Interview with Sinuhe Xavier, Filmmaker, Photographer, and Global Traveler
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #41
Interview with Sinuhe Xavier, Filmmaker, Photographer, and Global Traveler
Matt and Scott interview Sinuhe Xavier, award winning cinematographer, commercial director, and photographer. Sinuhe shares his insights on traveling the globe on a motorcycle and in a 4WD as a lifelong learner. Sinuhe shares his insights on photography, Land Rovers, the Utah Traverse, and on being a passionate advocate of having more fun, with less stuff.
If you are looking for Sinuhe Xavier, you may as well spin a globe and put your finger on it. Chances are, you'll come as close as anyone's guess. Sinuhe (pronounced sin-way) has taken photos and made commercials all over the globe, and his long-range escapades are legendary. His perspective on a landscape informs his lensing choices, and you know when you are looking at one of his distinct image sets. His Rolodex includes clients such as Bentley, Jeep, Land Rover, Toyota, and Google, and he is regularly tapped by the likes of BBDO, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Saatchi & Saatchi, and R/GA.
You can find Sinuhe at www.sinuhexavier.com.
This podcast is supported in part by:
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
Matthew is a leading expert in automotive adventure. He has extensively explored the world's most remote places by 4WD and is considered an industry authority on overland travel. He is the only American to ever become an editor of a major Australian 4WD publication and has over 15 years of competitive auto racing experience. @mattexplore
[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I'm your host Scott Brady. And I'm here with my co host, Matt Scott.
Matt Scott: Hello.
Scott Brady: And we have a very special guest today, distinguished even I would say.
Matt Scott: A little bit much for me.
Scott Brady: We have Sinuhe Xavier with us today. And this is Sinuhe is a longtime friend and he has also had a significant influence on our industry visually as an artist, a very accomplished traveler as well. And some of the best adventures I've been on in my life have been with Sinuhe so thanks for being with us today, man.
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, thank you for having me. It's an honor, and it's great to be back in these offices after a little hiatus, got some things figured out.
Scott Brady: We all, we all got to do that, man. Yeah that is a necessary part of living. Right? Learning about ourselves so much, and that has definitely been my life for the last few [00:01:00] years too. So, I would love to start off with the story of your life because...
Matt Scott: It's crazy.
Scott Brady: I've heard some of it and it also totally ties back into, I think a lot of why you're so great at what you do and your experiences in your life, but kind of give us the start for how was Sinuhe made?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, I mean, I was born the illegitimate son of a Colombian drug Lord and my mom didn't want me to grow up in that life. So she ferried me off. I was hiding out in Mexico city for a while. Ended up in Eastern Colombia for a while and, you know, really ended up in Montana to grow up. And, you know, my mom was just this person that [00:02:00] had this very big concern about how her son grew up and knew that she didn't want me growing up in this world that was evolving in the early seventies. And she was always a traveler too, and an adventurous person. So it was just instilled in me to go out and have fun.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I this is a great memory, but you and I were standing in the kitchen of our mutual friend Meecho Escobar and his dad is there and this conversation comes up about your mom and you being from Colombia, and the pieces start to come together and Meecho's Dad, which I so apologize. I'm forgetting his name right now.
Sinuhe Xavier: Billy Escobar.
Scott Brady: Billy. Yeah. Billy's like, I think I know your mom and they had actually met.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yes, so that was wild because, [00:03:00] you know, 2014, 40 years after they were hanging out and had gone to school together, were in the same social circles of Bogota they'd known each other, gone their separate ways or whatever. And it was wild because his mother and my grandparents were friends at the country club. And just sitting there in that small world explosion.
Scott Brady: I could feel that when we were there in that kitchen of just this connection back with your family's past, I mean, and Billy is just like one of the coolest guys on the planet, this amazing architect in Colombia and his son of course, is one of our closest friends. And it was just so neat to see that all come together. Now, how do you feel that Montana shaped you for the traveler [00:04:00] you became and the creative you became?
Sinuhe Xavier: Growing up in Montana was really special. You know, I grew up in Bozeman and it was being around the college town, but also at a time when, you know, Alex Lowe lived down the street from me, Tom Aungst was my ski coach. Scott Schmidt was in and out. And it was this time that Gordon Wiltsey was there, a national geographic photographer. It really opened my eyes to, you could do whatever you wanted to do. There wasn't this "go to college, get a job die". You know, it was go have fun, go have adventures, do whatever you want to do. And everything else will fall into place. And it's not the [00:05:00] easiest route, but it was the route that I chose. And I was really lucky that it worked out okay.
Scott Brady: Yeah, absolutely. And if I remember you started snowboarding as a snowboarder and then things evolved from there.
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, skiing. I was a skier.
Scott Brady: It's probably an insult. I just totally insulted you.
Sinuhe Xavier: I snowboard now. I snowboard.
Scott Brady: I was like, I think that's a problem.
Matt Scott: Freaking out.
Scott Brady: So you've always had Toyotas right?
Sinuhe Xavier: Exactly, I'm a toyota guy. No, I started off skiing and I was really lucky that my mom found a way to get rid of my little brother and I on the weekends. She'd drop us off at 8:30 in the morning and we'd go on our ski team or mighty mites or whatever it was, and we'd be gone until five o'clock that night, because she was always late picking us up. It was her [00:06:00] way of getting rid of us for the weekend, and it was great. All winter long I was on the mountain and learned my independence there. And I really blossomed as a skier, as an athlete. And when I was probably in my late teens. I was a pretty good racer, but my coach said, I'd be even better, and it was Tom Aungst at the time, I'd be an even better freeskier. And he introduced me to the Ridge at Bridger bowl, which is the section at the time, you know, you go up there and you had to have an avalanche beacon and a shovel and a probe, and this was the late eighties. There was nobody up there and it was the best snow on the mountain and at the time they called it extreme skiing and it opened my eyes to this whole new world, and it was incredible. It was absolutely incredible. And you know, from that [00:07:00] I became sponsored by the North Face and I met Conrad Anker, who was my team manager at the time and he really pushed me from just being an extreme skier, to being a ski Mountaineer, which was going out and climbing mountains to ski. There's many first ascents in Montana, particularly some in Alaska. It was this new frontier of going out and doing things that no one else had ever done before, and that's always been important to me, whether it's because then that was my creative outlet was seeing a route, even with binoculars or we'd go out in little planes and fly these mountains in the fall or the spring and look at these lines. And that was where my creative outlet was going, Oh we could put that together and go ski that. And you know, as I got older, it became more and more [00:08:00] dangerous. Had a lot of friends die. Alex Lowe, who was a mentor of mine, who taught me my rope work and a lot about mountaineering. He was killed in an avalanche in the Himalaya. Trevor Peterson from Canada who was an extreme skier, very accomplished was also killed. Doug Coombs, Montana Jackson guy was killed in la grave, and it just was this... I was at an age where mortality... I was becoming very aware of it and I just backed off and I took a nice cushy job with K2 skis, who was my sponsor at the time and got out of the sponsored scheme thing. And this is when I started snowboarding actually back to that. Yeah and it just... growing up in Montana... that was a little bit of a digression, but growing up in Montana, it's a [00:09:00] very bootstrap place. Before I was sponsored by the North face, I had duct tape all over my non Gore-Tex kind of waterproof stuff. You did whatever you had to do. I mean, I remember a really good friend of mine, heat skiing Carhartts you know, and you just did it. Yeah, it worked. It got a little heavy by the end of the day, but it works. And I think that that carries through, and there's also, you know, a little bit of humbleness of letting your actions speak for what you do. You, you don't really talk about it, you just do it and you become that guy that did that thing and it was really important to grow up that way and have that in my back pocket.
