There is A LOT of information about travel. Out there, On line. So much so that I don’t need to SCREAM. In just a few tip-taps on your keyboard, you can find where to stay, where to eat, how much things cost, when to go, and occasionally, what odour the tour guide reeked of (garlic usually, Marmite on occasion). As websites, blogs and platforms like TripAdvisor have blown up - incinerating guidebooks along the way - the flood of information has been overwhelming. Several years ago, I recognized that before anyone decides to take on an activity or destination, they’ll probably need to know why they should do it in the first place. Information is important, but inspiration must come first. And meaningful inspiration, the kind sprouts a seed in your soul, requires more than a thumb-flip on Instagram. It requires real stories told by real people doing real things that you can actually do.
This was the logic behind my first project – The Great Canadian Bucket List. It consisted of a book grounded in personal experience, full of characters, history, humour, striking photography and gee-whizz trivia. I felt that narrative inspiration could best be enjoyed in print (or an e-book), linking to an extensive informational-based companion site, with a full deck of social media channels, a regular blog, and dozens of fun videos too. In four years, we’ve sold over 60,000 copies, attracted over 80,000 social followers, and about 40,000 unique visitors a month visit www.canadianbucketlist.com. My bucket list generated enormous media interest and led to expanded new editions, which topped Canada’s Travel category for years. On Amazon, it took poll position in the History, Arts and Photography and yes, Guidebook charts as well. Ironic, because guidebooks are full of information, and this is a book of stories. It is a brick of inspiration to inspire meaningful journeys and magnificent bucket lists. And now it is coming to Australia.
After brisk sales of my next book – The Great Global Bucket List – I was approached with an offer to apply the same model to the mythical land down under. I turned it down. With two young kids, I simply could not leave home for the lengthy research trip it would require to do the project any justice. But Australia’s fastest growing publisher, Affirm Press, sees opportunities where others stumble on hurdles. Said Affirm: what if I bring my family along for the journey, and write a second book about surviving bucket list travel with the kids? There’s few titles out there like it, and would it not make an inspiring, useful, and hilariously honest tale? A book and digital platform with the potential to inspire parents far beyond the shores of Australia?
Fate, listening behind the wall with a glass pressed to its furry ear, decided this would be a tremendous idea.
From early December to June 2018, the Esrocks –Ana, Raquel, li’l Galileo, myself and our wonderful production partner Cat - will be travelling to every state and territory to share the experiences one must do, and can only do, in Australia before kicking the bucket. The Great Australian Bucket List book and website will launch in October 2018, and while the family travel book will only hit the shelves in 2019, you’ll be able to follow us from Day One on the EsrockingKids digital channels listed below.
Since modern publishing advances would barely get us to Sydney, we approached terrific sponsors and partners to help make the Australian Bucket List a reality. I’ve been a proud Ford Motors ambassador for several years, and am delighted to have Ford Australia as our presenting partner, allowing us to Go Further than we could ever have imagined. Jetstar Airways is helping us get around the country in the limited time we have, as they do with smart locals and visitors every day. For accommodation, we sought a national partner that understands the importance of comfort, space and location. Look no further than Oaks Hotels and Resorts, who have 46 outstanding properties across the continent (and New Zealand too, where we’ll be popping in for a week). I’ve worked with World Expeditions for several years, a visionary outdoor adventure agency that specialize in bucket list hikes, bikes, treks and kayaks. I’ve been wearing and swearing by Keen shoes since the start of my career, and they are continuing to help us follow our feet. Our eyes will conquer the bright Australian sun thanks to the outrageously cool Sunshades Eyewear, and we’ll be dressed for adventure thanks to the folks at Rip Curl, Lululemon and Under Armour. Travelling as light as we are, the aptly named Move Yourself is providing trailers for our gear, including a pop-up screen for inspiring bucket list presentations wherever we go. And special thanks to Victorinox Swiss Army for providing the right kind of baggage to see us through.
At this point, I’m just going to scream out the window in a blend of excitement, anxiety, terror, and joy (the kids are the primary reason behind the anxiety and terror part, but as any parent knows, will make up a significant amount of the joy too). [………………]
Thank you, I’m back.
I expect to write lines like: “Only the journey allows you to ultimately recognize the destination” and “Gali is picking the nose of a dead kangaroo" and "scuba diving a sinkhole in Victoria, pure bucket list!" and "Raquel is riding a Huntsman spider like a bronc horse.” We look forward to discovering the landscape, mysteries, history, culture, food, quirks and characters of Australia. And I look forward to sharing our adventures with you in the online passenger seat.
Launching December 10th:
Instagram: @AusBucketList, @EsrockingKids
Twitter: @AusBucketList, @EsrockingKids, @RobinEsrock
www.esrockingkids.com - our daily family travel scrapbook
Launching October 2018:
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After many years running a behemoth of a blog called Modern Gonzo, I've decided to a: publish a book or eight, and b: make my stories more digestible, relevant, and deserving of your battered attention.
Here you will find some of my adventures to over 100 countries, travel tips and advice, rantings, ravings, commentary, observations and ongoing adventures.