Read this Newsletter (or the Dolly gets it!)

Hello Bucket Lister

It’s Robin Esrock, author of The Great Canadian Bucket List, co-host of the TV series Word Travels, master of the guacamole, father of toddler, and pursuer of the extraordinary.  Seriously, it’s me. Writing this. On my couch.  No PR robot, no automotron code, no intern, or assistant (although could really do with the last two!)  Just me, writing to update you about life on the Bucket List, in Canada and beyond.  I sincerely promise only one children’s toy gets drowned in the process.  


Dinosaurs and Celebrities:  Did you know that Grande Prairie, Alberta is sitting on one of the richest dinosaur fossil beds discovered in years?  And that Dan Aykroyd is a dinosaur nut?  Me neither, until I went off to see for myself, and found myself digging for bones with a cast of random celebrities. 

Eating Muktuk in Inuvik : In June I went camping in stunning Ivvavik National Park, researching a chapter for The Great Northern Canada Bucket List.  Along the way, I found myself tucking into raw baby beluga, dried beaver, and other indigenous treats under the midnight sun.  Sorry Raffi!

Across the Northwest Passage I’ve just returned from successfully crossing the Northwest Passage, sailing in the footsteps of Franklin. Only I had a hot tub and salad bar.  Here’s a quick post about this incredible journey, the final chapter in both my Northern and Global Bucket Listbooks, out in 2016. 

Driver of the Tundra:  My Bucket Lists are more than just places and activities. It’s about people too.  With polar bear season fast approaching, here’s a fascinating profile about a Churchill character who has been driving bucket listers to the bears for decades.  


A random phone call from a producer at CBS, and the next thing I’m on a plane to New York to tape a segment for 60 Minutes Sports.   Check out this clip from Episode 5: Backroads, which looks at the Rise of the Bucket Lister.  What’s driving people to forego the beach in search of adventure? 

On my way back from the Galapagos, I picked up a copy of the Wall Street Journal and found myself bold and upper case kicking off a feature about the Ultimate Bucket List.  Weighing in are folks like actor Edward Norton, author Anne Rice, celebrity chefs and TV hosts.  

If you heard a South Africanadian accent on CBC Radio this summer talking about travel, I hope your lips creased at the edges like a half moon, the way it does when you recognize an old friend.  And yes, that was me in the UK’s Observer last week drinking a beer in a hot tub. In the Arctic. With an Iceberg in the background.  As one does. 


Some people like reading their books with images that move. We call those movies.  The clips below are more like tasties.  A taste of an experience to whet your appetite.  Incidentally, whet is derived from an Old English word for “sharpen”.  It has nothing to do with “wet,” originating instead from the whetstone used to sharpen blades.  Therefore, “sharpen” your appetite.  And that’s what we call a major digression.  Videos…oh yes!

• Explore Saskatchewan’s Big Muddy Badlands

• Join the polar bear club in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick

• Yes, you can surf the St Lawrence River on a standing wave in Montreal

• Look inside Winnipeg’s $350 million Canadian Museum for Human Rights 


Nearly two years since its launch, The Great Canadian Bucket List still hits the #1 spot on Amazon’s guidebook charts.  Why?  Because it’s an inspirational, and perfectly priced gift.  You might  have also seen my regional, expanded bucket list books – Western, Central and Atlantic – front and centre at Chapters/Indigo.  They’re all bestsellers in their own right, shining a much deserved, maple-flavoured spotlight on the magic of Canada.  I’ve just filed the manuscripts for the Prairie and Northern editions, on the shelves in February, and featuring dozens of new experiences.  Canada, like a book itself, is the gift that keeps on giving.  


I know. You want to tick some of these adventures off but don’t know where to start?  That’s why every chapter in my books end with the words: START HERE, and a web address with tons of practical info.  You can also visit Great Canadian Trails, a new division of World Expeditions set up specifically to help tick off your Canadian Bucket List.  Among many other adventures, they can get you to the West Coast Trail, cycling across PEI or Niagara, and hiking the Fundy Footpath or in the Rockies


Without the generous support of my partners, there would be no bestseller, no website, no speaking tours, and a lot less people thinking about Canada.  A big beaver hug to Ford CanadaVIA RailParks CanadaTourism SaskatchewanNew BrunswickQuebec, and Prince Edward IslandTravel Manitoba,  Great Canadian Trails  and Keen Footwear

Interested in sponsoring an upcoming tour?  Just holler.


If you’re going to like just one page on Facebook,  be patriotic and like mine.  Why?  Because it’s a source of national pride. Also, I spend hours looking for good Canadian stuff to post. Like 19 Things You Didn’t Know were Invented in Canada. Or the fact that other choices for Canada’s name included New Britannia, Laurentia, Ursalia, Vesporia, Cabotia and Niagarentia. Yikes!  I’m on Instagram. I’m on TwitterAnd I’m posting new stories to my Canadian Bucket List and personal blog regularly. Ursalia.  Seriously!

Wow, I am knackered!  This summer, not only did I visit Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut andSaskatchewan, but I also cruised down the Amazon River and went snorkelling with marine iguanas in the Galapagos.

My daughter Raquel assures me that if I don’t take a break, her Dolly is gonna get it.  And as you can see from this photo, she means business!

Great Canadian Bucket List