For the first time in a very long time, I don't have much travel booked, as I prepare for the arrival of an important character in the ongoing Adventures of Esrock. Serendipitously, I stumbled across an old notebook which listed the highlights from much of my travels over the last decade. It's a good as time as any for some reflection, a list of a life well lived (hopefully with plenty to go). When I left high school, if someone would have said: "Robin, you will do all these things before you turn 40" I would have laughed so hard ice-cream would eject out my nostrils, even if I wasn't eating any. Which all goes to show: Anything is possible.
Hiking the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, eating fresh ceviche on the beach.
Mountain biked the world’s most dangerous road (twice), crossed the Salar De Uyuni (the world’s biggest salt desert) in a 4×4, overnight on a catamaran on Lake Titicaca.
Climbed an erupting volcano (Villarica), sandboarding in the Atacama Desert, catboarding in the Andes, getting lost on my bike in the Valley of the Moon.
Climbing and river rafting in Patagonia, partying in Buenos Aires, eating those huge steaks just about everywhere.
Hanggliding over Rio, visiting Iguazu Falls, relaxing in Jericoacoara, Sunday nights in Olinda, sailing off Salvador, Carnaval in Rio, New Year's Eve at a super club near Florianopolis, the Pantanal.
Visiting the bone church of Kutna Hora Sedlec, listening to sweet jazz on the Charles Bridge, absinthe adventures with old hippies and errant US soldiers in the countryside.
Kayaking and swimming in the Dalmatian Coast, paintballing on the Serbia-Croatia border.
Milking Ilir’s cow, visiting the abandoned castle in Gijirokaster, and hitching through the countryside.
Swimming with wild dolphins, being chased by a tapir, seeing a pink river dolphin while swimming in piranha infested waters, abseiling off a waterfall.
The red wine, olives and sunsets of Santarini, island hopping, smuggling contraband into Corfu.
Paragliding over the sparkling Med in Olu Deniz, exploring Cappadocia, and sunset on a boat in Koycegiz, sunrise with 2000-year old statues atop Mount Nemrut.
The world's highest bungee jump (off a TV tower), gambling in Macao, underground alley cat bike racing on Halloween.
Paragliding in the Julien Alps, ringing the bells on the island in Lake Bled.
Dune buggying in the desert, high tea at the Burj Dubai hotel, sandboarding.
Yoga on the Ganges, seeing the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, getting a tattoo in Goa, Mumbai and New Delhi, Taj Mahal.
Riverboats in the jungles of Borneo, playing with monkeys, tigers, crocodiles, eagles and iguanas, eating nasi kinder curries, Penang,
Singing Karaoke, meeting the Harajuku girls, being pushed inside a train.
Meeting locals along the South Coast, a visit to a Rastafarian village in the Blue Mountains, Weddy Weddy in Kingston, birdwatching and fishing with locals.
The lantern festival in Chiang Mai, riding an elephant,the buzz of Khao San Road, late nights in Pai.
The two-day slowboat down the Mekong, exploring temples by bicycle in Luang Prabang, tubing the river bars in Vangvyieng
Burning coconuts at the Katharagama Festival, picking tea in the Highlands of Ceylon.
Exploring the temples of Angkor, firing an Ak-47, visiting the Killing Fields and S-21 prison, massages on the beach in Sihanoukville.
Climbing the 72m tree in Western Australia, meeting kangaroos in Tasmania, cricket at the SCG, connecting with family and friends in Sydney.
Spending a night in Chernobyl, pressing the button at a former top secret Soviet nuclear missile base.
Skydived, Swooped, Zorbed, rafted the world’s highest vertical drop, speed races, Agrojetted, Bodyflying, mountain biking, 4×4′d, and lugeing in Queenstown and Rotorua.
Spearfishing giant lobster and hunting deer.
Taking shelter from a tropical storm.
Zipgliding the Great Wall of China, stumbling on Tiananman Square at dawn, visiting Mount Hua and the Yellow Mountain, cruising up the Yangtze River
Learning a medieval martial art, drinking homemade wine out of a horn, mock battles in real castles.
Galloping on the plains, camping in a traditional gur.
Petra, exploring Amman, the Dead Sea (from the other side)
A week in a luxury ocean-villa
Swimming in Lake Baikal, Siberia, doing the Trans-Siberia Railway, exploring St Petersburg by foot, Star City, the Moscow State Circus.
