Welcome to Off Track Travel! We are a French Canadian (him) and British (her) couple who love to explore beyond the beaten path. Off Track Travel is where we share our experiences living, working and travelling the world by road, foot and paddle. We hope to inspire and help others to do the same! We love to write about:
- Beyond the beaten path destinations
- Anything Canada!
- Hiking and paddling adventures
- 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 Canada ever since. There’s something very special about this country, especially for outdoor enthusiasts like us. We first lived on Vancouver Island in British Columbia for 2.5 years before a five-month road trip around BC, Yukon, NWT and Alaska. Out of savings 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. After three sun-soaked summers by the lake and vineyards, we are back on the road indefinitely as of November 2017.
So what are we doing next? Spring 2018 will be dedicated to converting our new (to us) GMC Savana van to live and travel in. Our first destination will be the backroads and wilderness of Eastern Canada!
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, a barman in an English pub and, most recently, an outdoor retail store manager. Jean Robert has now been living and working away from his hometown for almost twenty years and is Off Track Travel’s chief photographer.
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. Off Track Travel’s primary writer, Gemma also runs the site’s social media channels. She became a Permanent Resident of Canada in April 2014 after two IEC working holidays and has recently applied for citizenship.
Shortly after we met in 2009, Mt Maunganui, New Zealand