Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why travel?

This is Robin Esrock. He's been to 107 countries since 2005.

A few weeks ago I met this guy and his lovely wife Anna at a house party. We got chatting, and I asked him about the hat he was wearing. It looked like a faded old Australian outback hat that he said had been all around the world with him and that it was time to let it go because it had seen better days.

Anna is due to give birth to their first child imminently, and the hat wasn't exactly clean (and had even picked up some radiation at Chernobyl). So, like any good adventurer, he took it out to the backyard to give it the only respectful end a good hat can have – with a ceremonial burning. I'm sure either hairspray or lighter fluid was used to speed things along, but it sure did go up in a blaze of glory.

Back inside, we formally introduced ourselves and I learned his name is Robin Esrock. The Robin Esrock. As in and the TV series World Travels, seen in more than 100 countries in 21 languages. He's led an incredible life, and yet he really does seem to be just like anybody else. I really enjoyed what he had to say about where he's been and where he's at now. When he told me he and Anna live in Burnaby the lightbulb went off, and I thought, hey, I could write a feature about this guy for the paper I'm working at. So I did. You can read it here.

Sometimes being a journalist working for the mass media really is the (second) best job in the world, and a serendipitous job to have when you get the opportunity to interview one of the last great travel writers working today.

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