Show Notes for Podcast Episode #45
Interview with Bryon Bass, Explorer, Archaeologist, Vintner, and Overlander
Scott Brady interviews Bryon Bass for the second time, diving deeper into every day carry (EDC), keeping yourself out of trouble on the road, tools, and watches. We also explore Bryon’s passion for wine, watches, and Toyotas, including his 300,000 mile Tacoma and newly acquired BJ40.
Guest Bryon Bass is a true modern day explorer, complete with a PhD in Archaeology and a love for global travel.
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady, and my co-host Matt Scott is not available today. So we will see him on a future episode, but I have a great friend of mine, a long time friend. He is a previous podcast guest, so this is our first time that we've had a, a second run and that is Brian Bass. And Brian is in the episode titled the original Indiana Jones or the, what did I call it? The real and the real Indiana Jones. That's right. Exactly. So Bryon is an archeologist by trade. He is also a lifetime adventure. He has lived around the world and traveled around the world by four-wheel drive and by motorcycle. He also has a very wide sweeping scope of interests as well, which we're going to get into more today. There was a lot that we wanted to talk about in the loss in the last podcast [00:01:00] that we weren't able to get to. So thank you, Bryon, for being on the podcast again and spending some time in Prescott with me
Bryon Bass: Great to be back. No pressure, by the way, by calling out that I'm the first return.
Scott Brady: Yeah, you are and that's because there's so much fun stuff for us to be able to chat about and we're always scheming future adventures. In fact, maybe we'll even talk about a few of those today on the episode, but it would be great to go through a couple of those things that we weren't able to really talk about last time. So get into those with a little bit deeper dive, which I think will be a lot of fun and one of the first questions that I thought would be interesting to get into more on the technical side of things is really that subject around everyday carry, because I tend to just ask you what you're using for a pen or a knife or whatever, because it just saves me so much time and research because you usually have it nailed by the time I ask you. So let's [00:02:00] go through what your current, everyday carry is. The things that you tend to have on your person when you're in North America and then of course, how that changes when you travel around the world, for example.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, no problem. I think for me, daily carry has to equate to daily use. So while I might have some really cool things in my safe or around the house sitting on my desk I don't necessarily carry those unless there is a scenario or scenarios where I would envision using them. So every day I have my usual knife. Now I can't say it's the usual. A knife in my pocket clip.
Scott Brady: So what would you typically have on your person when you're on the ranch in California?
Bryon Bass: Well, actually this is going to be repeat, but what I have on now, which is what I carry most days is a really great knife by a guy named Robert Smith from goose works. [00:03:00] He's also the the owner of Rezko instruments. They make watches. He's a former Navy seal and his stuff is just field ready. I suppose people could collect his knives, but that's not really what he's aiming for. So I carry that.
Scott Brady: And is it a folder or?
Bryon Bass: It's a folder yeah, very basic design. He has influences that are very obvious when you see the knives, but they're just great for the field for thrashing about you don't pull it out and go, I wonder if I should really use this for that task. You just take the knife out and use it. And then the other everyday carry is a, it's going to sound crazy, but it's a Victoria Knox , the 108. You know, the, the German army knife, GAK, is what people call it. Actually carry one that wasn't one of the issue ones, but it's, they have red handle and green handle and they're 108 millimeters long and that's why they're called the 108s and they don't make them anymore, unfortunately, but they're a pretty interesting knife. They're just a great knife and for the field. They only have a [00:04:00] pivot at one end so they're, they're super robust. When I was a grad student, that was the only knife that I had and because it has a very long... there's a saw with a really stout screwdriver blade screwdriver at the very end. So when I was riding around on my R100 PD, that was like the every day tool, you know? And so that is it for my "it must be on me every day, all day. It doesn't matter if I have like nicer pair of trousers or whatever." For the 108 I'm not carrying them in my pocket, there's a great sheath maker, a holster maker where I live in the Santa Ynez Valley. So I kind of dreamt up the optimal pancake type. Sheath for it so it can kind of be worn off to the side, similar to like what people, if people are familiar with how like the old snub nose revolvers were carried. That kind of a sheath. So it's obviously for for this night for the Victoria Knox 108. So it just kind of [00:05:00] stashes away on my hip and it doesn't bother me when I drive, but it's always there. Has a corkscrew on it. So you're ready for anything.
Scott Brady: All the important stuff, right? Well, so paint a picture on how long you have had that knife. You said you had it when you were in graduate school. So you have not, I mean, knock on wood or whatever, but you you've kept this knife now for decades.
Bryon Bass: Well, I should say to qualify this, that the one I have on me is not that exact same one. So I gave that other one away. I paid 10 Swiss francs for it at an outdoor market in Zurich, and then carried it forever and then recently gave it away as a gift. While, you know, I'm not giving away here, but online, if you get onto different forums, things like this, you can find the 108s. They're very affordable. They're kind of collectible. Cause there are so many different manufacturers down the line that somehow had licensed or something like this from Victoria Knox to make them. And so there's a whole little sub community of a [00:06:00] sub community that collects these things.
Scott Brady: So it has a cutting blade. It has a saw with a screwdriver tip and then it also has a corkscrew and an al.
Bryon Bass: Of course, and then some of them, you know, some of the ones that are a little bit harder to find, have a striker on the on the saw blade on the side of for strike on anything matches, you can probably use it as a fingernail file or something like that. So those are pretty cool too, to track down. It's well thought out.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that sounds like it. Speaking of the corkscrew, this is something I don't think we talked about much or at all on the last podcast, but in addition to you being an archeologist, you've also become a vintner. Over the last decade.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, that was a
Scott Brady: trajectory.
What inspired you to want to create your own wine?
