Show Notes for Podcast #123 

Neale Bayly on overcoming adversity, surviving war zones, and the joys of giving back

Summary: Neale Bayly is a traveler, humanitarian, motorcyclist, writer, photographer, and father. Neale shares the challenges of growing up a troubled youth in the UK, and slowly overcoming all limitations to travel the world and ultimately start a not-for-profit that gives back to children along the way. 



Guest Bio:

Born in England, and raised in South Devon, Neale Bayly was inspired to a life of adventure and philanthropy by the long-running BBC children’s television program, Blue Peter. Along with thousands of other English viewers, Neale’s childhood focused on collecting materials for recycling to raise money for the African farming projects touted by Blue Peter that fed the hungry. Close to fifty years later, Neale continues to embody the Blue Peter spirit. He has travelled in over 80 countries, more than 50 of them in the saddle of a motorcycle, as a photojournalist, two-time Tele award winning television producer-host, and as a humanitarian. *exceprt from https://xposure.ae/neale-bayly/ @

Host Bio: 

Scott Brady

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 


Follow along on the adventures:
IG: @nealebaylyrides
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NealeBaylyRides/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/NealeBayly
Twitter:https://twitter.com/nealebaylyrides

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Reach out and learn more from WELLSPRING

https://www.wellspring-outreach.org/

Transcript

Scott Brady:  Well thank, thank you all for showing up today for the Overland Journal podcast. We, we take advantage of the Overland Expo venue to connect with amazing travelers like Neil, and it gives us a, a chance to record the podcast here live. And sometimes we end up with, Folks that also stop by and visit along the way. So there'll be some questions that we'll open up for at the end. If you guys have any questions or insights that you'd like to gain from Neil and his travels, we'll go ahead and get started. Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I'm your host, Scott Brady, and I am here with renowned motorcycle adventure traveler, Neil Bailey. You can find him at Neil Bailey rides, and we'll talk about other places where people can find out about your stories and adventures. But I want to thank you so much for taking the time today. I've followed your, your adventures for many years, and I've always been so impressed with the thoughtfulness that you. You bring to the things that you do, and even before we hit [00:01:00] record, you were telling me about how you navigated the changes that came to your life from Covid. So thank you again for being on the podcast. 

Neale Bayly: Oh, no. Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure. 

Scott Brady: And a quick break from our podcast to talk about what makes this podcast possible. That's because of the Overland Journal print publication and the expedition portal.com website, but also because of our YouTube channel. Uh, if you go onto YouTube and you search for Expedition Portal, you'll not only see these weekly podcast interviews. But you'll also be able to check out all the other content that we produce, which includes video adventures over landing around the world. And you can also see us evaluate different vehicles, four-wheel drives, and motorcycles and campers and trailers. You can also see our equipment reviews as well on individual overland gear. So check out the expedition portal.com, YouTube channel. Thanks. [00:02:00] Let's do the deep dive right into that. Cause I found that, that's so interesting.We all kind of, we were in all kinds of different places in the world. I was somewhere in Africa. I think I was in Swaziland when it was all shutting down. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. 

Scott Brady: And you mentioned that you kind of woke up one day and everything had changed. So talk about how that, how that felt for you as an adventurer, who's used to being able to go off to any far flung corner of the. Uh, how did that change feel for you? 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, I'd been in, uh, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar. We were doing, we did the hiking, uh, trip Matt, Kenya. I'd come back and was just head down, ass up, getting ready to head back to Peru. Not only was I getting ready to head back to Peru, but I had finally decided I was gonna get a bit more professional. Work and I was working with a web editor and a somebody who was actually laying at my tour itineraries other than just scratched on a piece of paper and, Hey, you wanna come with us? Let's go. [00:03:00] So I was pouring, I was pouring money and resources into trying to make these trips a bit more professional and buying ads and building websites and doing all the stuff that responsible people are supposed to do. And Covid hit. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: I was like, okay, that's it. Broke. No money, no tourist, no speaking arrangements. No one wants to buy anything. So the first couple of weeks were just spent wandering around, staring at the sky. . 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. It's pretty crazy when you just look. Yeah. It's like no income. No way of earning a living, you know? Yeah. It was crazy. 

Scott Brady: You've spent so much of your life as a traveler, which means that you live as a minimalist to begin with, so there's not much that you can cut when you're already living as a minimalist. So how did you, how did you adjust? Mentally, like what was, what was that transition for, for you from realizing things aren't going well to I'm gonna find a new path? What was that transition for you? 

Neale Bayly: I don't know. It was a conscious decision. I mean, like you said, when you're a traveler, you're always used [00:04:00] to, nothing ever goes the way it's supposed to, so you're always having to have another plan. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: So I had, uh, run a skill on my racetrack bike at one point a couple of years earlier, and watered this thing up pretty badly and stuffed it in the corner. So I thought, well, you know, I could always pull it to bits and fix it and sell it, right? 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: It's gotta be worth something. So, sure. Really, for a couple of weeks I sat in the garage with a bag of sandpaper and some Bondo and some glue. Just sanding body panels and figuring if I could put this thing back together, at least it would, it would. I could earn some money and pay the bills. And then I cleaned all my other bikes up and started going through stuff I could sell. And then one thing led to the other and I had a couple of gigs came in, photography stuff, you know, just scratching around as usual. And then the bike project turned into a bike project. Someone said, oh, I'll paint it. Some said I'll do some graphics. Some said I'll buy a story. Slowly. I just started going and then I set up a YouTube studio, tried to think, see, [00:05:00] let's do a YouTube channel. Then I decided to pull my old vintage bike out and see if we could start making a project on that. And one of my magazine, uh, editors said, Hey, I'll buy a couple of stories about that. So, and we went and it was just, you know, it was just complete dumb luck. And, and the crazy part about the way my life works is the story for the vintage bike ended up going on the Revzilla website. It ended up on a Facebook page in England and somebody I hadn't seen in 25 years found it, sent it to another buddy of mine who I hadn't seen in 26 years. And the last time I'd seen him, it'd been in Romania on, I was on a motorcycle trip. 

