It Couldn't Be Helped
There are travelers, and then there are these people -- the 1,500 members of the Travelers' Century Club ( www.travelerscenturyclub.org). Dick Maitland, president of Coronado Shores Co., in Coronado, Calif., is one of them. "Travel is like sex," he says. "It's all good. Sometimes it's just better than other times."
He should know. About the travel, anyway. A trip to Cuba last December earned Maitland his 200th destination. So the number of places he'd visited was 100 more than it takes to qualify for the club and 11 more than the number of countries in the United Nations, but still far from the 314 destinations the club recognizes. (About 10 members have set foot in all 314.) During the past two decades, Maitland, now 71, who generally takes four or five vacations a year, has flown in a hot-air balloon over the Swiss Alps, ridden a camel by the Great Pyramid in Egypt, seen India from atop an elephant, and taken in Bangladesh while floating down the Ganges aboard a barge. He's boarded more airplanes than he can remember. The best: Singapore Airlines. ("Delightful," he says. "I didn't want to get off. Good food, good wine, good service.") The worst: Russia's Aeroflot ("frightening"). Amazingly, only twice has his luggage lagged behind a day or so, and he's never lost a suitcase.
Where to next? The pin-studded world map in Maitland's office -- a great conversation lubricant with tenants and purchasers of his luxury condos -- shows he's already landed in Yap and Chuuk (Micronesia). But Estonia is unmarked, as are the Czech and Slovak republics. Maitland will drop us a card.
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