Show Notes for Podcast Episode #47
Interviewing Eva Rupert, Adventurer, Survivalist, and Overlander
Scott Brady interviews accomplished adventurer Eva Rupert; motorcyclist, survival expert, Overland Expo staff member, and star of Naked and Afraid.
This podcast is supported in part by:
You might know her from three seasons of Discovery Channel's Naked & Afraid (Madagascar, Colombia & Bahamas), but did you know that Eva is an adventure motorcyclist with a skill set ranging from long-term wilderness survival to high-end mixology? With decades of backcountry adventure travel under her belt, Eva believes that even the most rugged adventure is an opportunity to get gourmet, stay safe, and keep it classy in the backcountry. Usually you can find her living off the land on Naked and Afraid XL, planning a charity dinner, or motorcycling around the continent.
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
Eva Rupert Interview
[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. My co-host Matt Scott is not with me today because he is driving a rear engine car likely too fast on curvy roads in Southern California. So he's having a great time, which we will also be having today. Hope you're enjoying yourself Matt, and for today's guest, we have Eva Rupert, who is a longtime friend and certainly an amazing character within the Overland industry. She has traveled around the United States. She has spent a lot of time in Madagascar, which we'll get to a little bit later and actually the first time that I met Eva was a project she was starting called tiny bikes, and I think she was on a trail 90 or something like that, traveling across Arizona. And I was so inspired by her story and her desire to find adventure, no matter what the form. And that is certainly the theme of Eva's life, which has been finding adventure no matter the [00:01:00] form. So thank you so much, Eva, for being on the podcast.
Eva Rupert: Thank you so much, Scott. What a great introduction. I love that.
Scott Brady: And you are also the motorcycle community brand ambassador for Overland expo as well. Why don't you give us a little bit of insight on what your day looks like as a community ambassador for. For such a cool event.
Eva Rupert: Well, I will tell you that. I sometimes think that I have the best job in the entire world. Like my entire life revolves around promoting motorcycles and motorcycle riding. Through the Overland expo vehicle, which is really great. You know, I feel like in overlanding we always think of these really cool four wheel drive vehicles and big trucks and, you know, traveling across the Sahara, but motorcycles are the original adventure machine. And one of my entire missions with Overland expo is to get more people on bikes, get more people out adventuring and so my day kind of runs the gamut from writing stories and articles and gear reviews to connecting with the community and [00:02:00] getting more people out at the shows and doing more fun stuff on two wheels.
Scott Brady: And you've been doing the Overland or at least attending the Overland expos for almost a decade now. Right?
Eva Rupert: Which is crazy to think about and I've worked for the company for. Multiple years now, which is wild. I don't typically hold down jobs for very long because they typically move to a different town and do something totally different or something else piques my interest and I'm very much of that freelance self-employed kind of DIY employment kind of person, but it's been such a great company and seeing it goes through the changes in the past few years has been really fun and it's just kind of held my interest.
Scott Brady: Oh, and they've done such a wonderful job. I have such respect for Jessica and that whole team there, they just really... LIndsey, all of them are just such fantastic individuals and they've done such a good job with the Event and they've just continued to elevate it in my mind and, you know, they've added additional venues and I think it just has so much potential going off into the future. So it's very exciting to see. [00:03:00] Yeah, no doubt. Well, awesome. So I think it would be fun to hear. Kind of a little bit of your origin story. There are so many things that we could cover today that I don't know if it's Even possible to get it in the one podcast, but I'd like to start with a little bit about where you started from, because we were even talking this morning. You do not have a recognizable accent. So give the listener a little bit of idea where you started from, early formative education, and how you ended up in Arizona.
Eva Rupert: Thanks. Well I was born in Connecticut. In Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1980, which is crazy to think that I've made it through four decades on the planet earth. Spent my early life in the Northeast. Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts for college and then as soon... I mean, I was 20 years old. I graduated from college and hightailed it about as far west as you can get without falling into the ocean. And you know, I love that I have these strong New England, Northeast roots, but I've lived in nine different states. [00:04:00] I've traveled all over the country and I think that's kind of what makes me who I am. I've been to a lot of different places and I can call a lot of different places home.
Scott Brady: And what, what inspired you to be in those different places? What brought about that desire to roam for you?
Eva Rupert: Gosh, I feel like I was just. Born with that itch. As a kid, I got to travel a lot with my parents and then, you know, independently riding the train in and out of New York city. I've always just... I don't know, it's just one of those things. Like I've always wanted to go and see more places and be more places and I'm really driven by people. It's kind of my Joie de vivre. Like I love humans. I love conversating. I love connecting. I love finding new places and I love sinking my teeth into it and I do that by connecting with other human beings and so as a kid, I don't exactly know where I'm going with that. You know, [00:05:00] I guess as a, as a kid, a lot of my ramblings would be, you know, on bicycles and kid style, adventure things, and then once I had a driver's license, then the world was your oyster, right? Like Every road trip imaginable, and Every new place that I could get my hands on is kind of what just drove me. And I still feel pretty compelled by those same inner itchings to go see and do more things and connect with more people.