Scott Brady: Okay. 

Neale Bayly: And he was running casinos for a Turkish gangster of Istanbul. And as people do, 

Scott Brady: As people do

Neale Bayly: You know, and then I, all I really knew is he'd been kidnapped by the Russians and he was riding high powered Jas in Italy, and I didn't know very much about him at. And he tracked me down and somehow he'd end up becoming the royal photographer for the King of Sja. {00:06:00]  as you do, right? Yeah. Now this is a guy I used to drop acid and steel with when we were kids and he used to ride on that motorcycle. 

Scott Brady: The one that you were re Were restoring? 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. 

Scott Brady: Oh, fantastic. 

Neale Bayly: He used to ride on the back of him when we were kids. I mean, fantastic. It's, it was, it was fast. It was good for, good for drug dealers. You can get away, right? So he calls you and goes, Hey, do you wanna come out to the Middle East and do some media for me? And you know, I was like, that's a paycheck. I'll go. So somehow you survive, right? 

Scott Brady: Yeah. You kind of opened yourself up to all the possibilities, and one of the ones that you mentioned was that you picked up riding a bicycle Again. 

Neale Bayly: I was always riding bicycles, but I really got into it.

Scott Brady: Yeah. So tell me how that experience was. Were you doing touring off the bike or you were just trying to get really fit or what was the. 

Neale Bayly: Just a bit both. Yeah. Uh, I started riding with this guy and we started doing these things and he turned around to me one, he goes, yeah, we do this ride every year. We ride 200 miles in a day. And I'm like, 200 miles in a day, a bicycle. You gotta be out your mind, right? And he said, so he is out of his mind. So I said, well, that seems like something to do. So that gave me [00:07:00] months of training. I just, you know, sitting on a bicycle every day, just beating myself. And then one day I got on a bike and. 200 miles and 15 hours. So it's like, okay, we've done that, so now we need to do something else. So , something always happens. Right? 

Scott Brady: And it would you say that that is, that is what inspires you to do these things, is it's, it's difficult. It challenges you and it exposes you to a new experience for.

Neale Bayly: You've got to, if you know, I mean, if you're not, people think that cycling is a physical activity. It's a mental activity. 

Scott Brady: Mm-hmm. 

Neale Bayly: It's understanding your mind when your mind wants to quit and you need to go or you're out some. One of my best mo cycling experiences was I just completely imploded coming off a mountain one time, no cell signal, no water, no food, getting dark miles from anywhere, completely cramping up and not able to move, and suddenly that joy comes where you just realize you're so. Right. And somehow you figure it out and you get on your bicycle and you get out of it. So I think it's always been like that [00:08:00] for me. Yeah, it's probably the same for you, right? 

Scott Brady: You you get it right in many of those ways. I mean, I did used to do triathlons and I look back and I thought I was really quite the masochist. I was. 

Neale Bayly: Yes. It's not physical, it's the, 

Scott Brady: I enjoy it's whole. I enjoyed the challenge of overcoming myself. Yeah, yeah. Cuz it's always you against you. It's not the thing you're doing. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. 

Scott Brady: And that's certainly the healthiest way to go about it, is challenging yourself against yourself. When you make it too competitive with others, I think you lose the script.

I'll always lose when I . Fair enough. I think it was the same for me. So let's start earlier on. Let's start, uh, maybe right before using the motorcycles for getting away from the drug deals, where did you grow up in the world? 

Neale Bayly: Griffin, Southern England. 

Scott Brady: Okay. 

Neale Bayly: In Devonshire. 

Scott Brady: Okay.

 

Neale Bayly:  And we were all products of Margaret Archer's England.

 

Scott Brady: Okay. 

Neale Bayly: So 15% Unemployment Nation. , which if you think about it, doesn't blanket a country of 15% unemployment. You, you got 50% unemployment here, you have 10 over here, 60 over there, three over there. So [00:09:00] our town is really depressed and there was no work. 

Scott Brady: Mm-hmm. 

Neale Bayly: So you basically ended up with a lot of really energetic at young kids with bright minds with nothing to do. So, of course that's, we did things. 

Scott Brady: You found a way to be industrious. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, you had to. And you know, so yeah, we just, we just did what we did to get by. Really, because, I mean, the, I mean, I came, I, I scratched together some money, got on my Honda 125 and decided my friend and I were gonna go around the world. So we got on all 125s and we went to the Channel Islands cuz of his work there. And I remember there was a, a copper on the thing. He goes, if you've come here looking for work lads, he goes, you'll drink all your money in a week and go home. So thankfully we did it in a week and we were home, hung over with no money, right? It didn't work.  and I came back and thought I better get some gameful employment. And I went for a job at a petrol station. It was part-time job, 26 hours a week and there was a line around the corner and out the door and I just gave the lady in the thing. Lip service on the way in and she remembered me and gave me the job and [00:10:00] I was able to get a part-time job. And it was that hard, you know, cuz people think, ah, you can always get a job. I mean, you couldn't. So, you know, we used to collect unemployment, put roofs on. I mean, you were always just on the hustle to get something together. It was a, it was a very hard time. For the, for my society. 

