Welcome to Off Track Travel! We are a French Canadian (him) and British (her) couple who love to explore beyond the beaten track. Off Track Travel is where we share our experiences living, working and travelling the world via the back roads. We hope to inspire and help others to do the same! We love to write about:
- Lesser visited destinations around the world
- Travelling Canada
- Hiking and paddling trips
- Outdoor gear
- Working holiday advice
Since we met in New Zealand in 2009, we have continued a slow nomadic lifestyle together. We think that the world is far too interesting to just stay in one place! After living in the UK together for a while, we headed out on a three-month road trip from Brighton to Istanbul via 18 countries. Broke and looking for somewhere new to settle for a while, we then flew to British Columbia, Canada in November 2011.
Much to our surprise, we have been living in BC ever since. There’s something very special about this province, especially for outdoor enthusiasts like us. We first lived on Vancouver Island for 2.5 years before a five-month road trip around BC, Yukon, NWT and Alaska. Out of money again, we relocated to Fort St John in North BC’s ‘almost sub-arctic’ region. Our time in the north was thankfully short lived and we moved to the small southern Okanagan town of Penticton in June 2015. Something of a dream location to live, we’ve been in Penticton ever since! But who knows what is on the horizon for us…
Jean Robert (or JR for short) is from the Acadian Peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada. He speaks French as a first language, becoming fluent in English in his early 20’s. Australia was his first working holiday destination, where he ended up living on an island on the Great Barrier Reef. Jean Robert is a trained chef but has also worked as a tour guide/bus driver in Canada, Dive Master in New Zealand, and a barman in an English pub. His current job is the manager of an outdoor sports store. Jean Robert has been living and working away from his hometown for over fifteen years.
Gemma is from the South of England, most recently living in Brighton. Having visited an interesting variety of European countries on family holidays while growing up (Sweden or Slovakia anyone?), Gemma spent most of her post-school gap year living and working in New Zealand, as well as visiting the USA, Australia and China. OffTrackTravel’s primary writer, Gemma works part-time at the outdoor sports store currently managed by Jean Robert. She became a Permanent Resident of Canada in April 2014 after two IEC working holidays.
Shortly after we met in 2009