Scott Brady: And you said that your mom was creative and then you went to college for film and photography and talk a little bit about that creative process for you and how it ties into what you do with overlanding?
Eva Rupert: Hmm, that's a really good one. Both of my parents are super creative. My mom was an artist. My dad is like a jazz pianist and engineer, and I always like walking that line between the logical and the creative. So. You know, I don't necessarily consider myself an artist necessarily, but I definitely consider myself a creative person. There's always that spirit of inquiry [00:06:00] that runs through travel and exploration. And overlanding just like, it runs through the creative process, you know, so constantly seeking to see new ways, do new things, discover new avenues of understanding. I think that's kind of the impetus of it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That makes sense. I've always thought that every day that I'm in a new place is literally like a new canvas to me and I painted in a few ways. I get to experience it firsthand, which means that that whole canvas is forming for me throughout the day or throughout the trip. And then as a photographer, I also get to capture those moments. So I do find that Overland travel does allow for a lot of creativity and even like you said, those human interactions are constantly changing and evolving and surprising us. So it makes a lot of sense why you love it is because you are this creative person. That doesn't [00:07:00] like to be in one place for very long and likes to interact with people. That's like the perfect combination.
Eva Rupert: Yeah. It's the sweet spot for sure. Yeah, for sure.
Scott Brady: That's great. And you also talked a little bit about after you left the California coast, you moved to Estes park, Colorado, and you started to do a lot more rock climbing. Talk a little bit about that.
Eva Rupert: Yeah. I mean, you name a state I've probably lived there, right? California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and now Arizona plus the old New England roots. You know, moving to Estes park. I moved there to start a teaching fellowship. There's a really cool alternative residential high school in the park. It's called the Eagle rock school. And it is this really intensely creative, really unique educational program and I have a background in outdoor education and so moved to Estes park to work at this school and get my teaching certificate and, you know, learn some interesting interdisciplinary educational techniques that I [00:08:00] thought I might be able to apply to the outdoor industry. But what I really ended up doing was moving to Estes park and doing tons and tons of rock climbing. It was like that thing. You know that thing that just Stokes the fire inside of you. It was my passion and my drive for so long and it was like, It's really funny because I just reconnected with my old climbing partner. And I'm recently reminded how formative that experience was for me. Like it was my Everything , you know, that's what we were all doing, me and all my friends and, you know how things are like, you're super passionate about something and then something else captures your imagination and you wander off in that direction. And it's, it's really fun to remember those years and how pivotal they are to my life as a traveler and an Explorer now.
Scott Brady: And what do you think were some of the key lessons learned from climbing? Like how do you see a lot of that, like equipment consideration and maybe [00:09:00] Even your lEvel of fitness for operating a motorcycle? How does that translate? Or did you find that some of those tools came over from rock climbing to motorcycling?
Eva Rupert: As you're asking that question, I was thinking about that balance between self-reliance and teamwork. Right? Because there's some of that in motorcycling and in climbing or maybe any outdoor pursuit, right? At, at the very core of it, you have to be intensely self-reliant like, that's you,.That's you with your hand on the throttle, that's you on the sharp end of the rope, but having amazing partners in those activities really speaks volumes. Right? You don't. Climb giant mountains, unless, you know, I mean, some people climb giant mountains all by themselves, but typically we have a climbing partner and very often when we're out riding, I mean, I love riding by myself, but it's also great having a buddy there. And so that comradery and that teamwork I think is so critical in both of them, but at the [00:10:00] core, it really just fortifies that inner flame of who you are as an individual.
Scott Brady: And I suspect that when you're... cause climbing is you're being supported by someone else in the fact that they're using, you're usually on belay or they're your lead climbing and someone else's has you belayed from below, but it is very intensely individual, but also kind of this team activity, just like motorcycling, you're not operating a motorcycle with a co-driver usually, I mean, maybe there's someone on the pillion seat, but. Normally you're operating it all on your own and then when Everybody gets their helmet off, then you're chatting or you're having a coffee or whatEver, and you're making this team effort again. So I can see that parallel for sure. You talk a little bit about self-reliance, which brings me back to the fact that you've spent a lot of time very well understanding survival techniques, primitive survival techniques, being self-reliant in the backcountry, [00:11:00] which I think is such an important skill. We're so lucky in the modern age that we have Everything from broadband internet access available to us all the way down to these highly mechanical and efficient machines that move us around, but when all of that stops working, how do we handle that? How do we survive that? And If we listen to the news much at all, we find out that lots of people don't survive that when they get stuck in the backcountry, when they get snowed into a location or when their vehicle fails. So talk a little bit about how did you learn these primitive survival and backcountry techniques and what were some of the key ones that you think translate back to our community?