Scott Brady: And what did you learn about yourself through that process of not being able, I mean, not being able to get a job would be tough.

Neale Bayly: How much? I loved taking drugs, It was great. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And it's funny how everybody's always in rehab now and moaning and complaining. I mean, I haven't done drugs in decades, but you know what? I had such a good time. It was fantastic. I mean.

Scott Brady: You made the best of the situation. 

Neale Bayly: Exactly. I mean, who was gonna work when you can get high all day, right? it all seemed a bit crazy. 

Scott Brady: So eventually that adventure. Led to you starting to travel, so you decided.

Neale Bayly: Yeah, so I finally scratched some money together and got to America. 

Scott Brady: Okay. 

Neale Bayly: And I hitchhiked around America, New York to um, Quebec, Quebec to Rocky Mountains. Bought a car. Drove down the West coast and sold their car. And Watts, that was exciting. Um, hitchhiked on, [00:11:00] ended up in a, I dunno if, we'll, I'd say whorehouse on this podcast, but it was a place where ladies go to do things. So we went, 

Scott Brady: you already said Hor house. 

Neale Bayly: So , it was purely a cultural visit to see how it works. Right. And from San Diego to Miami, then to Bradenton. And then I got a job working, putting roofs on. And I had a fairly ambitious roommate and, uh, his goal was to rob a bank. So, um, couple of days before the robbery, I thought it might be wise to leave the country, so I left the country, flew to Belize. 

Scott Brady: Good choice. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, it was, I thought it was all right. And then got to Southern Belize and was like, you know, well, let's move on here. End up in Guatemala. And of course it was during the time period, the Sundays, the contra war was going on, so 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: Central America at that point was quite crazy. 

Scott Brady: And it goes in and out of that still today. It's, it's still not a safe place to travel. Travel. Yeah.

Neale Bayly:  So that was my travel life really kicked off. No motorcycles at that point. Cause I was too poor. 

Scott Brady: You were backpacking or whatever, backpacking, hit buses hitch. Yeah, yeah. Whatever, whatever method you could. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. Yeah. [00:12:00] 

Scott Brady: Well, and, and what an interesting way to start your travels because it set the, the stage for you being able to travel by any means.

Neale Bayly: Well, I had already hitchhiked around Europe a couple of times as a teenager. You know, just got on, got on the boat, got to France and disappeared for a couple of months of the backpack. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: Which, when I think back in it night, you imagine how parents are always checking their kids on a phone. I, oh bye mother, I'm leaving. You know, that two, three months later you'd show up looking anemic and  

Scott Brady: And maybe you sent a coup, a couple postcards and all, 

Neale Bayly: Maybe if you were lucky. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure.

Neale Bayly:  So I'd already done the hitchhiking in Europe when I got to America. 

Scott Brady: And then when did motorcycles begin to be a part of your travels?

Neale Bayly: They had always been in it, so I'd sold a motorcycle to go to London to work. I really, it was quite interesting how it got my charity work going because I had gone and volunteered a school for abandoned and uh, emotions to children, and I worked for seven months. It was like a full-time house, parent gig. And I'd bought a [00:13:00] motorcycle for that while I was there from doing gardening work and stuff. So I sold, so I sold the one motorcycle to get to there. Then I sold that motorcycle to go to Europe. So I always had bikes and I always had this dream of riding on a motorcycle. And of course we grew up reading Ted Simon Jupiter's trials. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: Hall Petterson. 10 years on two wheels. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: Runoff Fi, end the ends of the earth. We had all these travel books, so we were just so broke, you know, we had to hitchhike. It was the only way of getting along. 

Scott Brady: Well, and, and those three gentlemen that you just mentioned are iconic. I mean, I mean, started a whole Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: One, I mean, half of this is here because of cause of those people. 

Scott Brady: No, no question. Yeah. They certainly inspired me as well. Yeah. I mean, and you think about how much easier travel is today. The motorcycles are so much better. We ne we never really get, we never really get lost. You can connect with other travelers so easily. 

Neale Bayly: It's a bit of a shame. I, we were in Namibia once on a ride and you know, you're sort of going across the corrugated dusty things and the low mountains and the natives and you know, you're just feeling like, [00:14:00] you know, you're feeling a bit like s ran off all to yourself.

Scott Brady: Sure. Right. 

Neale Bayly: You pull over and you can hear the. Ticking with the heat and then there's some guy, no honey, the trash goes out on Wednesdays , and you look around there, some dude talking to his misses at home on the cell phone. It's like you just ruin my Nimi experience. Thank you. 

Scott Brady: And I think that that ship is so sailed, although there are, there are still places that we can have those kinds of experiences. Which leads me to ask you about your recent experience in the Ukraine. 

Neale Bayly: Mm-hmm.

Scott Brady: I followed some of your travels, and I thank you for sending the little updates that you did to me as well. 

Neale Bayly: Oh yeah. Yeah. 

Scott Brady: It gave me a real insight to what, what you were looking to accomplish. So share with the listeners about what made you decide to go to the Ukraine during. The war with Russia in Ukraine right now. And what were your goals while you were there and, and what did you learn about yourself and that conflict? 