Bryon Bass: That's an easy and [00:07:00] difficult question, I guess. I never really thought about wine one way or the other until I started my field work down in Croatia, on an Island, off the coast, there were every family... almost every family in the village where I was based. They make their own wine. Where I'm from in California, you know, at that time it was like, Napa, I didn't know anything about, about Santa Ynez Valley or Sonoma or any of the other Russian river areas and so I would have just excellent wine and here I'm like this penniless grad student and then I, you know, I would follow around and watching them topping the barrels and doing different things and I was only at the tail end of a harvest once down there at that time. So it just kind of put the hook in me for trying good wine. Doesn't have to be expensive wine, just good wine and everything. There was just, it was the vintage from last year. I mean, it wasn't, you know, they would pull out some bottle, you know, this was my grandfather's from, you know, 47 years ago or something like that. And that just kind of put the hook in me. And then when I moved back to the U S I ended up in the wine country... one of the wine countries in Santa [00:08:00] Ynez Valley and and obviously got into it, you know, helped out during harvest worked in one of the labs at a pretty well-known winery there. They just needed someone to measure bricks, which has sugar and pH and help out and they gave me wine as a. Sort of a thanks. Anyway, they said, well, are you familiar with high school chemistry? And I didn't really, you know, give them my grade when I was in 10th grade. Chemistry grade, wasn't the best, but I could cope with it obviously and then you know, one thing led to another, just kind of got into the scene. And and then I found out that there was evening courses for, you know, people like me or professionals, but could study up on wine and wine making. And then it was, and it came down to a dare myself and four other friends. We just said, Hey, let's just go in on a ton of grapes and see what we can do. And so I called all my winemaker buddies said, Hey, can I borrow some barrels? Can we borrow this? Can we do that? Can you help us with this? Tell us what we do and this happens. And then that's how it started.
Scott Brady: Amazing, and [00:09:00] what... cause I think back when I was stationed in Italy when I was in the air force and I remember I would go and spend time with some of the Italian families that were also firefighters on the base and they would always have their local, their family wine. Maybe they didn't themselves produce it, but their uncle did, or some, it was their family wine and it was all reused bottles with like questionable corks and everything. And the, the wine always did taste so good. What's the difference? I mean, maybe it's just context and I was in this wonderful experience and the food was wonderful, but what is it about like the traditional Croatian or Italian table wine that makes it so just drinkable enjoyable?
Bryon Bass: Well, it could be... there are so many factors that really play into it. I mean on the Croatian coast I would say that on the whole, if it's a family vintage that's, you know, from the last harvest. It's fairly common for them to mix water in it. When you're actually drinking it. [00:10:00] So you'll fill about half with the wine and half with water and it's more of a beverage. So then, you know, they'll even serve it to kids that, you know, here would be underage, but that's just normal there and you'll have it with your lunch and with your dinner, so it's fairly common, but you know, back to the flavor profile, I mean, there are a lot of things that factor in and it could be the setting. I could safely say that probably some of the stuff that I drank, you know, and in different setting or if somebody, you know, did fake it and pull a cork out of something and it had a label, I would say, Whoa, that was maybe not the best, you know, at least on my palette. I mean, you know, with, for example, with white wines, I still. Train with white wines because a Sono might sound poncy, but for me white wines on my palette are either really great or terrible and so, you know, I try to plow in there and, and delve into the complexity and try and refine my palette, you know, cause somebody will hand me something and go, this is really great. And [00:11:00] you know, my brain either has the killer or it's really bad. Not really bad, but you know, it just doesn't hit my brain the right way and then with red wines completely the opposite. The whole spectrum hits my brain, my palette sends the right signal at it. And thats over time.
Scott Brady: Yeah, totally, and I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to understanding wine, but I do enjoy drinking it.
Bryon Bass: That's all that matters.
Scott Brady: And I do that context makes such a difference. You can be out with great friends, having a great meal and talking about travel and, you know, whatever our passions may be and the wine always does taste better in that context and I think that that's also really wonderful as well. And a reminder that you don't have to spend a hundred dollars on a bottle of wine because it is about the context. So just enjoy the time with your friends or family.
Bryon Bass: I'm still trying to figure out why, for me in the outdoor setting red wines [00:12:00] just are the best. Like when you're traveling or you're by the campfire. I haven't figured out... it's not quantitative, of course this is just theoretical, but it might be that usually the wine is a little bit on the warmer side than normal because it's been in your truck or something like that. I don't know. But I, you know, I find that, you know, especially in the camping settings, I love red wine.
Scott Brady: Everything seems to taste so much better. I mean, if I do salmon over next to the fire, and there's just something about food and even a nice drink around a campfire in the setting like that. So again, context comes back to it and all the more reason for us to get out and camp or have a great meal with friends. It's all the more reminder to do that for sure. That is so, so fascinating about the wine process. And, and I know it's, it's well outside the wheelhouse of this podcast typically, but I think the reason why I [00:13:00] asked that is what I find is that as people travel. Their interests do become quite broad and they're usually influenced by something in their travel. So you just mentioned that time that you had in Croatia and drinking the table wine and starting to experience the harvest and it created this seed for you and in many ways for being a future vintner.
Bryon Bass: Oh yeah, and it came back years later, you know, the boomerang went out and then I kind of forgot that it was floating around out there and then just hit me one day when I realized, you know, I'm living in one of the wine countries of California. Why not like jump in and, you know, learn more and not spend more, but just learn more know and of course I would cruise around and if some tasting room had some. Something going on where it didn't really, other than the tip, you know, I didn't have to pay. You know?
Scott Brady: And your wine is also it's available in many of the restaurants in your area and what's the name of your [00:14:00] wine brand?
Bryon Bass: Brancino. You won't find the website yet. It's a work in progress, you know?
Scott Brady: Yeah, totally. Well, no, you're too busy consuming the inventory. On the other part of the everyday carry you do tend to be fairly mindful of the clothing that you have. And even this morning, when we were grabbing coffee, you talked about when you were in Edinburgh and you were, or you would go into the outdoors there in, in the Northern part of the UK that you would have to bring along all of these different layers because the weather could change so dramatically. So what are some of the things that... how do you think about that today? I mean, you do live in like this sunny part of California, but maybe when you're not...
Bryon Bass: We have like a month of bad weather bad weather.
Scott Brady: So during the month of bad weather, like what do you typically bring along as like your mid layer and your outer layer, your shell. What do you typically use?
Bryon Bass: Well, it's interesting because [00:15:00] over time I was in Scotland and then in the early and mid nineties and maybe Marina wool was around in the thinner layers, but if it was, I couldn't afford it. So it was just sort of having some sort of long John esque thing underneath, and then a, like a heavy sweater. And now I definitely focus on Marina wool. As a matter of fact, I can almost exclusively wear just that just that, I mean, everything from a collared shirt, I mean, I wear it on hot days. Not because I need the warmth, but because if you just have one loose layer of that it doesn't smell. You know, they tend to look a little bit nicer. I find that I, at least for me, I get a lot of holes in them from just wear of doing seat belts in old trucks or whatever things clip in, and then you get a little tear, but know that's part of the look. So I focus on that as sort of my bottom layer and sometimes the mid layer because that also obviously when will gets wet you know, you retain some, some warmth there. And I feel that that's [00:16:00] important. And then for the outer layers, I've recently sort of rediscovered down jackets. Some of the stuff from Patrick ma Promethease design works.
