Interviewing Scott Brady, Overlander and Publisher
Show Notes for Podcast #72
Matt Scott and Ashley Giordano interview Scott Brady, the Publisher of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. Scott has overlanded across all seven continents and shares his insights on vehicle-based travel and his path to adventure.
Scott Brady is an adventure traveler, photographer, and publisher. He is the CEO of Overland International, parent company of Overland Journal magazine and expeditionportal.com, the world’s largest and most visited vehicle-dependent expedition community and overlanding editorial resource. Because of the large audiences to these outlets (over 1 million visitors monthly), Scott is often credited for popularizing overland travel in North America.
As an overlander, Scott has crossed all seven continents and circumnavigated the planet three times by a combination of 4WD vehicle and adventure motorcycle. He was the expedition leader of the Expeditions 7 project (in partnership with Greg Miller), a three-year global adventure that took the same Toyota Land Cruiser to all seven continents (completed in 2014). His driving and expedition skills have been employed by Top Gear, Toyota, Jeep, Mobil1, and others.
First (and only) American Driver to win the Outback Challenge (2006)
Crossing Central America from Mexico to the Darien Gap (2009)
Crossing the Silk Road through Central Asia to Mongolia (2010)
Circumnavigation of the Northern Hemisphere (2012, also completing 2010 route)
First Americans to cross (dual crossing) of the Antarctic continent by 4wd (2013)
Completion of Expeditions 7, first in history to take the same 4wd to all seven continents (2014)
Circumnavigation of the Southern Hemisphere (2014)
Successful crossing of all Seven Continents (2014)
Completion of the full length of the Panamerican Highway (2016)
First crossing of the long-axis of the Greenland ice sheet by 4WD (2018)
As a photographer and journalist, Scott has contributed to high-quality publications and commercial clients like Overland Journal, Expedition Portal, Toyota, Jeep, Robb Report, Outside, Guns and Ammo, Wheels Afield, Adventure Journal, and others. Scott was also featured in Fortune magazine, relating his experiences as an entrepreneur and adventurer. He has also been featured on television for the Speed Channel, Dangerous Drives, The Grid, Fox Sports, and Top Gear USA. Scott lives in Prescott, Arizona. @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
Ashley Giordano completed a 48,800-kilometer overland journey from Canada to Argentina with her husband, Richard, in their well-loved but antiquated Toyota pickup. On the zig-zag route south, she hiked craggy peaks in the Andes, discovered diverse cultures in 15 different countries, and filled her tummy with spicy ceviche, Baja fish tacos, and Argentinian Malbec. You can usually find Ashley buried in a pile of travel books, poring over maps, or researching wild medicinal plants. Ashley is a co-founder of Women Overlanding the World and crew member of Expedition Overland. You’ll find this Canadian-born couple exploring a different continent in 2021, and sharing their trip every step of the way at Desk to Glory. @desktoglory_ash
This episode sponsored in part by
Matt Scott: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Overland journal podcast. I'm a here with people named Ashley and Scott. We're going to do something a little bit different today, so we're going to be interviewing another person at this table that has three first names. Scott Allen Brady. Yeah, I'm super excited about this. I mean, I think a lot of people in the Overland world kind of share the same story. I think I was 15 when I joined Expedition portal. Yeah, I'm almost 19 now, but it's just been so cool to see, you know, your adventures throughout the years. They've been incredibly inspirational to me and I'm sure they have to a lot of people and you know, it's been just really cool to see how you've constantly pushed the industry and as the industry has grown and kind of created its own little identity, you know, cause it's not [00:01:00] the global travel that it kind of started off as, but it never was going to be it... but how you've stayed true to your roots. And I think that that's really cool, it's something that I've always really appreciated, but those are the last nice things I'm going to say. But here's the awesome part about all of this is Ashley here... as we said, I'm the kid that wings it in class. She has prepared notes.
Ashley Giordano: I was like, I'm the nerdy one that brings my notes and I'm all organized and he's like the cool kid that doesn't prepare, but still does well.
Matt Scott: This is the only little kid in which I might be a cool kid, but I'm not. So...
Ashley Giordano: Oh, two hosts...
Matt Scott: Two hosts. One Brady.
Ashley Giordano: One hostess. I was just going to say I was hanging out with Paul May recently and asking him a little bit about his history. And he mentioned [00:02:00] you coming up to him one day with these pieces of a magazine that you wanted to start, pieces of paper compiled together in your hands. And I was like, oh my gosh, I don't know anything about Scott Brady. So I was really inspired to learn more.
Matt Scott: Raised by wolves.
Scott Brady: Bald wolves.
Matt Scott: That's why Scott wears a hat.
Scott Brady: Can't see my ears.
