Overland Expo 2014

Overland Expo is an international event that educates and inspires people to get out and explore the world, by bike and vehicle.

It wasn’t until I met Rupert & Amy in Guatemala that I learned about “Overlanding” and the amazing community of people doing the same thing as me – driving or riding vehicles across continents and around the world. From that day forward, I dreamed of attending Overland Expo in Arizona, which is a huge gathering of those people.

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One of the config options of the Pronghorn front bumper.

After a couple of huge days of travel I arrive in the dark, and stumble into a circle of friendly looking people. I recognize Will and Rochelle from Kiwi-Panamericana because they were in Whitehorse a couple of months ago. An amazing round of introductions quickly follows. I meet the Life Remotely crew of Jess, Jared and Kobus then Brenton and Shannon of Ruined Adventures. After what might be the longest “Internet relationship” in history I’m grinning from ear to ear when I finally meet Luis & Lacey from Lost World Expedition – they were close behind me the entire time on the Pan-American. We exchanged emails often, but somehow we’ve never actually met face to face.
It’s surreal, but also hilarious when I mention I’ve traveled all this way to “meet my Internet friends”.

Luis can’t believe I have an Australian accent. All these years we’ve been emailing back and forth and he’s shocked I’m not adding “eh” to the end of every sentence and talking “a-boot” stuff. I think he feels a little deceived.
Someone else thinks I’m an imposter because I don’t have dreadlocks (anymore).
The stage is set for an amazing weekend with really great people.

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The Habitat by Adventure Trailers. Of course I climbed all over it twice for good measure.

Overland Expo is a huge event that combines a whole bunch of activities into a 3 day weekend.

  • It’s a fantastic place to meet other Overlanders who are really doing it. Of course, they’re all extremely friendly and happy to help out in any way possible.
  • It’s a great place to attend talks, discussion panels and sessions hosted by other Overlanders on all kinds of topics.
  • There are dedicated training sessions where we learned how to recover a rolled 4×4, use a winch, build a bridge and tons of other important stuff.
  • Lots of vendors attend the event and bring along the latest and greatest in Overlanding and 4×4 related gear. Needless to say there were some very, very impressive setups and all manner of accessories to look at and think about.
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The Pronghorn front bumper in anther config

Ted Simon is a regular attendee, and it was great to attend a “Travel Tips” panel where he was a guest speaker. I couldn’t resist and took the opportunity to introduce myself and thank Ted for the inspiration he’s given me, and the course-correction in my life he had a big hand in influencing. After reassuring him that was a good thing, he seemed pleased.
If you have not read Jupiter’s Travels, get a copy now.
It’s not every day you get to meet a personal hero.

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The Brute doublecab by AEV. Very, very nice.

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The new RAM front bumper and flares from AEV. Those are 40 inch tires….

It was shocking and extremely fulfilling to chat to a random person for a minute, then upon exchanging business cards have them say “The Road Chose Me?  – Oh, I know you, I followed your entire blog”. To this day it’s hard for me to comprehend anyone outside my family read my stories and saw my photos. I feel full of energy knowing others drew happiness and inspiration from my writing.It was an amazing weekend I won’t soon forget. I got to meet so many great people from different walks of life who have one thing in common:They’re all following their dreams.

-Dan

6 Responses

  1. Max says:

    Dan, the guys from Life Remotely told me you were at the expo and I was looking for you, but couldn’t find you! You should have posted a big sign! :)

    • Dan says:

      Hi Max,
      Sorry I missed you at Overland Expo. I had a rental car and my ground tent, so I kept a very low profile.
      Hopefully we can catch up at some point.

      -Dan

  2. Jared says:

    Hi Dan,

    I poured through your website a couple years ago and seeing a step-by-step of someone who did it gave me the courage to take solo motorcycle trip in South America on a 125 cc bike. You checked out my photos when I was on the road which was also super cool of you. Anyway, Im heading off next week on a bike trip up to the Yukon and then the Dempster. Are you around in late July? Any chance of meeting up for a beer?

    Cheers,

    JAred

    • Dan says:

      Hey Jared,

      Great to hear from you. Wow, it’s awesome to hear I might have contributed to your trip.
      Absolutely, I’m in Whitehorse, I’d love to catch up for a beer. You’re welcome to a hot shower, and we can find a cool campsite out of town someplace.
      I’ll send this to you in an email too so you have my contact info.

      See you soon, safe riding!
      -Dan

  3. Richard says:

    Hi Dan. I just read your entire blog, beginning to end. Thanks so much for writing it; the pictures are terrific and you have a lovely, easy writing style that brings the trip to life. I think the biggest thing any would-be traveller could learn from the way you travelled is that you created your own luck with your open attitude to those you met along the way.

    Like Jupiter’s Travels, your journey prompts all sorts of light-bulb moments about how much of the world there is to explore and how, with a bit of planning and the right resources, we can all just go out and see it. That’s dangerous talk in a life focused on jobs, schools and mortgage payments, but it’s inspirational too and spurs me on to thinking about new levels of adventure. Carpe Diem!

    Good luck with all you are doing now, and thanks.
    Richard.

    • Dan says:

      Hi Richard,

      Thanks so much for the compliments. I tired really hard to improve my writing and photography while on the road.

      I can’t wait to show everyone the pictures I’ve been taking with my new camera :)

      Meeting Ted Simon was amazing – I can’t believe you are comparing my journey to Ted !

      All the best,
      -Dan

      PS Check back here sometime, there are some big updates coming :)

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