Scott Brady: And then that started to open up the opportunity for some photography, right?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well being around photographers as a professional [00:10:00] skier, I was always exposed to it. And once you're a professional athlete, you become pretty unemployable, You can't have a job. Like when I worked for K2, I was the worst employee ever. I mean, I'm sure there's still people in that corporation that see my name come up and like, Oh God... winter of 95. Never again. I mean, cause I was friends with all of the pros, whether they're snowboarders or skiers, like Glen Plake, Adam Merriman, you know, and I had this Volkswagen van that I had all full of skis and snowboards, and by the end of the winter Glen Plake had drawn on the side of it and Adam Merriman had, I think had spray painted on it, you know?
Matt Scott: Was this, the K2 van?
Sinuhe Xavier: The K2 van. That was the K2 van.
Matt Scott: It had added flair.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's extra added flair that I got into a lot of trouble for, [00:11:00] but those were fun, but completely unemployable. And I figured out pretty quickly that I could make money with photography. And again, back to my mom, she had always been a photographer as a hobby. I always had a dark room in my house, and learned from her. And I always thought like, Oh cooky mom. Like crazy hippie mom's into photography. Like look at her and the chemicals. But you know, it was really a natural progression for me to grab a camera and, and start making money with it. And I shot for Burton for snowboards and Transworld snowboarding and that whole thing. And that's why most people, a lot of people, think like, Oh you're a snowboarder. Because my photography career started with snow snowboarding.
Matt Scott: But snowboarding was kind of becoming a thing around that [00:12:00] time. And it was the new...
Sinuhe Xavier: It was huge. I was really lucky I was in a time and in Vail, Colorado where, Ninja Jay Isaacs, and Adam Merriman, and J2, and Stevie Alters, and Joe Curtis like it was the epicenter of snowboarding and those were my pals.
Scott Brady: Didn't you say you were living on a landing of like the stairwell or something like that in a rental house. I mean, that's an amazing story too.
Sinuhe Xavier: The thing about this landing of the stairwell was I took this place to live sight unscene on a chairlift in Utah and my buddy, he goes oh, I've got a place opening up in Vail. And at the time I was living in Boulder Colorado working. I had my van. I could get up to any resort I wanted to, I had an expense account to buy lift tickets wherever I wanted, but I had a season pass at Vail. Because all my buddies were there. And he's like, [00:13:00] Sinuhe I got this loft opening up in Vail. It's right on the bus route. It's awesome. And totally, loft. I actually asked him, ``Do I go loft? Does it mean it has three rooms, dah, dah, dah. He's like, yeah. Three walls. It's like, yeah, it's got, it's got three walls. It overlooks the living room, but it's got three walls. Oh no worries. I got there and it's literally the wide spot in the stairs.It's footprint was a queen size bed. And I had this van full of stuff that I'd moved in there with. And I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I figured it out. I ended up being there for like two and a half years, three years probably. It was awesome.
Matt Scott: Maybe that's a good lesson though. I mean, you don't necessarily always need a bunch of stuff and it kept you outside.
Sinuhe Xavier: It was great. Like I had really fun roommates and it was a time of, you know, I was getting [00:14:00] my photography career going. I was, you know, I was working in a snowboard shop. I was waiting tables. I was, you know, working construction in the summer, like whatever it took to keep the snowboard thing going.
Scott Brady: Back to Montana, growing up. Just doing it. You were just doing it. And it seems like you've never been really overly attached to things. It seems like you've recognized maybe from that landing in Vail that stuff really just encumbers you.
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, I mean, stuff slows you down no matter what. And it goes back to, you know... it's funny. When I started making money, you can see it through my Instagram. Like you see my rig go from, I think it was my five speed Land Rover without a rack.
Matt Scott: That was the first car I knew that you had. Yeah, because I don't even think I had a driving license when I was watching you on [00:15:00] like an expedition exchange and portal and everything.
Scott Brady: But the number of people who bought a discovery one because of Sinuhe including both of us.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I'm actually pretty sure that I bought my first camera because of Sinuhe and I didn't even know you at that point.
Sinuhe Xavier: So the thing is that you can watch this evolution of no rack, no bumper, just this truck. And it gets the rack. It gets the bumper, it gets the lights, it gets the high lift jack that I never used.
Matt Scott: In the most, the highest place.
Sinuhe Xavier: The worst spot, worst spot.
Scott Brady: Totally rusted doesn't work.
Sinuhe Xavier: It doesn't work like it wouldn't work. Those things are so stupid. Then there was my second discovery and it just had everything. I bought it, Mark Alverez built, and it was beautiful and it was perfect.
Matt Scott: That was the automatic one, right?
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. And it had everything on it. And then I got a motorcycle and I realized I didn't need all this [00:16:00] stuff and I pared it down and things were quicker. Packing was quicker. Traveling was quicker. When I got to camp, I was relaxing faster than anybody else, you know? And that evolution goes to my D90. When I got the D90, it didn't have anything. And I literally would go in there. It was one duffel bag with all my sleeping stuff, a box with my camping stuff, and I was done and if I couldn't fit it in my motorcycle panniers, I didn't want to take it.
Matt Scott: What bike did you have?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, I started off with that KTM.
Matt Scott: Oh yeah.
Sinuhe Xavier: Do you remember that KTM six 40 that I bought here didn't I? I bought it here in prescott.
Matt Scott: Cool bikes. The worst bike to ride.
Sinuhe Xavier: Super cool bike. Like my hands were numb in 20 minutes.
Matt Scott: It would be great as a paint shaker at home [00:17:00] Depot.
Sinuhe Xavier: Paint shaker, child proofer, definitely surprised I had a kid after owning that bike. And then I got the Triumph Tiger, which I also got...
Matt Scott: I remember that one because we put all those parts on it right over there.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. You helped me out with that. That's right. That was a pain.
