There are places that are great for the place itself, and then there are locations notable for the activities you do there. For example, in Wow Place #72, I wrote about the hilarious comedy walking tour you can find in Bath, England. Don’t get me wrong: with its sterling architecture and ancient Roman ruins, Bath is a super place to visit in and of itself. But for me, the comedy walking tour is what made the town truly memorable.
There are, however, a few rare places that check both boxes: great site AND great activity. Such a place, for me, is the Louvre in Paris, where I once had the honor of running a teambuilding treasure hunt. I think we can all agree that the Louvre is one of the best art museums in the world, right? Housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built in the late 12th to 13th century, today’s Louvre Museum sits on the right bank of the Seine River and is home to some of the most famous and celebrated works of art in Western history. Walking around the Louvre is an overwhelming experience. Your eye is constantly drawn upwards to the ornate decorations and architectural details on the walls and ceilings. The crowds are ever-present, of course. And the sheer amount of art to view and consume is formidable. Now imagine adding a treasure hunt to that mix!
The day’s hunt participants are salespeople from Ebay/Paypal, in town for an international conference. Their goal: solve as many clues as they can, map out a course, and try to visit as many of the designated works of art as possible within the given time frame. At each location, teams must 1) answer a question, and 2) take a specific creative photograph. As hunt master, my job is to create the hunt, prep the materials, set people loose on the hunt, and then shadow them on their journey around the museum.
Let me tell you, it is frenetic, hilarious day at the Louvre. You see, when people are on a hunt, they’re always a bit frantic. With the clock ticking, everyone wants to WIN. (Remember, these are salespeople!) Perhaps the highlight of my day is when a group I’m following speeds past a well-known statue on their way to their clue next location.
“Hey guys,” I exclaim. “That’s the Venus de Milo you just passed.”
“Yeah, yeah, sure sure. Can’t stop. We’re on a mission!”
For me, it’s a seminal moment. This crazy little treasure hunt business, Dr. Clue, that I started in 1995 has stretched its wings and come to full fruition. Heck, I’ve been paid to fly to PARIS to do a treasure hunt, in the Louvre! Amazing site, amazing activity. It doesn’t get much better than that.
(We all live for those “pinch-yourself moments,” when you realize you’re doing something that you never thought you’d do. What’s holding you back from pursuing and achieving more of these moments? Perhaps it’s a limiting belief, an assumption or a life-long fear. What’s one thing you can do today to nudge yourself in the direction of your heart’s desire?)