Robin Esrock’s success as a global adventurer, travel writer, TV producer and international TV personality was no accident, although it did start with one. Struck down on his bike at a Vancouver intersection, Robin hobbled away with a broken kneecap, and one year later, a modest $20,000 insurance settlement. It was just enough for him pack up his things, quit his job, and set off on a one-year solo round-the-world backpacking adventure to 24 countries. Committed to record his year of living dangerously, he named his journey Modern Gonzo, uploading weekly reports, photography, videos, reviews, and interviews with every person he met. In doing so, he pioneered a new era of multi-platform, switched-on and wired-in travel journalism, leading to adventures beyond his wildest dreams.
Robin could look back on several careers before stumbling upon this exciting new one. He rode the new media boom in the late 90’s, working in London for the Sunday Times, BBC, Reuters and FilmFour. In Canada, he founded a record label before working in a music agency with clients including Coldplay, Norah Jones and Bryan Adams. Once he discovered travel writing, his own star took the spotlight.
Robin’s stories have been since been published in over a dozen major publications worldwide, including National Geographic Traveler, The Globe & Mail, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Sydney Morning Herald and South China Morning Post. ForbesTravel, MSNBC and Travel+Leisure magazine named him among the top adventure writers in North America. He has been profiled by the CBC, CTV, Global, Breakfast Television, CNN and many others, consulted regularly as a travel expert. Robin has written regular columns for the Globe & Mail, The Vancouver Sun, MSN, Outpost Magazine, Sympatico.ca, Bell’s The Loop, Chill Magazine, and other publications.
Noticing the fascination and misconceptions surrounding the profession of travel writing, Robin conceived what became the first TV series to show the truth behind the byline. Word Travels took Robin and co-host Julia Dimon to 36 countries on 6 continents, filming 40 action-packed half hour episodes. In addition to hosting, Robin developed, wrote, and co-produced the show. Nominated for a Best Documentary Series Gemini Award, the show airs on National Geographic International and Travel Channel International in over 100 countries and 21 languages. In Canada, it has become a popular fixture on OLN, FX, and CityTV, also airing on TVB in China, and Outside TV, Hulu, and the Halogen Network in the USA.
Robin created the award-winning adventure-culinary show Get Stuffed (OLN/CityTV), has produced multimedia projects for the Canadian Tourism Commission, and written creative copy for clients including Toyota, and Bell Media. In 2012, he was honoured as Master of Ceremonies at the prestigious Explorer’s Club Annual Dinner at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City, sharing the stage with the likes of Buzz Aldrin and Ken Burns. Robin also spoke about the wonderful lessons of travel at the world’s largest-ever TEDx event in Vancouver. In 2015, Robin was named as one of Gear Junkies Outdoor Ambassadors, a list of adventurers, inventors and athletes from the past 110 years. The list also includes Ernest Shackleton, Eddie Bauer, Robert Baden-Powell, GoPro inventor Nick Woodman and Steve Irwin. Robin is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.
In 2016, Harper Collins Canada and Affirm Press published The Great Global Bucket List, which quickly became an international bestseller. Robin is also the author of 75 Places to Take the Kids (before they don’t want to go), a hilarious, inspiring and honest guide to the best family travel in Australia.
Scuba diving in Papua New Guinea, racing Lamborghinis in Italy, volcano boarding in Nicaragua – it’s all in a day’s work. Having now visited over 100 countries on 7 continents, Robin continues to write, blog, tweet, and film his ongoing adventures. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two children. Living proof that sometimes, life is just an accident waiting to happen.