Matt Scott: That's when I learned the importance of anti-seize.
Sinuhe Xavier: Right? But then I ended up actually on that Colombia trip that we were talking about where we met Billy Escobar. You know, I was speaking to Meecho and he's like, what bike would you like to have? And of course, Colombians, they're the hardest people in the world to deal with. You know, like I want an 800, that's what I'm used to riding. Show up to Bogota. Do you remember? I mean, here's this GS adventure, the biggest... It's the Gull Wing of adventure bikes.
Matt Scott: You might as well have a Gull Wing sometimes.
Sinuhe Xavier: You might as well. We were out for 14 [00:18:00] days, 10-14 days?
Matt Scott: Did it go like that? For our listeners or viewers on Youtube.
Sinuhe Xavier: The one we stuffed into the back of a DC3. I mean, it was the biggest bike I've ever ridden.
We were basically doing, you know, close to 3,500 miles from Bogota through the Northern Andes out to Venezuela. And by the end of that trip, I was sold. I mean, I caught it on fire.
Matt Scott: You caught it on fire?
Sinuhe Xavier: Oh yeah. It was stuffed...
Matt Scott: Note to self, don't let Sinuhe borrow my motorcycles.
Scott Brady: Well, it wasn't even your fault. It was just filled with grass and stuff.
Sinuhe Xavier: There was grass between the engine bar, between the hinge and protector bar thing, and in the cylinder head and I'm riding along and Meecho just starts waving his head like this. And I'm like, what, what? And he points. He started throwing dirt on my bike to put out the [00:19:00] fire.
Scott Brady: That was so funny. I do remember you successfully. Jumping over like a water canal too. And I mean, you didn't stick the landing, but you did jump it.
Sinuhe Xavier: I got it over it. But that's the thing, like I was sold on this idea of like, as long as you're moving on those big bikes, the BMW, the 1200, as long as you're moving, they're incredible. The scariest thing about those bikes is putting gas in them.
Scott Brady: No that was incredible. The mud and stuff we went through on that trip, everything that we... and of course the, the only 800 that was with us ended up in the bottom of the river. Yeah that was a hell of a trip. No doubt. That was incredible.
Sinuhe Xavier: But yeah, it goes back. There's an old Massi saying that another mentor of mine told me, and he's like the less, you know, the more you carry on your back. [00:20:00] It's completely true and this mentor of mine, Brett Crystal, he walked one time from Boulder, Utah to Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is about 350 miles with nothing but a satchel, a buck knife, and a wool blanket, you know, and it was a test to see if he could do it, but he could do it because he knew how to find food. He knew how to find shelter, all those things. I'm never going to be that guy I'm into it. I like my down sleeping bag at night and I like my warm coffee in the morning.
Scott Brady: There's necessities, right?
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. There's necessities. But you know... .
Scott Brady: At least you know what those necessities are.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah, and when you pair it down, you can go a lot faster.
Scott Brady: Now for those that are listening because of Sinuhe's time as a photographer, I think it would be interesting to talk about, for a few minutes, just some things you would recommend to those that are listening that want to [00:21:00] begin to capture their adventures. Any just general advice that you can give. We're not going to ask you what camera you use, but it's more like, what are some things that people can think about when they traveled to take a better photograph?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, the thing I hear most about people that are getting into photography is that they regret not taking a photo. That's what I tell everyone, even when I'm on a trip, like, Oh Sinuhe it's great that you're here. You're taking all the photos. I'm like, take your photos. You've probably heard it from me. It's like take your photos because I'm one perspective and my perspective is my trip. And I hear it all the time, even on those trips where I say, make sure you take your own photos. We get to the end of it and they say, Oh, I wish I would have taken more photos. And it goes for me too, even on my trip today [00:22:00] from Los Angeles on my way back home to Colorado. There was some beautiful light with the, with the saguaros, but I was trying to make it here. And I there's a couple of photos that I regret not taking today. But there's that balance where you still have to get things done, but never regret, not taking a photo. There's a couple of double negatives, but it's always a bummer when you get done with a trip, whether it's a family trip to Saudi Julieta or it's a huge adventure across Africa. Megapixels are not going to expire. You know, you're not going to run out of them. Shoot. Just shoot those photos and edit when you get home. The other thing you know, is I always say don't be afraid. Don't be afraid to be that guy that starts wide and moves in tight, because when you're [00:23:00] home and you're editing, you're able to decide which photos are the best, which tells your story the best. You know? And get back to the old fashioned thing of the slideshow. When you get home. Like invite your friends over and show them what they did. Don't just get lost in this digital world of sharing it on Instagram.
Matt Scott: I like that one. Cause I have like so many photos of so many adventures that are just on a hard drive somewhere. And like, who, what, why, why did I even do that?
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. Well it's transcending the, this digital world that we've landed in where, Oh, I put it on Instagram and I got my likes. So I'm done. It's like, no, invite your best friends over, have a dinner party and throw it up on the screen and have them do it for you when they get back from their trip. Even if it's their kid's trip to fricking Scottsdale. It's a good way to share things. And then you get more of a story than some, [00:24:00] you know, 200 word caption.
Scott Brady: Well, that's really good advice. And you know, it makes me think about when I first started seeing your photographs. This was about the time we were starting Overland journal and I remember seeing some of your images, I think on expedition exchange, if I'm not mistaken, but I remember seeing those photos and thinking, this is exactly what I want Overland journal to look like. Because you had this ability to introduce a vehicle to a scene. But re retain all of the wildness of the place. And I think that that's something that people often neglect is that they get so focused on the model, which is the truck that they forget to, to make it a part of its environment. And that's one of the things that I think you do so well.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I've always thought your photos actually had a scene. I mean, so many images that I see today, let's use Instagram for an example, If I see another [00:25:00] three-quarter shot of a 4runner, my head is going to explode.
Scott Brady: You're going to send them pictures of your dog?
Matt Scott: I'm going to send them pictures of my dog. But like what, what's the context? What actually was the trip? What did you do? Where were you? Like you can't tell, I think most days. And that's one of the things I've always appreciated about your photos is they have emotion to them. They have a place, they have a purpose. I dunno, I've always liked that.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's not about the truck. I mean, people hate hearing that because they put so much of their own identity into this truck that they've spent so much money on. So much time building, but the reality is trucks, backpacks, trucks, carabineries. It's a tool to get us to a place, to do things that we love. And whether that is, for some people, it's sitting around a campfire and telling tall tales. For other people, it's going canyoneering and, or going rock climbing or whatever it is. Peak bagging. But the tool is just a truck, like I have zero respect for [00:26:00] people that just go out and drive for the sake of driving. You know, it's like you can go out and do that in any manner of ways. And it's just like the truck. It can be any truck you want. It can be a 20 year old Tacoma. Yeah. You don't have to sleep in it. You don't have to have some fancy fridge that slides out. If you're in this place that you love and you're psyched about it, like you should be psyched. It's not about the truck. It's never been about the truck for me, even though I fell into that trap of all the gear and building it up and doing it. It's always been about how far away I can get from people. It's not that I don't like people. It's just, I like them a whole lot more when they're not around. So how far away can I get? And it's like, that's where I want to be.