Scott Brady: Those are great little puffy jackets. I'm totally sold on them. And then the fact that you can, you can stuff it into the back pocket and make a camp pillow, and then it also includes a neck pillow stuffed sack. I've used that on every trip now and I just leave it stuffed into the pocket while I'm on the plane, the way I just have it clipped to my carry on bag or whatever. They're really good. They're very impressive. The overall quality of thos jackets,
Bryon Bass: And also now there's some technology that's gone into the down, so when it gets wet, it doesn't clump. The outer material of the jackets where, you know, in the old days, if you had any splash, it immediately went through the fabric, right. To the feathers. And so that game has changed too. For my outer layer, kind of depends on where I am and if I need another layer of warmth, [00:17:00] but I'm perfectly fine just having like some sort of Gore-Tex esque outer and without any insulation. And I'll put that on over the top of everything else. I do like vests they don't have to be down necessarily, but I do appreciate different kinds of vests that have some wind protection and warmth because obviously that is the core and I find that I know a vest is a little bit smaller. It rolls up easier into your rucksack. And then if things start to get cold, especially when you're like riding a motorcycle, something like that, I'm usually fine just putting the vest on zipping and mixing it up. And then, you know, then I'm
Scott Brady: fine.
I don't think I've ever had a vest, but it makes sense, especially with the motorcycle where you're really space limited. You could just add that warming layer of a vest.
Bryon Bass: And then obviously the down vests, they roll up super small. You can also use those as a pillow. You know, when you're looking at aspect of motorcycle wear. You want to kind of focus on every last little piece that you're taking along with you.
Scott Brady: And the jacket you've got on right now. What's this one, [00:18:00] this one looks like you could do some welding.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Right? It's like Filson influenced. It's made by a free note cloth. They're down in near San Diego. I want to say San Juan Capistrano, maybe. So they're like a, So Cal company and it's just wax cloth, but they have a different cut to it. You know, I like it. This is my land cruiser, you know, we're working on the farm jackets.
Scott Brady: That's perfect. Well, let's segue that. I mean, talk a little bit about your newest acquisition, your newest vehicle that you added to the fleet.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, I guess maybe a little more than a year ago. Picked up from from a buddy. A Toyota land cruiser, BJ 40. 1978, BJ 40 it's diesel. It started out life as a Canadian market, a left-hand drive, diesel. And it's one of those trucks where you just don't really know the full history. Although the person that he bought it from the gentleman who I [00:19:00] bought it from said that it was down at a coffee bean plantation in central America for quite a while. And normally I would be, well cause I mean, obviously as an archeologist you hear a lot of stories that are pretty far from the truth, but just wrenching under the hood red dirt caked everywhere. So it's I would believe that you can see where the rust is and everything and the repairs. Somebody recently gave me the term native repair right now, where you can see that this was done in some garage, in some village somewhere just to keep it going. And at some point one of the previous owners put in a a three B diesel motor from 1982. So it's you know, it's a little bit better than the motor that originally came in it and then later on, I'm assuming maybe, you know, concurrent with that installation. It has a an H 55 F five speed manual tranny. So it's this kind of Sluggo you know, non turbo diesel, but with a five speed tranny. So where I [00:20:00] live I can get on the freeway. I mean, obviously people are passing me, but you know, I could cruise along at, you know, 60, 65 miles an hour and, you know, feel like, all right, I'm holding my own.
Scott Brady: Why the BJ 40, I remember around the time that you bought it, you were looking at. Trying to find a diesel G wagon. You were looking at a couple of different kinds of vehicles. What ultimately settled you on the, on the BJ?
Bryon Bass: Well, the BJ came along before my quest for, for a diesel G wagon came along. I think that, you know, I've lived with this guilt for a long time. I had the world's cheeriest FJ 40. 1977, FJ 40 bought it. It had literally, you can't make this up. It had belonged to an old lady. She liked shopping with it because it had the ambulance shores. I bought this in San Diego, by the way, the top had never been off. It had never been off-road it really didn't [00:21:00] have any scrapes. It had the original rear heater, everything was intact.And just so sweet. I bought it in, I guess, 1986 or 87. So it wasn't, it was barely 10 years old. And you know, so you could hardly call it vintage at the time. And then shortly before I moved to Europe for grad school, I thought, wow, these things are a dime a dozen. I mean, I had plenty of buddies who had them. Just sell it and you know, if I want something similar, when I moved back, you know, I'll just get it. And, you know, six plus years later, seven years later, it had already become a cult car, I can't say called classic, but people were already hunting them down and I didn't have the financial horsepower to go and pick one up. And then this BJ came along and I was chatting with my buddy. Yeah. And he said, Hey, I'm thinking about selling it. I want to have a muscle car. And then he didn't even finish the sentence. And I said, I'll figure it out cause I'm buying that thing.
Scott Brady: That is crazy that your FJ 40 was a 77. And I didn't even know that you had an FJ 40 [00:22:00] before, because the one and only FJ 40 I ever owned was a 1977.
Bryon Bass: Best year ever for them.
Scott Brady: Well, it was a pretty good year for those cause they, they had the disc brakes in the front and the later, like the early 80 ones were so limited production and they had some additional things like power steering and all that that made those very, very expensive. But the 77 I had, it was red and it had the rear heater, uncut fenders. And I drove that for. For five years and I didn't make a lot of money on it, but I never did...
Bryon Bass: I cleared a little bit with mine.
Scott Brady: I never had to fix anything. I did add things like air conditioning and I did gussy it up a little bit. You know, I put a winch on the front and things like that, but I never needed to fix anything. It never broke. It never had needed a repair and to use a car for five years and then make a little profit on it that just [00:23:00] doesn't have everything's an appliance now. And so to be able to have a vehicle like that, I mean, that's why they're so charming.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. And I had in that vein, I had to have some redemption in some way. And now I find, I mean, it's my daily driver, the BJ 40, I mean, everyday I can't wait for, you know, I got to go to the post office. Cool. Get in there. I mean, right now, the the passenger side window, doesn't lower. I've got the parts on order, but you know, the crank doesn't work and it leaks a little bit of water if it rains on it. And I now are going under a car port, so it's, it's protected, you know, at least from, from that kind of stuff. But every day I look forward to jumping in it. Make up an excuse, you know, I'm going to go to the market.
Scott Brady: That's because you needed to give your Tacoma a little bit of a break. What year, what year is your Tacoma? 2003. And how many miles did you just hit with that thing?
