Do you have a lifelong dream of hiking Spain's Camino de Santiago, riding a horse through the plains of Mongolia or climbing a 200-foot tree in the California Redwoods?

According to Vancouver-based travel writer Robin Esrock, bucket lists have been part of the human condition for a long time, and it's never too late — or too early — to start making travel plans.

"We've always had this powerful desire to want to go to certain places and do certain things," he said. "It's been with us forever."

Esrock has hunted down unique experiences in 100 countries on seven continents and turned them into a book titled The Great Global Bucketlist. He joined host Gloria Macarenko on CBC's BC Almanac to share some of his tales — and offer tips for bucket listers looking to make the most of their travels.

Australia Reef Dredging

A woman snorkels on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's Queensland state. (Queensland Tourism/The Associated Press)

1. Pack all your senses

Sights, sounds, tastes and smells — there's a lot to experience aside from just rich and vivid scenery.

"Travel is completely personal, the way we experience it," he said, adding that there's been a shift away from the typical beachside hotel resort. "Travellers are often looking for something more meaningful."

Esrock says by bringing together food, culture, nature, adventure — and even embracing the quirkyness of a particular place — your travel memories can really stand out.

"If you can combine all those things together — to me, you've got a bucket list experience.

Travel-2016 Lookahead

This Oct. 5, 2015 photo shows the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, over the Norwegian town of Harstad. (Gregorio Borgia/The Associated Press)

2. They can be social experiences

Whether you're wine tasting in the Napa Valley, on a cross-Canada cycling tour or running with the bulls in Pamplona — a lot of bucket list plans stem from personal dreams.

But Esrock says that shouldn't rule out bringing family or friends along or embracing the company you meet along the way. They can shape the moment that you're having and make it more memorable.

"It's so much about the people that you meet that create the paradise you find," said Esrock. "Any experience is only as special as the people you share it with," he said.

Spain Running of the Bulls

Revellers run in front of Jandilla's fighting bulls as they go on the way of the Estafeta corner during the fifth running of the bulls at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain, Monday, July 11, 2016. (Alvaro Barrientos/The Associated Press)

3. Keep an open mind

"I find my best things when I'm not out looking for them," he said. "Pack that open sense of adventure, an open heart and an open mind and nothing will go wrong," he said.

You shouldn't be dissuaded if things go wrong. They will only impact you negatively if you let it, says Esrock.

"Wherever you are is where you're supposed to be. So if you're in some place, and you're enjoying it, stop thinking how much more amazing it would be if you were wearing something else with someone else, if the weather was different — it's where you are, so enjoy it while it lasts," he said.

On The Money-Travel Rewards Cards

A paddleboarder looks our over the Pacific Ocean as the sun sets off Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. (The Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster)

To hear more about Esrock's travels and learn about some neat destinations, click on the audio labelled: Vancouver travel writer offers his guide to global bucket-listing


With files from CBC's BC Almanac