'Race Across The World is tougher than we could have prepared for'

Betty and James share their experiences of Race Across The World

Race Across The World's Betty and James rely on each other in episode four.
Race Across The World's Betty and James rely on each other in episode four. (Studio Lambert)
  • Race Across The World's siblings Betty and James are racing across Eastern Asia together in a bid to try and claim the £20,000 prize fund.

  • Travelling across several countries looks fantastic fun but the sister and brother pair shine a light on how tough the BBC show really is in a chat with Yahoo.

Everything comes into the Race Across The World budget: water, food, accommodation, travel. You think they might sort you out a bottle of water if you are thirsty but no. The budget, the change of currency, dealing with language barriers that was very hard.

The lack of sleep and the lack of food too definitely made everything else more challenging.

But when you talk about the sleep, food, carrying a big backpack, you do think it's going to be quite physical. But the mental strain and how mentally tough it is, to keep going for all that time every day, waking up, not really knowing where you are going to end up where you're going to sleep, things like that. Race Across The World is way tougher than we could have ever prepared for.

We're not quitters though, we always try find a solution. We would never have quit the whole process or throw the towel in. But there were definitely times where it was infuriating to find that next bit of transport or find anyone to speak to. And it was those times when we were feeling, 'We don't want to do this bit anymore.'

But we would never have given up on the whole experience. We kept saying the positives outweighed the negatives the whole time. It was true, they did.

We absolutely loved the jobs, meeting new people, it was part of the overall experience. And then obviously, topping up the budget was just a bit of a bonus. The home stay was really rewarding. It was unexpected and unplanned.

We expected to go there and work and leave. Instead, we got this completely new, different, enriched experience of staying with the family. Those things turned out to be way more rewarding than the planned journeys.

Race Across The World's Betty faces some drama in episode four
Race Across The World's Betty faces some drama in episode four. (Studio Lambert)

There wasn't really a time where we were at each other's throats. We seemed to develop this telepathic communication where we could just give each other a look as if to say, 'Don't push it.' This silent communication meant we knew when to leave each other alone, whether it was to go and have a little bit of time because you were feeling upset or you were feeling overwhelmed or whatever it was. Maybe it was an hour on a bus where we didn't speak or needed some sleep.

A little bit of drama comes up that we didn't plan for in the race. One of us had to step up to help the other and that's when we saw that we worked together really well as a team. Even though there were definitely times where we needed someone else, we only had each other. And in that moment, we were there for each other. It also shows how we deal with things differently, how we put pressures on ourselves and each other to try find the best solution.

Race Across The World's Betty and James travelling overnight
Race Across The World's Betty and James travelling overnight. (Studio Lambert)

As kids, we were obviously forced to spend time with each other. But as adults, you don't have to voluntarily spend time with your sibling as much. We learned about how as adults we have developed coping strategies in the way we see the world and process things. It sounds a bit deep but if you spend 24/7 with someone, you're gonna learn those things about each other.

After race, we speak to each other more over text than we would have done normally. It hasn't really fallen into place for us to see each other more. We came back and there was Christmas so we did see each other a lot then but then we didn't see each other for ages. Now we've been watching the episodes together once a week.

Race Across The World's Betty and James speak more
Race Across The World's Betty and James speak more. (Studio Lambert)

We look back and there was no one else we could see doing the race with in each other's shoes - whether it be a friend or an older brother who it was supposed to be. Now we have got those memories that we share with each other.

Often as human beings, we are quite negatively biased. We focus on things we can't do or what we're not capable of doing. Race showed us that we are capable of doing so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

We would never have thought this time last year that we would have done what we've done, seen what we've seen, met the people that we've met and it's been crazy. It's still a crazy ride. It shows that you can do anything if you have a little faith.

Race Across The World's Betty and James told their story to Lily Waddell.