Start Here

New to Off Track Travel? Welcome – we’re excited to have you here!

If you’re looking for outdoor adventure and long-term travel advice and inspiration, you’re in the right place.

We are Jean Robert and Gemma, a Canadian/British couple currently living in British Columbia, Canada. We met in New Zealand in 2009. Over the last few years, we have paddled, hiked and driven thousands of kilometres in North America and Europe. We like road trips, adventure, nature and solitude. Between us, we have been on seven working holidays in four different countries and we like to encourage others to go on them too. We spend most of our time off the beaten track, avoiding crowds and appreciating the natural world.

Does it sound like we have something in common? If so, there is plenty for you to enjoy here. Check out the following posts to get started.

bowron lakes gemma jr

Life and Travel in Canada

50 Things Learned About Canada in 5 Years

7 places I Never Expected To See In Canada

Why You Shouldn’t Visit Canada Next Year


Outdoor adventure

An epic paddling and hiking adventure to see Canada’s highest waterfall

A week on the 116km Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit

Hiking over tundra and up mountains in Tombstone Territorial Park, Yukon, Canada

JR Tombstone Rake Mountain view

Road trip life

7 Great Reasons to Take a Road Trip in the Yukon

Driving the Dempster Highway to the Arctic Circle, Canada

The Back Roads of Umbria and Tuscany


Working holiday advice

Step-by-step application guide to Canada’s IEC (working holiday) program

The Ultimate Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (eBook)

The essential guide to a working holiday in New Zealand

New Zealand WH slider

Off the beaten track destinations

A kiss and a prayer to three hundred year old bones in Montenegro

5 great reasons you must visit Vancouver Island, Canada

Never-ending sunlight, polar bears and an igloo church in Inuvik, NWT, Canada


Budget travel

How to Explore and Enjoy Vancouver For Less

How we travelled Canada for $45 a day (two people, one van, 17000km)

Vancouver Island’s best free or low-cost attractions

North BC mountains

Get in touch

We would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can read more about us here. If you like what you see, subscribe to email updates by clicking the ‘Follow’ button in the lower right hand of your screen. Got a question on your mind? Email us: info[at]

8 Responses to: Start Here

  1. Leslie says:

    I noticed in one of your trip responses you referred to Main Lake circuit after you description of the Sayward lake circuit. Could you please tell me where that main lake is?
    Also, we have paddled Sayward Lakes and loved it. One of my favourites and will be taking some family on it this August. Just a little worried about water levels this year in the rivers, but will deal with that as it comes.
    I also suggest that you try, if you have not already, the Columbia River, starting at Canal Flats and ending in Golden or Donald crossing. We found an outfitter in Golden who transported us. Worked out great.
    Also the north Thompson from Vavenby to Kamloops is excellent.
    We love river canoeing and have done a few other as well. We are not expert rapid paddlers, so try to stay in class 2 or less.

    • Gemma Gemma says:

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks for you the recommendation of the Columbia river and north Thompson! We have not paddled any other rivers besides the Yukon and small ones on canoe circuits. I was referring to the Main Lake Canoe Route, which is on Quadra Island. It’s not a circuit but a very pleasant canoe camping experience! I wrote about our trip there here

      I did not consider the water levels on the Sayward until now – I hope you have a great time nonetheless.

  2. James Reeves says:

    Hi Gemma, I have applied for a holiday visa twice but been refused twice, I am going through an agency to guarantee a visa, but I want to know about the police check, it is dated from the 19/03/15, will this still be valid, thanks for your help, much appreciated.

    Thanks James

    • Gemma Gemma says:

      Hi James,

      If it’s a UK police certificate and you currently live in the UK, it will be fine. CIC updated their police cert requirements from three months to six months a little while ago. As far as I am aware, an agency cannot guarantee you an IEC work permit.

  3. Adam says:

    Hi Gemma & Jean Robert,
    I hope all is well.
    Great info on your posts.
    Do you have an e-mail address as i have a few questions about a holiday visa that im hoping you can help me with and give me some good advice?
    Thanks for your time and help,
    Kind Regards

  4. Nancy says:

    Hi Gemma and Jean Robert,

    I’m a fellow Canadian (Hi!) on the other side of Canada who found your blog… somewhere. Anyway, just wanted to say how much I love your photos, your story of how you two met and your passion for traveling!

    It sure does get my foot itching to try some slow traveling :)


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