I’ve only ever spent one hour in an escape room, but it was still a futile, frustrating time. Like most escape rooms, this one required my group to piece together a few nonsensical, seemingly unrelated clues to eventually find our way out, without any instructions from the staff who watched from the cameras above as we flailed around like dickheads and ultimately failed to escape.
So, no thank you, I do not want to replicate the escape room experience in the middle of the great outdoors, and especially not for longer than one hour. But I’m incapable of being alone anywhere, much less a mystery location halfway around the world, so I realize I’m squarely outside the target demo for Black Tomato’s insane new travel adventure, Get Lost. If you’re even remotely interested in testing your mettle, Bear Grylls-style, listen up.
The U.K.- and U.S.-based luxury travel company has earned accolades for putting together unique, cutting-edge vacations and experiences, but its latest offering is the most extreme one yet: Black Tomato will send you to an uncharted territory, but you won’t actually know where you’re going, and you’ll have to rely on your own skills to make it out alive.
Here’s how it works: After filling out an initial inquiry form, Black Tomato will match you with an expert to determine just how lost you want to be. The only thing you’re allowed to control is what kind of environment you want to explore: polar, desert, jungle, coastal or mountain.
From there, you let the experts take the reins. You’ll arrive at your mystery destination by private transfer, where you’ll be given the necessary equipment to cut it in the wild. Black Tomato will also tell you what kind of training you’ll need prior to your trip, or will book sessions when you arrive.
And then you’re on your own: Each day you’ll draw on your survival arsenal to check in at virtual points, but Black Tomato’s expedition operations team will keep an eye on you from afar, just in case you’re about to be eaten by a bear or something. (Watch a preview video here.)
At the end of your journey, you’ll earn a prize TBD, but the company promises a “truly one-of-a-kind celebration and send-off—something deeply personal and indulgent.” As for how much the service costs, prices vary depending on destination, but the rate includes everything from domestic travel and accommodations to training and equipment. (Fodors pegs the potential price as high as $30,000.)
In this case, adventure certainly doesn’t come cheap. But can you really put a price on self-discovery?
“This is a complete reset for how we view travel,” says Tom Marchant, the cofounder of Black Tomato. “Luxury travel is constantly evolving, and [Get Lost] is a way for travelers to seek a deeper connection from their experience and their surroundings. In our connected world, this service and concept changes how people envision travel in their free time.”
Marchant says Get Lost was born “in part from a reaction I have had to the view that all you need to experience and enjoy the place is an Internet connection and your social clout.” Instead, he says, “travel should be about you, your mind, focused on the ‘there’ and ‘then,’ and not distracted by thousands of voices screaming at you from various places.”
“Our hope,” says Marchant, “is that Get Lost takes you back to the roots of discovery.”
At the very least, it’ll be better than a damn escape room.