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 Web site.
Meet the Indianapolis, Indiana Chapter
By Frank Basile
The Indiana chapter of TCC conducted its first meeting on March 23, 2013 when I became the first Indiana coordinator.
All meetings have been held in a private room at the Seasons 52 restaurant on the north side of Indianapolis, near the major interstate highway, providing easy access for those traveling from around the state. It is a nice restaurant with great food (and healthy food options), wonderful service, projection and other equipment and all for free, with attendees simply paying for the food and drinks they order.
People begin arriving at noon, at which time we have a 30-minute social while they are getting their name badges and signing in. This gives everyone an opportunity to meet and greet each other. I then start the meeting by welcoming the attendees and recognizing any new TCC members and any other accomplishments, such as attaining a higher membership level.
Then each attendee introduces himself and talks for 2 or 3 minutes about his latest travel experience or a memorable one from the past or one he is planning. This is a very lively and interesting part of the meeting, which the members all enjoy. The participants entertain one another with tales about their most recent escapade, next trip, most exciting travel experience, most dangerous, closest call, most humorous, unusual border crossing, life changing experience, difficult to get to place, etc.
The attendees dine during the introductions and presentation. At about 1:30 the speaker then makes her presentation followed by questions and answers. The meeting concludes at 3pm. This schedule allows members from around the state time to drive to Indianapolis and return on the same day.
We have now had 14 quarterly meetings and have followed this same format, which has worked well. We have had talks, accompanied by slides, on “Roman Sites & Post- Gaddafi Libya”; “Antarctica” by former TCC president Kevin Hughes; “Cuba: Forbidden Fruit” by TCC St. Louis coordinator, Charles Merkel; “Syria: Just Before the Meltdown;” “On the Road Again,” which was about the 500-mile journey in northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago.
One member who has attended every meeting so far is 97 years old and drives herself to meetings from an Indianapolis suburb. She visited Seychelles last year. She is always the first to respond to my e-mail notices of the next meeting. Her noon meal consists of two glasses of wine and two small desserts. Other club members come from a variety of backgrounds, each with his or her reasons for their extensive travel. But probably all would agree with Mark Twain, who said, “Travel is fatal to bigotry, ignorance and narrow-mindedness. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all The Indianapolis, Indiana Chapter one’s lifetime.”
Not having many TCC members in our state, I opened the meetings up to non-members who have a passion for travel but haven’t hit the 100-country mark. Our attendance has ranged from 20 to 35. The most recent meeting, with Kevin Hughes as the speaker, was our best attended. Attendance increases each quarter.