Travel daydreams :: The Great Canadian Bucket List


Isn’t it fun to daydream about travel? Recently, I was browsing the shelves of my neighbourhood bookstore and came across this little gem, The Great Canadian Bucket List. I immediately grabbed a Salted Caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks (my weakness), sunk into a comfy chair, and got lost in travel heaven.

Robin Esrock’s life as a world traveler, travel writer, and international TV personality started with an accident. In 2005, a car ran him down at a Vancouver intersection, he hobbled away with a broken kneecap, and one year later, a modest $20,000 insurance settlement. He decided to pack his bags and set off on a year-long journey around the world to tackle his bucket list. He saw 24 countries in 12 months.

His travel blog became legendary and his stories got published around the world. Through his adventures, he’s inspired millions around the world through his books, blog, and on social media. Robin is the creator, co-writer, and co-host of the critically-acclaimed adventure series, Word Travels. The series follows Robin and co-host Julia Dimon to 36 countries on 6 continents and takes us behind the lens and reveals the real story of professional travel journalism. The series now airs in over 100 countries on Travel Channel International, Nat Geo Adventure, F/X, CityTV (Canada).

Now 109 countries later, the Vancouver-based travel writer noticed that something was missing. When he created his first bucket list, he never thought to include areas of the country in which he lived. Like himself, he realized that Canadians would rather jet off to Europe, the Caribbean, or Asia than explore their own backyard. In an attempt to change that, he spent years traveling to every Canadian province and territory to compile this Canadian bucket list and decided to share with the world the once-in-a-lifetime experiences Canada has to offer.

I for one am really grateful that he did.

These are my top picks from his book so far:

Survive a cold sauna

Ice Lab

Plan a trip to North America’s first cold sauna which provides cryotherapy treatment. Spend three minutes in this -110C room (yikes!) and experience the ultimate body recharge at Sparkling Hill Resort located in British Columbia’s Okanagan. It’s pretty much like freezing to death, only it’s healthy for you. Would you give it a try?

Dream in a dream dome

Dream in a dream dome

Ridgeback’s Dream Domes in New Brunswick where you’ll be surrounded by 185 acres of wild forest, a comfy king size bed, small kitchenette, luxurious bathroom, BBQ, and wood stove for the cold winter months. Glamping is definitely my style.:) Bonus: your very own, private wood-fired Japanese hot tub!

Float in Canada’s Dead Sea

Situated about 116 km southeast of Saskatoon is a lake that refuses to let anyone drown in it. Little Manitou has a mineral density three-times saltier than the ocean. Float effortlessly while sipping on a cold drink or reading a paperback. No big deal.

See polar bears in the wild

Polar bears

Tundra buggy

Head to Churchill, Manitoba to witness polar bears in the wild. Customized tundra buggies, with heat furnaces, toilets, and extra high viewing decks roam the rough tundra as predominately male polar bears wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze over. The bears aren’t afraid to approach you and will hop on their hind legs to literally fog up your camera lens with their breath. How cool is that?

Cross Canada in the Canadian

The Canadian

Hop on The Canadian, VIA Rail’s signature train journey and spend four relaxing days traveling from Toronto to Vancouver. The train features comfortable sleeping cars, double-storey panoramic dome cars, and outstanding dining. Watch as the country’s stunning landscapes zip by – the Ontario lakes, the prairies, and the majestic Rockies. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime to me!

If you plan on traveling to Canada in the near future or if you’re a Canadian looking to get to know your home better, I’d highly recommend picking up this book.

What books have you been eyeing lately? If you’re stumped on what book you should pick up next, check out this amazing website, What should I read next? Simply type in a book you like and the site will analyze its huge database of real readers’ favorite books to provide book recommendations.

Be sure to check out Esrock’s brilliant blog.

(All photos and information via The Great Canadian Bucket List)

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