Blog Connections

WHS in TCC Territories

One of the oldest travel communities with an online presence is the Travelers Century Club (TCC). They started as a social club in 1954 for those who had visited 100 countries. They now have more than 1,500 worldwide members (2021). The club is private (no free sharing of information online) and a yearly membership costs 75/85 USD (depending on whether you’re a US resident or not) plus a 100 USD initiation fee.

The TCC never did appeal to me much, as their website seems to come straight from the 1990s, they display more of an appetite for social events than travelling and you can even ’get’ ('buy' of course!) a pin to display your status. But they must be admired for their stamina and consistency in maintaining the TCC List of Countries and Territories. At least there’s a committee that makes the decisions and they follow a certain logic in updating their list.

More than Dependent Territories

Currently, the list consists of 330 places. There’s a neat Excel spreadsheet available that divides those into UN countries and other territories. My main interest for this blog post and the new connection lies with the latter.

We have struggled with the definition of our Dependent Territories connection, as it excludes for example overseas provinces. TCC uses a much wider definition for their Territories. They use both political criteria (a place has to be de facto independent for several years for example) and geographical criteria (such as being situated at least 200 miles from the closest continental portion of its administrating country). The rules are here.

From the TCC spreadsheet, I’ve taken the ones filled with ‘Territory’ or ‘Disputed’ in the 'Status' column that hold at least 1 WHS. Additionally to our Dependent Territories they also have Galapagos, Hawaii, Phoenix Islands, Lord Howe Island, Ogasawara, Ryukyu Islands, Tasmania, Alaska, Martinique, Azores, Canary Islands, Fernando de Noronha, Madeira, Balearic Islands, Corsica, Greek Aegean Islands, Ionian Islands, Northern Ireland, Sardinia, Scotland, Sicily, Srpska, Turkey in Europe, Wales, French Antarctica, Zanzibar, Egypt in Asia, Reunion (photo 2), Socotra, Lesser Sunda Islands, Russia in Asia, Sabah, Sarawak, Sikkim, Sumatra, Papua, and Tibet as separate Territories.


I added them all to a new Connection: Located in a TCC Territory. It lists all WHS that are located in a TCC ‘Territory’ which isn’t a country. I may have overlooked one or two, so let me know when you find a mistake.

Almost all WHS were easy to match to a TCC territory, but I had to think a bit about the following ones:

  • Gough Island (see photo 3, taken by Solivagant) – this is not a separate territory but a dependency of Tristan da Cunha. 
  • NZL Sub-Antarctic Islands – I think this is seen as part of New Zealand as there is no other option, but according to Wiki “Although considered integral parts of New Zealand, [these island groups] are not part of any administrative region or district, but are instead each designated as an Area Outside Territorial Authority” 
  • Macquarie Island on the contrary is named under the separate "Australian Antarctic Territory (Davis, Heard, Macquarie, Mawson)". Here they lump together the WHS of the Heard & McDonald Islands and Macquarie Island, which are over 5,000 km apart. Also, Macquarie is politically a part of Tasmania and not of the Australian Antarctic Division as the others are.

Overall I feel the TCC list overvalues islands, and not only difficult-to-access, remote islands but also easy ones that lie right off the coast of their mainlands such as several Greek islands. You can earn 31 'TCC ticks' in the Caribbean, and 40 in the Pacific Ocean, but only 14 in South America.

Member Statistics

Of course, I couldn’t add this connection without adding a statistics page to see which community members are particularly strong on visiting WHS in TCC Territories. You can now find the results via the Community Statistics / Most Intrepid page.

My initial observations from these:

  • The people with the most WHS visited overall also have the most visited in TCC Territories. Only 2 do slightly better at this than in the regular rankings: Harry Mitisidis (from position 18 -> 5)  and Roger Ourset (15 -> 6).
  • WHS Community Members with very high TCC scores (I used Nomadmania as a source for these data) such as Don Parrish (330/330), Harry Mitsidis (325), Sacha Grabow (308) and Shihe Huang (306) do not score extraordinarily well on the WHS in the TCC Territories. Don misses out on all WHS on the Canary Islands and the Azores for example, while Harry has work to do in Indonesia (I used their Missing Map on as a source for this).

I would love to hear from a TCC member who also ‘does’ WHS, whether visiting WHS is a ‘thing’ in that community and what counts as a meaningful visit to a TCC Territory.

Els - 25 February 2024

Leave a comment


Roger Ourset 26 February 2024

Dear Els,
Thanks much for your kind appreciation! You too are doing an incredible work for the site which is helping us much in our search for visiting more WHS!
I agree with you about the TCC inclination to give preference to island : an example I faced recently when I visited the federal republic of St Kitts and Nevis : for the TCC this very small country (one among the smallest in the Caribbean) is counting for 2 territories!
I am not following you about the fact TCC Members are not great travelers : in our Francophone Chapter it is always very difficult to gather all the members as many are just travelling when a meeting is organized! it will be my case when I miss a Brussels dinner soon as I'm currently in Pakistan, doing rather the same trip you made some months ago!
We are also sharing information about difficult or less know territories as I owe to the Chairman o my Chapter the idea and the advices to visit Somalia as I did before heading to Pakistan!
I'm also keen to visit many territories as I'm a vexillologist and like to take pictures of flags of subnational entities!
Best regards,

Els Slots 25 February 2024

You really stand out on the combination of WHS and TCC, Roger! Good to hear from you.

Roger Ourset 25 February 2024

I'm a member of the TCC since few years and have visited 225 territories according to its list.
There are regional chapters, mostly in the USA as the TCC has long been a mostly US associate, but more Chapters have been created, especially in Europe and meetings are regularly set up; on my side I'm a member of the Francophone Chapter which is open to TCC members from France, Monaco, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland and to whom is comfortable with a French speaking group and we have isolated members from Africa and other areas far away from Western Europe.
The TCC doesn't stress on WHS but I met some members who are eager to visit them, like me!
Roger Ourset

Eric Lurio 25 February 2024

I used to be a member and have been to well over 100 of their listed entities.

The problem was that, they weren't very friendly and didn't have any events I could get to.