Climbing ladders on the West Coast Trail |  <i>The Great Canadian Bucket List</i>

Our Ambassador

We are thrilled to present Great Canadian Trails’ Ambassador.


Robin Esrock is a pioneer in the world of blogging and online travel video. He jumped onto the new media boom in the late 90’s, as an exciting way to share his incredible adventures while travelling around the world (over 100 countries). Robin’s stories have been published in major newspapers and magazines worldwide, landing him amongst the top adventure writers in North America.

Some of you will remember him as the creator and co-host of Word Travels, a 40-part adventure series seen on OLN/CityTV in Canada, and on National Geographic and Travel Channel International.

More recently, after spending years visiting every province and territory, Robin launched The Great Canadian Bucket List – a personal investigation into the unique, epic, inspiring, one-of-a-kind experiences everyone should add to their bucket list. The book fast became a bestseller and if you haven’t yet read it, you’re really missing out

Let’s hear what he has to say about travelling in Canada.

You’ve traveled across Canada for the Great Canadian Bucket List project – In your opinion, what are the top 3 “must-dos” on a visit to Canada?

That’s a tough one, because a: I discovered Canada has well over a hundred must-dos, and b: travel is as personal as your choice of underwear. But if I had to pick my own Top 3, it would be sailing in Haida Gwaii, cycling across Prince Edward Island, and exploring the Canadian Rockies by car, kayak or snowboard!

What do you think travellers will find surprising when they visit Canada for the first time?

They will have heard it’s a big country, but they won’t realize just how big until they get here. Such size brings diversity – in landscapes, in culture, in attractions. Few destinations can match Canada’s natural beauty, but visitors will be pleasantly surprised just how welcoming and friendly the locals are too.

You have a fantastic sense of discovery Robin. What are your top tips for travelers to get the most out of their trips?

The most important piece of advice I can give is to drop the expectations. Your experience will be unique, so there’s no point trying to replicate what you might have seen or read (my own books included!) Travel with an open heart and an open mind. Roll with the weather, make friends, try the local dishes, breathe deep, and relish the moments. Also, never pass up the opportunity to use the bathroom!

Best National Parks in Canada?

In no particular order: Gwaii Haanas, Gros Morne, Banff, Prince Albert, Prince Edward Island National Park, Cape Breton, Pacific Rim, Fundy National Park, Wood Buffalo, Bruce Peninsula.

How would you describe the East Coast experience vs the West Coast?

They are different parts of the world, geographically and culturally. So much so it’s hard to believe you’re in the same country (especially when you hear some of the accents in Newfoundland!) The West Coast is like a forest moon – huge trees, snowcapped mountains and gemstone lakes. The East Coast is shaped by the Atlantic – icebergs, ragged coastline and clapboard fishing villages. Natural attractions rule the west, while the east is wonderfully infused with culture.

Where was best for…

1. Food…

Lobster on the Bay of Fundy,. Vancouver has the best value and quality sushi on the continent. Don’t think about leaving Montreal before you’ve tried a smoked meat sandwich and a plate of poutine …

2. People…

I’m always blown away by the genuine, warm, authentic and spirited people I meet in Atlantic Canada and the prairies. …

3. Hiking…

The Rockies (no shortage of trails there!) and Vancouver Island. …

4. Cycling…

Downhill mountain biking doesn’t get any better than in BC. For more leisurely multi-day rides (on par with something you might find in Tuscany), look no further than PEI, Niagara and BC’s Okanagan Valley…

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