Eva Rupert: Hmm. In my early twenties I started working in outdoor education. Right. And we put on these giant backpacks and we wore these giant boots and Everything is covered in Gore-Tex and waterproof material and I started thinking. About [00:12:00] what were people doing before gore-Tex? Cause obviously we're here. We survived and we haven't always had all this stuff and so that kind of core question of like, what were we doing before all the fancy high-tech gear, allowing us to be these astronauts in the wilderness. And that kind of led me down this path of primitive skills and primitive survival. And so I just started asking the question and finding different teachers. And it turns out there are some really incredible primitive technologists and primitive survival experts in this country and I'm sure many, many more around the world and these people are so willing to share their knowledge and information. And so I just started traveling and studying and finding really incredible teachers. Everything from like, you know, walking barefoot to tracking animals, to making fire by friction, to harvesting clay from the riverbanks and making pots. And somehow that process of using these really earth centric materials [00:13:00] took me further and further, deeper and deeper into the wilderness. And it kind of all comes back to that self-reliance thing. But Gosh, it's such a core component of who I am. Like the idea of survival, I think, is so inherent to who we are as human beings. Like it is absolutely at the core of this. But I think so much with all of the infrastructure of the modern world, we get really far away from that. It's so easy to, to think that we can't survive, but when we're stripped down to the very core of our existence and thrown out into the wilderness, there's something in us or there's some lEvel of our ancestry. That, that just knows that place so well, like we've been surviving in the wilderness for tens of thousands of years. Right? And like, it's only when you put yourself in that intense wilderness experience where you remove all the layers of comfort and safety that you find that you really are at home in the backcountry, that you really do have the skills you need to keep yourself alive in some really challenging situations. Or, [00:14:00] you know, in hospitable environments.
Scott Brady: Well, and it's interesting hearing that because it seems like modern life is so unhealthy for us as humans. I mean, we were nEver supposed to have this ready access to food. We were supposed to have periods of fasting, which. Triggers all kinds of interesting changes in our body when we do fast for even short periods of time, positive changes, and we were nEver supposed to have this ready access to sugar. I mean, we would get access to fruit on occasion when it was in season. And of course we would Gorge on it, you know, 10,000 years ago. And now we have access to it all the time and it's very unhealthy for us. And a lot of people suffer as a result of that. And even, as simple as cold exposure, I mean, they know medically how beneficial cold exposure can be, but we're so afraid of being uncomfortable. So we keep our homes and our bodies at this 74, 78 degree temperature. And it's shocking actually how [00:15:00] well we can survive in a wide range of temperatures and we have for millennia. Who were some of the instructors that you most liked? Like if one of our listeners wanted to go get some training from a primitive survival expert, who are some people that come to your mind that you would recommend?
Eva Rupert: Oh gosh. So there are two incredible teachers that I've had the fortune of learning from both have recently passed... one is Eric Callahan, who is one of the most incredible Flintknappers on the face of the planet and just an incredible primitive technologist and great teacher and he falls into this category of experiential archeology. So recreating the past in the modern day to kind of study how it was built? How does it degrade over time? How do people interact with this structure, this dwelling or this tool? And that was Eric [00:16:00] Callahan. Then StEva Watts, who was another incredible primitive, technologist and amazing teacher and curator of all things aboriginal and old and human. And yeah, I've had the pleasure of studying with both those guys. Intermittently over the course of the years. There's a great organization called Backtracks and they produce a couple of primitive skills gatherings that I would recommend anybody go to. I'm assuming it's probably backtracks.org. But they do an Event called winter count and one called rabbit stick and all these great teachers come. It would be like the Overland expo of primitive skills. Right? There's all these different teachers. Somebody's teaching hide tanning and somebody's teaching fire by friction and somebody teaching, you know, a bow making or knot tying or whatEver the case may be. But it all comes from this really primitive, human technology. And so that's just a really fun way. I would recommend that to anybody just go for a weekend or a couple of days and get your learn on figure out what people were doing long before all this fancy stuff that we have.
Scott Brady: And if [00:17:00] you were to pick maybe the top two to five skills that you would recommend someone learn these primitive skills, what would they be?
