Forget the out-of-date currency converters and restaurant recommendations, The Great Global Bucket List is the guide for the modern traveller. Charting the wildest and most wonderful experiences the world can offer, it's the ultimate list of things to do before you die, or die trying.
For over a decade, renowned travel journalist, bestselling author and TV host Robin Esrock scoured the globe in search of one-of-a-kind, bucket list-worthy experiences. During his remarkable journey to over 100 countries on seven continents, Esrock uncovered unique adventures, fascinating histories, cultural spectacles, natural wonders, hilarious situations and unforgettable characters – proving that modern travel is so much more than just over-trafficked tourist attractions.
From the Amazon jungle to the beaches of Zanzibar, The Great Global Bucket List presents the world that we don't hear much about in the news: a planet that is strikingly beautiful, thought-provoking, incredibly diverse and sometimes just very, very funny. With his trademark wit, photography and insight, Esrock introduces the inspiring experiences you'll be talking and dreaming about for many years to come.
Top picks for thrillseekers:
• cage dive with crocodiles in South Africa
• discover space tourism in Russia's Star City
• zip-line off the Great Wall of China
• camp out on the ice in Antarctica
• Swim in underground waterfalls in Belize
• sandboard down an active volcano in Nicaragua
Robin Esrock's stories and photography have been published in major publications worldwide including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Chicago Times, The Globe and Mail, Msn.com, National Geographic and The Guardian. The creator and co-host of the 40-part series Word Travels, Robin has seen his adventures broadcast in over 100 countries on Travel Channel and National Geographic International. A pioneering blogger and popular speaker, he is the bestselling author of The Great Canadian Bucket List. Robin lives with his wife and family in Vancouver. Visit him at www.robinesrock.com
The Great Global Bucket List
Author: Robin Esrock
Question: What inspired you to write The Great Global Bucket List?
Robin Esrock: Over ten years ago, on my way to work, I was run down by car that didn't see a Stop sign. I was fortunate enough to hobble away with a broken knee-cap, which I call "the luckiest break in my life." Before the year was out, I received a $20,000 insurance settlement, and a wake-up call that my big life adventure might have ended before it really began. I quit my job and went travelling, starting a blog that morphed into newspaper and magazine stories and, quite outrageously, a hosting gig for a National Geographic travel series. It presented an incredible opportunity to continue to expand and tick off my ever growing bucket list, chasing unique experiences in over 100 countries. When it came time to write a book, I wanted to focus on inspiration rather than information. To create a new type of guidebook with pages that leak with fun, characters, humour, history, striking images and trivia. All the practical info, along with videos and galleries, would sit on a companion site (globalbucketlist.com). Whether they're kids leaving high school or college, retired parents or a couple looking for adventure, my hope is that readers of all ages will be entertained, informed and inspired.
Question: Can you talk about the research that went into The Great Global Bucket List?
Robin Esrock: This is a road tested bucket list. I personally ticked off 95% of the experiences in the book, placing them in context, imparting wit and observations, sharing the moments Sure you can write a guidebook researching Wikipedia, but you have to visit the Peruvian Amazon to taste armoured catfish broth or northern Canada to feel the hot breath of wild polar bear fog up your camera lens. You have to travel to interact with the most important facet of any great journey: the people you end up sharing your adventures with. I've now visited 110 countries on seven continents, and although the book is handsomely solid, I couldn't squeeze it all in. I focused on the truly unique experiences (take a dip in a Colombian mud volcano!) and left out some of the more hokey tourist traps.
Question: If we could only tick off a couple on the bucket list - what would you suggest?
Robin Esrock: It's expensive as hell but everyone should have the opportunity to visit Antarctica and the high Arctic. The beauty and remoteness rattles your bones. The Galapagos lives up to its hype. Hiking the Inca Trail, Jerusalem, Iceland, the Masai Mara...the great thing about chasing Bucket Lists is you tick one off the top, and three more pop up at the bottom.
Question: Which experience scared you the most and why?
Robin Esrock: The world's highest commercial bungee jump is in Macau. When it comes to this kind of thing, you really don't want to think too much about it, or stand too long on the platform. Unfortunately, we were filming a TV show, so my director had me stand on the edge of a 233-metre TV Tower for a half hour to get the shots she needed. My bladder still swells just thinking about it. Worth noting is that I've never been violently sick, attacked, or robbed in all my travels. There's certainly been some hair-raising moments, but a big smile, common sense, and a deep breath has always seen me through.
Interview by Brooke Hunter