No Bouvet Island Timeshare Resorts

Is the term “Ultra-Travel” new to you? You might guess that it refers to some new category for flying first class or perhaps luxurious upgraded hotel and timeshare resort accommodations. Actually, ultra travel and the ultra travelers who can claim this title are more like ultra marathoners … and if the thought of that doesn’t give you pause, it should.

Hardly a new concept, the Traveler’s Century Club was founded in 1954. To be a member you need a minimum of 100 country stamps on your passport. It used to be listed in the Guinness Book of Records to distinguish the “world’s most traveled person.” And then the competition got too ugly for that.

Which countries counted as countries and how long did you have to stay in a country for it to count as a visit—was an airport layover sufficient?

Today there are four affiliate groups of the Travelers’ Century Club and 20 regional chapters, totaling some 2,000 members. Klaus Billep, chairman of Travelers’ Century Club describes the group as social. The webpage for the group describes it as, “… a nonprofit social organization representing world travelers who have visited 100 or more of the world’s countries and territories.”

The current record holder for reaching all 321 countries and territories on the Travelers’ Century Club’s list is 37-year-old Charles Veley. And while the Traveler’s Century Club recognizes 321 countries and territories, says there are technically 873 places to visit on this earth. Since the United Nations recognizes only 193 countries, clearly other lists can be pretty granular.

No Bouvet Island Timeshare Resorts

With this type of travel, inherently come challenges. John Clause, an attorney from Indiana and a decade-long record holder of “world’s most traveled man,” claims his passion for travel (and attaining the travel record) cost him six marriages.

Despite all the conveniences of modern travel, accessibility can be more of a challenge than you might expect. Take Bouvet Island, for example. Wikipedia enlightens us that it is, “an uninhabited subantarctic volcanic island and dependency of Norway located in the South Atlantic Ocean.” And we can attest that there are no Bouvet Island timeshare resorts. But for those trying to cross it off their travel lists, weeks can be spent along with thousands and thousands of dollars hoping to be in the right place at the right time when the icebergs are sufficiently manageable for ships to break through and reach the island.

Although there are obvious pitfalls, if reading about ultra travelers makes you feel like a real “stay at home,” you might find a comfortable middle ground just by making the effort to incorporate travel into your life in a more consistent and meaningful way.

As Veley explains, “The more you travel, the more regional perspective you get. It helps you relate to different types of people, and the world becomes more beautiful because of it. It helps you understand the chaos.”

And who wouldn’t benefit from a more beautiful world and more understanding of chaos?