Featured Traveller: Arlan Hall – BJJ Globetrotters

Arlan Hall - BJJ

Age: 40 – AHHHH, first time I got to write that down!

Belt: Blue

Profession: Massage Therapist, homeschool mom, and chronic traveller

How many years in BJJ: 5

Other martial arts: Does kickboxing in college count?

Where do you live: Oceano, California, United States

Where are you from: The Yukon Territory in Canada

Other fun or curious information you would like to share: Oh my gosh, I would say the way I was raised is curious and strange. I grew up on 40 acres on a lake in the middle of nowhere. Our closest neighbour was 5 miles away. I did not have electricity or indoor plumbing. So outhouses, pumping water from the lake into the house, and heating our home (which was thrown together in 10 days) via a LOT of firewood was our average way of life. We had a garden, fished lake trout in the summer, and hunted moose in the fall to survive. It was wild and free. The Northern Lights in the winter were magical. The mosquitoes were so plentiful that I had chicken pox and we didn’t even know it until after. I hated it, loved it, and would never trade it. My parents still live up there and the peace of it feeds my soul.

Arlan Hall – BJJ Globetrotters

Tell us what inspired you to travel and train?
I am a free spirit, and if I don’t have a trip planned – lets just say it isn’t pretty. When I started BJJ, at about 3 months I attended a belting ceremony. Our Brazilian professor gave a speech which I understood ZERO of… except the words “take your gi when you travel and train with other gyms”. A lightbulb went off inside me. I went on a girls’ trip to Palm Springs and did just that. I was so nervous!! It was an incredible experience, the high was unbelievable, and I was addicted. It has only grown from there. What a perfect combination!

Tell us about your most recent travel and your upcoming travel – where have you been and where are you going?
My most recent travel that involved Jiu Jitsu was the Maine, USA camp. It was my second time there and I think this one was extra special. The weather was hot so we had huge floatie swim parties. I think my favourite part though, was the ambient sound around camp of everyone having a good time. The laughter, the connection. It will stay with me forever. After that I went to New Orleans to check out the city. I hit up a new city or two every year just for fun. I also travel to central Mexico a lot. If you have never been to San Miguel de Allende, it is a must!

This fall I plan on going to Denver or Philly, and then to the Arizona camp in Tempe. NEXT year (2024) will be big! I want to hit up the USA camp, Iceland, and Germany. That will be my 10th camp milestone! I also plan on going back to Spain and then England, Ireland, and Scotland for a girlfriend’s birthday.

Arlan Hall – BJJ Globetrotters

What are the things you enjoy about travelling?
FOOD. I always plan trips around good places to eat. I also enjoy that only through physically being IN a place do you get to experience culture, the vibe, and random quirks. It is also an amazing way to learn history. Of course I love meeting new people too.

Can you give us some examples of experiences you had that makes it worth traveling and training?
You have an instant community. When I go to central Mexico, I train there. My first time I was so scared. I didn’t understand the language – and I mean, I am a woman going to some obscure gym location to train. It was humbling (they roll hard and it’s hot) and I also made some amazing friends. The next time I went to visit they had a party for me afterwards. Aren’t Jiu Jitsu people the best??!! I am always so grateful when I travel and train because I get good local tips on places to go, and what to eat – but also just reminded how freaking cool this community is.

What has so far been the most surprising experience for you when traveling?
Oh gosh. How dirty and unsafe New Orleans was. That was a new one for me. How much cheaper tattoos are outside of the US. LOL! I don’t know if I can name one thing. I think it is just experiencing the different cultures. Horses in the back of pick up trucks in Mexico, kids out till midnight, the way life and family is celebrated with random parades and fireworks. In Spain, they have a siesta in the afternoon and everything closes.

Arlan Hall – BJJ Globetrotters

Are you a budget traveller – and if so how do you plan for a cheap trip?
I think I am, until I get there and then it all goes out the window. I am very much a “life is short, money is just an energy, experiences are priceless” kinda person. Eat the $50 lobster roll. Find the hotel or Airbnb with the killer location. I think it is worth it in the end.

IF I am really on a budget though, I find ways to save via cooking my own food when I can, hole in the wall restaurants (tasty and cheap, especially in Mexico), travel with a buddy, and split the cost of accommodations.

If you were to pass on travel advice to your fellow Globetrotters, what would it be?
Lean into the fun. If an opportunity comes your way and it MIGHT not kill you… say yes! Fly that freak flag and embrace the adventure. Also, talk to strangers. People have cool stories.

Thank you to Arlan Hall – BJJ Globetrotters for making this interview!