I predict that, in the next year or so, I will take part in a journey such as this. I love the idea of rising up to the challenge within a loose framework of ‘rules’ and the camaraderie of fellow participants. It just sounds like a damned good time, don’t you think?

Today Michael Hodson of Your World, No Rules invites you to take on the Ultimate Train Challenge. DO IT!!  


The Ultimate Train Challenge was a concept I came up with in 2010 while traveling in South America. l had recently finished a sixteen-month travel challenge to circle the globe without flying and my mind wandered to the question: “What is the world record for longest continuous train journey?”

So it began…

In September of 2011, I 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.

We each chose different routes through Europe, then reunited in Moscow, and traveled together to Saigon. All in all, we each racked up almost 15,000 miles (25,000 kilometers), and had the time of our lives.

Now it’s time for YOU to join the fun – this time with great prizes up for grabs. Plus, we are going to be doing it all for a great charity.

Here are the basics of the Ultimate Train Challenge, coming in May of 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. We have set up the framework and you are going to be the one to decide exactly how you are going to succeed.

What do you get for your entry fee? We explain it all in full here. In short, you can blog your trip on our website to keep family and friends up with your journey; we have a live-tracking feature on the site, so you can map your trip in real time; Intrepid Travel is offering two amazing 15-day tours to the first ones to cross the finish line each way; we are going to throw a great pre-launch party in both locations; Eurail is offering up at least four of their Global Passes that we will be raffling off and giving away as prizes; HostelWorld is offering two nights stay in each city beforehand and… more coming soon.

In order to keep up with the latest developments on new sponsors, prizes and other news, you can sign up for our free newsletter via this link also. As an extra bonus, I will be doing a drawing from all the newsletter subscribers in February and will be giving away a new Samsung Galaxy SIII to one lucky subscriber.

If you register by February 15th, the entry fee is $295 US (approx. £183 / €223). If you register from February 16th to April 30th, the entry fee is $395 US (approx. £245 / €298).

And because you are entering from OneGiantStep you will get $30 off your entry fee. You just need to enter the code GJ13UTC on the “Referral” line on the entry page to get the $30 discount.


Remember to add the GJ13UTC code in the ‘Referral’ box to receive $30 off the entry fee!

But really, it’s not about the prizes. It’s not about the pre-event party we are going to throw in both cities for everyone. It’s not about the stuff…

It is about having an adventure you are going to tell your grandkids about. Try 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 up with  Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam to raise some needed funds to help out their cause. 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 a $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.

On the Your World, No Rules website, we explain everything you need to know about this event. We’ve also put together some resource pages for you to help decide on your route and work through your visas.

Sign up. We promise this will be the adventure that will change your life.

And don’t forget… on that sign up page you input GJ13UTC in the “Referral” box to get $30 off your entry fee and tell us that you found the UTC13 via OneGiantStep. Thanks!