[00:27:00] Scott Brady: Well, it's interesting. Cause when you drove up today, you're in a totally stock Range Rover Mark three. And you take it off road all the time. You don't need anything else. It works exactly for how you want.
Sinuhe Xavier: Totally. There's not a single drawer. There's not a fridge in there. It's like there's not a rack.
Scott Brady: And on that bombshell.
Sinuhe Xavier: No max tracks.
Matt Scott: Hey now...
Sinuhe Xavier: I mean like it's all about... That whole thing back to your thing about these photos of these trucks that are totally built with a whole catalog on them. It's like, I want everything in the front runner catalog, nothing wrong with the front runner. You guys are alright, but it's the wrong way to go about doing things. Start from, what do I love to do out there? Is it, is it [00:28:00] climbing? Is it mountain biking? Is it sitting around the campfire? Is it, you know, maybe you're my buddy Steve Gorrow out of Flagstaff, he had a horrible accident. He can barely walk, but he goes out and he likes to just be in a place. Sit around the campfire and take star pictures and ride his push bike. Whatever it is, go backwards and build your truck to the things you enjoy doing.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I think a lot about the vehicles that I've built and the amount of money and time that I can never get back. Putting stuff on it that I didn't need and right now, I mean the Defender outback, it's got a winch on it. That's literally the only thing it has on it. And you just don't need much more than that. It doesn't mean don't ever do anything to your vehicle. Cause there are... I mean, when we crossed the glaciers in Iceland, we needed the vehicles to be a certain way. But for most places, it isn't [00:29:00] the priority to your point. Let's make the priority about the experience. If we happen to have extra time and extra money, maybe make the truck look a little cooler.
Sinuhe Xavier: But to me it's like, all that stuff on it, it goes back to like all this gear it's too much these days.
Matt Scott: It ways you down.
Sinuhe Xavier: Slows you down, you know? So back to the thing it's like my photographs have always been about the experience. Where you are, what you're doing, the Colombia thing, like stuffing those yeses into a DC3, putting them on a little canoe to cross the Metta river. You know, it's about that experience. And I really hope that people will start getting themselves into these situations where they're out there pushing their comfort zone. [00:30:00] Where they're not following a GPS track. I mean, to this day, I don't use a GPS.
Matt Scott: Never have.
Sinuhe Xavier: Never have!
Matt Scott: I love paper maps. To me, I think a large part of the experience of traveling by vehicle or just traveling is getting away and looking at my phone and looking at the little screen, like that's not what that is to me.
Sinuhe Xavier: No, not at all.
Matt Scott: And I don't think you get better at navigation if you don't just shoot those kinds of electronic aids. Like, I'm not saying that I don't have them. I'm not saying that I don't have Gaia on my phone and I don't plan trips and to know where I'm going, but then I know where I'm going. And I like to actually... okay, cool. Well, I know in maybe like 10 miles, I need to make a right and let's see where that goes... I mean, sometimes that doesn't always work out, but it works out fine.
Sinuhe Xavier: But that's part of the adventure. It's like adventure, I think the definition is an undertaking with an unknown outcome. And that's the fun of it.
Matt Scott: One of [00:31:00] the interesting things that you kind of said is like, you know, why are you doing this? You know, to paraphrase. Are you going hiking? Are you going this, you know, whatever you're doing. I think there are a lot of people that just go out and drive, like that's all they do. Like looking at some of my friends and I'm trying to think like, man what do a lot of my friends actually do in this new thing, this new version of overlanding. And the only thing that I can think of is content creation, because that's all they talk about is they're talking about the gram. They're talking about getting the photo of the truck and it's like, is it that dopamine or that serotonin hit of the 12 squillion likes or something, you know? Like what, what are you actually doing other than just sitting in your car for 12 hours a day? I dunno. That's just maybe something that's a little bit enlightening for me.
Sinuhe Xavier: So there's, it's funny that you say the dopamine and I think that there's something to be said about that, you know, that dopamine of your likes on Instagram or whatever, but there's also something to be said about that dopamine. Cause there's nothing wrong with driving [00:32:00] to get to that spot. And then the dopamine that you get with the sun rising, or the sun setting, or getting through that technical spot, you know, and you get out to the spot that you haven't seen a photo of that the trail's grown over and you're like...
Matt Scott: I'm a weird cause like sometimes, lately I found myself as I move maybe a little bit further away from my primary career being in media. I love to put my camera down. I love to actually like, Oh, here's that sunset. Okay. I know when the light's going to be right. I know when I need to take that photo. So I'm going to spend the other 15 minutes and just enjoy the sunset.
Sinuhe Xavier: Oh totally. Yeah. I mean, I think that that's a super important part of being, and especially being a photographer is knowing when to take something in for yourself. And when to take something that you're going [00:33:00] to share with other people. Cause to me that's a, that's an important part of being a photographer is, is you're, you're taking something that you're, you're going to share with other people to hopefully inspire, to get outside, take care of the environment a little bit, you know, that sort of aspect of photography, you know. That the world's a wonderful place and we need to get out and do some things.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's interesting. It makes me think about that idea of when you're taking a photograph, you don't get to experience it yourself. And maybe that balance you're talking about is what actually makes you a better photographer or helps the balance of putting the camera down for five seconds and just taking it in.
Sinuhe Xavier: Putting the camera down for five seconds. Also using something that you've never used before. So, you know, we're all used to using, you know, our, our digital cameras these days. So sometimes it's like, Oh, I'm going to shoot this [00:34:00] with, you know, I have a Leica M2.
Matt Scott: Hmm. We can talk Leicas all day, boy,
Sinuhe Xavier: I don't know much.
Matt Scott: I always think they're photographers viagra. It's like when you can't get your kicks off with the five D or the Nikon, this or that, it's just a different way of looking at looking through that rangefinder and being able to see outside of the lens. It's different. I love it.
Sinuhe Xavier: And then having to be manual taking a light reading, you know like...
Matt Scott: It doesn't even have a light meter does it?
Sinuhe Xavier: It has no light meter. It's fully, I mean, the thing was like in world war II probably.
Matt Scott: On the wrong side.
Sinuhe Xavier: I have no idea. That thing is so old. But it doesn't have anything, but using something that you don't normally use. It also triggers that, Oh, I have to slow down. I have to figure these things out and bring you into the moment. [00:35:00] Whereas when I have my Sony, it's like, bam, bam. I know my settings. I see what the image is going to be like when I put it on the computer screen, back at home. But with Leica, it's like, Oh, Hey. And then I get that film back in it. I'm psyched.