Neale Bayly: I mean, the, the backstory really is I started my foundation, wellspring International Outreach [00:15:00] in 2008, and it was with a goal to raise money for the underserved the Bannon children. Around the world. So our main project was in Peru. Uh, we've done projects in Kenya and in South Africa, and it's really about raising money for kids. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: And then by 2013, when I did my big TV show, Neil Bailey rides, it was an idea of amalgamating adventure motorcycle traveling with philanthropy. So rather than just them being separate things you did to put them together. Yeah. So you can ride around on your motorcycle and give something back. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: So that was the idea. So I had this backstory. Of raising money. And of course during Covid it was very difficult to raise money and it was difficult to go to visit our projects. And back to my nitwit mate, who ended up running the world's biggest photography exhibition in sja, he invited me out onto two occasions to do the media. So suddenly I'm with Steve McCury, who photographed Afghan girl, James Nawa. 

Scott Brady: Incredible. 

Neale Bayly: I mean, this is, you know, Mohamed Mosen two time pool of surprise winner. Chris Rainier, [00:16:00] Brent stk, I mean Claire Thomas who did this amazing work in Iraq, and I'm around a lot of conflict photographers, and it just starts to get your mind thinking in a different direction that maybe I, yeah. I always looked at raising money for how orphans and abandoning kids. I hadn't thought a lot about war. It had been. Decades since I'd been through a war. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: And Karen Ridley was one of the gentlemen that I met and interviewed at Exposure and we got on really, really well. And of course this year as we were leaving exposure, the war was just getting ready to kick off. So a lot of the people I was at dinner with, James Nay, Paula Bronstein, Heidi Levine, Yana Ander, all of these people you probably seen CNN and Fox and different channels from inside Ukraine. They were all getting ready to tool up to go to Ukraine. 

Scott Brady: Mm-hmm. 

Neale Bayly: Um, some were going to Afghanistan, so it was very much in my mind. And then a few days after the war, Broke out. Karen called me from lav and he was riding old Chinese motorcycle. It [00:17:00] was really unreliable and there was 30 kilometers along the lines of refugees trying to get out. So he figured out that with the motorcycle he could get past the lines and do some of the work that you've seen and, and I'm really proud to announce he has actually just won a world award for his photography. It's a gala Pulis award. His prodemocracy work in Hong Kong. Some of the stuff that he's done in the Paris Rios, but predominantly for Ukraine. 

Scott Brady: Okay.

Neale Bayly: So it's really, really a big, I dunno, feel really good about that. Yeah. The, the trip we took enabled him to get award-winning work, you know, which I think makes it more powerful for us. And, but back to Kiran. So he's, you know, he's having bike troubles that he's getting hustled at the checkpoints cuz everybody's. On Tender hooks, you know, is he a spy? They're going through his memory cards. I mean, they're shaking him down. It's freezing cold. They're killing journalists. His wife's giving him in the ear. He's got six month old twins. 

Scott Brady: Mm-hmm. 

Neale Bayly: And I just got off the phone with him and I'm just like, you know, everybody has an opinion about the war. Right. And their opinions from their chair. Right. What about the people actually there doing it? You know? And I know these people. I've met these people and it's just like gotta go. And I gotta. See what they're doing and why are they doing it, you know, [00:18:00] and just see what's actually happening.  and that it was just, it was such a quick decision and I said, Hey, Karen, I'll get some bikes. Let's go back. Let's tell these stories. And then that developed into us saying, well, look, there's a lot of, lot of stories about the destruction and the, you know, the violence and the bombing and, and death and destruction, but what about what else is going on inside Ukraine? What can we find? Maybe that's. A little different so that as western media gets bored and it can stale to keep watching people being blown up, we can just maybe keep things going a bit. 

Scott Brady: Well, and that's one of the biggest challenges is making sure that, that that fight that they're in for their lives and their country remains top of mind. So that continue to put [00:19:00] pressure on politicians to support their efforts at the, the intention, of course, is not to be political in that statement, it's just the reality of the fact that there's a war in Ukraine. That they didn't ask for, and they need our help and everyone's help that can provide it. 

Neale Bayly: It is hard to, to understand why. It could be a, when you've watched, when you see what's happening there, like how can you, how can you look at this and have different ideas, place of political opinion. This is humanity, this is humans, this is what's happening. You know? 

Scott Brady: And that it, I think it because it is a human issue, um, there's gonna be humans with other intentions that are gonna try to influence the opinions of others. Through all kinds of means that are effective and not effective, but we see it around social media trying to shape people's views of this. But I appreciate you being there. And I think that the reason why it's relevant to the podcast and it's relevant to travel is that we can end up in these areas. Um, we can, and you may have some stories to. I'll share one quickly, but I was trying to go [00:20:00] from Tajikistan into Kurgastan and the border was closed, and I find out the border's closed because there's a conflict in the south of the country. And it took me days to finally get in there. Um, and I, and I spoke with folks in the US that had some good answers for me. Uh, but it was so isolated to this one area that we, we just went around it and the gas stations were still open. The restaurants, I mean, every, the country was running, but this at the end of the Farana Valley, it was, it was a, it was a war going on. And oftentimes as travelers, we can get ourselves into these conflict zones, um, or even war torn countries unintentionally, or something kicks off when we're there. It's just a good idea to get as much information as you can and find out where it is safe because the entire country doesn't, not a wall, no, doesn't happen all at once. And there are safe places to go and there are channels of communication that you can use to get out safely, even with your vehicle. Where else [00:21:00] have you traveled, where you've encountered that kind of of situation and how did you handle that yourself? 

Neale Bayly: Just Central and South America. When I was a kid during the Sunday contra war, uh, that was, I just, local knowledge gets you there. I mean, there was times I was in the wrong place and just got lucky.

