Why I Chose To Start Traveling Full Time In 2020

It feels somewhat awkward to open my personal, unique blog with a quote ripped directly from the Original BJJ Globetrotter book. But I just can’t put it any better than this:

“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endless, changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” -Christopher McCandless

When I read that, it spoke profoundly to me.

I always knew that I wanted to travel. 


People are (rightly) bagging on 2020 as being a terrible year. I get it, it’s a very strange time to be alive. But so is any, I mean statistically speaking the probability of you existing at all comes out to 1 in 102,685,000 (10 with 2,685,000 zeroes)


For me, 2019 was way worse. I went through a divorce, the gym I was working at flooded and eventually closed and I was left basically alone to question everything. At the time I didn’t have the answers – I thought getting a swanky apartment with really nice “features” would help. 

It didn’t. 

It just added extra holes into the bottom of the bucket that was my finances.


For all of it’s downsides, 2019 introduced me to the thing that would change my life. If you’re reading this blog, you probably know what that was, you’ve probably experienced the same thing.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

I could go on and on about why this sport/community is so amazing, but that’s for another post.

It may have taken the whole year, but slowly, surely, I started to (re)discover my answers. Answers that somehow had been forgotten with time. 


I always knew that I wanted to travel. And the very day that I saw the BJJ Globetrotters community, it was like I had finally been given the keys. Not only was this actually very possible, but it had been done, and was being done.


2019 may have been a crap year at the face of it, but it was the wake up call I needed.

2020 everything would change – I just didn’t know how much.


My online work had grown enough that I could support myself from anywhere in the world, so that was the goal. I assessed the things that were really holding me back – my leases (apartment and car), my stuff and my dog, Xena – and started to problem solve.


By the time the Pandemic started, I knew it wasn’t going to stop me. I hunkered down for a few months and stayed safe, but I began to realise there would always be something.

So I continued to prepare over the months, I started selling/giving away most of my stuff, none of that stuff was going to make me as happy as this adventure would be. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start preaching minimalism, but getting rid of the stuff that I didn’t need was pretty essential, and yes it was liberating.

Finally I arranged to trade my car in, and found a magnificent couple who I knew would be the perfect dog parents for Xena (judging by her instagram @xenawunderbite I was right). I was about to write how heartbreaking it was to give her away, but that would be a lie. Yes, my pooch was my best friend, but I just felt so much happiness, both for her and for me. We were both about to start completely new adventures.


Initially I had planned for a US West-Coast Mat-Surfing-Road-Trip-Extravaganza as soon as my lease was up. Clearly with Covid not going away, I couldn’t do that.


I lost no faith at all. My plans were being changed, but not cancelled. A new search found that The Dominican Republic was the place that ticked my boxes:

  • Allowed visitors from the US
  • Had Covid under relative control
  • Looked beautiful


A simple post on the BJJ Globetrotters Facebook Group asking for help did the rest. A guy by the name of Joe Canada, who I’d never met before, who had no obligation to do anything for me, gave me the complete breakdown. 

And thanks to that breakdown, I’m sitting here in Las Terrenas, having just finished my third and final BJJ session of the week. Living what I believe to be the BJJ Globetrotters life. Or at least, my version of it.

With this blog, I hope to give you my insights to my travels, as well as provide some sort of helpful guide. I can tell you already that Las Terrenas is the most beautiful place you’ve never heard of.

And I’ll give more details later.


For now….Welcome. If you have any questions or just want to follow me along on my trip @tj_traveling is where you’ll find me

p.s. There’s no way words will be able to do Las Terrenas justice. Check out my first (hopefully of many) travel video of the place.