Information on the Travellers Club of Denmark


Travellers Club Denmark (De Berejstes Klub, DBK) is a non-profit members club with no political or religious ties. Its purpose is to stimulate the desire for travel among its members and to distribute information on travel life, foreign countries and cultures in general. It was founded in 1996 and is open to everyone who meets the admission criteria.
It is not possible to set simple rules for who is widely travelled and who is not. Some people like to travel at a fast pace through a lot of countries, while others prefer to spend months on end to become absorbed in the local community and environment, some members even choose to settle abroad. Some choose the comfortable and safe way to travel, while others seek the thrill of travelling the world on fifth class. Hence, the club has decided to establish a double entry system based on two very different, though closely related principles:
A) Either you must have
1. visited as many countries as you are years old, with a minimum of 30 countries
2. visited at least two new countries every two years
3. visited at least four continents
4. crossed the Equator.
or
B)
You should have travelled or lived for a long period in (preferably) third world countries and hereby have acquired a wide knowledge of foreign countries and cultures.
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The first set of criteria (the original set) demands you to have visited a lot of countries - at least a number equal to your age - plus a couple of additional rules. On the other hand, there are no specific restrictions on how you have chosen to travel or what you have experienced. You may have walked through Tibet, or you may have participated in a package tour to Italy. It's all up to you.
If you enter through the second quota (the 'adventurer' quota) there are less strict criteria on how many countries you should have visited, but you must have had travel experiences somewhat out of the ordinary. In a way this corresponds to the 'second quota' at the Danish universities.
This double system makes room for both the speedy business man with cravings for big cities and luxury along with the less fortunate backpacker who chooses to camp in the countryside and may spend longer time in each place. The fact that the club attracts both types of travellers shows that the system works, and the variation in itself is an extra bonus.
Because of the strict entrance rules, the Travellers' Club is not open for anyone and everyone to enter, but a forum for true addicts to travelling.

Registration of countries and places

The Club maintains a member achievement registration scheme. We count the countries, territories, megacities, big islands and continents of each member and track their most northern, southern and highest points visited on the globe. Most of this information is gathered from postcards sent to the club, by the members from abroad.
Furthermore, members are expected to continue their active travelling life after they have been admitted. Membership normally terminates if you don't continually visit two new countries every two years, but you can stay in the club if you travel at least 8 weeks during the two year period, including at least 4 weeks outside Europe. The other registrations are not critical for membership.

Countries

It is an open question when a country is actually judged as visited. In the Travellers' Club, we have decided that at least 24 hours nonstop visit in a country is necessary (although overnight stays on board a boat also counts). A short daytrip with return before sunset is not enough, and transit stays at airports are irrelevant whatever the duration. You can always discuss whether this principle is satisfactory, but this is what has been agreed upon. And the same rules apply for territories and continents.
Older members could have 'defunct' countries like the USSR and DDR on their country lists, but the lists are now based on the current world map, which means that you can claim a country, if you have visited its current area, even if your visit took place before the country proclaimed its independence.
It is of course a matter of definition when a country is a country, but we have chosen to accept all members of the U.N. (so far 191 countries) with 2 additions: Taiwan and the Vatican. The most recent additions are East Timor and Montenegro. Due to lack of international recognition, for instance Northern Cyprus is not accepted as a country.
In these present turbulent days, the list cannot be finalized, but will naturally change with time. For instance, DDR was a once an independent country, whereas neither Bosnia nor Tadjikistan existed 15 years ago. At present we accept 194 countries, and no Dane has so far visited them all. Approx. a dozen of our members have been in more than 100 countries, and they are exempt from the rule that demand visits to new countries, - but that has not made them stop travelling.