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And I think when you are young and dumb, you don't think about it. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: And then I got myself into a bit of trouble with the Turk, Turkish and the Kurds and East Eastern Turkey a few times. Just getting in of my head and being in the wrong places and maybe just dumb luck. Caught me out of that. And then finally moved, moved further west and got away from. And then this, this was the first, I think, intentional time that I went to cover something. 

Scott Brady: And, and what did you, cuz you've, you've put so much effort through Wellspring to, to support these abandoned and ad need children, which I'm sure has changed you as a person in so many ways. And I'd love to hear you speak to that, but also I'd like to know how going. To the war in Ukraine and experiencing it firsthand, changed your view about yourself or [00:22:00] others? What did you learn from that experience? 

Neale Bayly: I mean, that's a good question. I don't know. Uh, it just, I wanna do more of the same. I mean, I, I, I don't, you know, I don't have that long left on planet Earth. I've had big chunk of the years and I've gotta do something with them, and I've had everything. What do I need? I mean, I don't need anymore, but if I can use my time to help people that need something, then that'll mean something to me. 

Scott Brady: And, and certainly to them. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, and you know, the people were just so amazing and so incredible. I think that, I think you, you know, you get so much from that. When you see what they're going through and you see how stoic they are and how hard they're working and how much they appreciate it, they're very, very appreciative of western arms and munitions and aid. I mean, yeah, I'm really appreciative and thank you every day for what the American people are doing and what the British people and European people are doing. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly:So, yeah. 

Scott Brady: Absolutely. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, it was so, it was just, I mean, for me it was just, I dunno, more of the same and really just a, I hate to say it's a fantastic experience, but it was a fantastic experience just to, to, to see what people are doing and seeing how they're [00:23:00] surviving.

Scott Brady: Hmm. 

Neale Bayly: And then you just to be driving down the road and you're going past just destroyed properties and buildings and you know, you smell it. Obviously, I'm sure people have been in war zones would be able to relate the smell of everything, you know, and then, Suddenly there's a house and there's an old lady putting flowers out and there's a guy painting the stoop outside and it's almost like the Ukrainians saying, Nope, we're going forward. You we're, we're, we're cleaning up. We're on it. And even when you would go in after a missile strike, within hours, they're cleaning up, everything's getting cleaned up. There's, it's like, we're not gonna let this sit. We're gonna get in here and do the best we can. 

Scott Brady: So incredible to see their resolve. 

Neale Bayly: Mm-hmm.

Scott Brady: So let's talk a little bit. Well spring cuz I think it's really important to know how, how I can help, how Overland Journal and Expedition Portal can help. And then how our audience can help support, uh, what you're doing, uh, with these kids. 

Neale Bayly: We chose to support the Children's Hospital in Lav, [00:24:00] um, because we've always done children and we had a good connection. Kieran had gone in there for, I think it was the Daily Mail. He'd done a big story. About a little girl called Sophia, and um, yeah, she had the top of her head blown off with shrapnel and the, the shrapnel went through her head and down her brain and left her pretty messed up. And somehow on the motorcycle, they got her out. They got a lave problem with the hospital. Lavi is, they don't know how to deal with children who are victims of war. 

Scott Brady: Mm-hmm. 

Neale Bayly: Like, they're not set up to deal with amputations, bullet wounds, sharp wounds, burns, the things that, maybe some places that are used to soldiers coming in like that, like who trains pediatricians to work on those things in children's. So they're, they're suffering greatly with the inability to deal with the injuries that the children. So they're bringing surgeons in from around the world to kind of audit and sit in and they watch them do surgeries. So we just figured that's gotta be our place to, you know, to, to put our, our limited amount of money we can raise. So if anyone wants to donate to us, [00:25:00] it's all just gonna go straight to them. 

Scott Brady: So how do they, how do our listeners or the people that are here.

Neale Bayly: just do wellspring wellspring outreach.org? Okay. 

Scott Brady: Wellspring-outreach.org. 

Neale Bayly: Ge, yeah. And we have a donate button. You can donate monthly or you can do a, a big, big donation

Scott Brady: Yeah, of course. It's really, it's really important that we all find a way to help. I'm really proud of the work that you're doing, and I think it's, it's so important that as an industry, as an overlying industry, that we continue to look for ways to use our skills and our talents, our audiences, and our resources. To make a difference for the people that we encounter along our travels. 

Neale Bayly: And I think that was for us. I mean, it's like, you know, I'm a motorcycle journalist. I mean, I've done, I've done stories for your magazine and and thank you for that. It's like, you know, I was able to get bikes. BMW gave us some bikes, which I thought actually on hindsight, that was pretty good of them.

Scott Brady: Yeah, for sure. 

Neale Bayly: Hey, we get a couple of bikes. We're going to Ukraine. You got no problem. Here you go. You. Just please bring them back. Right? [00:26:00] 

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. 

Neale Bayly: I was just, imagine calling Oleg up. I'm really , you're never gonna believe Oleg . Sorry to say I've got the handle bars, you know, and then, you know, rev gave us some gear and ride, gave us some helmets and yeah, that was a real help. And uh, so I just thought that's the motorcycle journalist, you know? That's what we can do in our space. Yeah. And you know, we met people there, the medical people. You know, builders, I mean, I think we just have to do what we can do. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: So, and I figured that if we were able to, this is exactly what I had envisaged going in, was that we would be able to talk to different audiences like we are motorcyclists and travelers, where maybe the news is very focused on sort of the destruction and, and whatever.

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: Not saying there's anything wrong with that, but it's like this gave us a more unique opportunity from. One of us, so to speak, being in there, giving a report of what we found and we did really, really, I thought this was fantastic. So we went into a seventies era coal mine. And nothing [00:27:00] changed since the seventies. And you know, writing little ledgers and they give you this little container and they give you this quick safety brief. If there's gas, apparently you can last 50 minutes if you're panicking in two hours if you stay calm. 

