About Us

We are a French Canadian (him) and British (her) couple living, working and road-tripping our way around the world.

This blog is intended to inspire travellers (all the would-be and armchair ones out there included) and share our experiences as an adventurous long-term travelling couple who like to take epic road-trips, visit out-of-the-way places and enjoy the great outdoors.

Not just to inspire you to get away, Off Track Travel also helps you get there with working holiday guides to New Zealand and Canada. We are both strong believers in the working holiday programs for prolonging and enhancing experiences abroad; if you are able to take one (or two!), go for it!

bowron lakes gemma jr

Our own form of ‘slow travel’ usually involves settling down in one country for a year or two and then exploring it, and surrounding countries, by road. By living in a country for a long period of time and having our own vehicle we are able to visit lesser-known sights, to see places usually missed or difficult to access by public transport. We like having a timetable of our own, a paper map and a home wherever and whenever we decide to stop and settle.

Our canoe comes almost everywhere with us, but within the last few years we have also enjoyed snowboarding, hiking, ziplining, spelunking, kayaking, climbing and of course, camping. We camp a lot.

Brighton Pavilion, UK (Dec 2010)

We met in New Zealand in 2009 during Jean Robert’s working holiday there, lived together in the UK for 18 months together and then left in August 2011 for a three-month road trip (in a homemade campervan) taking us through 18 countries, all the way to Turkey and back.

Together we moved to Canada in November 2011, with few plans except to learn how to snowboard! After two and a half years and three ski seasons later, we were ready to move on from our Vancouver Island (British Columbia) home and get back on the road. We went on a five month long trip around BC, Yukon, NWT and Alaska in the summer of 2014 and now live in Penticton, BC via a winter stopover in Fort St John, BC.

Jean Robert at the Royal Palace overlooking the Danube river, Budapest, Hungary (October 2011)

Jean Robert 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. He has been living and working away from his hometown for over ten years.

At the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey – loved this place, I was truly in awe! (September 2011)

Gemma is from the South of England, most recently living in Brighton. Having visited a 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. Until she met Jean Robert, Gemma intended live in New Zealand for another year. The plans got a little ‘off track’….

3 Responses to: About Us

  1. Wendy says:

    Hi you two,
    Sue gave me your card so I could track your travels. You are so lucky to be able to do this while you are young. I never had a gap year & I so want one now but of course it’s not possible with an elderly parent so good on you for travelling while you can. Can’t get enough of it! We just had fun in Yorkshire for Easter visiting the film locations for the TV shows & also doing the cultural stuff like Castle Howard & York Minister. So much world, so little time. Have fun & stay safe & fit. X

  2. Joyce says:

    Dear Gemma and Jean Robert,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Canada, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,
    Joyce

    • Gemma Gemma says:

      Hi Joyce, thanks for the message. I would definitely be interested in this – please send me an email to gemma[at]offtracktravel.ca with the questions!

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