With 32 filming as of this weekend, and a whole new route locked in for the contestants to explore, it’s time to talk about the countries around the world which The Amazing Race has managed to neglect over the past 30+ seasons.
Let’s talk about the list of (realistic) options TAR can visit in their neverending quest to visit every sovereign state around the globe!
War-torn countries like Syria or “Man, we need to keep the tourists out by charging them $250 per person per night excluding food and accommodation” like Bhutan or “I’d like to not be walking on eggshells” like North Korea will be left off of this list.
They sponsoured TAR casting calls. They are now the permanent setting of American Survivor, and most recently Australian Survivor.
We know a Fiji visit has to come at some point.
“It’s somewhere tropical!”
Thank you, Bopper.
Island nations in the South Pacific tend to be very expensive to travel to in general (and Fiji’s cost of living tends to be a bit higher as well), but given how much Fiji has gone all-in when it comes to CBS reality shows and international house hunter programs, I assume the Fijian government would love to host a round of TAR.
Survivor locations could be a route marker.
If TAR Canada was there, they could redo the dancing challenge from Survivor: Fiji or something.
*Insert Dreamz backflip here*
A Fiji visit must be coming. It’s just a matter of when.
Plastic is banned? People go on the streets one day per month to make it pristine again? One of the richest and most stable countries in Africa within twenty years of one of the worst genocides recorded in human history?
Rwanda is the country I want to see visited in Africa more than any other. Well, other than Egypt about 10+ times because omg Egypt.
I can guarantee you when people hear Rwanda, they just think of Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda. They have no clue about the amazing recovery and stability that the country is currently known for.
The leg just wouldn’t be an hour long showcase of how a country has healed after such a tragic event.
Rwanda’s major tourism sites involve gorillas, volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforests, and all of the other neat things that go on in one of Africa’s most successful and smallest countries.
NOTE: I currently have plans to visit there in March. If TAR doesn’t go there, then I will!
3. SERBIA AND/OR MONTENEGRO
For some reason, TAR became obsessed with Eastern Europe from TAR 10-TAR 15 and then. . .it came to a screeching halt. Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Finland, and Croatia were all visited during this stretch.
The former Yugoslav republics of Serbia as well as Montenegro are now safe to travel, and are favourites amongst travelers I have encountered while backpacking.
Seriously, I went out for dinner with a Mexican dude and two Icelandic brothers in Dubrovnik who all had passed through Sarajevo. They spent an hour talking about how hot and sexy the women are there.
However, hot women alone aren’t criteria enough for a visit on The Amazing Race.
Otherwise we would’ve had 32 seasons that go to Chile and Argentina season after season after season after season and omg this is the best show ever please never get canceled ahhhhhhhh.
You thought Herb & Nate appearing three times was excessive? What about Ferna & Fran as 32-time contestants!
But seriously, the mixture of sweet castles, the unique mixture of various religious groups, the tug o’ war between European Union and Eastern Europe, breaking away from the identity of being a former Yugoslav republic while preserving tradition, and some really cool relatively unknown coastal landscapes as well as neat mountainous locations makes Serbia and/or Montenegro two countries that TAR needs to visit.
NOTE: And hey, I’ll be there in May anyway. I don’t need to live through whatever footage CBS shoots!
4. THE NORTHEASTERN TRIO IN SOUTH AMERICA OF GUYANA/SURINAME/FRENCH GUIANA
You know what bugs the hell out of me?
Since TAR 28, TAR has been so close to visiting all of South America. The idea of TAR doing 100% completion of a continent would be sweet. I can taste the sweetness of completion on my tongue.
Sure, Venezuela is off the table unless they can sneak into a tiny resort area or trickle into a controlled section of land like they did with Zimbabwe in TAR 27, but we’ve got a trio of countries that nobody knows anything about.
What is the Northeastern Trio’s claim to fame?
This guy. Don’t recognize him? He’s from Guyana.
We need to re-open Electric Avenue!
Guyana is the only British colony in South America. I guess Spain was content with 50% of the land mass while Portugal snagged Brazil.
Suriname is the only Dutch colony in South America.
French Guiana was the only German–nah, just kidding. It’s not only a country, but man it pretty much should be.
Has TAR ever explored the Amazon? Because Guyana and Suriname both have a chunk of this vast river within each country. If TAR wants to make a trip to the Amazon, why not do it using these two unused countries?
French Guiana has Devil’s Island which was a very harsh prison France sent hardened criminals to in centuries prior. They also shot Papillon there. Given how much Bertram and Elise love going to places where famous old actors have done shit, Devil’s Island could be a hidden gem on their list.
But seriously, going to non-Spanish/Brazilian nations in South America would be very refreshing for TAR. It’s either that or go to Mount TittyCaca or whatever it’s called in Bolivia.
And I want to see the 100% completion rate for a continent on TAR, dammit!
Or 101 percent if you’re Donkey Kong Country.