Scott Brady: Oh wow. You know, that's true in most things of life, so are you okay? 

Neale Bayly: I we stick this in here and then give us a little light off. We went down the mine, but the thing of it is a really important story. You know, with Russians taking over a Don Mass, they've got most of the coal. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: And the Western, uh, Lavi region has a lot of coal mines. And so all of these miners and everybody there really felt that they're on the energy front. They're fighting the war. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And they have limited capacity because a lot of the miners are away at the front. They've lost a lot of miners. They have pictures for the ones that haven't made it, so they're. That's their way of fighting the war. So I think it was a relevant story that you might not think about.

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And then we spent a day at, um, an equine therapy center with amputees all young men that had just lost limbs. One 'em Daniel four weeks earlier. 

Scott Brady: Wow. 

Neale Bayly: You know, so they're just off the front line. Sasha Lee that [00:28:00] runs it, her husband was actually on the front line. He's suffers badly from PTSD d from other periods of time during the war. You know, she noticed how much the horses were. 

Scott Brady: So we were Isn't isn't that, isn't it dogs and horses or the only two emotional support animals? I think so. Certainly not cats. Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: So it was really fantastic and the, the stories that we heard, and, you know, again, I, I haven't been home long enough and so long enough to really dig in. Like the story that you read and Ride is more of a, we went here and went there. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: And one of the young lads. He had been in Marol during the year. Well, the Azo Steel thing, but he was on the other side. He had gone in on February the 24th or 23rd I think, and on May the 11th, he broke out with his, he was a commander of his group and he took a bullet in the arm because they slapped a tourniquet on it, 230 kilometers over eight days.

They had to walk to get out cause they're right into Dansk. So they're in popular territory. They needed to get into his zeria to get back to Ukrainian thing [00:29:00] and the whole time he's doing it, his arm is just dying. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. 

Neale Bayly: And so he's chain smoking cuz the smell's so disgusting. 

Scott Brady: Yeh. 

Neale Bayly: And then they get there and they've got alop it off at the shoulder and this guy led his people out. And you know, we were just hearing stories like this every day. So these, we want to tell greater length. We have photographs of them so that these were days were quite amazing. And the following day, one of the stories that was really, really special to me, we went to a monastery 16th century monastery. Well, The Soviets had whitewashed everything and made it a mental asylum until 91 when they got their independence. Oh, nineties when they got their independence. But during the Second World War, they had hidden Jewish boys in there from the Holocaust, and our fixer that we were working without lav had been making a recreated documentary about the lies of these three boys and all, each one of these three boys that he was working with in this recreation document. Had gone on to do something really special in the world. Members of finance or the Polish government, you know, big in banking, but all [00:30:00] really had made a contribution in their life to the world in general. And he was right in the middle of creating this, this documentary about their lives when the war broke out and then we suddenly realized there was between 50 and a hundred refugees.

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And of course we couldn't say anything because if we say something, they could be bombed. So we're not allowed to give out information, which by the way, that's the hardest thing when you look at these little kids. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: Playing and thinking. If you said the wrong thing, someone would bomb them. That's really, you can see a lot of shit, but that just does your head in. Hopefully when the war is over and things are settled down, I think that could be this most incredible documentary to tie those two together 80 years apart. The monks are doing exactly the same thing as they did during the Second World War. 

Scott Brady: Incredible. 

Neale Bayly: And I think it's a story that, to me that's an, it's an story that could be inspiring. Out of a really bad situation. 

Scott Brady: Yeah.

Neale Bayly: So we weren't just going to bomb out buildings and, and stuff like that. 

Scott Brady: Oh, I appreciate you doing what you did. One of the things that I wanted to talk to you about, and you have this, an impressive [00:31:00] resume as a traveler, you've been to over 80 countries. You've essentially motorcycled around the world. Let's talk a little bit about some things that you would, you would share with a new rider that wanted to go around the world. What would you recommend them think about, uh, when they're getting ready to go out on their own journey, like Neale Bayly and go around the world? 

Neale Bayly: Well just start small, you know?

Scott Brady: Small bike? 

Neale Bayly: Yeah, small bike. Small trip. 

Scott Brady: Yeah.  

Neale Bayly: And go get your feet wet and come back and go get your feet wet and come back and mm-hmm. Because if you don't like it, you can stop. Right.  

Scott Brady: And you haven't invested too much money. 

Neale Bayly: Right. Cuz when my buddy and I. Decided to go around the world on our 125s and went to the channel aisles they put a big thing in the newspaper, you know, paint and lads off to see the world. You know, we're home a week later with the hangover. It was kinda, it was a bit embarrassing cause it amazed. So don't make a big fuss about it, you know. 

Scott Brady: Uh, well, you eventually made that happen though, and you, and you did get to see.

Neale Bayly: It took a few years, you know?

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And I think don't, I would turn the phone off and quit the social media and [00:32:00] stop looking for sponsorship and stop trying get people to pay you to do it. I would go out, get two jobs, work your ass off, save your money, so you've got your own money, your own bike. , train yourself to stay at a restaurant, stay at a pub, is buy only secondhand camp out and just go.

Scott Brady: Yeah.

Neale Bayly: Learn to sell a good story. People will put you up in the house and they'll feed you. And thank you for eating all their food and dirty the sheets when you leave . 

Scott Brady: That's right. 

Neale bayly: And just go, you know, don't make it. It doesn't have to be a TV show or an Instagram program. 

