It is truly an honor to be named as President of the Travelers’ Century Club. I’ve been part of this club for almost my entire adult life having joined as a provisional member exactly thirty years ago. The club, the members I’ve had the good fortune to meet and now call my friends and, of course, The List have all contributed in very significant ways to how I have come to view travel and the possibilities that exist for expanding travels around the world.
Like all members though, the love of travel and exploration did not start with the club. In my case I think it is probably an inherited trait from my mother. I recall when I was around ten, we were on a camping trip with extended family in Western Colorado when my mom called me over and showed me a map. She said she was thinking of taking a side trip to see Tincup. She showed me how the roads were coded on the map and that the dirt road through the mountains that we would need to go on was listed as being in poor condition even for a dirt road. She said, “I think we can make it if we go this way. Do you want to go?”
Yes, I want to go!
After being a provisional member for some years and still just shy of fifty countries (I only much later found out about the seventy-five country minimum requirement),I started to attend the meetings of the new chapter that had started in my area. During that first meeting the topic of the DXCC (American Radio Relay League) entity list came up which has a number of places not on the TCC list. Later I looked at some of these additional places, which included Kingman Reef. OK, this was too much. A reef, not even an island just a reef, is not something to go see. Three months later at the next meeting, then-member Charles Veley indicated he was looking for others to share the cost of a trip to remote islands in the Pacific and… Kingman Reef would be one of the stops. He told the group see me if you want to go.
Yes, I want to go!
A place that had seemed ridiculous to visit just three months prior was now suddenly and unexpectedly reachable and I definitely wanted to go.
A few years ago another TCC member, Carolyn Broadwell, also from our Northern California chapter, excitedly called me while I was at work. She told me about a trip being planned to the Chagos Archipelago adding that the cost was fairly good and there were just a couple more spaces available on the trip. Do I want to go?
Yes, I want to go. Sign me up, I’m in!
After getting off the call I googled Chagos to see where I had just signed up to travel to having no idea where this was other than a boat was involved to get there. When I said yes it didn’t matter where it was. If Carolyn was excited about it then I knew I would be too. Well, that trip ended up not being successful in reaching BIOT, as so many attempts to get there are not, but it was a huge success in that I had the privilege of spending ten days in the beautiful Southern Maldives with fellow TCCers and other travelers who I now count as very good friends.
It is this readiness to go, paired with the inherent curiosity of the yet to be seen and experienced, that drives us to each new place. This is what Travelers’ Century Club members have in common – we want to go! No one gets to one hundred countries by not saying yes to traveling to new places and taking advantage of opportunities to do so. Over the next two years as I serve as president of the club I hope to hear your stories of saying Yes! to travel. Safe travels everyone!
The Board would like to thank outgoing president, Gloria McCoy, for her hard work and dedication to our club during the many years she served on the board. Always cheerful and full of personality, her leadership was a pleasure for all of us. We wish her many happy and fun travels!