TCC Member Achievements: December 2011

Robert Spehar and Audrey Walsworth

With their visits to South Sudan – TCC’s newest country addition — in October, Audrey Walsworth and Bob Speharobtained the 321 level of TCC destinations visited. They also visited North Sudan. Separately they also traveled to Jeju Island, a recent TCC addition. Both had reached 319 countries – then the top level – with their visit to Wake Island in December 2009. They were featured with others who had reached that 319 goal in the March 2010, Centurian, and were honored at the March 2010, luncheon in Anaheim.

Bob Benifas

Bob Bonifas also expected to have achieved 321 countries with his visit this fall to Diego Garcia but the British Commonwealth denied the permit to land in the territory. He is planning to go on a cruise to B.I.O.T. next fall – so he is now at 320 countries.

Alfred Leesalso reached 150 TCC countries with his visit to the Isle of Man this summer. (He visited his 151st country, Northern Ireland, the next day). He ordered a TCC silver lapel pin and proudly wore it to the recent New York chapter meeting. He also wore the pin when he gave a slide lecture to Manhattan’s Tuesday Evening Hour. He has since been interviewed by a local paper regarding his 150- country achievement.

David Horne has reached the 250 level and is planning on flying from Dunedin, New Zealand, to attend the TCC luncheon meeting on Saturday, December 10, in Beverly Hills — and return to New Zealand that evening. He will receive his Platinum Certificate at the lunch. He visited the Los Angeles home chapter in September 2001, when he received his Silver Certificate. At that time he spoke briefly about St. Helena.
New England Area Coordinator David Santulli reached 150 TCC destinations while traveling with his family –wife Shelley, and sons Troy and Tristan. They’re pictured in the ruins of Butrint in southern Albania.

New England Area Coordinator David Santulli recently reached the 150 level following visits with his family to Crete, Corfu and Albania. His comments with this achievement express the views of many TCC members so we show them below:

Reaching 150 presents a paradox for me. The more I travel, the bigger the world seems to become and the less that I feel I’ve seen of it. At the same time, the more I see the more I am amazed and the more I yearn to see. The possibilities for discovery in each country are endless. I want to go back to every place that I visit. I guess I will need another lifetime and TCC membership for that!

I continue to believe that travel is the greatest learning experience in this life. The fact that it is a full body learning experience that we soak in with all our senses makes it that much more irresistible. I applaud the TCC for inspiring and supporting us to aggressively pursue a deep understanding and appreciation of this extraordinary world in which we live.

With his visit this fall to the Andaman Islands, Frank Ranier achieved his 300th country. Other trips in November and December, with his wife, Sigrid, will take him to Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Nigeria. The remaining 18 countries needed to reach the 321 destinations on the TCC list are primarily in Africa. He joined TCC when he had reached the 200-country milestone, just a few years before retiring.

Frank Ranier at the North Pole

Earlier this fall the couple had booked an Arctic trip on a Russian icebreaker from Greenland to Russia through the Northwest Passage, but the trip was suddenly cancelled for safety upgrades to the ship. Instead, the couple traveled to North and South Korea, and Jeju Island.

They were home a few days and then departed for the Maldive Islands. A visit to the British Indian Ocean Territory was cancelled, so they substituted the Andaman Islands.

In February of this year Frank and Sigrid were in Libya for three weeks but had to leave five days early due to the violence of “Arab Spring” which broke out at their next planned destination of Benghazi. This necessitated itinerary changes, so for another seven weeks they traveled through Italy, Sicily, Lampedusa, Sardinia and Corsica. All this in one year, plus a drive across America’s first transcontinental highway and back via Canada. Frank writes blogs about his travels and presents slideshows of their travels to numerous organizations, including the TCC meetings in Northern California.

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