Bryon Bass: Just crossed 300,000 miles.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean, as long as I have known you you've had that truck and did you buy it
Bryon Bass: new or near new brand new? I [00:24:00] think, yeah, like 21 miles on it or something.
Scott Brady: It's unbelievable and you've really been thoughtful about how you've modified it. So you being a gen one Tacoma it's, it is kind of that high watermark. It was still a little smaller than they got in the gen two. And you know, that the motor was fine. The 3.4 liter was fine. Very, very reliable people commonly get, you know, over 300,000 miles out of those engines, but you were pretty tasteful in how you modified it.What were some of the things that you did to your Tacoma that you liked the most, the, the modifications that you think really kind of stood the test of time for you?
Bryon Bass: Well, I could definitely say the steel wheels that are just the Toyota manufactured. I think they're actually made to be the spares. You know, they look cool. I think I had them powder-coated early on. They come black anyway, but you know, they'll start to rest because maybe their [00:25:00] purpose for being squirreled away as a spare. But I put those on it. And sold the... came with some aluminum wheels. And I really liked that, but that was more of an aesthetic thing obviously, but as far as, you know, holding up to I mean, you know, I'd beat them up and everything's fine, you know? Oh, wow. There's a ding here. As a ding there, you'd hit it with a rattle can, and then everyone comments on it, like where did you get them? And I say, well, you know, you could just go to the dealership and get the spare rim, steel. Well that, that truck really hasn't had that many mods. I have like King shocks on it which ended up kind of lifting it. Oh, you know what I do have the the Dever leaf Springs.
Scott Brady: Those are great.
Bryon Bass: I went to the Dever shop wherever that is in the LA basin. That was crazy. Cause they started out making leads the Springs for buggies and carriages yeah. Crazy. Yeah and there, I'm talking with the guy about, you know, and this is what I'm going to have in the back of my Tacoma and stuff. And then other than that, I think the only other thing besides the bumpers. Was putting on a snorkel. Yeah. Everything else is bone stock..
[00:26:00] Scott Brady: And you put a, is it an ARB bumper in the front
Bryon Bass: ARB bumper in the front. One day I was down at Illuminous for something unrelated and with the Tacoma and somebody there, not Dave, but somebody else mentioned that they had done a template for that gen one Tacoma for rear bumper. And they said they could make one up. If I was interested in it, I just said, Oh yeah, let's do it. Let's do it. So on the rear it has a, an illuminous bumper.
Scott Brady: Which is good because those trucks were fairly sensitive to payload. They didn't have a lot of payloads.
Bryon Bass: Yeah and I'm a big fan for lightening where you can, and then keeping things light.
Scott Brady: You have a canopy on the back, is that right?
Bryon Bass: Just the shell. It's just a shell and then on top of that of the front runner, there are minimalist... you know, that slim line rack that I can put whatever, and I've done rooftop tent tests with it and just my own gear [00:27:00] and that's really...
Scott Brady: Such a great truck. I remember seeing the other day, I think you sent me a text with the hitting 300,000 miles. That was just awesome. It was just awesome. So it's just, so impressive. The reliability of those vehicles.
Bryon Bass: Those have become cult.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and deservedly so for sure,
Bryon Bass: although that's, that's my conundrum right now because it's getting long in the tooth. It runs fine. But, you know, it's pressing on now towards 350,000 miles. So then where do I go? And you know, one of the things I'm exploring is maybe putting a 2.8 liter diesel in it or, or selling. I don't know. I have to think about it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That was our very first project vehicle for Expedtions west.
Bryon Bass: I remember that white one you had.
Scott Brady: We did a 2004 crew cab TRD Tacoma.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Same ring just different year. Yeah. What a cool rig. I mean, you can see over the hood, they're more nimble. They feel more [00:28:00] nimble anyway. Then the later generation Tacomas.
Scott Brady: They are a little smaller and that's what I think made them a little more useful in that regard. Yeah. Those are such neat trucks. I totally agree and it's just fun that you've had. I mean, if you think about the money that you have saved by just keeping that same truck. For all of this time. Well, you know, when people will lease a vehicle and they're just constantly in this five, six, $700 a month payment program, whereas if you just buy something great, like a BJ or a Tacoma and drive it for 20 years, cause it's almost 20 years, I know it's just coming up on 20 years. It's unbelievable. Yeah. You save so much. And then that truck is still probably worth 12 to 15 grand.
Bryon Bass: Which surprizes me and you could still find ones out there unmodified, especially the, you know, the crew cab, the double cab. You find them out there.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They were just daily drivers for people. Yeah what a neat vehicle for sure. The next thing I wanted to [00:29:00] chat with you about because you have met so many interesting people in your travels is talk a little bit about the two to three people in your life that you've met in your travels that really inspired you, or, or maybe they, they woke something up in you or you learn some really valuable life lesson from these people because you've accomplished so much Brian and maybe this isn't the case for you, but I know for me that at times I just needed that bit of inspiration to go that next step or to push on a little further. Who are those people for you?
Bryon Bass: Well, I guess, I guess the qualification that you had was through my travels.
Scott Brady: Or otherwise.
Bryon Bass: My first instance, you know, closer to home, definitely my, my father and mother, just because of who they are and how they've been supportive. Not necessarily financially, just supportive of okay you want to do this? You want to do that? I mean maybe I [00:30:00] mentioned before, but you know, my father was a paratrooper and then he. Went into the special forces. This was in the late fifties, early sixties. So it's not, you know, recent and and then went into the movie business after a short term selling paper bags. He became a stunt man and was professionals, stunt man for the rest of his life. And and my mom you know, she's 81 going on 31 she goes on three to five mile hikes every day and she's just solid. World traveler been everywhere and I can safely say that just learning from them about this is your planet. Go capture it, go, go see it, go experience it. I mean, when I had an opportunity to do a semester as an undergrad in college overseas, it was in London. I threw away the paperwork that showed up. And then, you know, my mom said, Hey, you know, by the way, you know, look at the specs and you know, this is the kind of thing we can possibly afford. You know, it's just really the roundtrip and then you have a stipend and et cetera, and that was. I would have been, you know, I would have just stayed home that semester and just worked through [00:31:00] class as I did and that was what put the hook in me and that's how I ended up getting into the field as an archeologist and going to the middle East to work cause a professor I met in London and, you know, it's just on from there. As far as the travels go, I think one of the main influences for just capturing and learning... continue to learn and do until some power that be takes you out is definitely Sir Fitzroy Maclean. He you know, to kind of give a thumbnail, I did a book review for... I can't remember it was, it was some years ago for Overland journal. One of his, I think one of the best books is Eastern approaches and he started about life. He was educated at Eaton went to Cambridge and went into the diplomatic Corps was posted as a junior diplomat to France and then into Russia and this was before the second world war, and when he had days off, like who does this, but when he had... maybe cause he's Scottish. [00:32:00] So when he had days off in Moscow, he would go just head East and he had his camera and he wasn't up to anything. At least if he happened to have been up to something other than just being a tourist, he never copped to it ever. You think by now, he's passed away so that would've come out, but he just would hit the road and take photos and he'd have kind of the precursor to the KGB and the FSB, the NKVD, they usually have some, one or two people posted to him that would follow him. And sometimes he'd even meet up with them and get them on the truck that he was on. So they could just, he could get on with his travels and do his thing and then when the second world war started, he realized that he was gonna be out of the loop as a diplomat and so he enlisted as a private he's actually, I think one of only a few people, if not just two or three, I think that went from in the second world war from private to Brigadier, I think in the US we call it a Brigadier general throughout the course of the war.