Learning to meditate in a Buddhist temple, meeting Dr Fish, teaching English to school kids.
Hunting winter sun and avoiding bombshells.
Absinthe and Christiania in Copenhagen, biking with a beer in Arhus
Papua New Guinea
Learning to scuba dive with the Scuba Diver Girls
Getting the Fire Doctor treatment, Yiheu Geological Park, Taipei 101, a toilet-themed restaurant
A week with the moose on “Moose Mountain”.
Learning how to kitesurf and upright paddleboard with a Bajan world champion, making barracuda ceviche, learning to play polo.
Camped in an old Nazi bunker in Narvik, under the midnight sun in the Arctic circle, bathing in fjords, partying in Bergen.
Camping on the beaches of Nungwe, getting lost in Stone Town
Bullet proof vests in Bogota, the mud volcano of youth outside of Cartagena
Being rescued by a mountain shaman, dancing on a bus roof in Quito
Swimming in a rock pool overlooking Victoria Falls, and flying up north for an afternoon.
Finding my grandfather's old village, learning about my past, dressing like a knight in Vilnius.
Swimming in the king’s sacred rock pool, meeting a hippo, smuggling contraband.
Finding my grandmother’s village, the haunting visit to Auschwitz.
The Migration of the Wildebeest in Masai Mara National Park, helping the Flying Doctors with a medical evacuation.
El Nido, Palawan, Jeepnies in Manila (and everywhere else), Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Bicol, diving with Thresher sharks off Malapascua Island, Cebu
Lalibela, and tribe watching in the Omo Valley.
Caving with underground waterfalls, riverboating to jungle ruins, meeting an odd village of Mennonites.
Working on a kibbutz, floating in the Dead Sea, climbing Masada, clubbing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Riding a camel by the pyramids in Giza, snorkeling the Blue Hole in Dahab, belly dancing in Cairo, dirt biking in the Sinai.
Vagabonding and hustling my way at the Edinburgh Festival, exploring the Highlands
Running with bulls in the Azores, blindfolded walking tours in Lisbon, wine tour along the Douro, Porto, Halloween in a haunted 17th century hacienda
Living in London for a couple years, and all that comes with it, oh, Cornwall, spending a romantic night in an old castle.
Getting growled at on New Years Eve in Abergavanny.
New Year’s Eve in Temple Bar, visiting Belfast during a security alert, drinking Guinness from the source.
Romance, the Louvre in Paris, Jim Morrison’s grave, the red carpet in Cannes, the Rugby World Cup.
Gambling in a casino in Monte Carlo.
Art Nouveau building watching, backstage at one of the world's oldest circuses, chasing stag parties in Riga.
Diving, hiking with Pa, paradise islands, midnight scooter runs around Rarotonga, bush pub in Atiu, magic in Atitaki.
Michaelangelo’s David in Florence, the Vatican, pizzas and toga parties in Rome, driving a Lamborghini and a Ferrari near Modena, real Balsamic vinegar, toga party in Rome.
Too much beer at a beer hall in Munich, exploring the Rhine.
A disastrous yet fun train ride to Amsterdam, where the memories are still pretty fuzzy.
Running about with the Hash House Harriers of Bucharest, dancing in Cluj Napoca, overnight in a traditional Transylvanian village.
Gaspacho in Valencia, the smell of olive oil in the air at Grenada, meeting the Black Crowes in a Barcelona cafe.
The United States
Mardi Gras 2000, driving through Nevada, Arizona and Utah in a red convertible, Vegas parts I, II, III and IV, Alaska, rally racing the Oregan coastline in a vintage Porsche, Burning Man 2010/2012, Explorer's Club gala in New York.
Wrestling in the ring with Luchedores, Guadalajara, Manu Chao in Mexico City, backpacking the Yucatan Peninsula.
Getting smoked in traditional and public sauna, riding a rollercoaster with a manual handbrake, getting frugal in Helsinki
The Garden Route, the Drakensburg, Nambiti Hills, walking with a lion, bungee jumping in Gouritz River, a night in the Lost City, swimming with crocodiles, cage diving with Great White Sharks.
See: The Great Canadian Bucket List
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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.