Scott Brady: What are you going to see? Yeah. One of my favorite photos that you've taken is you were, I don't know what you took the photo with, but you were looking down on the like a four by four or a two and a quarter two and a quarter Mamiya or a Hasellblad or something. And it was the photo of the LR4 looking down and you can see the scorched earth and kind of the cracked planet and, and the tripod and yeah, that totally captures that.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. That was a Mamiya 535C I believe and we were out there shooting the LR4 for you and [00:36:00] yeah. I mean, that was a time... that was a crazy day. Actually. Let me tell you about that day. That was the day I found out that I was going to have my son Cooper.
Scott Brady: Oh wow. So that photo is even more important.
Sinuhe Xavier: I remember that day so crystal clear because you know, my ex wife, Stephanie, he came down and she's like, Hey, I've got some news and I'm like okay. What? And you know, she's like, we're going to have a baby. And I was like is that good news? Where are we with this? You know, but I still had to go shoot that car. So we drove out to El Mirage and shot it. I brought all the gear out cause I wasn't sure how we wanted to shoot it, but it was really. One of those things where I wanted to do something different. You know, so we did it with the mamiya.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That was such a cool photograph. Looking down on that camera and seeing the vehicle in the viewfinder, I guess it is a viewfinder in a way. Yeah, that was [00:37:00] so cool. That's amazing. Well, you got Matt for him?
Matt Scott: I don't know. I got a lot of things. I was going to talk about Leichas...
Sinuhe Xavier: We can talk about... I don't know much about Leicas. I've got two and they're neat.
Matt Scott: I dunno. I mean, how much does the gear matter? Can I also have a beer? Is that something that we can ask for? I mean, if the guests asked first.
Sinuhe Xavier: Beer's cool.
Scott Brady: Well, we got to make sure we talk about the traverse though. That's a key key piece of this.
Matt Scott: You taught traverse. If you guys have heard of it, I mean, that's you.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. The Utah traverse. I mean, I guess we go back to what we were talking about before we got into the cameras is, you know, for me a big thing. Oh, beers!
Matt Scott: This is a little luxury, you know you made it big when a production person brings you... Ryan you're just a [00:38:00] production person now.
Sinuhe Xavier: I'd like to point out that it's snowing.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's awesome. I love it. It's nice and cozy in here.
Matt Scott: It is March in Arizona.
Scott Brady: Anything can happen.
Matt Scott: Cheers guys.
Scott Brady: Cheers.
Matt Scott: I don't know. I just think it's so cool that we're doing this. I mean, without getting gushy Sinuhe, I've looked up to your work and you, I think for like more than half of my life and it's cool. It's just, it's just interesting. For me like...
Scott Brady: Cause you were, you were 15
Matt Scott: I joined expedition portal when I was 15 years old.
Sinuhe Xavier: Hello. It's AARP is Sinuhe there?
Scott Brady: I'm the oldest in this room by a couple months.
Matt Scott: I'm the youngest in this room. I'll take that. But no, I mean, it's just cool. I mean, I think in the same way that you were talking about, you realize you could do whatever you wanted and I think there's [00:39:00] maybe a personality mindset of that Explorer gene or whatever that is. It's just like, if you want something, just go get it. You know, you can find a way to do it. And I don't know it a little bit of it's coming full circle to me, just, you know, sitting around with like two guys that I've looked up to.
Sinuhe Xavier: Thank you. I appreciate that. And its not easy making that decision that you're going to not follow the path of the typical... you know, get a job, go to work nine to five and work for somebody else and make money for somebody else. Like that's the easy route, but it's...
Matt Scott: Not that people don't work hard at that.
Sinuhe Xavier: No, no, no, it's not for me. I mean, it works for a lot of people.
Matt Scott: I was a terrible employee.
Sinuhe Xavier: I'm a terrible employee you can ask Scott. When I worked for Scott, I was a terrible employee.
Matt Scott: So was I! Cheers!
Sinuhe Xavier: There we go..
Matt Scott: I mean I wasn't terrible. I was just...
Scott Brady: Neither of you were terrible.
Matt Scott: I was [00:40:00] 21 and usually hung over.
Sinuhe Xavier: No, it it's a tough route to choose, but you know you've learned your, you know, for me, it's always been the little wins to keep the momentum going, and you get those little wins that get you to the big wins and you know, and then you get back to the little wins and you just got to keep those little wins going. And yeah, it depends on what it is sometimes, you know, it was always great working with Overland journal because to me, those were always little wins, getting, you know, getting a cover and getting a story published and going on these adventures, it was this great thing that kept me alive when I was stuck in advertising, sitting in some boardroom, trying to sell a big car company on why we had to go to Chile to shoot their car.
Matt Scott: Cause you've been like all [00:41:00] over for these commercials.
Sinuhe Xavier: I've been super lucky that way.
Scott Brady: And I'm not convinced that a life of convention is any safer or more predictable actually, because. You know, you always hear of the person they worked for the job for 40 years and they retire and then they fall over a couple of months later, or the company shuts down and all the business moves to another country. And I don't think that the life of adventure or of, kind of going a skewing convention, even in your professional life, I think you actually maybe have a better outcome in some ways, because you're better tuned to deal
Matt Scott: You're under control.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And you're better tuned to deal with irregularities and things that come up and you have more skills in the toolbox. I think a lot of times,
Matt Scott: I mean, I know like when I went out on my own it was terrifying to be like in your early twenties and you know, you're trying to figure something out, like move to Australia with like $4 and 50 cents to my name, to [00:42:00] work for a magazine. And I don't know. Now the way I think of it is it actually terrifies me to not have my future in my own control. Like working for some big company and you're about to retire and Oh yeah. Well your benefits best tomorrow. So we're going to fire you today or, or, or whatever it is, or the accountants embezzling the money and you're screwed and you're just out of a job.
Scott Brady: Ask the Enron employees or whatever.
Matt Scott: I don't know. I mean, I think...
Sinuhe Xavier: Its like these people that go on guided Overland trips. That's the weirdest thing. I was out in the Arizona strip and I saw this, this dust trail, like a dust trail I've never seen before.
Matt Scott: Like the Baja one thousands.
Sinuhe Xavier: It was like the Baja 1000 was coming. 60 trucks. All kitted. I mean kitted.
Scott Brady: Ready to go around the world.
Sinuhe Xavier: Ready to go [00:43:00] around the world.
Matt Scott: I don't know how that's enjoyable. Like the outdoors is like such a personal thing for me.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah it was the most bizarre thing. And I was at this junction by the school house. What's the Mount Trumbull. Yeah. Trumbull schoolhouse. So I was at this and I just kind of waited for them to come because I wanted to see what this was all about and they showed up and it was a guided tour and they were going to that ranch that was down towards the the grand Canyon not the Phantom.
