• Travelers' Century Club officers and board members

  • Members of the Southeast Florida TCC Chapter

  • TCC V.P. JoAnn Schwartz honred for reaching 150 countries

  • A holiday gathering of Toronto-area TCC members

  • Tristan de Cunha, a remote group of islands in the Atlantic

  • Member Angus Palmer on a rainy London afternoon

  • TCC members meet up in the Philippines

A Message From the President

A Message From the President

2017… aanother glorious year for new travel adventures! My December message highlighted my adventures traveling through Central America in 1992, a time when travel warnings were, “The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that the level of kidnapping, crime, and violence remain critically high.”

Continuing our travels on a local bus in El Salvador, after surviving being stopped by AK-47 armed militia and then marched back on the bus with no incidents, we reached San Salvador. Deciding a seaside respite was in order, we thought the Costa del Sol would be perfect. We found a driver and negotiated a fare and paid.

Following him to his vehicle, he motioned for us to hop in the back of his dilapidated truck. He and his companion jumped into the cab and off we went. I quietly whispered to my husband, Charlie, “we are smarter than this.”

Without incident we reached our hotel and the truck sped away. Scanning the area
we observed an adequate resort, swimming pool, and beach, so we checked in at the reception desk. The desk clerk escorted us to our room. After dropping off our bags we were ready for a seaside dinner. Arriving in the dining room, the receptionist who registered us, greeted us for dinner, took our order, cooked our order, served and cleared our table, and delivered our check. And… we were the only guests at dinner and soon realized we were the only guests at the resort. We returned to our room, secured all locks and moved all furniture in front of our door, and anticipated the early morning bus back to San Salvador.

After visiting significant sights including the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace, and El Rosario Church, our next travels would be Nicaragua by local bus. The morning bus departed at 4a.m., so we decided to get a $10 room at the bus station for convenience. As TCC members we want to experience the culture, right? So we did—in spades—all the drunks up and down the hall, all night.

After no sleep we boarded the bus and headed out with the locals. Charlie immediately fell asleep and I was on watch. Suddenly I realized our bus was traveling over a very wide river on the railroad trestle bridge because the highway bridge had collapsed. Not wanting to die alone, I awakened Charlie from his sleep to die with me.

Obviously we did not die and arrived in Managua, Nicaragua. Known as the country of lakes and volcanoes, we immediately experienced the ashes and gas from the simmering volcanoes. That was our clue—time to go home.

We had defied the warnings, and survived Central America travel in 1992. We had seen the culture up close and personal and would have many memories and stories to tell. We had bonded through adversity. And still there is no place like home and coming back to your own familiar bed.

Remember:

“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
Mandy Hale

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
Oprah Winfrey

A Message From the Board

TCC Officers and Board Members: Seated, left to right: Kevin Hughes, JoAnn Schwartz, Tim Skeet, Gloria McCoy; standing, left to right: David Barry, Michael Sholer, Pamela Barrus, Chris Hudson, Ron Endeman, Steve Fuller; Sanford Smith on the iPad.

Let’s begin 2017 by looking forward to the great trips we’re sure most of you have already planned for the year! Our planet is a wondrous place, with a never-ending smorgasbord of new learning experiences and amazing vistas that are just waiting for you. Traveling with a TCC list in hand suggests merely the possibilities that are out there, and we encourage you to venture beyond the ordinary and fill in those empty spots on your world maps.

The board is pleased to announce our newest chapter in Spain, which includes the larger region of the Mediterranean. We’ll profile the chapter coordinator, Martin Garrido, in the June Centurian. Meetings are held in the ancient and charming resort town of Altafulla, which is about an hour south of Barcelona and just north of Tarragona. You will not find a more enthusiastic and great group of travelers anywhere. The board has also rescheduled our postponed international meeting in Barcelona to some time in 2018. We’ll announce these dates on our website and in the Centurian as soon as we know them.

After many years of volunteer service on the TCC board, Sanford Smith is stepping down, as he is unable to attend the board meetings. He is on hand though to advise us on future additions to our “list.”

It has come to the attention of the board that some members have been receiving unsolicited promotional material regarding upcoming tours in the mail. The Travelers’ Century Club does not endorse any travel provider or travel agency, and it is against our policy for members, past or present, to use private membership data for commercial gain. We know that many members are involved in the travel and tourism trade, but if a member sends unwelcomed commercial solicitation to other members, he or she may subject themselves to termination from the club. A commercial arrangement may be mutually agreed upon between two members; however, the TCC assumes no liability for any failure for either party to meet a financial and/or service commitment.

Finally, if you haven’t yet sent in your 2017 dues, please do so! You can remit by check, credit card, or PayPal. Since the board has taken over the administrative duties of the club, we’ve been working on putting together a definitive membership roster—something we intend to post in the members-only forum of our website—but we can’t do it until the dues are in.

Happy travels to all of you in 2017!