After Guyana and Suriname are visited, this guy will be our only holdout.
5. SAN MARINO AND AN AIRED VISIT TO THE VATICAN
Let’s face it: TAR loves Italy. I love Italy. You love Italy.
Giuseppe Covino loves Italy.
In TAR 1, there was a Fast Forward at the Vatican that went unused and unaired. Surprisingly, TAR has avoided Vatican ever since.
As somebody who has been to the Vatican, it is very easy to hang out there 24/7. I have walked there early morning or very late at night. Hell, putting a clue inside of the Basilica wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. If not, they can just put one outside of the fountain.
This is an actual picture I took of the fountain when I was at the Vatican.
As for San Marino? Other than going to all of the European micro-states, why should they go there?
I like to call it “Mel White’s Final Roadblock.”
Canada had a huge role having the Greeks and Turks make peace on this island nation and would be more fitting for a TAR Canada visit, but since TARC doesn’t travel internationally we’d have to stick with TAR US going there.
This unique island nation with a combination of Greek and Turkish history would make for a great visit on TAR. It has a massive tourism industry, it’s easily accessible for production, and would make for great visuals on camera.
It beats going to Germany for the sixteenth or seventeenth time. TAR has plenty of European nations at their disposal, and Cyprus would be one of the easiest and more interesting countries to film in.
This will be a brief entry.
a) The world’s largest wine cellar.
If you thought Don & Mary Jean were sloshed now, just you wait. Their grandkids will have to fetch them from the drunk tank the next day!
I am curious if Moldova loves or hates them as being 99% part of their identity worldwide.
8. MALDIVES OR ANY COUNTRY THAT WILL BE UNDERWATER BY SEASON 40
Yes, we’re at the point where production is running out of time to visit some of the low-lying countries around the world as they prepare to be fully submerged.
Maldives as well as nations in Polynesia and Melanesia like Kiribati prepare to be underwater.
While Kiribati doesn’t have the infrastructure to host a production like TAR, and Marshall Islands is more radioactive than a tomacco plant (unless Bertram and Elise join the odd group of people who are involved in Nuclear Tourism–no, Nuclear Tourism is a real thing), Maldives is their best bet.
The island(s) nation is super wealthy and could probably put on a rather unique leg for production.
How close is the Maldives to being flooded?
This is their capital city. Male.
Also known as Jackie’s favourite city in the world.
It would be a huge ratings draw for TAR if they film a season RIGHT BEFORE IT FLOODED but air it AFTER IT DISAPPEARED. Think of the promos.
“Get your last look at the Maldives before it vanished forever!”
Lots of Americans go to Israel. Nearly all of it is fairly safe. I don’t read too many religious texts, but I hear it may or may not be significant for some people.
Hell, Israel has their own version of Amazing Race called Hamerotz LaMillion which is currently filming two seasons back-to-back. This franchise has the most seasons in the world after the American version.
And who doesn’t want to see some more hippies go through one of the most expensive cities in the world, Tel Aviv, without any cash whatsoever?
If you’re over the age of fifty, you may know this as Burma. Although it is grabbing the news headlines due to what’s going on with the Rohingya, the end of the military junta has led to a bunch of my friends going to Myanmar over the past couple years.
Riding motorcycles on a 20-lane highway that nobody uses, plenty of unique cuisine, one of the highest ratios of practicing Buddhists on the planet, in addition to a likelihood you’ll overdose on pagodas, Myanmar would be one of the few remaining additions to TAR’s catalogue of mainland Asia.
That woman going right up to the monks and taking pictures of them praying slightly amuses me.
Because Phil Keoghan refuses to retire from hosting TAR until he goes there. He never shuts up about going there. It’s like CBS teases him as much as possible each year. You’ve got the Himalayas. You’ve got temples. You’ve got elephants. Maybe all they need is a cycling track and Phil Keoghan will be creaming himself upon arrival in customs.
Essentially, Nepal is to Phil Keoghan what Marisa & Brooke are to his dad.
I have been to Cuba. I love Cuba. I have lots of stories about staying in an apartment for one week in Havana. I can’t recommend Cuba enough. TAR Canada and TAR Australia have both gone to Cuba.
While restrictions make it trickier for Americans, I am sure they can go there someday. This is more of a case where I want TAR US to go to Cuba just to see the outrage from the audience. You know their audience is going to say some very ignorant and hilarious shit when it comes to Cuba.
TAR loves their Beatles history. Maybe teams can take a picture with John Lennon!
Their domestic soda has baseball players on it! I rarely like soda, but Cuban soda is definitely the best I have ever tasted! Their orange soda from Ciego Montero is my favourite.
Not to mention the architecture is amazing.
So there you have it. Ten countries/regions TAR US has yet to visit and needs to visit. Phil Keoghan won’t be spry enough to travel forever. Everybody becomes Mel White some day–sadly some sooner than others.
Are there any countries I missed? Any countries I mentioned that are overrated? Feel free to comment below!