Matt Scott: That's the one you hike to.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah, it was like Bar 10. Bar 10. All 60 of these trucks were going to the Bar 10 right now. I'm like, really? What, what are you guys doing? Oh, and there were people from Florida that drove all the way from Florida, from Washington, from Oklahoma, from Chicago. And I was just like, what are you guys doing? And they're telling me, [00:44:00] well we're on this guided thing. We're going to go drive down to the Bar 10. Then we drive to the North rim of the grand Canyon. Then we drive to the South rim, and I'm like, what is this?
Scott Brady: It's all in Google.
Sinuhe Xavier: Like, why are you paying somebody to suck someone else's dust? And like, there's no adventure.
Matt Scott: Let me play Devil's advocate here, you know, we've all been doing this for a long time. You guys more than me that first time you go off road, I still have... I'm one of those dudes from Chicago and I remember like.
Sinuhe Xavier: Nothing wrong with Chicago. I like the windy city.
Matt Scott: It's all right. Go cubbies. But you know, for somebody that a young person that was from Chicago, I remember going to Mexican hat in Utah my first time. The first time I drove to the West coast was when I was moving here to start at OJ. And that was scary. You know, it was just something that I had never experienced before. Where I don't have a problem with those trips is if those people take that experience and they [00:45:00] realize this sucks, this actually isn't that terrifying. And then they go out on their own. I think one of the problems I'm seeing in the industry is it's all about group runs. It's a group, this it's all of these like massive amounts of people going and, you know, you have to move away from that stuff I feel, but that's just my opinion, man.
Scott Brady: The trails can't take that kind of abuse. I mean, it needs to be small groups otherwise. I mean, imagine, I can't even think about what 60 trucks would do to a campsite. It's now a giant campsite, I guess.
Sinuhe Xavier: I think that they were staying at the Bar 10 on their property, you know, and then when they were going to the North and they were probably staying in some, you know, I can't. 60 trucks wouldn't fit. But that's another point is you know, like this whole group thing, I think Jack Quinlin, who was a mentor of mine within the [00:46:00] overlanding world, he has a really strict rule of no less than three. No more than five. And I think impact on campsites, like you were mentioning, that's super important, you know, because you see these, these groups of 15, 20 trucks and they show up somewhere and everybody wants to be together, but they want to be apart. So it just spreads. And Oh, well, this Sage brush won't mind too bad if I drive over it or these bushes won't mind too bad. I'm the, I'm the oops...
Matt Scott: Wasn't me.
Sinuhe Xavier: That was me. I mean, no one's gonna mind if I do it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But then the next time you go, Oh, someone drove there. I'm going to drive there.
Matt Scott: But I think we've all seen it. I think, you know I think like the UTV guys catch a lot of flack, but I [00:47:00] wonder. They may catch more flack for the condition of trails, but it's not going to be long before Overlander start catching flack for conditions of campsites off trail use. You know, I know like we spent some time in Colorado this summer in the San Juan's, like I used to live in Ridgeway. I know that San Juans like the back of my hand. And I'm going to places and here comes like a crown Vic coming up. I forgot where I was, but I don't know...
Scott Brady: I lost a lot of use right now.
Matt Scott: There's a lot of use and I've said it before, Somebody from the forest service, please contact us or something. Cause there needs to be more management for overlanders. Like right now, I don't think anybody knows where to kind of put these, these people. Are they RVrs? Are they recreational four-wheel drivers? Like what are they? How doWe treat them? And it's, it's going to become an issue. I mean, this industry is doubling every year. And we're [00:48:00] just seeing more and more vehicles. We're going to have the Bronco come out. We're going to have, you know, we just had the defender come out. We were having these like purpose-built vehicles. And you're getting people that are in the same way that maybe UTVs, and I'm not picking on UTVs, but it brought a lot of new blood into off-roading. Well, we're having the same thing happen, except now it's with 7,000 pound vehicles and we're actually destroying habitat. We're destroying parts of the environment. And I think that's something that we all have to be a little bit sensitive to. Well, of course, like you never, even, you won't tell anybody from what I remember. Like where the photo was taken. Like, isn't your rule? Like, I'll show you, but I'll never tell you.
Sinuhe Xavier: Pretty strict rule of mine. I mean, there's not very many exceptions to that rule at all.
Scott Brady: Unless maybe it's a well-known location.
Sinuhe Xavier: If it's a well-known location.
Matt Scott: Like, I just did like a week long trip in the earth rumor, and I don't even want to say where it is. Because it was so wonderful. I didn't see a single rooftop tent for a week straight and it was beautiful and [00:49:00] pristine and you could drive for hours and not see a structure. And unfortunately now where I'm at as I'm like, I don't want to talk about it because like all of these places, I'm not saying that we're influencing this or I don't want to be that conceited. But once these places kind of get out there, it's that Instagram me too culture. It's like how w what's the bend in Arizona? HorseShoe Bend. Like the first time I went there...
Scott Brady: It was a dirt parking lot just a couple of years ago. And now you have to pay to get into it.
Matt Scott: And the last time I went, I took a friend from Chicago that I went to school with. There's a parking lot filled with tour buses, you know, like at what point, and maybe this is a different discussion, but like at what point can you just stop talking about those places?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, it's a tricky thing because we're in the business [00:50:00] of inspiring people to get out, however, with that comes the responsibility of teaching them how to do it in a style that doesn't hurt the environment. Doesn't, you know, you're not, geo-tagging. There's a little bit of, you know, in mountaineering where I come from there's different styles, right? There's the Alpine style Reinhold Messner who goes without oxygen, his backpack, maybe he has a Sherpa, like the guy's insane. Right. And then there's the, full-on hiring the guides with the 20 Sherpas.
Matt Scott: Wall street mountaineering.
Sinuhe Xavier: Wall street mountaineering, you know, there's nothing wrong with how you climb a mountain. Everyone's going to climb that mountain. So how do we take [00:51:00] that mountaineering kind of perspective and bring it to overlanding where I think myself, the way I do it, I'm on the very Alpine side. I'm very minimalist. I don't hardly ever set up a tent, let alone a rooftop tent. When I'm with my kid, I'm in a sprinter van maybe. But I'm super minimalist. I'm Alpine style. And then you go to the other side where you've got the rooftop tent, you've got the porta potty tent. You've got the changing tent, you've got the spare room,
Matt Scott: And those things all get thrown out into places that are like habitat for things. And shouldn't, you know, that's not the campsite.
Sinuhe Xavier: Sure. It always does. How do we, as an industry, educate those coming into it. That there's a, there's a proper style and a [00:52:00] not so proper style. And I, and I hate to say wrong.
