Featured Travellers: TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral – BJJ Globetrotters

TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral - BJJ Globetrotters

TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral – BJJ Globetrotters

Age: 34 & 25

Belt: Purple & blue

Profession: Online Strength and Fitness Consultant, rugby-muscle.com Admin Assistant.

How many years in BJJ: About 4 years (TJ) and 2 years (Beatriz)

Other martial arts: No martial arts as such, but we both played rugby to a decent level.

Where do you live: Kinda anywhere we want.

Where are you from: St Albans, UK (TJ) and Curitiba, Brazil (Beatriz)

Other fun or curious information you would like to share:
I always enjoy the fact that B got her blue belt before ever training in Brazil.

We also have a contractual obligation to state that we are vegan (which surprises most people we tell).

TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral – BJJ Globetrotters

Tell us what inspired you to travel and train?
In our hearts we’ve always been explorers, having both lived overseas to play rugby. We actually met when B was in Colorado to play for a season.

The tipping point for the life we live now was the you-know-what in 2020. B had to give up rugby and TJ went fully online with work. There were now no restrictions keeping us in any fixed location, so we sold most of out stuff that didnt fit into 2 suitcases + 2 carry-ons and booked a couple months in the remote beach town of Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic and from there haven’t really looked back.

Tell us about your most recent travel and your upcoming travel – where have you been and where are you going?
In the past year we’ve been to Bangkok, Phuket, Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Italy, Colorado, St Albans, London, Leeds, Oslo, Curitiba, and Florianopolis. Typing it out seems like quite a lot but we usually keep a hub and develop a routine over a few months.
We’ve just sorted plans to head to Albania for the summer (maybe visiting a bit more of Europe, whilst we’re there) and then make our way to Australia via Bali at the end of 2023.

TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral – BJJ Globetrotters


What are the things you enjoy about travelling?
Ready for a cliché? Seeing the world and experiencing completely different cultures is what makes life worth living. In a way, it slows the passage of time because we get to have so many unique experiences in all of these new places.
Day-to-day we are actually ridiculously routined, but we get to spend our “off” time creating more memories in different places.

Add in BJJ training to the mix and wherever we go, we get to make friends for life… there’s something about the mindset and vulnerability of grappling that makes connections much easier and faster. These friends will also generously help us make each place feel like much more of a “home” than a tourist attraction to look at. The different ways people all go about life is fascinating.

There’s also an amazing sense of gratitude and appreciation for life, especially when seeing first-hand how the vast majority of the world are just really good people.

Oh, and actually the biggest thing is that we can basically avoid winter 😉

Can you give us some examples of experiences you had that makes it worth traveling and training?
Our first experience of travelling and training came about solely because of the help of the BJJ Globetrotters group. We had never heard of Las Terrenas, and would never have found it if it wasn’t for the recommendation. It was PARADISE.

Another cool experience was when we met Vara (#askvara) in Phuket, she gave us the inside scoop on local places and invited us to join her in Bangkok. We had an awesome weekend and took part in a fundraiser open mat for a lad that had been injured in Phuket.

What has so far been the most surprising experience for you when traveling?
Rather than say one particular thing, I think the experience as a whole has been surprising. Namely, how easy and “normal” this lifestyle feels to us

Are you a budget traveller – and if so how do you plan for a cheap trip?
We are absolutely “budget” travellers, in the literal sense that B keeps a running budget month-to-month. This means we can intentionally tighten up when we need to so that we can splurge on short-term trips and experiences that are really worth it (like Globetrotter camps!).

Living in places where our money goes much further is probably the most obvious money-save, but also, like, actually “living” in places helps too! Some AirBnB’s drop their prices over 50% for a monthly rental. We also rarely eat out more than, say, twice a week, but we can still experience local food in supermarkets!

Figuring out frequent flyer miles and points etc is a huge saver (if only we’d learned this earlier) and packing our gis in our hand-luggage always helps us to avoid paying overweight fees for our checked luggage. Actually, being restricted to two suitcases and two carry-on bags also forces you to restrict the “stuff” that you can buy and own (which is in reality very liberating), especially when a good chunk of which is training gear. We should also thank our sponsors @soultakerfightwear who support us with all the training gear we could possibly need.

A couple more practical tips – having a Wise or Schwab account also means you can deal in the local currency without paying fees and using the Airalo app to download eSim cards can give you data cheaply and conveniently wherever you are.

If you were to pass on travel advice to your fellow Globetrotters, what would it be?
I feel kinda preachy saying this but, because this goes out to the Globetrotters newsletter it should strike a chord with some of you. At the time of writing time travel doesn’t exist, that means every moment that passes is gone forever. There are always going to be reasons that “could” stop you from travelling, but they don’t necessarily need to.

One of the first things Christian ever said to me way that “it’s only scary until you get out the door, then it all becomes natural.” This is so true.

We often get comments from people saying they admire or envy our life, but to us it feels completely normal. I’d genuinely encourage everyone to travel as much as feasibly possible. How feasible that is will depend upon you, but it will be more than you think and probably more than you’re comfortable with…. It’s definitely worth it.


Thank you to TJ Jankowski & Beatriz Amaral – BJJ Globetrotters for making this interview!