Eva Rupert: Oh my gosh. Well, fire by friction is the, be all and end all to primitive skills because through the process of making friction, fire, you learn so many other things you learn plant identification because you're picking out your materials, your woods and your string. You're finding rocks, you're learning rock forging techniques. Cause you're pecking your, your hand grip. You know, so firebreak fiction is just incredible. I feel like it's like the core primitive skill, right? Because fire is such an. Important part of our life. I mean, it's like, you know, psychologically comforting, it's physically challenging. It puts your ego in check because it's really hard. And so, you know, I feel like that's a great thing to learn and do and practice on a regular basis. Yeah. I'm sure you can learn Everything you need to know from youtube. But the best way to do it is to get out there and experiment and play with different plants. I've really loved [00:18:00] primitive pottery, so like turning earth into usable things. I've made a bunch of different pots and bowls and tools and things like that. And that's just really fun. It's a really slow, intentional, grounded process. Then you fired at the end and it's just this awesome celebration. And so that's another one of my favorites.
Scott Brady: And you can transport water after that. That's really interesting. Well, those are all great things for people to look into. And I think that it's a reminder that. The more of these primitive concepts, like maybe back to first principles. I think we can get so caught up in the technology and in the moderna of what we have now that we really forget about the fact that there are all of these primitive skills that have been with humans for hundreds of thousands of years. And they are still very useful for those of us that get into the back country and maybe even [00:19:00] reframe a lot of our thinking about the front country as well. And that's really fascinating that you've made that such an interesting part of your life. If I think about that process, it seemed like it literally prepared you for something that was fairly significant, that happened later in your life, which was when you participated in a television show called naked and afraid. Is that
Eva Rupert: right? That is true. Multiple times.
Scott Brady: Oh, you did?
Eva Rupert: Many times.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So. Talk a little bit. I've not been able to see it yet, so I need to look that up, but talk a little bit about what that show was and what the experience was like and what you learned from that has changed you for today.
Eva Rupert: That was really interesting. Staying experience. I was actually living in Prescott at the time, walking home from work, and I got a phone call and it was this casting agent saying, Hey, we're going to make this survival TV show and I'm like, whoa. That's like right up my alley. I have all kinds of survival skills. And she's like, and you [00:20:00] have to be naked. And I was like, what is this? This is crazy. So it's a really crazy concept, but it's a really interesting project. I'm so glad that I did it and I'm so glad I have that experience under my belt, but you know, the whole premise of naked and afraid is that they drop you off in the middle of nowhere with nothing. You get a tool of sorts and I think maybe... the show is still going on. It's still being produced. You get a tool of your choosing and a partner that hopefully you get to get along with and then they film the whole thing and so for 21 days I was dropped off in Madagascar with a guy I'd never met before and we just gotta figure it all out. You know, one of the producers of that show, I was like, this is so weird, you know, it's so weird. First of all, you're walking around naked. You're trying to be in survival mode, but it's kind of like having a bunch of cameras around you all the time. It's hard to truly sink into that space where you're connected to the earth and focused [00:21:00] on the task at hand, because somebody's running around with a camera trying to get that other angle or anything like that.
Scott Brady: Which is probably slightly awkward given the context.
Eva Rupert: It's a mixed bag. Like I love the experience. I love the challenge associated with it. I love the added challenge of having a camera crew there. Who's totally disturbing the environment, but one of the producers at one point said to me, he's like, Eva, there are two naked and afraid's. He's like, there's the experience that you're having out here. And then there's the television show that's going to result from that. And I relied on that to put this experience in context in my life, because you go out there, you do this really intensely hard, challenging life shaping thing and then you're back at home or you're sitting at the bar watching it on television and you're like, that's not how that went down. That's not the experience, but they're making a television show. Right? So they have this wealth of material, you know, how many hundreds or thousands of hours of footage do they have over the course of the [00:22:00] 21 day or 40 day filming? And then they have 90 minutes or howEver long the show is I guess, 45 minutes to, to compress a month long experience into. And so that's like two minutes a day, right? Yeah. So there's definitely some, some Hollywood crafting of the experience that goes on. But the thing that's really cool about that show is that the survival is at its core so incredibly real, which is the experience that means the most to me.
Scott Brady: Beyond the things that you learned on the survival side of it, which many of you already knew? How was that experience? Having a stranger there that you're trying to survive with, what did you learn from that that you've taken away? And then also, how has that show affected you in your travels and maybe Even the trajectory of your life as a professional too?