Scott Brady: Well usually it just comes from not knowing.
Sinuhe Xavier: Should we hold for the sirens hot on the block today?
Scott Brady: Those [00:53:00] are all really important points and I think your rights in a way, it does come back to gaining, understanding, helping to educate your fellow travelers. As travelers that we take the time to learn about the sensitivities of a place like cryptobiotic soil and Moab, like learn about those things. So that way, if we don't take responsibility for ourselves as an industry and as travelers, then the government's going to do it for us. And they never do it anywhere...
Matt Scott: We don't want that.
Scott Brady: Anywhere near as elegant. But along those lines that's kind of the spirit also of your Utah Traverse is this is kind of the way you go, but you can pick your other routes if you want.
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, the Utah Traverse, you know. Jeez. Leave it to the ginger.
Matt Scott: *Bleep*. I'm [00:54:00] not ginger. That is the first time I've done that on the podcast. You realize
Sinuhe Xavier: that everyone that has been on the podcast says you're a ginger.
Matt Scott: Really? I mean like my Beard's kind of ginger.
Scott Brady: There's nothing wrong with being a ginger.
Sinuhe Xavier: You know Prince Harry got kicked out of the monarchy. Not because his child could have been, you know, mulatto, but because he was a ginger.
Matt Scott: Well, consider me royalty then.
Sinuhe Xavier: Utah traverse. The Utah traverse really got started when I was traveling from Vale, Colorado to, to Los Angeles. And I was in the transition from snowboard photography, into commercial work. You know, not that snowboard photography wasn't commercial work, but it was kind of a joke. And the I70 to I15 shuffle, yeah. Is [00:55:00] really a great, easy way to go, but I started breaking it up. And I was really fortunate to really... I was really fortunate with Steve Casimiro to drop in on a national geographic job in Boulder, Utah, back in 99 or 2000, and our assignment was wild roads. Wow. It was basically like, go shoot photos of the roads surrounding, you know, this new national monument. That we have the grand Staircase-Escalante and I think we drove 3000 miles in 10 days. We're based out of Boulder and so when I started this commute, I started kind of dipping down and dipping down and I was always camping and trying to find the [00:56:00] different camp sites and I'd Mark it on this Google map. And as I started looking, the dots had this route and as I got more and more into, you know, canyoneering. That was my thing in 2005, 2006. It turned into, Oh, well, there's this Canyon here. There's this Canyon there. But then this route just kind of zigzagged and it hit all these high points of. The grand staircase of Canyonlands of the Moab area all the way over to the, in comparison, plateau to Telluride. And I think we were probably... it's probably 2010, 2011, when you and I, Scott, we started talking about the Utah traverse. It was this little idea of [00:57:00] what this route could be, because it basically goes from Mesquite, Nevada, all the way to Telluride with 900 miles, total and 90 miles of it's pavement.
Scott Brady: And even the pavement is magic.
Sinuhe Xavier: The
Scott Brady: pavement's
Sinuhe Xavier: super good. There's not a bad way, everything South of I70 and East of I15 is magic.
Matt Scott: That part of the world. Has to be one of the most beautiful and varied parts of the world. I mean, we've all had the pleasure of seeing a lot of the world. I don't know. I always go back to Utah. Like if somebody was to put me on the spot, what's the most beautiful place in the world, Utah always comes to mind.
Scott Brady: Certainly in my top three. So what is your vision for that and tell those that are listening how they can find out more information about the Utah [00:58:00] traverse, what are some of your goals around that that you'd like to share? And how can people find out more information about what you're doing with that project and maybe what your future plans are around it?
Sinuhe Xavier: So ultimately, I mean, in a wish come true type of situation, it would be, a national scenic byway that they designate here are these points and, and that's the key is it's not a route. It's not this line that you can follow.
Matt Scott: It's not a GPX file.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's not, it's these different points that you want to get to. The Mount Trumbull schoolhouse is one, Powell point is another, Bull Run Gorge is another, you know, but it's how you get to those points. The in-between spaces it's up to you. You know, choose your own adventure. Sometimes you need gas. Sometimes you need food, you know, it, sometimes you need a shower and it's, that's okay. [00:59:00] There's no right or wrong way to do it. But if you want to have the true experience of the Utah traverse, you hit these certain points. You spend the night and you watch the sunrise from Powell Point because that being the highest point of the grand staircase Escalante is a spot you should see the sunrise from. And that's all there is to it. You know, and. Now that I'm living back in Vail, I want to take it all the way from Telluride and extend it through the continental divide all the way up to Wyoming. You know, I did the route with Land Rover when we did the 25th anniversary of the great divide tour and that route that Tom Collins put together it's magical. And I'd like to put something similar together that connects, you know, to where you could ride your motorcycle, drive your car, your truck from Steamboat all the way to Mesquite, Nevada, and have [01:00:00] minimal pavement, you know, but again, it's, there's no right or wrong, wrong way to do it. It just hit these points. Here's these highlights you should hit.
Matt Scott: It's such a cool concept.
Sinuhe Xavier: Hit those highlights. You're going to have a great time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Well, and, and one of the things that I think you add, cause there's other routes that are similar, but it seems to me that if you look at the trans America trail, for example, it's just, it had the one goal of just crossing as much of the country on dirt as possible. Whereas you, it seems like you had the, the time and the desire for it to be these very intense visual experiences that you'd have in these different locations. And that is very different. That's what I noticed when we rode the transit of the Utah traverse on the BMWs is it is just gorgeous. Like it's so stunning. That was the difference. It wasn't just about let's stick to a dirt router. Let's make it super [01:01:00] challenging. It was just visually incredible. Yeah.
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, I think that comes from me being a photographer. I think visually oriented. And when people ask, you know, cause I get private messages, I get emails all the time. Like, can I get the route? Can I go from Telluride to Mesquite? You know, you do it any way you want. This is the way I suggest doing it. I suggest doing Muskite to Telluride, because I personally like sleeping in. The light when you're riding in the camp is usually gorgeous. You know, it's not... You're back lit by the sun's behind you. The sun's gorgeous. You're not riding into the sunset, driving into the sunset.
Matt Scott: That's something I never would've thought of. It's brilliant.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's like you can go from East to West, but the second half of your day is going to be squinty.
Scott Brady: Yeah. No, that makes sense. [01:02:00] Totally makes sense. Yeah and we did a little article on that for Overland journal a few years ago, and I think that the imagery turned out so great on that.
Sinuhe Xavier: Yeah. I mean, it's kind of a basic thing, you know, when you take a photo, you know, class 101, they're like having the sun behind your back at 30 degrees and okay. That's going to be a pretty decent photo. So while you're driving or riding your motorcycle... here you are with this, you know, 180 degree view. That's gorgeous. Through one of the most gorgeous... you know the colorado plateau. It gets no better. Have the light good.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Pretty good. Right? Yeah. That's super good. And so what's, what's coming up for you. What are some things, what are some trips that you've got on your horizon?
