- Travelers' Century Club
The Travelers' Century Club, or TCC, is a club for people who have visited 100 or more countries.
The organization was founded in
Californiain the fifties and now has almost 2,000 members throughout the United Statesand the world. The club has 12 regional chapters in the U.S. and one in London, and holds regular meetings and arranges tours to remote destinations.
The TCC has a fairly loose definition of what constitutes a country and has established its own list of currently 317 "countries". This includes not only
sovereign statesbut also certain territories, exclaves and island groups. The club argues that "although some are not actually countries in their own right, they have been included because they are removed from parent, either geographically, politically or ethnologically" [ [http://www.travelerscenturyclub.org/countries.html Directory of TCC Countries and Application Form ] ] , based on rules established in 1970. [cite web|url=http://www.travelerscenturyclub.org/country_status.html|title=TCC Country Status|date=1970|publisher=TCC|accessdate=2008-10-01] The list is very roughly based on the amateur radio DXCCaward criteria for working 100 "entities".
Anyone who has visited 100 or more of the places on the list is eligible to join. The club has no requirements as to how long the traveller must have stayed in a country to qualify, even a port-of-call or a plane fuel stop suffices.
*By 2004 only nine members had visited every place on the list. John Clouse, from
Evansville, IN, was the first to travel to all the countries and was recognized by the 1995 Guinness World Recordsas "the world's most traveled man." [ [http://www.travelerscenturyclub.org/history.html History of the Travelers' Century Club ] ]
*The youngest to join the club was Lani Shea, whose parents, Jeff and Novita from Novato, CA, reported that she reached her 100th country at an age of two years and eight months. She also set a new Guinness World Record under the category of "Youngest person to travel to all seven continents," accomplished in December 2003 when she was two years and 307 days.
Charles Veleyfrom San Franciscoin 2003 became the youngest person, at 37, to visit all countries, having visited all but about 70 countries in just over three years.
*However, except for Lani Shea, none of the travellers currently included in the
Guinness Book of World Recordsare members of the Club.
Many world travellers however argue that the club is little more than a group of friends, mainly American, whose extensive travels are only exceptional by American standards and is only an exclusive club for wealthy americans who enjoy showing off their lavish lifestyle of world travels. [cite book|title=
Le Figaro, 23 March 2004]
In 2004, club member Charles Veley was featured in the
International Herald Tribune[cite web|url=http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/01/23/trvelvey_ed3_.php |title=Charles Veley in the International Herald Tribune] and the UK's Daily Telegraph[cite web|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2004/03/08/ftvel08.xml |title=Charles Veley in the Daily Telegraph] as the new holder of a Guinness world record, but this was never reflected in the Guinness Book of World Records[cite book|title= Guinness Book of World Records- all years up to and including 2007] , thereby indicating that the claim was not true. Many world travellers instead dispute Veley's claims or their significance . [cite web|url=http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/09/25/CMG31EF1H51.DTL |title=San Francisco Chronicle: travellers dispute Veleys claims]
Travelers' Century Club List of Countries
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