Eva Rupert: Yeah. I mean, as far as the partner goes, I totally pride myself on being the kind of person who can work with pretty much anybody. Like, [00:23:00] I love people. I get along with people. If you watch the TV show, it definitely looks like we're feuding at times. That was not the case. Like my partner and in my 21 day naked and afraid, we worked so well together. You know, we'd make a plan, you know, he'd be like, I'm gonna hunt lizards. I'd be like, okay, I'm gonna collect firewood. Like, okay, we've got like a cup and a half of water, like, okay, I'm gonna drink first. And then you drink a second. Right. There was a really great comradery and we were really both in it together, you know, like that first day that we met, we're like we're not calling. We're not tapping out. We're not calling in sick. We're not doing it at that. We're both making it to the end. It was like, just like that blood pact and that was really great. Cause you know, when I do something, I always want to do something all the way. Right. It's off the cliff with two feet, like the first jump and it was really nice to have somebody who came in with that same mindset, not like, oh, I can phone a friend and get picked up at any time. Cause that would ruffle my feathers. And then, you know, the experience of naked and afraid, like the first time I did it, I went to Madagascar, which was [00:24:00] great. I mean, I had traveled all over the U S Canada, Mexico, but those are all places that I can pull out of my driveway and go to, you know, I guess I'd been to Europe maybe a little bit, but getting flown halfway around the world at the drop of a hat, like they were basically like, Hey, can you leave on Tuesday? It's like, whoa, okay. You know, like change Everything , go get a bunch of vaccines, get on a plane, you know, just fly around the world really fast. And it was really cool because the whole production team got held up in that early naked and afraid that we were filming it. So I had the opportunity to travel around Madagascar with like a couple of locals for days or weeks before the production team showed up. And it was so cool, like meeting those people's families and traveling on such gnarly roads and seeing all these crazy, you know, plants that just... I mean all the species in Madagascar, Everything 's just totally endemic to that island, and it's so cool. Madagascar is just really cool. I can't wait to go [00:25:00] back, but, but traveling in that way in a place where I don't speak the language and didn't, you know, like my high school Spanish doesn't get you around in Madagascar, although high school French actually does, which was pretty convenient. You know, it really just opened my eyes to the possibilities of travel and bigger travel and more far-flung travel. And yeah, and I mean, I can't wait to go back and it really makes me want to go to more places, which is great.
Scott Brady: And between the fact that you did the show and that you started your education in film and in that more creative vein, how did the combination of those two things help you kind of be where you're at today? You've had some great ideas, like the tiny bikes project. And now you do a lot of media with the Overland expo. What are some of the things that you think that maybe people who are new to documenting their own experience or new to creating their own audience? [00:26:00] What's some piece of advice that you'd give to those travelers?
Eva Rupert: Mm, I would say first and foremost, When you're traveling, be present, be in your experience. Let the creation of content come second to that first and foremost, just sink yourself into that environment and if you get a great selfie out of it, that's awesome too. But I'm really cautious to not let the desire to write something or film something or photograph something or put something really nice on my Instagram. Stand in the way of me being here now and being really present and I think in Instagram culture these days, it's like Everyone wants to go climb up onto the prettiest cliff because they saw some other influencer climb up onto the previous cliff. Right? And I think most importantly, we need to have real authentic experiences. Right. We need to really be there. We really need to be talking to the people because the experience that you have there lives in your body, like Everything else might live on your Instagram or [00:27:00] on your YouTube channel, but having a real experience feeling authentically there and having. That experience, you'll carry that with you for the rest of your life. Long since the pixels had faded into the background. And so that's, I think, most important to that whole process.
Scott Brady: I like that, I like that perspective because I beliEve that one of the challenges is that in the influencer culture, it's very difficult actually to make that be a profession. You've got to have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of followers. You can't really make a profession out of 10,000 followers. And so then it becomes very much this vanity project, as opposed to really gaining the skills and experience that you need to create a business. So I think that for those that are listening and thinking about life, how do I become more effective? Or how do I make this a business? Don't focus on the likes or as Matt Scott calls it the Chucky [00:28:00] cheese tokens, because they're not transferable. You can't pay your mortgage with a like, and you can't feed your family with a like, so I think that that makes a lot of sense. What you're talking about, which is to be authentic, be in the moment, gain those skills, really focus on the experience, which then makes you experienced. And then you can translate that into actual professional activities.