Scott Brady: Wow.
But he enlisted, went to North Africa. [00:33:00] Ran into David Sterling, who at the time was setting up the SAS. I mean this was a new unit, you know, and the original, and they linked up with the long range desert group and just in the early days, they just learned from learning the hard way about you know, how to conduct operations in those environments and, you know, you see over time, while a short period of time, they started taking on native garb and native look and not having the grooming standards that normal soldiers had. And so at some point, you know, making a whole, that story short the Churchill found out that they had this diplomat trained as a commando and he was then sent into Yugoslavia parachuted in to link up with Tito and you know, it's just, his story goes on and on and about how he had to learn serbo Croatian. He spoke Russian, which is in the Slavic language group, like sort of then Serbo Croatian. But you know, you can't say that you're fluent in it. I mean, you know, maybe some of the nouns or verbs or [00:34:00] whatever, or a similar route, but yeah, so we had to bone up on that. And then after the war, he was, he continued on as a member of parliament. He actually became one during the war, you know, just as a dare and just continued on and, and he just didn't stop. He wrote books on Scottish cooking and photography and just incredible. Even in the later in the eighties, when Russia and Perestroika and Glasnost and things were coming around and Ronald Reagan and Gorbachev were kind of getting, you know, doing the tango a little bit about opening everything up and, you know, Taking down the Berlin wall Gorbachev came over to Scotland and did a walk around with Fritzroy Maclean and they could dismiss all the bodyguards, all the translators and it was just one-on-one conversation, you know, that they had about who knows what, you know, they talked about. I'm sure that's somewhere out there, but anyway, he was quite inspiring. Just from his trajectory of, [00:35:00] you know, what he did and what he accomplished and maybe, you know, obviously as you know, SAS, soldier, he just learned that, you know, like truly who dares wins. You just have to go for it or just be quiet and sit down and don't raise your hand and be a complainer. And he was just really an inspiration.
Scott Brady: And you met him at one point?
Yeah and his family, his wife, lady Maclean, and two summers ago, I ran into one of his sons down on the Island of Korčula you know, it's one of the funny things after the war Teto let him purchase a Villa on the Islan Korčula, but foreigners weren't allowed to own a property at that time. So they made Korčula town, a sort of a free town kind of like Trieste. And then, then he purchased the property and then they changed the status again. So up until in 1991, when Croatia became independent, he was, I guess in theory, the only foreigner who outright owned property in Yugoslavia, [00:36:00] but I would say, you know, there's even a precursor to him, although I never met this individual, but definitely Sir Richard Francis Burton, not Richard Burton, the actor, but the adventure, the travele r. I came across him because he had published articles when he was a British consult to Trieste in the, in the 18 hundreds and the 1880s he had traveled specifically to the Southern part of Dalmatia to visit some lighthouses that the Austro-Hungarian empire had built on some fairly remote islands, remote for the Mediterranean. And he was a generation of educated... well self-educated too, traveler where he would write about stuff and then publish it. So when I started doing my graduate work down there on some of these outer islands talking about things like the geology and the flora and the fauna and stuff like this, I asked a colleague who was out of a museum in Split, in the coastal city of Split, [00:37:00] where can I find the best references for soils and geology and stuff like that for those smaller islands? And he said, Oh, it's still Richard Burton's original writings from the 18 hundreds, you know? And I just... whoa. I mean, to just be aware of that and at the same time when you really dive in on that individual Richard Burton, I mean, he was the first Western or at least that anyone knows about to go to Mecca during the Hodge dressed in local garb, speaking Arabic. And he translated, you know, from Sanskrit the Kama Sutra, and it just goes on and they believe that he could speak, and this is like, in the days where you had to put your money where your mouth was like, you know, upwards of almost 30 languages and he wrote text on sword play and tricks that he had learned using a sword in the field from his travels. I mean, you know, he was a cartographe. I mean he would map things and it just... and [00:38:00] that, to me, was just reading about him and reading his publications. He's a fellow of the Royal geographical society. Just reading stuff that he had published it just boggled my mind. That's a bar. I know I'll never be able to attain that. I mean, I don't know, that bar is so high. And I like to aim for stuff like that.
Scott Brady: Oh, for sure. I mean, what inspirational individuals, and it's amazing what people can accomplish when they're not concerned with vanity metrics on Instagram. You can actually stop scrolling past other people's dreams and find some way to create your own, and those people, they worked so hard and they were so dedicated. Much of what they accomplished was at very young ages too, because people didn't really live that long back then. Some of these guys did, but...
Bryon Bass: But also at a time when, like for example, to go to Mecca at that time [00:39:00] as a westerner. I mean the punishment wasn't like, well, we're going to kick you out and put on the plane. I mean, you know, there was like punishment, pain by death or whatever, you know, I mean that was hardcore or going to locations whereyou couldn't like bone up on the language en route, you know, or read the, or read the travel guide on the way, and then that's just stuff that we don't have that. I mean, it's hard, you know, to have find individuals like that and then also just some of the publications where you're like, did he just stay up at late at night every night and write it out? I mean, it wasn't like he had Microsoft word or something where he could, you know, delete that paragraph and, you know, move that one around and change the spelling or whatever.
