• Michael Sholer honors Gold level member Kirsten Loumeau

  • July 2019 gathering of the Seattle Pacific Northwest Chapter

  • Filmmaker & TCC Member Craig Forrest at Machu Picchu in Peru

  • The spring 2019 Eastern Canada Chapter meeting in Toronto

  • The summer 2019 meeting of the Southeast Florida Chapter

  • Atlanta-area members enjoyed a potluck lunch in August 2019

  • The St. Louis Chapter welcomed Treasurer Kevin Hughes in August

A Message From the President

A Message From the President

It hardly seems like another travel year is closing, but it is that time again for us to wish you a Happy Holiday Season. A special thanks to all our Coordinators and those organizing smaller groups, for their hard work and for the many meetings held this last year. And most of all, thanks to all our members who collectively bring a wealth of diversity in travel styles and experience to the club that help us all to see what is possible in travel and inspire us on to the next adventure.

For me personally 2019 was a big travel year as I reached the Travelers’ Century Club 200 milestone. It has similarly been a big year for our members as we have had a record number of members reporting that they have reached new travel milestones, not only in new country visits but as measured in reports of amazing experiences around the world. I hope we can include every single member in that group.

Even as I’ve had great opportunities to see and learn about new parts of the globe, I find my personal list of where to go next is growing not shrinking.

There are the countries not yet visited. From experience we know each country presents unique qualities to the traveler who is ready to seek them out. It could be the cultural or natural sites to see, local cuisine, or learning about how the basic functions of local society work and differ from what we have at home and have seen elsewhere. I send postcards while traveling and the simple act of finding and buying a postcard and stamp and mailing it off has surprising variations from place to place.

Within countries already visited there are many I would like to revisit to see places missed the first time(s) around or to revisit favorite spots many of which have probably changed to some degree or another since the last visit.

There are the special experience trips I’d like to take. One on my list is to circumnavigate the world in one trip, all on the surface, or perhaps recreate the Phileas Fogg routing. I’d like to do more train travel and there are many famous train journeys to take across the globe. Using Atlas Obscura for inspiration, my list of odd and off the beaten path places to see is almost endless.

I’ve never lived outside the United States and would like to stay in some places outside my home country for an extended period of time to get a better sense of what that would be like.
Here is what your fellow members had to say about their travel goals.
Some said they would like travel to geographic areas they were not very familiar with including West Africa, Central Asia, and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

A goal of many is to visit all the United Nations member states. Board member Stefan Krasowski just completed this goal in August of this year.

There are those that are working on lists of personal interest including: World Postal Administrations, World Capitals, National Parks, and Presidential Libraries.

Not surprisingly, the TCC list was mentioned more than any other one list. The goals given though were not necessarily to complete it but to reach a personal milestone of 200, 250, 300, or simply to increase the number of places visited.

The most mentioned of all though is my personal favorite. Expressed in many ways it can be paraphrased as traveling for as long as we can to places that excite; whether new places or revisiting favorites.

Perhaps you too have a growing list; even if it is not specifically written out it runs through your thoughts.

As I close out my two-year term as the Travelers’ Century Club’s president, I’d like to remember Anthony Bourdain and what he said about travel.

“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

The list of what to do and where to go next is limited only by our imagination.

Wishing you very happy holidays and a wonderful 2020 full of adventure!

December 2019 Photo Contest Winner: Laurel Glassman, Chevy Chase, Maryland

Congratulations Laurel! You have won a year of free dues! September’s theme was deserts. Thanks to everybody who sent in their wonderful photos.

Photo: Laurel Glassman

If anything is certain, it’s the impossibility of taking a bad photo of Namibia’s dunes – unless you don’t take any photos at all. In the early morning, we hiked “Big Daddy,” which might more accurately be named the “Mother of All Dunes.” As we made our ascent, there was no viewpoint along the sweeping “S” curves of the dune that failed to afford bold contrasts of reds and oranges, challenging the softer blues of the crystal clear sky. From the peak, we joyfully ran down the steep slope to the Deadvlei salt pan, where 800-year-old Acacia tree skeletons opened their arms to us.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Dorothy Thompson, Richland Center, Wisconsin

Photo: Dorothy Thompson

Where the Sahara sands meet the sea … a man stands on shore thinking, the rolling waves of the seemingly endless Atlantic behind him. In Western Sahara, near Laayoune. It seems that the vast apparent emptiness of ocean and desert are especially conducive to reflection.


Joanruth Baumann, Friday Harbor, Washington

Photo: Joanruth Baumann

For half an hour these quietly desperate horses gathered at a bone-dry cement trough in the southern Gobi Desert, Mongolia. At 10 a.m. the solar-powered pump sprang to life and reluctantly released cool water into the dusty container where the hot, thirsty horses shared their first drink in 24 hours. The horse is life in the Gobi but water in this desert is even more precious. Within 10 minutes the water was gone and the horses turned back into the desert, to wait until tomorrow for their next drink.


Diana Soucy, The Villages, Florida

Photo: Diana Soucy

My husband and I recently traveled to Botswana with my son, his wife and my two grandchildren. While I had been there before, my family had not. As a special treat for me, I added Jack’s Camp in the Kalahari Desert to the itinerary. I had always dreamed of a photo with the habituated meerkats climbing all over me and sitting on my head. I just love meerkats, but apparently they are more attracted to beautiful young women, such as my granddaughter, than to seasoned old travelers like myself. I will NEVER live this down!