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!
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.
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 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.
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’….