Eva Rupert: Totally and I feel like, you know, I'm looking more and more to have my life and my career kind of fall into total alignment, you know? So if there is content creation and it's part of my job while I'm also traveling someplace amazing. So it's part of my life, right. And to have those things roll together seamlessly, I think is, you know, it's really one of my goals for me. And the more I can move into that space, like with my gig, Overland expo right now. It's like I used to do food and beverage stuff, and now I'm totally intensely involved in motorcycles, which is far more aligned with my passion. I mean, as much as I love making great cocktails for [00:29:00] Everybody, you know, riding motorcycles and traveling is far more in aligned with, in alignment with who I am and. I'm always trying to move better into that space. Like being aligned with my soul, my calling, my true self, my passion, like, and just constantly, I'm constantly working to slough off the stuff that doesn't fit, that doesn't work. That's taking time away from the things that I love to do.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's funny. You've spent essentially four decades becoming an overnight success. Right? And that, I think a lot of times people don't see that they don't see that you have worked so hard. You, you have done so many things in your life that makes you uniquely capable of doing this very cool job today. So if you try to take out all of those steps between point a and that ultimate job you'll never get there because otherwise you just have never gained the experience. You don't have the relationships, you haven't [00:30:00] taken the time to learn the skills to be a professional. So yeah, you've, you're a, you know, 40 year overnight success and it's, it does take time. And for those that are listening, just remember, it just takes time and it takes investing in those relationships and investing in your skills to then become that overnight success.
Eva Rupert: I like that.
Scott Brady: And if I think about all that you've done. What comes next for you? I mean what's on the horizon now. You've got these, all of this experience. You've done these amazing things. Where would you most want to go next? What's the big, crazy idea that you've got on your horizon.
Eva Rupert: Oh gosh. So many crazy ideas, so many good things. Well, so my partner, Sterling and I have this great little motel and it's... it's called the Jonquil motel it's in Bisbee, Arizona. We're about five miles north of the Mexican border. So that's a big, crazy project, right? Like something that neither of us have Ever done before, [00:31:00] but we've, we've both traveled so much. It's really fun to be on the receiving side of the hospitality. So receiving the guests. Bringing people in because we have a really good sense of what makes a great host, right? Because we've been hosted so many times by so many amazing people around the world. So the motel is like a big focus right now, figuring out what to do with that, how to make it better. It's got seven little rooms and a giant backyard. So You know, anybody who's listening, please come see us. If you've got an Overland vehicle, come stay in the back or adventure, bikes park out front.
Scott Brady: You've got enough room for people to park their sprinter or their camper and tow their little trailer and, and bring it in the back. And as I remember, it was kind of a, of a narrow entryway. So it kinda, you guys don't really have like the big RVs and stuff like that. You got true Overland vehicles back.
Eva Rupert: Yeah. We cap it at class B. We can't get anything through that gate. And that is a very intentional move. We're not trying to make an RV park in our backyard. We don't have any hookups either in the backyard. And [00:32:00] so you have to be self-reliant. We do have a very nice clean restroom outside for people to use. But other than that, yeah. You're on your own as far as solar and power and water and all that kind of stuff goes. And that's great too, because we get those self-reliant Over Landers coming through and staying in our backyard. And then we've got seven little rooms with great little beds and all the amenities for the guests who aren't driving in their rigs. And it's a ton of fun. It is so cool. You know, the motel, it was built in 1936. And I really feel like we're like breathing new life into it and fanning the flame that it's always wanted to be. So it's really exciting.
Scott Brady: It's so fun and such a neat little town. It's got so much character and, and again, that kind of creative space and there's a lot of creative people that live there. We were talking this morning, Sterling and you and I were having breakfast and, and Sterling was describing, you know, the creative people and that it feels like France of the 1930s or something like that. So, yeah, it's a very cool [00:33:00] spot. We'd recommend for sure that people that are listening, go check out bisbee and maybe he will stay at your hotel.
Eva Rupert: We'd love to have Everyone.
Scott Brady: So other than the hotel, what are some other things that you've got coming down the pipe for you?
Eva Rupert: Well, I am cooking on a lot of travel this summer on this new motorcycle that I'm building for Overland expo. So I'm hoping for just lots of Western adventures, getting up into Utah, getting up into Colorado, hopefully spending some time in New Mexico. But just lots of like... you know how good it is to be motorcycling in the high country in the summer, and so that's really what I have my sights set on short term, but I keep thinking I'm like not too far off in the future, there's going to be a longer trip. You know, I've been between the pandemic and the motel work. Like I feel like I've been bankrolling time off and so I've got my sights set pretty strongly on south America, but I just want to wait for the time to be right. [00:34:00]
Scott Brady: Those borders are still closed or restricted and yeah, I know that a lot of people that were traveling down there when this all kicked off they really struggled with the locals becoming very fearful of international travelers. So I think that it's going to take a little time for those locals to feel comfortable with someone from outside their country again. So, yeah.
Eva Rupert: Yeah, I mean, a long, yeah. Along those lines, you know, I feel like we need to be really sensitive as travelers right now. Right? If we're, if we have the luxury of leaving our home country and traveling around the world, I think it's really important that we're sensitive to the needs of the people in the places where we're traveling.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And to take some time for people, I believe it'll just take some time and people will be ready. They'll be comfortable with, with foreigners, you know, traveling their back roads again. I think that that'll be on, on the horizon, but maybe for now, it's like you [00:35:00] said, it's that remote trail in Utah or, or like, you know, Jump on a sailboat or something, right. Get remote.