Scott Brady: Yeah, they were prolific journalists back then. They just would journal every day and they would keep track of their experiences. And I think that when you write that much, like many of them did, they wrote on a daily basis. Churchill's a great example of that. I mean, he was [00:40:00] absolutely prolific as a writer. I don't, I think he wrote more books after the age of 60 or 70 than most authors do in a lifetime. And I think it's, it's when you journal every day and you write on a regular basis that you just get so much more efficient at it. I know that when I stopped writing for a period of time, because something else is demanding my attention when I need to get back to it's a false start. It's hard to get started.
Bryon Bass: You got to dive in.
Scott Brady: I struggle with it. But those guys just never stopped writing.
Bryon Bass: I can't fathom it. I mean, even now. I mean, obviously I'm in modern age, so, you know, they must have spent hours every night.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They didn't have television or other sources of entertainment. They were just voracious readers and writers. Pretty, pretty impressive. Anybody else come to mind? That's a great one. Wow.
Bryon Bass: I would say those are, those are the two, you know, like That really kind of stick out, you know, and obviously Fitzroy Maclean with my travels [00:41:00] and Richard Burton, as I stumbled across him, literally in his publications, I should say. And then just started to do more my own research and like, who is this guy? You know, like, and then when he was done on the Dalmatian coast, I was at the end of his career and then you find out that, you know, he had published drawings of like stone tools and descriptions of flora and geology and sediments and soils. And at that time you didn't have to recall that, like... before that, at least in the UK, there was a guy named William Smith, you know, who kind of predated him, he's a sort of the father of modern English geology. And at first people would just kind of sort of poo-pooed what he was up to. He was self-taught and then, Darwin came along and was obviously aware of William Smith and identifying fossils in different strata. And then you have somebody like Richard Burton come along, who was obviously aware of everything that those guys were [00:42:00] up to and then he, he went out in the field and just started writing about stuff. And at that time, it wasn't like popular... people weren't ready for what Charles Darwin had to say at that time. And yeah. So anyway.
Scott Brady: No, for sure. And I guess to segue a little bit, recently you wrote an article for Overland journal where you were talking a bit about mindset and safety around travel. And I guess it's important to preface, preface this whole conversation with the fact that the world is incredibly safe. It is a common misconception that the world is less safe today than it was in the past. And that is the furthest from the truth. The world is far safer than it ever has been. There's more, more periods in regions in peace time right now than ever in history. So it is very safe time to be a human traveling and bouncing around the world. But if we do come in with a little bit of a mindset and some [00:43:00] preparation in our travels, we can help reduce that likelihood of something going wrong. And that could be just as simple as someone breaking into your room and stealing your camera, which is, you know, very disruptive to a trip. But let's talk a little bit about what you discussed in that article primarily around lodging and kind of that mindset with the traveler.
Bryon Bass: Well, I think a lot of it has to do with it's common sense in many cases you don't have to delve into it that deep as a traveler, or you don't have to be paranoid. I know that a lot of people will kind of go for that as though, wow it sounds like you're really paranoid when you're traveling, but I'm actually not. I totally get into the experience of being outside of where I live and my culture. But at the same time there isn't... it's not a big deal to like walk around the hotel that you're staying in and go, hey how would I get out of here if there's a fire? Okay. Obviously that maybe is a little bit of a... it's not so much of a warm, fuzzy, that's a cold prickley. What if there's a fire in the hotel, but then you walk around, you're like, Oh, that's cool. That's where the gym [00:44:00] is. All right. Well, I got that down.
Scott Brady: Or theres a little cafee right over there.
They got the rooftop bar. Okay, cool. Or, you know, there's where the exits are. So you just explored your environment that you're gonna be in for the next day, two, three, whatever it happens to be week or a couple of weeks or a couple of months and so now you've kind of expanded your knowledge of what's around you. That's really how I see it now. Maybe that's just being an anthropologist. That's how I see it. You know, there's nothing, I'm not worried about people coming in you know, breaking into my room, obviously when you're staying anywhere, that's not your own setup. You have to assume that it might not be secure. I won't say not safe. It's just not secur. I mean, you know, the deal, sometimes you travel the places where something on your wrist is more... with that alone a whole village could prosper for five years. You know, and, or they'll never even have any technology like that. Maybe they don't need a technology like that. Right. But I think that, you know, there are certain [00:45:00] safety I dunno, precautions, I guess you could say that, that people can take along the road. But some of it's like have a flashlight. I mean, I've been in hotels where the power goes out and you're like, okay, got the flashlight. Cool. You know, I wasn't being paranoid because I have a flashlight, you know, a simple one. There's a lot of other stuff too.
Scott Brady: Some other thoughts that come to mind? Now, if I remember a lot of this came from when you were working with teams in the field, you guys had like a safety protocol or you had some kind of a... that's where a lot of this came from, you were doing documentation for different groups on safety in the field. Was that kind of, a lot of this was born from?
Bryon Bass: Kind of, I could safely say that I got sort of sucked into it in a way from a colleague who's an exploration geologist teaching courses originally, it was more focused on sort of the search and rescue more of the survival side of things. And then it just... I won't say it spiraled from there, but it, kind of expanded to working with people that are sent to austere [00:46:00] locations, remote location for work. And it's not because they wanted to go there. It might be that the, you know, corporate just goes, Scott, we're sending it to Kazakh Stan. Cause you're the guy that knows how to operate the software for the drilling equipment, for our gear there and you're going to teach three guys there how to, how to use that gear. And you say, yeah, sure. But meanwhile, you know, you live in the inner city of somewhere in North America. You don't own a vehicle cause you don't need one. You take the bus, you saving your cash. You know, you want to buy a property somewhere outside of town eventually. And then you get sent to someplace where they hand you the keys to four wheel drive and there's like a, you know, whatever, 15 kilometer, 15 minute, two hour, whatever, drive your work location. And in the past, there would have been zero training for you. Other than get your visa, you get your shots, get squared away, you know? There you go, and so now there are some specialty firms that focus on the training, obviously it's focused on region and environment. So, you know, you're not going to learn about a bear [00:47:00] like grizzly bears, if you're being, you know, sent to someplace in central America or something like that, but that's kind of where the focus is and it's, it's not. Over the top stuff. Some of the courses that I've provided, you know, I start out with, okay everyone just do an internet search for you know geologists taken hostage and it's just pages and pages and pages and pages. So then how about this tourist taken hostage? You know, and then it just, even more pages that show up on an internet search, and then we'll say, okay, what's the safest country, or what's the safest country that we feel, you know, when it's presented to the rest of the UN everyone usually says Switzerland or in, or Lichtenstein, or some San Marino is a little place. Okay. So let's type in Swiss, tourists taken hostage, and then it still comes up with stuff. So it doesn't matter and you know, like you said, the world is a safe place, but if you're transiting areas or working in areas, it can help to just kind of be aware. So that you're not the target and you know, the point isn't to make other people the target, but just so that, you know, you're not presenting [00:48:00] yourself as something that's. Soft or, or, you know, easily accessed or your gear, you know, there's a lot of different angles to it. And there are a lot of other people that are definitely more well versed than I am on teaching these courses. But it's an interesting aspect.
