By Doug O’Neill
For the traveller who has done (almost) everything!
December 18, 2013
Robin Esrock (hitherto known as the Evil Knievel of travel) made me feel like a total wuss.
Okay, granted, perhaps it wasn’t deliberate. But holy smackers, I’d only read a handful of the daring acts he’s executed in his travels around the world – and more pointedly in Canada – and suddenly my few (though much bragged-about) “adrenaline moments” paled in comparison.
1. I’ve not gone zip-lining over a waterfall in Atlantic Canada. (But I rode the escalator at West Edmonton Mall with my eyes open. Surely that counts.)
2. Nor have I gone digging for dinosaur bones in rural Alberta. (So dissecting a frog in high school doesn’t count. Crikey.)
3. And sue me but I just haven’t gotten around to taking a chunk out of a floating iceberg in Newfoundland to chill my martini. (I’ve gone camping in the rain, yeah?)
Robin’s book is one part inspiration and one part challenge, and, as he says in one caption, “Even Grandpa can do most of them.” You can hike to the most northerly eco-lodge in Canada, jet-boat the reversing falls in New Brunswick, hit a dude ranch (or was that nude?) in Saskatchewan, or enjoy more ethereal and contemplative outings such as exploring an old-growth forest, sitting by the shores in the North West Territories and watching beluga whales play in the water, or harvest sea plants with a local in Prince Edward Island.
And he makes them all look fun – and easy.
Robin has done all these and a lot more. Not all of the options on his hefty bucket list book are of the white-knuckle variety. Many of the travel moments Robin writes about are simply things we all wish to do, or perhaps should consider. They’re for the bucket list.
You (or the person on your gift list) will be inspired by Robin Esrock’s “The Great Canadian Bucket List: One-of-a-kind travel experiences” from Dundurn Press. The intrepid Robin, a transplant from South Africa, has travelled to more than 100 countries and now makes his home in Canada, a country he’s discovering one unforgettable adventure at a time. He’s hosted his own travel show, he’s written weekly travel columns for our national newspaper(s), and he’s tackled almost every blood-curdling act known to travellers. Robin knows what he’s writing about.
So get your copy and start planning. Be sure to check out Robin’s web site, which he’s constantly updating. Cherry-pick your way through Robin’s bucket list and add to yours. Make a dream come true for yourself or someone else. After all, isn’t that what travel is really all about.
You never know. Perhaps you’ll hit upon the perfect gift for the wuss in your life. Merry, merry.