Scott Brady: That's very true. And what's interesting is if you do your travels that way, you, when you come back, it can be much like, Made a career out of you. Come back now with a great story. You don't owe anybody anything. You don't have sponsorship, livery all over yourself and your motorcycle. And you can now sell these stories to magazines and to other outlets that help you recover. 

Neale Bayly: And especially with people like with the magazine like yours, I mean, you know, subscribe to your magazine, look at the photographs and say, that's the quality of work I want to do.

Scott Brady: It's the most difficult thing for us as a [00:33:00] publication is. Meet that level of quality. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. Find, I mean, set just all out. That was what something, you know, traveling with Ki and Kieran, Italy, you know, it's like, like it is insane to watch these photographers work and I had such a fly on the wall thing and you wonder, is it, are they just like really lucky or do they make their luck? I don't know how they do it. They, he just seems to be able to put these ingredients together to make these award-winning pictures. And we were in urban one day and really badly bombed out buildings. Suddenly there's a lady with a parasol, breastfeeding, a baby on the curb, you know, and he's in the middle of the road. So I quickly run out to stand next to him to, you know, cuz the cars are going by and you know, if you saw the backstory, you see the picture, it's just so dramatic. It's this beautiful lady breastfeeding a baby with a parasol, with a completely destroyed building in the background. And I just think to myself, how does he, I guess that's just 25 years of finding the moment, you know? So for young kids, don't think you're gonna make those pictures, but just [00:34:00] keep shooting and. Set yourself a standard. Read National Geographic, read your magazine. Follow these people and say, what are they doing to make these great images? 

Scott Brady: And it's the same thing for travelers. You can't expect to do your first trip and to travel in the way that you do with the open mind that you do. And the experience, you know, when to turn left and when to turn right and when to do.

Neale Bayly: You think so? 

Scott Brady: Oftentimes. Oftentimes, yeah. Yeah. Maybe you've slowed down a little bit. You know, so after the, after the accident on the racetrack, I think that when I look at someone that's coming new to travel, it's, it's just encouraging them to continue to experiment and continue to learn, cuz it will come with time and you'll feel a lot more confident. And then you're gonna be willing to have that conversation with the local on the street. You're gonna be comfortable going home. 

Neale Bayly: That takes confidence to poke your nose in. And what was really interesting with Kieran is like, I, I like face shots and, and I do galleries and have done magazines where I really like, but I tend to use a long lens when I'm doing [00:35:00] people's faces. He always shoots wide angle and, uh, fix Andre. We were talking about him the other day, like, so he's always like absolutely up in people's face. He's, he can't be back here for stuff because he shoots, shoots the 16 and 35 and the 70 to, um, 24 to 70. Longest lens, he's got 70, doesn't carry anymore, right? And suddenly he gets up there and he's shooting away, right? Because he shoots multiple.  and it's like they subtly become hypnotized. I dunno what he does to them. He just hypnotizes them and they just stand there and do everything he wants. And, and 20 minutes later you're like, is he gonna stop here in amend? You know? But that's what he does. It, it, it is really, and that I think is like, that's decades of and how he moves and. I don't know, like when he's walking through something, he's not pushing any air. He just has a way of moving through things that's not like most people walk through. I don't know. It, it, it was really interesting to study him.

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: Creating these images.

Scott Brady: And it probably helps him disarm people a little bit where they're not so [00:36:00] concerned. They're, or they're not. Taking on a different expression. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. And even people that didn't want to be photographed. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. 

Neale Bayly: You know, I mean, they didn't want to be photographed and now they do. You know? You know, because I think about how many times you've had your camera and someone's like throwing a rock at you or telling you to get out. 

Scott Brady: Well, it is always a good idea to make sure that you're getting people's permissions. You know, just like we wouldn't want to be sitting in a restaurant and someone walk up and start taking photographs of us at a table, it's a good idea. In fact, it's critical as travelers that we, that we do ask for permission, uh, maybe a, a journalist. In that scenario, it's a little different, but since we're there recreating as travelers, we need to make sure that we're asking people for their permission to take a photograph. One of the things.  we love to ask in the podcast is, and this is a selfish question cuz I love to read, so favorite books and, and I know that you've been involved with books yourself. So what are some of your favorite volumes that you've read in your life? The most influential books that you've, and it doesn't have to do anything with travel, but what are some of the ones that come to mind? Books that [00:37:00] you love? 

Neale Bayly: It's all about typical, sadly. I mean, Ted Simon, Jupiter Travels. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: And I probably only read that seven times. So to The Ends of the Earth by Serrano Fien. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: Which I think is. If any young person wanted to learn how to do anything in life to do with eventual travel, it's like everything in that book will prepare you for travel. Just the tenacity. You know, convincing people to volunteer and the fact that he, his expedition grew to the point where there was a, a part where they needed a captain for an ice breaking ship. And there's a handful of men in the world can drive, pilot or whatever you do with an ice breaking ship, and they command phenomenal salaries and they needed him for like two and a half years. 

Scott Brady: Sure. 

Neale Bayly: So there was no budget. Oh boy, ran off, talked him into quitting his job and driving the boat for free. Well, you gotta think about that, why it meant it meant more than a paycheck to be part of the Trans Globe expedition. Yeah, and I, so I think that's why that book is so valuable to young travelers to. Elevate yourself [00:38:00] above the going to work and making a paycheck and buying, you know, you can, being involved with something. So that was, I've read that numerous times. 

Scott Brady: And the trans, the Trans Globe is an incredible expedition. For those that haven't. 

