Overland Expo is a high point of the year for us. There are four Expo events taking place in 2022, with Overland Expo West being the oldest and largest. We wish we could attend and instruct again this year, but we’re kind of driving through Central America. If we WEREN’T going to be in El Salvador, these are the sessions we’d be attending. We hope this list helps you make sense of the massive schedule and be part of the highlights at this year’s event.
Friday, May 20
1/ How to Travel Brazil Overland – Overland the Americas :: 9 a.m.
We love attending Overland Expo sessions taught by Ernesto and Taisa of Overland the Americas. These two spent four years traveling 23 countries across the Americas with their Toyota 4Runner. Their classes are always vibrantly colored by Ernesto’s photographs and the couple’s interesting travel stories. Look for any sessions from them this year.
2/ 2Up and Overloaded: Motorcycle Packing for 2 :: 9 a.m.
If you overland by motorcycle, then keep your eyes open for any session with Tim and Marisa Notier this year. We had the privilege of spending time with this couple last year, when we were both recording with Overland Expo for Why We Roam. They have done some incredible traveling through the Americas and Africa, and have so much to share.
3/ Destination: Saudi Arabia :: 10 a.m.
Ashley & Richard Giordano from Desk to Glory recently completed a fly-in overlanding trip through Saudi Arabia. They documented the journey through a three-part video series for Overland Journal (and podcast episode), and this session is your chance to learn more and get your questions answered.
Fly-in trips can be a cost-efficient way to explore another country by vehicle, especially when you’re short on vacation time.
4/ Field Arts I: Intro to field journals for recording journeys :: 11 a.m.
Roseann Hanson, cofounder of Overland Expo, has a beautiful gift for field journaling. If this is a topic that interests you, then don’t miss her Friday session.
5/ Things You Didn’t Know You Don’t Need :: 1 p.m.
Graham Jackson, 7P partner, has long been the training director for Overland Expo. This year, West attendees have the privilege of getting multiple opportunities to learn from Graham in the classroom.
Friday’s schedule is packed with classes by Graham, but this topic caught my attention. If you’re new to overlanding, then you haven’t had much chance to experiment and learn how many gadgets you can leave behind. Learn from the best.
(Note: many of Graham’s sessions are repeated over the weekend, if a certain time doesn’t work for you.)
6/ How to Keep Overlanding Alive: An expert discussion on trail ethics and responsible travel :: 4 p.m.
Overlanding enthusiasm has outstripped outdoor education. If thought leaders can’t reach newcomers to the space, and if newcomers won’t take responsibility on the trail, then we are going to see public land access restricted due to continued misuse. This is a serious topic and all of us need to step up. Grateful to see Overland Expo put this panel on the Friday schedule.
Saturday, May 21
7/ Overland Rigs: Buy vs. Build vs. Have It Built :: 11 a.m.
When we were just getting into overlanding and contemplating which vehicle we wanted to drive around the world, it was Expo sessions like this that helped us understand the pros and cons of all our options.
The awesome thing about Overland Expo is how many voices come together to share from their diverse experiences. You don’t have to go with the only opinion in the room. Instead, you get to hear from multiple voices (and get your questions answered directly by them).
8/ Experts Panel: Overlanding as Women :: 2 p.m.
I had the privilege of sitting on this panel at Overland Expo West 2021, and it was an inspiring, funny, and emotional conversation with some incredible female travelers. No question was off the table and we covered a lot of ground to empower women to go farther. I’m sure the conversation this year will be equally wonderful.
(Note: if you’re looking for other Saturday sessions, we’d stay close to the Roundtable Pavilion and Around the World Pavilion. It’s hard to go wrong with either.)
Sunday, May 22
9/ Overland Journal Podcast LIVE :: 10 a.m.
Overland Journal Podcast is the best podcast about this lifestyle we love and several episodes will be recorded live during Overland Expo West. I recommend you catch as many tapings as you can over the weekend, as the podcast is known for carefully curating guests and crafting interesting conversations.
I have to give a special shout-out to this episode taping. Scott Brady will be interviewing the peerless family known as Mali Mish. Dan and Marlene are on their FOURTEENTH year of full-time travel and have grown their family to five along the way. And two cats.
They started with an Airstream and a nine-month-old back in 2008, and they’ve been inspiring other families to travel ever since (including us). The family has been in Europe for the past few years, and I’m thrilled that Scott has invited them onto the podcast to share their experiences.
10/ Famagogo explores Europe by Sprinter Van :: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Here’s a two-session treat from other personal friends of ours (they sold us their Winnebago when they first decided to move into a Sprinter). In 2019, Peter and Kathy Holcombe, along with their teenage daughter Abby, shipped their Sprinter over to Europe for overland exploration. They are a wealth of information about the shipping process specifically, as well as the fun travel stuff. Another wonderful family to learn from.
Remember your class access depends on the type of ticket you have. Some of the sessions are open to everyone, while other programming is reserved for certain ticket-holders.
Let us know if you have any questions about attending Overland Expo. It can be a little overwhelming if you’re attending the first time, but there are lots of people willing to help you get your bearings.