Scott Brady: What are some other things that come to mind along those lines? So it could be the way that you operate your vehicle or even the process of checking into the hotel, what are some things that come to mind for you? Those practical pieces of advice that the listener could really...
Bryon Bass: Back your vehicles in. Even if it's just a rental car. Even if you're you're on Maui. Back it in. If you talk with people that teach public safety, driving to law enforcement or fire, most accidents happen backing out of spaces. And those are people, men and women that are trained in being, you know, active and driving at speed and, and going from zero to a hundred, not just physically, but you know, from getting a call and going. And that's when most accidents occur, you know, in pulling out of a space [00:49:00] is backing out of the space. Or bumping into something. So back in and also backing in, there isn't any quantitative information, but it definitely conveys that the owner of that vehicle is aware. They're space spatially aware of their vehicle and their ownership, that is their vehicle. They have the keys. The only downside with backing in, I guess, is if you have, depending on how the rear of your vehicle opens, sometimes, it could be a occluded by some bushes or a wall or something like that. I mean, that's one of my... start from that. You know, it always helps it depending on where you are, you know, if there is like a concierge or something like that. Obviously that's more highbrow kind of travel, but talk to the people at the hotel. I mean, they're, they're going to know like, Hey, this is the place around the corner. It's just a locals only thing, you know, obviously I have to pay attention to that, but you have to feel it out as you go. Yeah, that's
Scott Brady: probably the only times I've ever felt really uncomfortable as a traveler is literally going into the locals only bar and they just don't... they're like we see tourists every day. [00:50:00] This is our chance to get away from all of you.
Bryon Bass: And then here you are rolling on in.
Scott Brady: That's probably the only time I've ever felt uncomfortable. It's just, it's literally the back alley, but then there's also a hundred more times than that, that I go into the locals only back country bar. And they're, they're just stoked to see us.
Bryon Bass: And then tell you about their country or their city, you know, what's going on. Oh, Hey, by the way, you're here during the, the olive harvest, you know, we have the best olive oil, whatever it happens to be. Yeah, I mean, there's so many different aspects to it, you know, knowing how to get out of your hotel room besides the front door. I should say the door of your room. How to secure the door, the downside of the securing your door in case, you know, you need to be accessed from somebody in the hallway for safety reasons. Now you've blocked that. Yeah, there are various aspects to it. I mean, it's, it's It's a very deep field of study. It depends on your location too. I would say that depending on where I'm going I'm not concerned with things like [00:51:00] that. It just really depends, you know, if it's some, some boutique hotel somewhere or just some, you know, BNB where it's on the ground floor and it's, it's on the Island of Mull you know, in Scotland. I'm not worried about that. Yeah. You know, nobody's going to come charging in, you know, maybe, you know, somebody after having some single malt or something like that, but that's, you know, that's about it.
Scott Brady: Knocks on the wrong door. Yeah thats pretty much it. Most of it is randomness. In fact, any of the real troubles that I've had have been in places where I would have never expected it to happen.
Bryon Bass: You were just the person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Scott Brady: Totally randomness, yes. Whereas the places, well, I mean, we, you and I did have some moments of tension in Kenya. Were we in Lodwar was that where were were?
Bryon Bass: North... oh yeah, that's right. I forgot about that. Yeah, that was... I forgot about that. You were having more tension than I was with somebody who was drinking and wanted to fight.
Scott Brady: He was making it very clear that he was a boxer and he [00:52:00] wanted, he wanted to chat as you have his hands with me. And after looking at his knuckles, I realized like, this is probably not a fight that I even want. So I think we work really hard to dispel that one. And we did, and I think it was the locals that finally came to my aid. But yeah, it was moments of tension for sure.
Bryon Bass: Or Stanley Elman walking up, you know, hey you guys to break it up here. Okay. We gotta work on this truck and we're trying to get things fixed. Problem with the 24 volt.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And it's so challenging because you know what the guy wanted was money and you, you just don't do that. You don't just give out money in, especially someone who's clearly intoxicated. Being aggressive and so when you tell them, no, they just don't, it just escalates from there, but it fortunately it didn't get too bad, so slightly uncomfortable. That was about it. So those are all great pieces of advice for sure. And that also leads me to something that I do like to ask on a regular basis on these podcasts. And that would be kind of your favorite books. [00:53:00] Books that you maybe gift the most often to others or the books that have maybe made the biggest difference for you as a traveler, as an individual. It can be anything at all. I mean, it's a, I think in the last podcast you talked about the land Rover books that you read your son, so maybe some... what were those again?
Bryon Bass: It's the Landy series. And I even did a, sort of a, like an overview of them for one of the journals, not too long ago. I didn't delve into any of the specific books. But I talked about it and the funny thing is it's like the bugs bunny cartoons where there's the child aspect of it where they're little, wow. That's kind of fun. And you know, the little Landy and it has little eyes and a mouth kind of thing. And then the end of the bumper moves and makes a smile. But then the owner breaks out the high lift Jack and starts doing stuff. And then obviously as an owner of, or driver of an Overland vehicle, she was like, well, that's cool. And he's, you know, breaking the thing out. And then when you see the little drawing that the author has, you know, it's, it's, everything's legit wheels, [00:54:00] chocked. It's like real deal. I think thats a good way to like kind of keep your kids interested and, you know, and I don't know, maybe it's not the best thing when they start to look for some Arconic you know, 110 defender and then it's going to cost them so much. I want one of those, you know, when I turned 16, but yeah. So I don't know. It's, obviously you could dive deep on, the books. It's hard to find. I think I've mentioned it to you before. You'll have to find it like a it's it's out of publication, but it's a book by Lionel Caisson. There's a classical archeologist and it's called it's a translation Periplus Maurice Aritherae which is travels in the red sea and we don't even know who the author was. They know about the time that it was written because the author mentions different personnel, like Romans that are in Petra at the same time, and they know that the person obviously was a Mariner and a trader, but it's basically like a Traveler's guide to going down, the red [00:55:00] sea and the different villages. And it reads it doesn't, it doesn't have, it's clear that it's, it's aimed at just a general audience. And it must be a lot of other texts out there. I don't know if they're find-able or people know, but it's just aimed at somebody who would be trading or traveling in that area. So it has information like, when you pull into this point, be prepared to bribe the dock guards with your two and four or some mediocre to bad wine. They won't know the difference, but they'll guard your cargo overnight, you know, as if it were their own or, you know, when you pull into this Harbor, make sure you do it at high tide. And if you're there during the full moon, be sure to check out the wrestling competition held just outside the Harbor wall, or, you know, on the dock, be prepared to purchase incense, Mer slave musicians. And I mean, like bizarre, you just random things. And then, the author just moves on to the next location, but the author also talks about different types [00:56:00] of vessels at length. About what they look like. Some of them clearly the description is almost like a rib, like a Zodiac kind of inflatable, and he's surmising, there must be animal skins or something, and they're just a nearshore floating boat with somebody paddling and then other ones that are deeper draft with sail, this and that and the other, it doesn't have any other purpose other than that. So unlike, you know, reading authors that are maybe from around the Mediterranean contemporaries, and even earlier as, you know, they're writing it for different audiences or to impress people. And this one clearly isn't so it's hard to find, but it can be tracked down. And then I don't know, right now I'm reading Anthony Bourdain's book kitchen confidencel.
