Meet our Presenters
"I Hate Robin Esrock!" Much like the envious journalist who opened a magazine profile with the very words above, it’s easy to hate Robin Esrock. After all, Robin has journeyed to nearly 100 countries on 6 continents, getting paid to discover exotic destinations, and throw himself into thrilling, unforgettable adventures. Thing is, Robin is “friendly, easygoing, with a backpack full of wisdom and experience.” That’s why you hate him. He might well be one of the luckiest bastards on earth, but it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.
Robin literally fell into travel writing by accident. Struck down on his bike at a Vancouver intersection, he hobbled away with a broken kneecap, and a $20,000 insurance settlement. Looking back on several careers spanning marketing and music, he decided to quit his job, sell his stuff, and fulfill a lifelong dream of seeing the world. He called his one-year journey Modern Gonzo, in tribute to Hunter S. Thompson’s “anything-goes” journalism, and his own insatiable thirst for over-the-top adventure. Drawing on a career that spanned media, marketing and music, Robin was determined to share his adventures with anyone who wanted to follow.
Five years later and still on the road, Robin has helped pioneer the modern travel blog. His stories have also been published in over a dozen major newspapers worldwide (including the Chicago Tribune, South China Morning Post, Sydney Morning Herald, Toronto Star, and Dubai Gulf News). With trademark hat, wit and enthusiasm, this South African-nadian has also become an accomplished public speaker, the resident travel guru for Sympatico.ca and Breakfast TV, and the daredevil Thrillseeker columnist for Outpost Magazine.
In 2007, Robin conceived the idea for a TV show, giving birth to Word Travels. Together with fellow travel writer Julia Dimon, it is the first series to reveal the warts-n-all secret life of travel writers, filmed on location in 36 countries. Set on fire in Taiwan, radioactive in Chernobyl, heli-yoga in the Rockies, racing supercars in Italy, volcano boarding in Nicaragua, visiting all seven New Wonders of the World, bungee jumping a TV Tower in Macao - it’s all in a day’s work for Robin. Word Travels, broadcast by CityTV and OLN in Canada, and in over 50 countries worldwide by National Geographic Adventure, has exposed Robin to millions of viewers. And while he always hurls himself into the story, the Modern Gonzo abides by a humble mantra: Inform, Entertain, and Inspire those who dare to dream.
Online, Esrock continues to shine, updating his popular blog (moderngonzo.com) with writing and photography, hilarious Youtube clips (his visit to the World’s Most Dangerous Hike in China has nearly 300,000 views), and bringing you along for the ride through Facebook and Twitter. “Mr Been There” uses any media - be it print, broadcast, online or social media - to tell us that the world is a beautiful, wonderful and exciting place to be. As viewers and readers continue to live vicariously through his global antics, we can’t hate him for that.