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Off Track Travel: Quarterly Catch Up, July to September 2018

Welcome to the next update in our life of travel! This quarter took us to five provinces, one state, a travel conference and over 10,000+ km in our converted van. Plus, we’ve got some big news about our next steps….read on for more details!

What have we been up to?

In our last quarterly update, we were relatively undecided about our next moves after spending the early part of summer exploring Nova Scotia.

We had tickets to TBEX, a travel blogger conference in early September but were unsure whether to make the journey to the USA to attend. Here’s what actually happened.

Landing on the Borgles Island sandbar - orange kayak with black paddle
skyline trail views nova scotia

Even more Nova Scotia, a taste of PEI and a return to New Brunswick!

We really loved exploring Nova Scotia all of June. So much so that we actually stayed for most of July (seven weeks total) too before finally departing for PEI.

I treated our trip to the latter as a bit of a holiday, completely switching off from blogging and other work for a week. It’s the kind of place that inspires it, with slow country lanes, endless sandy beaches and warm ocean waters.

I say it was a holiday, but we still managed to drive over a thousand kilometres on this relatively small (by Canadian standards) island!

For the rest of August, we were based at JR’s dad’s house in New Brunswick to get some work done and update a few bits and bobs on the van.

TBEX, New York

A fun mix of education, inspiration, exploration and networking, TBEX is the largest travel blogging conference. This was my second such conference of the year (and, well, ever) and JR’s first. A

s well as catching up with people we’d met earlier in the year at WITS in Quebec City, we made new friends and also connected with some of my travel blogging idols.

TBEX was hosted in the small town of Corning within New York’s Finger Lakes region, an area that reminded me so much of Penticton and the southern Okanagan back in BC.

We didn’t linger too long after the conference due to commitments back in Canada but we did discover some fantastic wineries plus lots of free camping opportunities (State Forests are awesome!)

ottawa byward market sign
island campsite on lac 31 milles quebec

Time for Central Canada!

After debating (at length) the merits of travelling to New York via Maine/Vermont or Quebec/Ontario, it was the latter that won out.

It could have easily gone the other way but it came down to exploring a little more of Quebec and the chance to visit Ottawa, my last ‘big’ unseen Canadian city.

Undoubtedly a good decision (I loved Ottawa!) we also managed to fit in seeing some old friends.

After TBEX, we returned to Ontario to explore the lesser known Northumberland region plus the Bruce Peninsula, Algonquin (just in time for the start of the autumn colours) and connect with yet more friends. A successful month indeed.

Coming up next

I write this update from a free campsite next to the Missouri River in South Dakota, USA. Wait, what?! We are on our way back to British Columbia, Canada.

Though it may seem something of a surprise, we’ve been pretty sure for most of the past year that we would be returning to the West Coast. We will arrive in BC at the end of October and will be based there for the foreseeable future.

Not in any particular place, mind you, as we don’t plan to have permanent residence for a while.

Why BC? So many reasons! To name just a few, we love all four seasons there, the incredible choice of free camping spots and the unbeatable mix of mountains and ocean.

We always knew BC was an ideal place for us, but sometimes it takes a journey elsewhere to realise exactly how much so.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a fantastic time exploring Eastern and Central Canada this past year but BC is most definitely home.

suspension bridge ferris provincial park
pleasant bay camping views vanlife

What I’ve been writing about:

In addition to the others already linked throughout this update, here are some other post highlights from this quarter:

Hiking Next to the World’s Highest Tides – Cape Chignecto, Nova Scotia

Celebrating Summer in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Finding Outdoor Adventure in the Gatineau Valley, Quebec

Coming soon: Plenty of outdoor adventure guides and posts including our experience kayaking Nova Scotia’s 100 Wild Islands

jr louisbourg cyclone waves
jr and gmc savana diy van conversion pei

Things We’ve been loving this quarter:

Experiencing summer in New Brunswick: After a harsh and long winter in northeastern New Brunswick, it was meaningful to return and spend some of the summer there too.

We kayaked, barbequed and, most importantly, also got to spend time with family. Although the parade was threatened by a thunderstorm, I also was able to experience my first Acadian Day in Caraquet.

Spending time with friends: As already mentioned, we spent plenty of time this quarter with both old and new friends. Our style of travel can be quite isolating at times and so it was unusual to be around so many familiar faces.

Leaving good friends is always hard but the great thing about having so many travel blogger friends is that it is very possible we will bump into them sooner rather than later!

New van updates: Returning to New Brunswick in August, JR got back to work in the van with some needed modifications and updates.

I’ll feature them fully in an upcoming post, but we now have shelving above the bed (helpful for commonly used items), a working table and storage behind the passenger seat. The back and side doors are also now fully framed.

biplane adventures unique ottawa

More from us

If you’d like to find out what we’re up to closer to real-time, like or follow us on Facebook.

As always, thank you so much for your ongoing interest and support! It means so much. 

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