Scott Brady: What a loss we had with him.
Bryon Bass: Oh man, you know, and just, he's like a chef anthropologist. I don't know. Yeah. So like I mentioned Fitzwater Maclean's book, Eastern approaches. But there are so many, I have a... on my... what do I have on my desk [00:57:00] right now? I have some training manual on combat. It's from the second world war. It's just, you know, everyone, all the people that are demonstrating different moves and techniques, they're all wearing like back when you wore a tie, you know, as part of... and you're like your class a, you know just interesting stuff like that. But yeah, I think that's my current quiver of things that I'm reading through.
Scott Brady: That's good. Well, you know, it's fun because over the last couple of days we've been talking about, well, for the last year, we've been talking about what our next trip might be and our last one was notable with Uganda and Kenya and I think that something in Eastern Europe would be pretty fun. I'm thinking maybe starting somewhere in Croatia, we talked about that. And then heading South, maybe ending up in Greece at some point. So hopefully the next time we do a podcast, we'll do it from a cafe in Maldovia or something like that.
[00:58:00] Bryon Bass: Let's do that. Yeah, some... in the middle of Liliana and Slovenia or something like from pizzeria or something like that.
Scott Brady: Let's hope so. Let's hope so. What would you give as like some of the most important pieces of advice to someone who is just getting started with international travel or Overland travel? What would be the thing that if you were sitting down with a newly graduated college student that wanted to go see the world, what would be some of the advice that you would give to that person taking into consideration? All of the advice and the great insights that you've received from others, what would be the advice that you would give to a new person to Overland travel?
Bryon Bass: That's that's an interesting question. I would say that especially now, now meaning in 2021, not 1990, you can do so much research online about where you might be going, the food, the culture, [00:59:00] everything like this. And so I would say to somebody just out of high school or college, they want to hit the road. Leave the McDonald's behind, leave, leave the whole foods and the supermarket kind of attitude or whatever it is, leave that here. That's going to be here when you come back experience it, how they experience it, wherever you're going. So if you have to wake up at 4:00 AM to go and buy the bread at the shop or get the cheese from the cheesemonger do it, experience it, you know, and, and take it in. It's always good to learn, you know, I mean, everyone says this, but learn a couple of words. If it is a language that you don't speak. So you have like a hi. Thanks. Hello, goodbye. You know, and, or even a fun phrase, you know, where they'll be like, wow, you know, and that might be your segue into, you know, going out in the field with somebody or being invited for dinner or something like this. You know, I think it's important to pay attention to the fact that, you know, when you are in a different culture that you might... there might be certain kinds of dress and it's not so that you don't stick out. It's just so that you're not offending, you know, there might be issues with like I worked a lot in [01:00:00] the South Pacific and places where men wear sarongs, that's just how it is. You know, if I were walking around Prescott, Arizona, and people would be like, Hmm, okay. I'm not really sure what's going on with that, but that's just standard issue there. And there might be places we're showing your legs. It's just, it's not appreciated. Sure. So, and that's okay. Be aware of that. And then it's, you know, pay attention and try and try out what the locals do. And, I think now that, you know, there's a little more access online to information and you can kind of have an idea about what it is to expect.At least from the first instance, you know, once obviously, you know, when you're traveling, you know, you get there and you're like, wow, this is not what I expected. And that always happens. It's a lot easier now with, you know, debit cards and things like that. Yeah. Where you don't have to have like Traveler's checks. I don't even know last time I had a travelers check which is cool. I mean, that helps you out that lightens your load. You know, everything's not as complicated. You know, at the same time, you know, just kind of be aware of what you're doing and where you're going and, you know, [01:01:00] have fun really, and pack accordingly. Don't be afraid to like buy something where you're going. You know, you don't have to take everything with you. You know, maybe when you get there, if it's a colder climate, buy something cool, some local jacket that, you know, local people have, maybe it's wool got hood, whatever it happens to be. And then just take things on as you need them. And then maybe depending on, you know, what you're doing, if you're then going back to a warm climb, give things away, you know, give gifts to the locals, for sure. Exactly, exactly. And it's a lot of stuff to see out there.
Scott Brady: It is. There's so much to see. And the important thing is to go, and as you have demonstrated in your decades of travel, it's not about the gear. It's not about the vehicle. It's about making a decision to see and experience something new. And if we invest our money in those experiences, as opposed to things, then we end up with having a lot more stories to tell to future generations at the end of the day. You [01:02:00] know, you talked a lot about people who have inspired you and, and as my friend, you have inspired me deeply through the years, and I'm just grateful for that. Brian, I'm grateful for all the times that you have helped the numerous articles that you've written for Overland journal. It just recently, you and I were talking about watches and you were giving me all of these deep insights into military watches and just things that I have just greatly enjoyed in our travels and our conversations together. So thank you for being an inspiration to me, Brian, and thank you as always for being. On this podcast, we were going to talk about watches today, but again we hit over an hour. So maybe we will get to watches when we are at that pizzeria somewhere in Eastern Europe, who knows.But thank you again, Brian, for being on the podcast.
Bryon Bass: Thanks for having me again, Scott. I appreciate it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Thank you, and we will talk to you all next time.