Introducing the Explore British Columbia Summer Blog Trip!

Good day,

I’ve been waiting to tell all of you about this adventure for so long, I literally had to rip the zipper off my pants and sew it on my face not to tell anyone over the past few weeks. It was even worse at TBEX  but I managed  to keep my mouth glued and here we are!  SHABL is going to British Columbia for a solid month starting June 23rd and things are going to GET CRAZY.  Think about what you think you know about a press trip then look at that little light carried by Will Smith in the movie Men in Black and forget it. Things are changing and SHABL is proud, honored and incredibly excited to be on the front lines for this innovative initiative!

What’s happening you ask!? Well the pleasant people at Tourism BC have developed two groups of bloggers who we’ll call team Eagle and Team Orca (me!). Team Eagle consists of a couple from Ontario named Dina & Ryan who write for VagabondQuest. The other team aka the one I’m on is called team Orca and it will consist of myself and Brendan from Brendan’s Adventures. I’ve never met Brendan but he did just come back from West Africa so I know we’ll at least be eating flavored ice-cream on this trip. I do know that I’ll know a lot more after a month as we’ll be spending quite a bit of time together. We’ll be discovering British Columbia in a rental car, yes we’re going on an epic west coast road trip AND MORE.

Enough of this though, why am I so excited? I’m stoked because I love British Columbia and when I first started my trip, I spent a month or so out there just soaking it all in like a sponge named Rob, not Bob. I love it so much that before this even materialized, I had already made plans to spend the end of August and most of September in and around Vancouver and Victoria. To say I nearly freaked out when I got the email in my inbox on that fateful day would be an understatement.  What’s also awesome is that the route Brendan and I are taking is very unique and I believe that most people who have been to BC, even many times will find something new and exciting.

Let’s discuss some itinerary, shall we? Without giving away the goods just know that I’ll be all over Vancouver Island, hanging out in Tofino for Canada Day (come say what’s up, seriously) , doing the grizzly bear experience in Khutzeymateen,  a gliding adventure in Pemberton, whale watching in Telegraph Cove and MORE. What also makes this unique is that many decisions will be made by the fans of Tourism BC. So if you like them, you can help decide where I go this summer and what I do, cool?

What can you expect from me? Well, I’ll be busy with all this travel so expect to see 2-3 posts every 6 months and the odd hotel review, NOT. SHABL is going to do what it has done every day for nearly 3 years and what it does best, documenting an egregious trip in real time in a style that is informative and at times, entertaining. By the end of this trip, we’re all going to be experts on the British Columbia nobody ever really hears about. Dina and Ryan will be covering the more iconic sites as this is their first visit. As long term visitors, Brendan and I are off to see the side that gets less discussion.

Naturally I’ve left out most of the cool stuff, I want it to be a surprise. Nothing like a good surprise, yes!?

I want you to join in and help direct the trip, will ya? Visit the Tourism BC Facebook page and get involved!

Tips hat while tap dancing on a Toshiba from Thailand.

P.S: The trip will also include golfing, fishing, white-water rafting and a gliding adventure!?

P.P.S: All these photos are from the month I spent in BC when the trip first started in 2009…

P.P.P.S: Big thanks to Tourism BC for including SHABL on such an adventure, appreciated!


  1. SJH

    June 21, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Never been to BC, but have been along its coastline on a ferry from Washington State to Juneau, AK. Beautiful country, quite similar to Southeast Alaska where I’ve spent quite a bit of time. Glad to know we’ll be hearing all about your epic adventures. What do they say about good things happening to good people? My friend, you must be doing something right! Get ready to gorge yourself on fresh seafood…salmon, halibut…my mouth is already watering.

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 7:12 am


      Good to hear from you, we’ll actually be crossing through the southern tip of Alaska so you may see some things that remind you. Also plan on eating so much salmon that I’ll have enough omega 3 for a lifetime.

      Thanks for the kind words and as always, stay tuned!

  2. Michael

    June 21, 2012 at 7:27 am

    There is only one person I know who can document such a trip in a manner that would keep me coming back everyday to know more about what BC has to offer, and that is the SHABL donkey himself. Looking forward to reading more about what this unkown side of BC is all about. Keep it SHABL.

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 7:43 am

      You can rest assured that we’ll keep it “SHABL” if nothing else!

