as well as tasks the locals perform as part of their daily routines. It really requires the competitors to immerse themselves in the culture. As an audience member sitting at home, I get to experience and learn about these traditions too.
But The Amazing Race can also be a lesson in what not to do. The Ugly American is a real stereotype that is sometimes deserved. When you travel abroad, you may not realize the way some of your actions appear to the locals. It’s good to be aware of that. Many times, racers exhibit behaviors that are rude and off-putting, providing some second-hand embarrassment for those at home. Sometimes, the racers are really just that rude and the epitome of The Ugly American. Usually, though, this isn’t the case; it can be a racer who is genuinely nice and thoughtful but maybe having a bad day; they may not realize how they acting. It can be something as simple as commenting on the poor English skills of the cab driver when he gets lost (as if that driver can’t understand them or should even be expected to speak a language that is not his own). Seeing these behaviors and recognizing how disrespectful they are can help improve awareness of your own reactions when traveling abroad.
If you love learning about the world and seeing new places, then The Amazing Race is a show you should check out. The 30th season finale is this Wednesday, February 21, on CBS but you can also watch some full episodes through The Amazing Race website and past seasons on Hulu.
Have you seen The Amazing Race? Do you have a favorite, travel-related television show? We’d love to hear about it below!