As the one year anniversary of the Trip Accomplice blog draws close, I’ve decided to salute my small but loyal followers with a tribute and recap of what one year of travel blogging has accomplished – from its humble beginnings to its (only slightly-less humble) status today.
First, to you, my handful (OK, technically 22 and 3/5 handfuls) of readers: Thank you. As anyone who has ever blogged can attest, there are points when you truly wonder if anyone would notice if you stopped posting, or even if they’d care. But a word at the right time can restore depleted enthusiasm levels, and I wish to thank all of you in particular who have taken the time to comment. Your interaction has meant more than you know. And for what its worth, I have no intentions of stopping now.
So what has been accomplished in this past year? Well, for one I found my voice. Early posts were written in a style more suited for a travel guidebook than a witty, everyman banter. At some point early on I realized that there are loads of professionals who actually get paid for this who write their pieces strictly to inform, and with my obscurity and limited readership, there’s no way I could compete. That’s when I realized that when it comes to being ME, relating what I know/think, with my sense of humor, there’s absolutely no competition – I’ve cornered the market on myself and I alone can provide the world with, well, um me. Come to think of it, I’m starting to see why I have so few readers 😉
Another accomplishment has been the virtual tour I have taken my readers on, with stops on all continents. Here’s the breakdown of what we’ve considered together:
Early on I introduced the first of my The Witty Traveler’s Guide series with The Witty Traveler’s Guide to Cruising Alaska, followed by Interior Alaska, and later joined by a video version of the former. I also shared my fondness for the lower latitudes of the continent via the post Not That Antigua, The Other One, a feature on Guatemala’s most charming city, as well as Pura Vida in Costa Rica. I also paid tribute to the Caribbean with the piece Humble Pie in Ocho Rios, as well as the lighthearted directory All Caribbean Islands Are Not Created Equal (Despite What the Beach Boys Imply).
My first destination piece was Parati, Brazil – The Whole Package which I hope informed my audience about this lesser-known-but-one-of-my-favorite places on earth. Also in Brazil was a piece on Ilha Grande, the subject of the post A Love Letter to the Island I Met a Year Ago. I also added another Brazilian post Extra Time Never Sounded So Good during the frenzy of the World Cup. The Witty Traveler’s Guide to Cuzco & the Sacred Valley dealt with the Inca wonderland of Peru, and A Day at the End of the World showcased Ushuaia, Argentina – the southernmost city on the planet.
The Witty Traveler series continued with a piece on cruising Antarctica and the ins and outs about a trip to the big white blob at the bottom of the map.
Despite having visited Europe more times than any other continent, I’m a little surprised I haven’t covered more (and now have ideas for the next year). Starting with Reflections on Ponza – The Pearl of Rome, a tribute to my wife’s ancestors’ island, I also wrote of Finland and its bewildering language in the cheeky post What’s a 47-Letter Word for Up?
In view of my recent visit to Africa, my posts of late have been very Africa-heavy – and for good reason. I’ve covered the world’s oldest tourist attractions in Death, Taxes, & The Pyramids, as well as features on Zimbabwe, Botswana and the Zambian side of Victoria Falls.
In the course of the past year I’ve covered the world’s largest landmass from end to end, from a piece on Turkey (The Witty Traveler’s Guide to Cappadocia) to a piece on Singapore (A Boring Place to Visit But A Great Place To Live?) and a pair of posts on my favorite Asian destination, Thailand (Bangkok & the Power of $5, Phuket -Paradise Restored). But no place has received more virtual ink from me than the photographer’s dreamland of India, with posts on New Delhi (New or Old, Delhi Has Plenty on the Menu) Jaipur (Like Playing Chutes & Ladders with a Maharaja) and intoxicating Jodhpur (A Hyper-Inspirational Shade of the Color Blue), not to mention the overview in the post In Your Face, India (& Nose & Ears & Mouth).
Australia & Oceania
While I’ve yet to expound on my love for Australia, I’ve had three posts raving about what I feel is the greatest place on earth – New Zealand – with South Circle Island Tour I & II and the appropriately-named The Best Spot on Earth? Can You Repeat the Question?
Of course I did more than just prattle on about destinations. Beginning with my post Introduction to Travel Philosophy, I’ve espoused my viewpoints on all things travel with posts like Confessions of a Luggage Anorexic about baggage fees; what counts as a ‘visit’ in You Can Tell Where You Are By Who Comes to Arrest You; some of the aforementioned philosophies in The Best Things In Life Are For Sale, Maximization & Other Made-Up Travel Philosophies, and You Can Keep Your Adventure, Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper; as well as expert tips such as in If You’re Going to India, Turn Right at Finland (& Other Stopover Ideas), When on Tour Don’t Sit Next to the Jerk, How to Make Your Travel Photos So Interesting People Won’t Paint Their Toenails, and A Picture is Worth A Thousand Miles.
If I were asked what were my favorite posts to write, they would be the ones that would fall under the category of anecdotes. These are little vignettes from my travels that give the reader insight on experiences or lessons learned while traveling abroad. In Karaoke Through the Andes, I shared an experience that helped me appreciate the unpredictability of travel. In An Accidental Autobiography, I recount how my journal writing has captured so many moments that would’ve been otherwise forgotten. And in To the Octopus I Chanced Upon One Early Winter’s Eve, I share my wonder for the natural world through a memorable dive in the Bahamas. Last but not least, there’s my personal favorite, which also seemed to resonate with readers as well Three Reasons I’m Not A Contestant On The Amazing Race.
So what comes next? Expect more of the same. More destinations. More tips and advice. And of course – more photos. And if there’s anything in particular you would like me to specifically write about, just drop me a line and I’ll incorporate it into the timeline as soon as possible.
And if you’ve made it this far on the page, perhaps you’ll be willing to take things one step further. If you enjoy what you read here on the Trip Accomplice blog, please do me a solid and share it with others. Share it on Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or whatever social media strikes your fancy. More readers mean more incentive which means more meaningful material (how’s that for alliteration?). I’d really appreciate your help in spreading the news of this blog’s existence, as well as sharing the joy of travel to as many as possible.
So thanks again for a fun year, and get ready for more journeys (virtual or otherwise) across this amazing playground we call Earth.
– Much Love, Ben