  3. Wendy C

    June 21, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Congrats! Sounds like quite the adventure! So jelly!

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

      Thanks Wendy, it’s the adventure of a lifetime. I’m bringing my “A” Game.

  4. Nate

    June 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Nice! You did keep us in suspense for awhile there. I’ve only been to Vancover for a couple of days. So I’m excited to read about this journey. A little different than the island life eh?

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Hey Nate,

      Excited is the right world, Vancouver is one of my favorite places on the planet. Its got a good pulse and good people. This is going to be very different than the island life in the Caribbean but I know that Vancouver Island has a laid back vibe to it.

      Good to hear from you, good sir.

  5. sean

    June 21, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Sounds RAD LL!! I’m not too far from BC and would love to meet up at some of the better places you find out in BC. My folks have a place in Penticton, we could make that home base and terrorize the Okanagan valley…. tour wineries till we have to nap in a vineyard. Can’t wait to see your pictures and compare notes on beautiful british columbia!!

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Everything you mentioned sounds amazing. We’ll get in touch as I will be out there and a free agent come late August / September. Good thinking, good sir!

  6. Liz | Two Weeks to Travel

    June 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    That’s awesome! I’ll actually be out exploring Vancouver Island in just about 2.5 weeks, can’t wait to get there.

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

      You’re going to love it, I spent a few weeks there in 2009 and looking forward to getting back!

  7. AvaApollo

    June 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    The curiosity was killing me.

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      Keeping it inside was killing me!

  8. k

    June 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    lucky you! bet it will be an awesome trip. i’m biased as i live on Vancouver Island and am a pretty big advocate for all things BC. if you get a chance to check out Mount Washington and the Comox Valley while on the island, i highly recommend it!

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Hey k!

      We are on a rather tight itinerary so I will remember these for when I’m out on my own for a month at the end of August. Thanks for the suggestions!

  9. Dina & Ryan

    June 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Hi Rob, looking forward to see you soon in BC!!!

    • Rob

      June 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      Likewise, this is going to be a fun trip.

  10. Aggy

    June 22, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Can’t wait to read about the grizzly bear! Sounds like a lot of fun!

    • Rob

      June 22, 2012 at 8:10 am

      I’m looking forward to seeing one as well, only from a very safe distance!

  11. Adventurous Kate

    June 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

    What a cool initiative from BC. Looking forward to reading about your adventures! You and Brendan together…I think you’ll do your fair share of raising some hell.

    I like this monthlong blogger sponsorship trend — have seen it a few times (the #unmapped trip in NSW, Australia and Ayngelina’s monthlong trip in Maui) and hope it’s the beginning of more things to come!

    • Rob

      June 22, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Hey Kate,

      It should most certainly be an interesting month to say the least.

      There does seem to be a new trend with longer more extensive press trips and I’m all for it. Hopefully everyone being included in the initial campaigns with various tourism boards will do an outstanding job to lend this model credibility.

      Safe travels,

  12. James Clark

    June 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    What a great promotion to go for one month! I look forward to seeing what you cover beyond the well known BC highlights.

    • Rob

      June 24, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Thanks James, things are just getting started and it’s going to be egregious.

  13. Wanderlust Megan

    June 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    Looking forward to reading about your adventure. Vancouver is my hometown but I haven’t explored nearly enough of BC, sounds like a great trip.

    • Rob

      June 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      It’s funny how so many of us (myself included) travel the world before ever thoroughly exploring our own backyards or parts of our own country. Rest assured that if you keep abreast with the developments here, you’ll have a very good idea of what other parts of BC are ll about. We’re going on a bender trip! =}

  14. Mandi

    June 24, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    So excited for you and Team Orca! The 4 of you are going to be a trip and awesome for Tourism BC, I can’t wait to see your first story and post Rob about the first best held secret in BC that you share with us. Safe travels!

    • Rob

      June 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks Mandi, it’s team Eagle and team Orca. I believe we’re “Orca” as we’re doing a lot of water related activities and checking out places along the coast. Photos, stories and tips to come, indeed!

  15. Rebecca

    June 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    What a neat initiative! Will be following your travels — BC is so huge, so much to explore. Enjoy!

    • Rob

      June 28, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Rebecca, we’ll be hugging the coast for the most part and it’s massive!

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