The Travelers’ Century Club was founded in 1954 by seasoned tour operator Bert Hemphill who wanted to create a community for the world’s most well-travelled people. Reaching 100 different territories at this time was even more difficult than it is today, as travellers had to rely on expensive chartered flights or shipping routes to access far-off destinations.
Even after intercontinental jet travel became available to the general public, the club’s numbers remained relatively low and by 1960 only 43 other members had joined Hemphill. Over the years the club has opened several other chapters across the Northern Hemisphere and its membership count currently stands at around 1,400.
Although its admissions policy may seem unrealistically demanding, the club recognises many places that aren’t usually seen as bona fide countries on its qualifying territories index, including several offshore jurisdictions like Svalbard or Guernsey which are governed by Norway and the United Kingdom respectively. This means that potential candidates may have inadvertently visited more territories than thought, and could be well on their way to joining the club’s ranks.
After gaining admission members are able to access a whole host of services that make travelling to remote destinations and meeting likeminded individuals significantly easier. For instance, the club manages an online database that features hundreds of travelogues written by its representatives which often contain invaluable information related to the world’s most inaccessible locations or helpful tips concerning far-flung locales.
Furthermore, Travelers’ Century Club’s members frequently pool their resources together and charter group expeditions to extremely isolated regions. Many also choose to socialise during their downtime and attend special, regular events such as the club’s quarterly luncheons.
Think that you’re close to making the cut? Let us know how many countries or territories you’ve visited in the comments!