Neale Bayly: There won't be another one like that. 

Scott Brady: I don't think anyone could do very difficult with the changing conditions in the north. 

Neale Bayly: Well, hi Al, all of his books.

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale bayly: Contiki, right? 

Scott Brady: Yeah. Contikis great. There's a, it's a great book. 

Neale Bayly: There's a fantastic book, the Brendan Voyage, Tim Severin, and I like these books where it was like he, he wanted to prove that the Irish monks were the first ones to get to the new land. And if you actually go into cathedrals in Europe, I've seen it in Sweden and different places around. There's actually murals on the wall of, of St. Brendan's voyages, and they look like fables. But he actually set out to prove that they were real. They built a leather halt, al, and they made it to the new world. So these were the sort books I've always been very in influenced. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, that's a, that's a fantastic book. And, and you, if you want to dip your toes into Serrano fines and his life, mad, bad [00:39:00] and dangerous to know is enough. 

Neale Bayly: Oh, is it? I gotta read that. 

Scott Brady: Yeah, it's a, it's a good one. 

Neale Bayly: Just don't cut your fingers off in shit. Right. 

Scott Brady: Well, whole, that whole story's in there and it's fan. It's fan, it's fantastic. Yeah, when you don't want to go to the doctor and you have frost bitten fingers, you just hack it off.

Neale Bayly: Just go to the shape with the hacksaw and tape the end on. 

Scott Brady: It's in that book. So mad, bad, and dangerous to know. It sounds like you are another mad, bad, and dangerous to know guy. 

Neale Bayly: So it's just a, just a knit with , it's stumbling around.

Scott Brady: It's been such a pleasure that One of the things I wanted to ask too is, Is there anything that you'd like to ask of our audience? Is there any way that we can support you and your efforts? And then how do people find out more about you? 

Neale Bayly: I think just, you know, my goal, my goal is for us to understand how much we have and what we can do to help and why it's important. And I think it's a really difficult question. Why should we help Ukraine? Why should we help anybody? But I think if we understood how good we could feel by doing something to help, and we don't have to do a [00:40:00] lot, we can do a little to help. I think that would be my goal. And then help educate young people think a little differently. I, my next big talk will be in a high school, and the high school wants to, they raise money for me. And I think if we could help educate these kids not to look at the children of Ukraine, like these poor little Ukrainians that need help. These are our buddies and they need something. And if we were out with our mate and we were on a motorcycle and you got a flat tire or you didn't have something to eat, you'd give him, you'd give him a protein bar on your spare tube, right?

Scott Brady: Yeah, sure. 

Neale Bayly: You wouldn't look down on him and think he needed something. You would just do something to balance that and you'd feel good about it. And that's what if we could be more like that about charity, cuz we have so much so anyway, that would be my hope. So, yeah. Any more money, any money we can make for them. You know, we went to see a little boy called Leo and he's at, he was at the live of Jordan's hospital. And he had been in Khaki and his mother had been away in Poland, worked in single mother. So he was there with his grandmother and the shelling started and about a week or 10 days into it, they were hiding out in [00:41:00] school. The sad part about it is as you talk to these refugees that have experienced that, they get to, they can tell the sound of different missiles and different bombs. That's what they learn. They know what incoming is, what it sounds, what, oh, that's that type of missile, this type of missile. Amazingly, his mother was able to get back in there, no cell reception, no phones, and find him. She went to their apartment and got their legal documents and within an hour of leaving her apartment was blown to bits. She found Leo, they got out. Getting out was harder than what they'd been through because it was shelling them all the way out. And a lot of people with them didn't make it out. And they made it out. And the trauma has left him unable to walk. And he was a soccer captain, you know, a tough little 11 year old kid, seen pictures of him leading his soccer team and he's had to have some surgery in lave. And we had this afternoon with him and as he was leaving and he's rolling back to his room, the airstrike warning goes off [00:42:00] and you just look at this kid and you realize like he's been through all of this and he's still not safe. Like big, just like that. We've all been gone, you know? And that's, that's really hard. 

Scott Brady: Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: You know, that's tough. And that's why, you know, the more money we can raise to that hospital to help these kids. Luckily I think America's passed the law. These kids can come here now and get treatment, which is fantastic. 

Scott Brady: Well, I appreciate so much what you've done. 

Neale Bayly: Well, thank you very much for having me and having a chance to, to share this with you and.

Scott Brady: So people can follow you on Instagram. 

Neale Bayly: Yeah. Or rides. Yeah. NealeBaylyRides. Yeah. My name's super easy to find. It's N E A L E B A Y L Y. I'm Mike Teer. I'm the only one. 

Scott Brady: You are. You are. 

Neale Bayly: There's Noelle spells it pretty easy to find. Yeah. 

Scott Brady: So it's quite easy to find. 

Neale Bayly: So it was Instagram's, Facebook, Twitter. And then Wellspring obviously. And if you can't find it, you can just me and always message me or someone. What's my phone number? I mean, I, it's all out there. I'm easily, I'm easily findable. 

Scott Brady: So thank you, Neil, and thank you for all the contributions that you've made to Overland Journal as well through the years. And we look forward to you having you in the [00:43:00] magazine. 

Neale Bayly: I've got an idea for you. 

Scott Brady: I love it. I love it.

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Scott Brady: We appreciate [00:44:00] everyone for spending time here as well. Yeah. 

Neale Bayly: Thank you for coming. 

Scott Brady: Very much appreciate it. And Neil and I will be around for a few more minutes if you've got any questions for, for Neil or myself, uh, we'd love to entertain them and we thank you all for being here.