Sunday, March 15, 2015

You Create Your World... Sydney Overland Meetup report

Sydney Overland Meetup (March 2015)
The Sydney Overland Meetup took place on Saturday 14th March 2015 with guest speakers Gareth and Kirsty from Aussie Overlanders and hosted by Expedition Centre.

We drove from Sydney to London via Africa...

In 2013, Gareth and Kirsty departed Sydney in their 1989 Land Cruiser Troopy.  After a neat 585 days on the road, the couple arrived back in Sydney having traveled across three continents. This past weekend was our turn to hear their stories, share their passion for overland adventure travel and to meet past, current and future overlanders.
Sydney Overland Meetup - March 2015

You Create Your World... What we put out, we received back...

The talk did not revolve around the journey, rather experiences and insights gained during their travels highlighting tearful moments of wonder, the jubilant times of independent travel and those times when the road is long and not that glamorous.  The pace and style of the presentation kept us all intrigued and eagerly waiting for the next story or life lesson.

Did you have it in low range?...

Gareth highlighted a wonderful story after a rather tough drive up the Sani Pass in Lesotho.  The worldwide rivalry between Toyota Land Cruiser drivers and Land Rover Defender drivers is well known so when Gareth was asked by a Defender driver "Did you have it in low range?" his sense of humour evaporated.  Daniel's workshop erupted into laughter as Gareth conjured up those memories and allowed us to share in that moment.  It was a great story and one that many of us can relate to! Thanks for sharing from the heart Gareth...

The Meetup...

Forty people attended the March 2015 Sydney Overland Meetup with most of the people attending having followed the wonderful blog of Aussie Overlanders.  The meetup gave all of us an opportunity to meet people and to explore the various vehicle layouts (majority Land Rover Defenders and Toyota Land Cruiser Troopy's).  
Land Cruiser 75-Series Troopy (which is for sale - Link below)
Conversations buzzed around the workshop and outside around the vehicles... I loved hearing the stories, the dreams and plans for future trips and the passion for overland travel.  Here are a few people I got to talk to...

Matt and Laura (Unsealed4x4) have recently relocated from Prescott, AZ bringing a wealth of knowledge about the overlapping 4x4 industry between the USA and Australian market.  Be sure to read his articles on Expedition Portal and as editor of Unsealed 4x4.

Brett (Roaming the Outback) made a rather long detour to join us for the afternoon having departed Brisbane a month before on a year long trip around Australia.  His YouTube video channel is worth watching as he spent a few years rebuilding his Land Rover Defender 200Tdi in preparation for the trip.  He has published his trip report already: Day 33
Brett (Roaming the Outback)
Michael and Judy (Overland Walkabout) have recently returned from a mammoth overland trip having completed Australia, Africa, and Asia with their Land Cruiser Troopy. If you are planning a trip, be sure to get in touch with Michael and Judy as their knowledge on border crossings and vehicle shipping is very detailed.
Judy, Kirsty and Michael
Wayne and Jen drove in with a newly modify Iveco camper (Expedition Anywhere) and had the group enthralled with their camper conversion, the ten Simpson Desert crossings they have completed and the wonderful passion of tag-a-long 4wd tours.  Wayne and Jen often co-lead tag-a-long tours with Great Divide Tours.

Gareth and I got to meet Mark and his newly kitted Land Cruiser 78-Series.  This vehicle was well prepared with fastidious detail for the finer moments of travel... like having a gas BBQ built into the rear and a hanging wardrobe for your clothes.  Every overland vehicle is unique and that is what makes our way of travel even more interesting!
Gareth reviewing the Land Cruiser 78-Series


The time allocated for the meetup buzzed past so quickly that I could not get to meet everyone.
Please get in touch if you attended and / or would like to be notified about the next event.  A note to myself... next time bring a pen and paper to capture all the interesting conversations and more importantly all the people that attended.

Expedition Centre

A quick note of thanks to Daniel for allowing us to use his workshop to host the 2nd Sydney Overland Meetup.  We all appreciate your enthusiasm and passion for the overland industry.

Thank You

Thank you Gareth and Kirsty for taking the time to share your travels, your passion and your energy for life.  I, along with many of the people attending, left the meetup buzzing.  We appreciate all the hardwork that you put into sharing your trip (during your travels and after).  
I look forward to being on the life journey with you...

Additional Reading