Overland Expo…it’s one of our favoritest git-togethers EVAR. If you’ve ever wanted to trek across entire continents just for the sake of making the trip, fancied yourself a modern-day Stanley/Livingstone/Burton or felt somehow that you might be the lost issue of Robert Young Pelton’s loins, this is worth the read. Ladies – see also, Harriet Chalmers Adams, Gertrude Bell, and Nellie Bly.
Overland Expo 2014
Overlanding: self-reliant adventure travel exploring destinations far and near, where the journey is the primary goal.
Overland Expo is an annual event held in Flagstaff, Arizona that brings together and encourages community between people interested in exploring the world, and presents them with opportunities for socializing, learning, and outfitting their adventures.
There are hundreds of session hours of classes for 4-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycling to choose from, inspirational programs, the Overland film festival, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, and a large expo featuring over 180 vendors of adventure travel gear, bikes, vehicles, and services. If you missed it this year, there’s still a chance to catch the first-ever East Coast Overland Expo this October in Asheville, North Carolina.
In addition to being a place for all levels of skill sets to fine-tune their 4-wheel driving and/or motorcycling abilities with expert instructors, this event is a convenient way to see and learn about gear in one place when trying to figure out how you want to set up your own equipment and vehicle. I always want to see gear in person and discuss how it’s performing for others before committing to a purchase and the Expo was a great place to do that. It also reinvigorated my passion for motorcycles – I haven’t ridden in years and it’s about time I start up again.
I met a ton of travelers from all walks of life who came armed with inspiring stories of travels, independence, freedom and self-sufficiency. For some, the journey it took to get to the Expo was impressive; Expo participants included people from around the globe including a good number who stayed true to the Overland ethos and rode in from all over the US and Canada as well as South America.
I must also mention the females in attendance were mostly badass travelers, explorers, and kitted up motorcycle adventure riders. Their presence was undeniable and refreshingly encouraging. In fact, Overland Expo was founded in 2009 by a woman, Roseann Hanson, who created the expo to nurture the rapidly growing overlanding community.
Proceeds from Overland Expo help support ConserVentures, a non-profit whose mission is promoting exploration of our planet and conservation of its cultural and natural heritage.
This year I also came to the Expo to assist Matt Graham of Graham Combat with teaching a few classes with the focus of Travel Safety & Security. We had a vast array of inquiries, ranging from “how do I keep my gear secure” to “what do I do when I’m in a country that shifts politically to an unfavorable environment”. One of the common themes he repeatedly came back to and emphasized no matter the topic or question was one of mindset.
“One of the things that will benefit you regardless of where you’re traveling or what you’re doing is to carry a mindset of anticipation, recognition, and avoidance of conflicts all the time, so that when a situation starts to change, you’re already ahead of it.”
Matt talks more about mindset in the video below.
Learn more about Overland Expo here on their website.
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