Eva Rupert: Absolutely. You know, during the pandemic I had coined this idea called one tank adventures. Right? Cause we were all supposed to stay really close to home because there was a pandemic going on. And you know, the idea of the one tank adventure is you fill up, I happen to live next door to a gas station, which makes it really fun. You fill up and you explore something in your immediate locale and. Try and see your hometown or your own backyard or your favorite forest road with the same eyes that you see the world when you're traveling on a different continent. And so I feel like that's just a really fun challenge and I think it's a practice that we can put into our lives at any time and I think we always think like, oh, we need these far-flung adventures. You know, we're kind of spoiled in the Overland space. You're like, oh yeah, I'm just going to go back to Columbia again this year or what ever, you know? But really there's so much right here. And I feel like we tend to gloss over the things that we see too often. And so how do we [00:36:00] take that same spirit of inquiry and that same, like, you know, hunger for seeing with new eyes and apply it to our immediate locale?
Scott Brady: Yeah. We had an article years ago in Overland journal, it was entitled a fractal exploration. And I thought that that was, it was written by Jonathan Hanson. I thought it was a really great perspective on. Seeing places near us with new eyes and maybe with a lEval of detail that we haven't experienced in the past.
Eva Rupert: I love it. Fractal exploration.
Scott Brady: That's yeah, I think it's a great way to describe it. Now, if you were given all of your travel and your crazy experiences and Everything else like that, if you were talking to someone new to overlanding or maybe someone that's thinking about doing their first. Adventure. What would be some advice that you would give to someone new to this whole pursuit?
Eva Rupert: I would definitely tell people that they have Everything they need right now to get [00:37:00] out there and to explore you don't need some fancy truck or for some fancy Farkle for your motorcycle or some fancy gear right. You have Everything you need. what ever parked in your driveway right now, what ever you have the keys to, that's your Overland vehicle. Take that and do what ever you can with it. I mean, like if it's a like early seventies, Honda trail 90, or if it's the fanciest new rEvaal and pickup check, what ever it is, you don't need anything special. You've got it all. And you know, because that's where that authentic experience comes from. Don't get stalled out in your garage. Don't let the fear of not having the fanciest new stuff. Stop you just go do it. I think that's totally key. And then I think the other thing I would tell people is to slow down, you know, I think people get a long weekend and they feel like they need to like cross the entire state, it's like, if you have a long weekend, slow down, you know, pick something closer or shorter that you can really sink your teeth into because that's where [00:38:00] the good stuff happens. You know, take your time, talk to the locals, like, you know, take that extra detour because it's totally going to be worth. It. Don't feel like you have to like haul ass from point a to point B and you know, gloss over some of the, the real gems of your trip.
Scott Brady: No, that's such wonderful advice. And we've heard that. More often than not on this podcast. When we interview someone, is, is just the reminder to go. And that we learn along the way that you can have all, you can have the whole tour tech catalog, but until you go and drop the bike the first time, or get it scratched or get lost, I mean, that's how we learn is to... and your stories of primitive skills reinforces the fact that human beings have been crossing the planet. For millennium without any of that stuff. So it is possible to do that in the simplest form. And I actually remember reading about an [00:39:00] expedition called the Goliath expedition, and it was a British soldier that had had some pretty traumatic experiences in the military. And he, he decided to walk around the world. So he left, I think, Ushuaia and he walked all the way up to the full length of south America. Walked across... put himself into disguise and walked across the Darien gap and then walked the full length of north America all the way up through Alaska to the Bering Strait and then he waited until the Bering Strait froze and then he walked across the Bering Strait. And what got him in trouble is, you know, there's a lot of polar bear up there. So he had a firearm with him and the Russians caught him. He didn't have the right documentation. Like he had a visa to go into Russia, but like, he didn't have permission to like walk across the Bering straight into like no man's land. So he got caught and I think he spent some time in. A Russian [00:40:00] equivalent of a Gulag, but it was just, I remember reading about it years ago. And if you think about he experienced fractally all of these places, like he was going so slow, that walking is the most pure form of travel. Because it's recognizable to any other human in the planet of like, we all walk around and it doesn't carry with it any misgivings or any sense of pretension it's, I'm just walking. And so I think people tend to invite you in their home and you're seeing things at a much slower pace. So I've always wanted to talk to that guy. And maybe there's a way that we can have him on the podcast, but it's just such a fascinating story of just what you've described about that self-reliance that slowing down that not waiting to go until you've got all of the things key left with basically nothing. So it's a pretty impressive thing if you look at it and it's totally doable.
