Welcome to the Trip Accomplice Blog!

Greetings and welcome to the first post of the Trip Accomplice blog! For me, much of my enjoyment from travel happens before my tickets are bought, hotels are booked, or a single suitcase is packed. I’ve found that it’s those initial steps toward researching a potential destination—an obscure reference in a guidebook, an article in a magazine, the first web site with all those pictures—that mark the true beginning of any of my trips. Yes, for me it’s not the kill but the thrill of the hunt that keeps me addicted, and it’s what motivated me to start Trip Accomplice, which is, to my knowledge, the only travel agency that specializes in destination research.

Don’t worry, this blog is not about touting the services I offer but rather a chance for me to share my insights on all things travel: From tips on choosing where to go, to my own, self-proclaimed, “travel philosophy”. Basically this blog is to inform, entertain, and to enhance the traveling experience of anyone willing to take the time to hear what I have to say. And if I manage to elicit the odd chuckle here and there, then so be it.

So in this first blog post I’ve decided that of all possible things to share, the first thing on my list is a basic philosophy that convinced me that I had a service that others would benefit from and moved me to start Trip Accomplice in the first place. I call it: The Pancake Rock Effect. Nestled on the wild, west coast of New Zealand is a tiny natural gem called Paparoa National Park. The main attractions here are the aforementioned Pancake Rocks—a coastal formation of limestone where erosion and seismic activity has sculpted the rocks into bizarre shapes that look sort of like stacks of pancakes (see image below). Arriving there at sunset, breathing in the salty air, listening to the muted thundering of the surf and looking out at the sun breaking through the clouds in hazy shafts of light, was one of the favorite moments of my entire 3 week trip. The reason I mention this is because had I not known 1) that it was there and 2) that it was worth seeing, it would have been so easy to drive right past the entrance and miss out on a truly delightful experience. That’s the value of traveling informed: Knowing the options and making sure to put oneself in the best position to get the most out of any trip. So keep that principle in mind as this blog continues, as it will be the undercurrent to any and all information posted here.

Pancake Rocks, Paparoa National Park, New Zealand

Of course, I invite you not only to keep checking back for new posts, but to feel free to comment, praise, criticize, suggest, imply, mock or complain at your leisure. And also don’t forget to check out my website www.tripaccomplice.com for more info on how I can personally become your own trip’s accomplice.

Thanks for reading,

Ben Pastore