What does your TCC travel list say about you?
Over the last two years, as a part of reviewing new member applications, I’ve had the opportunity to look at a few hundred country lists. In this process there are definite patterns that emerge that are not as obvious on the status increase submissions. When country counts increase, those lists look more alike as initial favorites and preferences have all been visited and the remainder of the TCC list starts to fill in. It is that first 100 that is the most interesting.
One’s home country is probably the most influential in determining places visited as proximity obviously provides an opportunistic factor. Some lists hint the applicant may like cruises and, as one cruise expert member pointed out to me, it is possible to reach 100 by cruising alone. Some lists may indicate how long the applicant has been following the TCC list when there are destinations checked which are not generally well known if one is not from that particular area. My own first 100 has hints at all three of these.
Being from Northern California there are no close countries, but still some are closer than others and I like cruises. That combination meant about 20 of my initial 50 countries were in the Caribbean, mostly on cruises (easy travel with small children and extended family!) The rest were a few trips to Europe, the most traveled to region over all on all the applications.
Because the TCC list was already well known to me, these trips included flying via Icelandair for a free stopover in Reykjavik and adding in a visit to the island of Jersey— trips made with my somewhat skeptical but agreeable husband. The remainder were mostly side adventures added on to business trips to Asia.
It was at this point that things changed for me and I started “doing the list backwards,” as Tim Carlson, Chapter Coordinator for Northern California, once told me. Through networking with some of the more traveled members I met in our chapter, new places came on my travel radar along with how to reach these places. It wouldn’t have been enough to sway me though if I didn’t already have a personal interest in the off-the-beaten path places. I had to know what was going on on all those tiny islands in the Pacific—the ones represented by a speck on a map where that speck is a great exaggeration of their actual size.
By chance and interest, I ended up traveling to some of the places not usually seen on member lists until after the gold or even platinum levels, and along the way I ended up meeting a lot of those members. It’s not so surprising though to meet other TCCers on trips to North Korea, Wake, Midway, crossing the Atlantic in a bid to reach Bouvet and Tristan da Cunha or, as was recently reported, on the last voyage of the RMS Saint Helena.
What does your first 100 say about your travel style and goals? Covered all the basics and ready to branch out? Maybe your list represents many adventures had across all the continents and you are ready to go back for more or perhaps you have a special interest in specific regions or, like me, are really curious about all those little islands. Whatever your preferences and travel style, your club is here to encourage your travel goals and cheer you on in getting out and seeing all the world.
Safe travels everyone!