Matt Scott: But I think there's a lot of people, you know, in this industry that kind of got their start through Scott. I mean, I was 20, I think when you first offered me a job. Took a huge chance on me, I mean I would not be who I am today. If it wasn't for you.
Scott Brady: You are super talented. You found your way.
Matt Scott: I appreciate that, but yeah. Why don't you fire off those questions.
Ashley Giordano: I'll start my list.
Matt Scott: Start your list.
Ashley Giordano: Okay. Let's start with, what was your first four-wheel drive vehicle?
Matt Scott: Oh, damn. That's what I was going to ask. [00:03:00]
Ashley Giordano: I prepared, but you were going to wing it and its all good.
Scott Brady: So I have, I have a funny story. I grew up in Southern California and I knew nothing about off-road or four-wheel drive, but I had actually seen a magazine cover with the Camel Trophy on it and I thought... and I was a multi-sport athlete at the time. I'm no longer a multi-sport athlete.
Ashley Giordano: What sports?
Scott Brady: So it was a triathlon. So I did triathlons for many years, and I see this event called the Camel Trophy and I was just so inspired by it. And I, and I realized I wanted to get into a four-wheel driving. A buddy of mine had a Jeep, and so I went to this dealership, and they had this black, lifted Isuzu Amigo on the lot. And I'm thinking this is perfect for me. There was two problems, it was a manual transmission, which I didn't know how to drive. It wasn't actually four-wheel drive, but the salesman being a used car salesman that he was convinced me that four-wheel drive was actually not necessary [00:04:00] at all.
Matt Scott: No, it is a rumor.
Yeah. I mean, yeah. He's like, yeah. He's like, it affects your fuel economy. He's like, look at the tires on this thing. And of course me being, I think I was 19. So it took me about an hour to get it the three or four miles home. Cause I didn't know how to drive. I kept stalling in the middle of every intersection on like Ventura Boulevard. So yeah. So my first four-wheel drive was not a four-wheel drive, it was a two wheel drive and that's where I learned the power of momentum. That was a tough one. But I would say my first true four-wheel drive was an Isuzu Rodeo. So I traded in the Amigo for...
Matt Scott: You had a thing for Isuzu’s...
Scott Brady: I have. I've had all of the Isuzu. I did. They were great cars.
Matt Scott: They all have such fun names, like Amigo, Trooper...
Scott Brady: Great cars. They were all super great cars.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I wonder if they're still around.
Scott Brady: So my first four-wheel drive would have been an Isuzu Rodeo.
Matt Scott: And then you had like a [00:05:00] CJ 7 when you were in the Air Force?
Scott Brady: I did. I had actually an M38A1 first. So a very old Jeep
Matt Scott: Oh, like the Korean era.
Scott Brady: Yes, exactly. So I traded in the rodeo for a Jeep because I figured you had to have a Jeep in order to really go off-road. Which of course that, or Jeep was nowhere...
Matt Scott: Well, I mean, in 1957 that would've been true.
Scott Brady: That's true. Yeah. That's true. Yeah. So the rodeo of course
Matt Scott: I could have done that insult better.
Scott Brady: Oh, I'm getting there. I'm holding onto my last vestiges of the forties, so that's very true. So I had that M38A1 which I proceeded to ruin by putting too big a tire on and too big of a motor, and yeah. So I did that all wrong...
Matt Scott: Like my TJ...
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. That was my TJ moment.
Matt Scott: So born in Southern California somewhere after the civil war. And you were in the air force...
Scott Brady: I was [00:06:00] right out of high school, just about.
Matt Scott: Just after World War II.
Scott Brady: So I was fortunate to miss the last of the great wars.
Matt Scott: Yeah, no, but you were stationed in Italy. I was.
Scott Brady: And that was a big part of my love for travel because I had never traveled out of the country. I'd been to Mexico once, like I think I helped build a school or something down there in high school. And then I joined the air force and the next thing you know, I'm getting sent off to Southern Italy during the whole Bosnian conflict in that part of the world and by the time I had gotten from the airport to the base, I realized I have no idea what the world is all about. And I was so insulated, not in a bad way...
Matt Scott: How old were you?
Scott Brady: 20 years old. Yeah. I celebrated my 21st birthday in Italy.
Matt Scott: That's pretty fun.
Scott Brady: Especially since I didn't really understand the limits of alcohol consumption at 21 either. So yeah, [00:07:00] fortunately I didn't end up in an Italian hospital that day, but yeah. So it was this experience of going someplace so different, but was also so inspiring to me and intriguing, and I felt so curious and open to the idea of learning more about this culture and being a firefighter in the air force. I worked every other day. So I would just walk into town or I would ride a bicycle into town. Or if I had a few days off, I would rent a small little car and I'd go drive someplace in Italy and by the time I left Italy, I knew that I wanted to travel to be a part of my life. I just didn't know how to do it. I didn't know what I was going to need to do in order to get there.
