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    • The irony of my visit to Overland Expo 2018 West was that I flew into an event dedicated to traveling overland (primarily by 4x4 and motorcycle). Nevertheless, it was a great weekend in Flagstaff, Arizona. 

      My first Overland Expo was in 2011, just after I released the Motorcycle Mexico DVD. The event barely attracted 500 people to the outskirts of Tucson, Arizona. By 2018, the unofficial count was over 15,000 people at the new location further north in Flagstaff!

      Overland Expo is a unique event for do-it-yourself adventure travel enthusiasts, with hundreds of session-hours of classes for 4-wheel-drive and adventure motorcycling, inspirational programs, the Overland Film Festival, roundtable discussions, demonstrations, and a large expo featuring over 300 vendors of adventure travel equipment, camping gear, bikes, vehicles, and services.

      What is Overland Expo?

    • Custom built, top of the line luxury vehicles were on display. The largest one from Earth Roamer will break the bank at $1.5 Million. 

    • I love too see all the DIY rigs as well. For example, this 1982 Mercedes 200D has travelled for more  than 820,000 kilometers over a decade across several continents. Who says you need a big rig with 36" tires to get out for an adventure?

    • #Vanlife is the latest trend in overland travel and there were plenty of van vendors on display.

    • My wife and I enjoyed walking in and testing out all the different layout configurations. 

    • Land Rover built a demo track and welcomed attendees to try out their full line off luxury off road vehicles. Camel Trophy drivers were sharing stories and driving tips.

    • Despite the fear of rolling over, my wife gave it ago and managed to keep the rubber side down. 

    • We lead several round table discussions, where budding adventurers can learn from experienced travelers. This particular talk was "Paranoid or practical? Tips for security on the road."

    • It was a great opportunity for those planning a journey to get advice from travelers who have been there. Boarder crossings, importing vehicles, understanding local customs and getting route suggestions are just some of the great information that can be shared. Here's Amberlynn and Luke discussion over a smartphone map with thoughts on where to travel in Tajikistan's Pamir Mountains. 

    • All in all, it was a great long weekend in the high desert. Surrounded by old friends and new, we reinvigorated our travel spirit. With captivating inspiration and a fresh education, we're ready to plant the seeds for future adventures.

    • Thoroughly enjoyed your story, Ben! Thank you for posting so many great photos of the expo. Would you happen to have any more photos of the converted vans? I'm a big fan of #Vanlife and watch a ton of YouTube videos on DIY conversions and factory builds like Outside Van. That pop top van looks really interesting 🤔. Do you have any details on it?

    • There goes my day!


      Now I need to click on every one of those links to drool over each custom conversion option and check out all of the photos. Thank you for sharing them, Ben!

    • Hey Ben...thanks for the trip report and great images....maybe cuz I am just an old dawg now, but, this is MY KIND OF PORN! hahahaha

    • The saturday night feature film was incredible. Using basic technical equipment, a team of independent travelers set out on a journey across South America. 20,000+ kilometers across the most beautiful and the toughest terrain, from rainforests to mountain ranges to deserts to green wilderness to the icy edge of Antarctica. Beyond being merely an adventure, it is a story about friendship and cooperation between people who might not always completely understand each other. And it isn't only differences of opinion. Members of the team come from three countries - five Czechs, two Poles and one Slovak + two Trabants, one Fiat 126p and a beat-up Jawa 250.

      Pure aventure. Here's a short trailer for the film -

    • Damn it, Ben! Now you've got me deep-ending on googling beasts like this and dreaming of spending a few years driving it through Africa, Australia, South America...