Usually on games like this, if it has a highscore list you might find yourself at number 3,405,912 and the people at the top of the highscore list are people you've never heard of so what's the point of comparing yourself with them?
On Around The World, you select your own friends for your league. Everyone you invite get an email asking if they want to accept it mutually. If you want to invite someone who isn't already on Around The World, you can type in their email address and complete an email that gets sent to that friend on your behalf from Around The World.
Also with this, you can click on any of your travelling friends and get lots more details about their progress. It doesn't reveal anything about how smart or not smart that friend is so you never have to worry about looking stupid because it never reveals with easy questions you accidentally got wrong.