One of the advantages of TCC membership is the opportunity to attend chapter meetings throughout the US, Canada, and Europe and share stories with like-minded fellow travelers. You can expect a warm welcome at any of our meetings. If traveling, be sure to check out chapter dates on our website.
Meet the Northern California Chapter
By Tim Carlson
On Aug. 25, 2001, seventeen members of the Travelers’ Century Club assembled at Betty Knudson’s home in Lafayette, California, and the Northern California chapter was born. The greater San Francisco Bay area has always been home to enthusiastic world travelers, so it only took a mailing with the suggestion that we establish a chapter in order to get together and share our experiences.
For the first year we met at the homes of members who volunteered to host the group. But with an attendance that quickly expanded to thirty-five people, we settled on using restaurants in San Francisco or Berkeley and still do meet in these two areas today.
We currently meet quarterly (March, June, September, and December) on Saturdays for a luncheon and travel presentation, with a usual attendance of thirty-five to fifty. Half of those present at the initial 2001 meeting are still active in the club and our chapter activities.
Our group covers a wide age range, from 12 to 92, with the majority of them retired (that’s why they have the time to travel!) We also have a number of members with high country counts, including four over 300. Three of our members have been on the Board of Directors, two in the past, and one currently.
Many of our presentations cover difficult-to-reach areas, such as visiting the North Pole and the South Pole, traveling to remote Pacific Islands and Bouvet Island, backpacking the length of Africa by surface transportation from Cairo to Cape Town, and climbing Mt. Everest. Watching member Jeff Shea reach the summit of Mt. Everest was breathtaking. In the past a number of members have organized an expedition that succeeded in reaching several islands in the British Indian Ocean Territory, a very difficult to reach destination.
We welcome members from out of town and guests. We recently did a self-critique of our activities to remain close to our members’ interests, and we will be experimenting with the ideas that we discussed, such as having each member say where they had recently traveled so others would have a source to go to, or taking turns discussing the best or worst trip he/she had ever taken.
We begin our luncheons with a social hour from 11:00 to 12:00, when members can meet newcomers and exchange information on their latest travels. We are always adding new members and find that as members get to know each other, they end up traveling together. We’re a very friendly group of travel aficionados! If any readers are in our area, you’re more than welcome to join us.