Ready for an adventure?

Anjali Jhangiani
Tuesday, 6 February 2018

With nothing else but cans of beverage to offer as currency, 200 student teams need to travel over 1000 km across Europe in a race to win the Red Bull Can You Make It? challenge

Backpacking across Europe seems like such an adventure, but just imagine if the thrill factor was taken up a notch. After a successful edition in 2016, the Red Bull Can You Make It? competition invites students from across the world for an adventure of a lifetime. 

There will be 200 teams selected, with three students each from 60 countries, who will start the competition from five different locations in Europe — Budapest, Madrid, Manchester, Rome and Stockholm, on March 6. As participants forfeit their wallets and phones, they will be given cans of Red Bull to use as currency for everything they need, including food, lodging, transportation and so on. They will visit checkpoints on the way where they will have to perform ‘Mind and Body Challenges’ and complete as many tasks on their ‘Adventure List’ as they can, all the while posting videos and photos to build a strong social media following, as they proceed towards their final destination — Amsterdam. Scores will be based on the check point challenges, tasks ticked off on the Adventure List and social media following achieved. 

To get a better idea of the experience, we talk to students who participated in the first edition of the competition in 2016. “It was an amazing feeling. We had nothing to lose but everything to gain. We risked everything we had. It just pushes you to your extreme and makes you understand how one can survive  without money. You get to meet such diverse people from across the world, and learn a lot and experience things which money can’t buy,” says Aman Raj from Team Indie Sants. His teammate Apoorva Sood adds, “Initially, the thought was hard to digest because you’re brought up in an environment where everything is given to you. But one has to shed all inhibitions to get even a slice of bread.”

The concept of the competition will make you wonder: ‘Who will accept cans instead of cash?’. It’s tough, but not impossible. “Explaining the rules of the competition to the people you barter with helps in convincing them. Being optimistic is very important. It’s all in the mind. Your fear plays a part but you’ve got to take risks to make it happen. Approaching strangers with a positive mind helps. Few people already knew about the competition so they helped. Few checked it up online and thought it to would be a great marketing for them too, so they helped us,” says Raj, adding, “Building relationship with people is far better than just bartering goods. For hitchhiking, gas stations are the best places. People halt to fill gas and you have enough time to approach and convince them. And don’t forget to ask what you actually want. You’ll get it!” He admits that there were times when people refused to accept cans. Sood recalls, “After spending the night on the streets of Paris, we were determined to find a hotel. Thirteen hotels refused and finally the 14th one gave us a room. Persistence is key.”

Another vital part of the competition is increasing your social media following while you’re on the road. “You need to update every stage of the journey on social media. We made our intentions clear and people helped and supported. We created a page for our team on different social media asking for votes. We asked our family, friends, college, society (residential area) and local newspaper to share it,” says Raj. 

The only advice the previous edition’s team has to give to participants for the upcoming competition is: Think big! Sood says, “Be open to new experiences. You have nothing to lose. Girls, participate and have a balling time,” as Raj adds, “Take risks and back your team mates at every stage. Don’t forget to have fun, even when the going gets tough.”

- Gather a team of three friends. You’ll each need to be a current university student.
- Create a one-minute-long video explaining why your team should be chosen and submit it at no later than February 14. Be sure to share what makes you smart, clever, travel ready and primed for the adventure of your life.
- Gather support of your other friends, family members, acquaintances, and everyone you know because the teams that receive the most votes from each country will become finalists! 
- After the voting period ends on February 20, a panel of judges will select the winners from the top finalists. They will then be invited to fly into one of the five starting points in Europe to begin their adventure, which will take them far from home, but bring them closer together. Your chance to be one of those teams starts now. 
- All expenses will be covered by Red Bull (except during the actual event, when participants must make it from point A to B using only cans as currency).
- Apart from this thrilling once-in-a-lifetime adventure, a grand prize for the winners of the competition will be announced soon.

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