Sinuhe Xavier: Well, you know, COVID has kind of screwed some things up. You know, right now I'm hoping to get back down to Colombia with elephant [01:03:00] expeditions and, and Meecho. I'd love to get... He's expanded from motorcycles into I think he has a fleet of land cruisers or something along those lines. So I'd really love to get down to Colombia again. I mean, I'm just itching to, you know, a year ago at this time I was in the Azores of Portugal and I haven't been anywhere. I haven't been on a plane in over a year and I'm just like itching to go somewhere.
Matt Scott: It's a huge lifestyle change, right.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's insane. I mean, going from, you know, flying 200,000 miles a year to zero is wild. It is well, super wild, but I mean, it's wild but it's also made me appreciate the local stuff and yeah, I've had to explore some things that I kind [01:04:00] of have taken for granted for the last five, six years while I've had the luxury of going to Australia and Chile and Alaska and Europe multiple times a year. It's like, all right, back to the Utah traverse, I've been doing that again. You know, like I've driven sections of it on these trips that I've been doing, you know, back and forth. And it's great. You know, and a really interesting thing happened when I was out on the Arizona strip last November. I ran into a ranger from Toroweap, and he grew up there. Wow. His grandfather was a logger up on Mount Trumbull and we ran into each other and he's the nicest guy, the nicest ranger being a ranger there for 20 years. And it's like, I'm coming back, making it macro again. And being out in the world, it's a new [01:05:00] appreciation for the Southwest. To me that's my home.
Scott Brady: It feels like the right place to be. How can people find out more about what you do? How can they follow you on Instagram and your website and how do people find out more about you and the work that you do?
Sinuhe Xavier: Bestplays website is super boring cause it's just commercial work and you know, it's stuff that big corporations paid me to do. So that's boring, you know, and those corporations are lame, boring. Instagram's kind of cool, but it's kind of curated and curated lives are boring. But both Sinuhexavier.com. SinuheXavier at Instagram.
Matt Scott: How do we spell Sinuhe?
Sinuhe Xavier: Why do you want to make fun of my hippie mom?
Matt Scott: I'm not making fun!
Sinuhe Xavier: She saved my life.
Scott Brady: She created your life.
[01:06:00] Matt Scott: SINHUE.
Sinuhe Xavier: No, it's not HUE.
Matt Scott: It's not?
Sinuhe Xavier: You just blue it. You guys know me for 15 years, and just blew it? No.
Scott Brady: SINUHE.
Sinuhe Xavier: SINUHE XAVIER
Scott Brady: Sinhue.
Sinuhe Xavier: It's pronounced Sinuhe. I don't know where these white people are coming up with this stuff.
Matt Scott: I grew up surrounded by corn. My name is Matt and I have three first names. Sorry. Don't look at me like that.
Sinuhe Xavier: What're your 3 first names?
Matt Scott: Matthew James Scott. I think it sounds kind of presidential. I don't know. Maybe I should run.
Sinuhe Xavier: Maybe you could be the president of the Prescott rotary club. That'd be a good start.
Matt Scott: So now what I've told you, not how to spell his name, [01:07:00] sorry.
Scott Brady: And I guess, I think on, on kind of parting thoughts. What would you do? What kind of advice would you give to someone just getting started in all of this, they would love photography. Maybe they took it in high school and they see the world in a different way, or they want to be a traveler or an overlander. Like what are some basic things or what's your kind of the things that you've learned, the hard way that you would want to share with somebody that's just starting to take the same journey that you did decades ago.
Sinuhe Xavier: Get used to eating sardines because sardines will keep you alive for two days. No, you know, the thing is if you want to be a photographer, shoot, it doesn't matter what you shoot on. It's your iPhone. If it's your Samsung, it's your phone, like, shoot, like find your point of vision, find where your point of view is, and the stories you want to tell, because [01:08:00] everybody has a story to tell. Everybody has experienced things in different ways and telling that story is important, and everybody's going to find,.. There's an audience out there for your story. That audience isn't going to be there if you don't tell it. So tell it. Start somewhere for me within the Overland community, it was a stupid BBS on expedition exchange. It was ridiculous.
Matt Scott: The plumber snorkel thread.
Sinuhe Xavier: I mean, it was one of the most legendary. I mean, it was the most ridiculous.
Matt Scott: I made it.
Sinuhe Xavier: I'm sure you did.
Scott Brady: You made it onto the... I'm sure I did too. Everybody made it.
Matt Scott: I think I made it when I was 17. So..
Sinuhe Xavier: You know, and the thing is it's like, you just have to tell your story and then it develops, and things don't happen overnight. Like [01:09:00] you have to gain that experience, go out there, shoot, learn from your mistakes. Don't be afraid to reach out to your mentor or who you want to be your mentor. I mean everyone's accessible these days and if you're a dick, you don't answer. I mean, I have people reach out to me all the time and I'm like, Hey yeah, cool. Like if I have time, I engage. If I don't, I say, I'm sorry, I'm super swamped right now. And I can't deal, but like tell your story, shoot your photos, learn from your mistakes and keep pushing it. And the main thing is don't get caught up in all of the stuff. Go out. If you've got a Toyota Tercel and you want a car camp? Go car camping. It doesn't matter. You don't need the winch and the roof rack and the max tracks.
Matt Scott: Man you're staying at my house tonight.
Sinuhe Xavier: You know, just like go out, do it, have [01:10:00] fun, sleep under the stars and you don't even need the tent. You don't need the Gore-Tex.
Scott Brady: Or the expensive camera. You can take some really great photos with something simple too.
Sinuhe Xavier: Exactly. Get artsy, buy the disposable camera at the gas station.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So, anyway, thanks so much for taking the time today to get on the podcast with us. It has been such a pleasure for me to have had you in my life and the places that we've been and the things that I've learned from you just really grateful for you. Thanks for being with us today.
Sinuhe Xavier: Thank you so much. And I'd like to take this opportunity to tell a little story about Scott Brady, because this guy... I got dropped off on the wrong side of the Mexican border. One time. And he could have crossed without me. And I was standing in this line all by myself, no clue how I was going to get to the other side. I mean, this line was huge. It was like [01:11:00] a vaccine line today. And Scott Brady comes walking up after about 20 minutes and goes, I couldn't leave you here. And that to this day, that's always stuck with me, Scott Brady's all right. I'll be on your podcast anytime.
Scott Brady: Thanks. So one now we got dinner, I think to go.
Matt Scott: Let's do it.
Scott Brady: Right on. Thanks Sinuhe. Appreciate it, and on that note goodbye everybody.