For 9 months now I’ve been travelling full time around North America in an RV with my girlfriend, exploring the continent while training Jiu Jitsu along the way. Travelling for this long, in this way, comes with a lot of unique experiences and challenges. So many that blogging about the entire journey we’ve had up until this point seems daunting. Fortunately we are not done travelling. This is now a sustainable lifestyle for us that has no end date in sight for the time being. I’ll be continuing to travel and train all over the continent and hopefully keep this blog updated regularly, so long as I have an internet signal within reach.
We began traveling in Southern Ontario (where we are from) and made our way down through the United States. Although the plan was to make our way South at a comfortable pace, the cold weather approached faster than we had expected. This forced us to head South sooner than expected. Although we did have to rush passed some things we wanted to do, I was able to find multiple gyms to train at along the way.
We arrived on the northwest side of Florida and stayed here a few days after discovering what is now the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to — Grayton. It’s in a small village located in the Panhandle which means beautiful clear water and vibrant white sand. Had there been a gym in the area that I could train at, it basically would’ve been impossible to leave.
We continued travelling along the southern US border — Texas, Arizona, Nevada etc. The desert was amazing. Not as I’d expected. It was not flat, sandy stretches out to the horizon, with tumbleweeds blowing in the wind. It was mountainous landscape with constantly varying degrees elevation. Cacti and ancient historic sites with all kinds of interesting things to see. We stayed quite a while in Arizona. Aside from me finding a gym that I absolutely loved, there was so much to do. Although the local people made me well aware of the torturous heat here in the summer, I could definitely imagine myself living here in the winter.
We then made our way back up the West Coast — California, Oregon, Washington — all the way to British Columbia, Canada. We also spent some significant time in California. Needless to say, fantastic Jiu Jitsu training and one million and one things to do and see — Balboa Park, San Diego Art Museum, Santa Monica Pier, Seal Beach, La Jolla and the Pans BJJ tourney to name a few. We continued to slowly make our way North, back across the border to Canada. We then of course traveled from British Columbia across the prairie provinces back to Ontario.
This route took us about 8 months to complete. We stayed in any given location for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, depending on weather, things to do, and training in the area. I don’t usually have a set time I’d like to spend at a gym. If I happened to find a gym I enjoyed training at, I would spend a couple of weeks there. If there happened to be all sorts of things to do and see in an area, we would spend as much time there as we’d like.
So 15 States, 5 provinces and about 10–12 gyms later and we’re now back home in Ontario. We will be visiting friends and family we’ve missed over the past few months and taking care of some things that couldn’t be done in the United States at the time. We are still living in our RV as we bounce around between seeing everyone and I will be training the whole time in different gyms as we continue to explore new places.
When the cold seasons return, we will head out again and continue to follow the warm weather to travel, train and explore. I’m going to continue to update this blog regularly, even now, since we see so many cool places and meet so many interesting people, it would be a shame to not share these experiences with others.
Making the decision to live out of an RV and travel full time was very difficult for me. I enjoy structure and routine, which is the complete opposite of this lifestyle. However, once this option started to become a real possibility for us, I knew that throwing myself so far outside of my comfort zone would likely lead to some valuable personal growth and life experience. So far so good.