The Photo Gallery Has Been Refreshed!

Sunset over the Historic Center, Parati, Brazil
Sunset over the Historic Center, Parati, Brazil

Yes, after a year of blogging it was time to refresh the photo gallery with the best of the pictures that adorned the posts during the course of the year. Have a look and feel free to share with others on your own social media accounts. And for the benefit of my new followers, you can also follow my travel photo account on Instagram at @tripaccomplice for original travel photos and blurbs once a week.

Was there a particular photo you saw (and loved) in a previous post that you don’t see in the gallery? Just leave me a comment and I’ll insert it right away!

One Year & 113 Followers Later

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 ūüėČ

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:

North America

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau

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).

South America

Sunset over the Historic Center, Parati, Brazil
Sunset over the Historic Center, Parati, Brazil

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.

Antarctica

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.

Port of Ponza, Isola di Ponza, Italy
Port of Ponza, Isola di Ponza, Italy

Europe

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?

No filter needed on the Zambia side
No filter needed on the Zambia side

Africa

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.

Asia

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

The Untamed Wilderness of Fiordland National Park
The Untamed Wilderness of Fiordland National Park

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

 

When it Comes to Travel Arithmetic, I Prefer Subtraction

timer18 Days, 5 Hours, 59 minutes to go. That’s what my handy countdown-timer app read as I began writing this post. It is amazing how much math is involved in planning a trip. You have to calculate the cost per night multiplied by the number of nights. You have to add your expenses such as dining, transport and souvenirs. Then you have to divide your remaining money by the number of days left and live within that equation. It is little wonder then that of all the mathematical functions necessary to travel my favorite is subtraction, namely counting down the days before leaving on a trip.

 

Travel is often a gauge by which we mark our time, measuring things as BV or AV (before or after vacation). With the increase of anticipation it is only natural that the decrease in time before leaving (also known as subtraction) would be a source of joy. In fact, I can even express it in an equation: J=A-T (Joy equals Anticipation minus Time). With every second that passes that equation plays itself out, building to a crescendo on the day of departure.

 

Of course, there are other equations that factor into the one listed above. S/D=X for example, with S meaning Stuff I still have to get done before leaving, divided by Days left to do it, which equals Anxiety. But that still doesn’t trump the blissful subtraction of hour after hour until it is time to check in.

 

Now I’m not one to bash the education system–I have nothing but respect for educators and their fields. But I have to be honest. Since leaving high school I’ve yet to extrapolate anything, use the Quadratic Equation, or encounter a radical number. All the math I need I learned in grade school, and when it comes to subtraction, both then and now, I’ve got nothing but straight A’s. And as my counter now reads 18 Days, 5 Hours, and 34 Minutes I know that regardless of whether or not I’ve communicated effectively, I’m now 24 minutes closer to takeoff. Yep, I’ll take subtraction every time.

Is there a “travel equation” you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

Trip Accomplice on Instagram: Travel Photo Fixes For The Wanderlust Sufferer

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Follow my travel pics on Instagram! @tripaccomplice

To those who know me, it comes as no surprise that I’m a little late to the Instagram party. While I’ve been hooked on it through my own personal account for more than a year, the idea of sharing my travel pictures (a.k.a. 90% of what I post anyway) didn’t sink in until just this weekend. So, without any further delay, I invite everyone to follow Trip Accomplice on Instagram at @tripaccomplice. Thanks to everyone for their feedback about my video and I hope to add more shortly. Oh, and I also intend to write some more travel stuff now that my insertion into social media has gone a few steps further.