Territories and continents

What is a territory? Territories are possessions outside the geographical or political mainland with some special status. Good examples of territories are the former British and French colonies in the Caribbean, the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean (e.g. Martinique, The Falkland Islands or Moruroa) and the Danish territories Greenland and The Faroe Islands. Antarctica is counted as one territory (as well as a continent).
The continents are easy to count, their number being seven: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America (including the Caribbean), Oceania (Australia and New Zealand with surroundings) and South America. Sudden changes to these are obviously minimal. We define Europe as the area from Iceland to Ural and Caucasus. Asia Minor, Cyprus and the South Caucasian countries belong to Asia and so does the whole Island of New Guinea. The Canary Islands and Madeira belong to Africa, and North America includes both Central America and the Caribbean Islands. The committee decides on borderline cases.

Activities

All activities are voluntary, and in principle you can be a member of the club for years without participating in anything (though that would be a shame and we don't recommend it). The more activities you participate in, the more you profit from your membership.

Membership meetings

The main activities of the Club are the membership meetings, which are usually held monthly on the 18th on Zealand (mostly in greater Copenhagen) and approx. every two months in Jutland. The majority of these gatherings are held as private evening meetings at one of the member´s home where usually some 10-15 members attend. Furthermore weekend arrangements and informal meetings are held from time to time.
The agenda for the meetings can vary but will typically begin with a "tour de table" where everybody share their travel experiences since the last meeting and about future travel plans. New members or members who recently have visited a particularly interesting place are granted prolonged time to present their stories.
Every meeting includes food and drink and for this reason all participants generally pay DKK50 (approx. US$8) to cover the expenses (participants should bring their own drinks).
The highlight of the agenda is usually one or two slideshows where members entertain with all their more or less crazy experiences. These might include climbing Kilimanjaro, a pilgrimage to the source of the holy river Ganga, a visit to Darwin´s Galapagos Islands, a crossing of The Sahara on bicycle, wintering in northeast Siberia at –55 C or other exciting experiences from familiar or exotic corners of the world.
The rest of the evening is naturally spent socializing and exchanging travel experiences. It is almost impossible not to be overwhelmed with the urge to travel after hearing all those great tales from the other members. In case you missed out on asking question, every member regularly gets an updated membership list with telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of all the other members.

Informal meetings

Apart from the monthly membership meetings there are also informal meetings approx. once a month. At these meetings you can buy drinks, but they do not include the meal. Therefore the entrance fee is free for members, and prior notification is generally not necessary. The informal character, however, does not mean that they are uninformative and uninteresting; at one meeting a professional photographer was invited in to guide on how to take great pictures, whilst other meetings may have a travelling themed story presented by some of the members.

Committee meetings and General meeting

Apart from ordinary meetings, a committee meeting is held approximately every second month. At these meetings, the committee decides on unsolved issues or questions raised by the members, in so far they are not resolved at the annual general meeting. The committee meetings are open to all although only committee members have the right to vote.
And finally every year in November there is the General Meeting to which all members are allowed to attend. However only members from 15 years and up, who have paid their subscription before January 31, have the right to vote. The details can be checked in the terms and conditions of the Club.

Sources of Information

About four times a year, the members receive a magazine ("Globen") with stories from past and present, as well as practical information. It has gradually grown into a major publication of up to 60 pages, and is in our own humble opinion, one of the best club magazines in Denmark.
The club has several times published a who-is-who with a lot of practical and interesting infomation about every member. This book has now been integrated to the DBK website.
Since 1998 the Club has even had a website (... well, apparently you are already aware of this!). We expect to see a lot of activity here in the future.
With such concentration of travel experience among the Club members, it comes as no surprise that it also serves as a forum for people who can give a great lecture and/or slideshow, for instance to a school class or a club. Furthermore the Club has - in spite of its short life - acquired a reputation as an authority on travelling. Several members have been active in the media, either with articles or as experts in specific fields. This includes radio and television appearances.

Subscription

Club membership fee is DKK 400 per member annually (approx. US$60), with an additional DKK 100 per 2nd, 3rd, etc. family member sharing same home address.
You can also become a friend and receive a one year subscription of the ‘Globen’ magazine for DKK 400. For new friends a one off DKK 100 administration fee is charged. Friends members who become regular members are exempt from this fee.

The official address of the Travellers' Club is:
De Berejstes Klub
c/o Café Globen
Turesensgade 2B
DK-1368 København K
Denmark