Amazing Race‘s Jeff Schroeder Traveling the World Without Money
July 26, 2010
In the past year, Jeff Schroeder has seen it all. He not only survived an extended stay in the Big Brother house, but he came within sniffing distance of the final two and was ultimately voted “America’s Favorite Juror.” After a guest appearance on The Bold and The Beautiful, he tackled The Amazing Race with his girlfriend, BB winner Jordan Lloyd. Now, Jeff is setting off on his own as the host of Around the World for Free, a Web series for CBS.com that will take him across the globe for 100 days with no money and with viewers determining where he goes, how he gets there and where he stays. Schroeder talks with PEOPLE about what he’s packing, what he’s willing to eat, why this show is a dream come true and how he and Jordan make their long-distance relationship work. –Reagan Alexander
You have said that doing a travel show was your ultimate dream and now it’s been realized. How does it feel?
Not to be too philosophical, but I’ve learned that anything can happen if you really believe in it and want it enough. I’ve been saying it for a long time and I know that BB and The Amazing Race were spring boards for me to get this show. But it’s an amazing feeling to realize a dream.
So many things can go wrong in 100 days. Are you nervous?
If you look for problems or if you go out looking for the bad, then you’re going to find it. I have to focus on the positive and keep telling myself that there are good people out there and that everything is going to be good. My attitude is that I know things are going to go well but I’m hoping things go even better!
You’re traveling with a single backpack and you have to travel around the world. What are you packing?
I have to pack light — some shorts, some shirts. I’ll just have to pick out a few of my favorites. I wore my Saint Anthony chain on BB and Amazing Race,but I think my parents are getting me a St. Christopher chain. He’s the patron Saint of travelers, so it’s just going to be, my backpack, my Saints and my camera guy.
Are you catching up on your world cultures or are you going into this fully blind?
Obviously I’m no world traveler but I kind of want to go in blind. I want to learn as the audience learns. I think I’m an average, everyday guy and I want everyone else to be on my page. I want to go into this with an open heart and open eyes.
You’ll be depending on strangers for food. Is there anything you won’t try?
I’m going to try everything at least once even if it’s disgusting. I can only imagine that it’s rude to throw up after a meal, but there maybe a few instances where that happens. I have to be open to new cultures and new cuisines — it would be rude not to, so I’m just hoping that my stomach can handle it.
You’re going to be relying on others for shelter as well. What can you offer as a house guest?
I’m going to help out any way that I can. I really enjoy cooking, but I don’t really know the ins and outs of a kitchen. I can whip something together but more than anything, with the cameras there, we’ll be showing the way that they live and showing their culture as they see it, not just from an outsider’s point of view.
How are you and Jordan doing?
We’ve had our bumps but no break-ups and everything is going great. We only get to see each other every two weeks or so. We have to travel back and forth but we vacation together and do a lot of fun things together. Lately I’ve been busy with the show and she’s been busy with school, but having to work with a long-distance relationship really worked out for us because when we finally get a break from what we’re doing we’re so excited to see each other. So far, so good.