Eva Rupert: That's such a great story.
Scott Brady: Goliath, [00:41:00] expedition. It's been a long time since I've seen anything on it. I think he's stalled out, but oh, it would have been quite the experience. If he had finished it.
Eva Rupert: Super cool. I mean, maybe it is finished. Maybe that's maybe that's where that adventure, that that's the hero's journey right there. That is so cool.
Scott Brady: And I suspect that it changed him in a lot of ways, too. I also like to ask on the podcast, some of your favorite books, some of the books that you've read that you found were really defining for you.
Eva Rupert: Gosh Books is always a challenge. I read like I'm like a binge reader, like I'll read a ton of books and then I won't read for months. So I'll tell you what's on my bookshelf right now. Next to my bed is a book called creative authenticity. Which is a really cool little book. I took down the author's name so that I could remember it. Ian Roberts he's a painter and he writes these little vignettes, these little gems about kind of discovering the creative spirit kind of through [00:42:00] the lens of being a painter, but you can apply it to your photography or your writing or what Ever it is that it's just a lovely little book and you can just read one and then, you know, drift off to sleep with something really awesome and inspiring in your mind. And then. I was just sent a copy of the book. Ghostrider by Neil Peart, who was like part of the band Rush and I just dug into it and it was recommended by somebody I know through the internet sphere. And he was like, I send this to all of my motorcycle, riding friends. So here's the copy for you and Sterling to read and I just started in on it and it's delicious. It's like really well-written. It comes from a place of like deep pain and sorrow and the process of going on that long motorcycle ride as an act of healing as an act of meditation, kind of some of that stuff we were talking about before and I just launched in on it. So I'm really excited about that book.
Scott Brady: Those are both totally new and great [00:43:00] recommendations. So I appreciate your sharing that. So if people want to find out more about you, where do they find you on the interwebs? Where do they find all these authentic Eva experiences?
Eva Rupert: I'm pretty easy to hunt down. My website is evarupert.com. I'm on Instagram as AugustEva, that's like August, like the month and Eva, like my name, all one word. And I'm pretty scarce on the rest of social media. I try not to engage much in the Facebook/Twitter thing. I probably have accounts there, but find me on my website. Shoot me an email. Find me on Instagram or just come see us down in Bisbee at the Jonquil motel.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly and then likely see you at the next Overland expo, which I think the next one that's coming up is the Colorado event. Is that right?
Eva Rupert: Yeah. Which is super exciting. So at the end of August in Loveland, Colorado, this is a brand new show for us. In a really great [00:44:00] location, you know, I'm particularly fond of it because I used to live in Colorado and it's just a Stone's throw from where I lived in Estes park. But it's going to be a ton of fun. It's, you know, basically the first event in what? A year, a year and a half, it's been a long time. And so I'm really looking forward to it because of the community. Like that's what that whole show is about. Seeing your friends that you only see once or twice a year and, you know, connecting with people and you know, just getting all that fresh inspiration. So I'm really excited. I'm so excited for all the great folks to come in for that and it's going to be a ton of fun. It's going to, you know, if you really do want to stall out your trip in favor of putting Farkles on your motorcycle, that's the place to go and do it. Buy all the things. So it's going to be a blast. It's great. We're working hard. We're definitely in crunch time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I can see that. That's well, but it's so nice to see that event is coming back into play. So that's really, that's really wonderful. [00:45:00] And I thank you so much, Eva, for being on the podcast and being such an inspiration. I do remember distinctly our first meeting actually here at the offices. I think we determined it was probably 2012, 2013, something like that, or maybe even earlier than that, but it was a long time ago. And you were talking about riding 90 CC motorcycles across Arizona and we were grateful to have the chance to participate in that. With you and to support you in that way. And, Ever since then, you have been an inspiration to so many people in the community and you and Sterling, both are doing amazing work that I think defines this new lEval of authenticity that I think is so important. For all of us to embrace. So thank you so much for being on the podcast,
Eva Rupert: Scott. It is such an honor. Thank you so much for all the inspiration that you've brought to my life and Everything you guys are doing here at Oberland journal. It's really cool. It's really fun. And I'm so proud to be a part of this community.
Scott Brady: Awesome. And [00:46:00] for all that are listening, we thank you so much for being a part of the podcast as well. You can find out more information about the podcast on Instagram at Overland journal, you can reach out to me directly at Scott.a.Brady on Instagram as well. If you've got any questions that you would like to add to an upcoming episode, ask me any episode, which we're going to debut in the next few weeks. So thank you all for listening and we will talk to you next time.