Matt Scott: I mean, I think a lot of people kind of go through that same thing as they get the first taste. I think that's always been a misconception. People have always asked me and I'm sure it's the same thing as they assume that because you traveled, you grew up traveling
Scott Brady: I didn't
Ashley Giordano: I didn't either.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean, I [00:08:00] like went to Mexico like Cancun when I was like seven.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Matt Scott: Really familiar with like going to India.
Scott Brady: My dad, always had cool hobbies like it was hunting or we would go backpacking. And so I was exposed to the outdoors a lot, which I think helped, but no, never travel.
Matt Scott: So post air force. Tell me about Scotty post air force.
Scott Brady: Well, that was an interesting... it was kind of a frightening transition. I knew I didn't want to stay in the military, and I'd completed my four years and I didn't want to go back to Southern California either because I couldn't afford it. I didn't have any money, and so my aunt and uncle had a cattle ranch in Arizona. So they had this huge cattle ranch, there wasn't a lot of the land that they owned themselves. They're mostly leases on the land. So it was 50 something thousand acres. And my uncle had always been such a positive part of my life growing up, he was the one who taught me how to drive. [00:09:00] And I mean really positive part of my life, and so I decided to move down and live on the ranch. So I moved down to Arizona, I'm living on the cattle ranch, and I had some, some chores that I had to do every day. So I'd wake up in the morning and I'd saddle the horse and I'd ride fence line. And we had two Nissan Patrols of all things on the ranch. Like super old Nissan Patrols and so I'd ride fence line and go check on the cows and it was actually a wonderful experience. Like I didn't know what to expect, and again much like the military I knew I didn't want to do it forever, but that year and a half that I lived on the ranch was very, very special. So I was able to spend a lot of time with my aunt and uncle that I love. And it also, gave me a very soft landing from the military. And during that period of time, I also had a part part-time job where I worked security at the Heela bend auxiliary field at where the Barry M. Goldwater range is along the Mexican border. El [00:10:00] Camino Del Diablo goes right through there. So I worked out there for a period of time doing security stuff out there.
Ashley Giordano: So vehicles, is this a love of vehicles that came gradually? Or can you like look back on early years and point to something?
Scott Brady: I think that that's an important transition that happened for me. In the very beginning it was all about the vehicles and I felt so attracted to the idea of building these trucks up and building these Jeeps up and I worked on them a lot myself. In fact, that that early M38A1, I rebuilt it from front to back myself even though I had no idea what I was doing, but I took the time and I had people who helped and showed me how to do that. Mike Hancock might one of my earliest friends showed me how to rebuild things on the Jeep and it was very much about the vehicle in the beginning, but I realized by the time I had done that Italy trip, that what I [00:11:00] was most inspired by was the experience of traveling. So that began the transition from me recognizing that I like the vehicles a lot, but I actually, at this point in my life, I don't care if I'm walking. I mean, you can't get anywhere very fast walking. So I do still drive vehicles or ride motorcycles, but those two things are really just kind of a magic carpet to those adventures that I want to get to, so that's where that transition happened. But in the beginning, I was very much into vehicles, even all the way through my time in manufacturing where I was able to afford to go and take courses and driving and do more high-performance driving. I focused a lot on speed and driving fast in cars, but I realized that my heart was always being pulled towards the travel side.
Matt Scott: We call that period corporate Scotty.
Scott Brady: Which it was also an [00:12:00] important part of my learning that allowed me to eventually have my own business.
Matt Scott: So Exhibition portal was 2005.
Scott Brady: And before that, when I was... actually when I was still working in manufacturing components for airbags, and I was lucky that I had an incredible boss, Bob Dewey that really showed me some insights into leadership. And he was such a great teacher about business, and he was always so free with thought and information around that. And that's when I first started my first blog, so I was just tech savvy enough that I, I can't even remember where I hosted it, but I started to write a little bit about my trips. And then the facility closed down because 60% of our business was moved to China, by the customer, and this company Lexington Precision that I worked for, they invited me to go back east to [00:13:00] see their sister division in Rochester, New York, and fortunately for me they flew me back there in February into Buffalo, New York. So imagine living in Arizona, growing up in Southern California and coming to negative 8,000, but by the time I had gotten to the rental car booth I knew that there was no way I could make that move. And I didn't, I turned down the job and because they needed to have the building closed down in some transition, I was able to keep some employment, but I didn't have to move to Rochester, New York. And that was when I first started figuring out, like, how do I make a living otherwise?
Matt Scott: And then you started off kind of guiding some trips.
Scott Brady: I did, a lot with Earth Roamer.
Matt Scott: That was under Expeditions West.
Scott Brady: Expeditions West was our first LLC.
Matt Scott: I was an Expedition West employee.
Scott Brady: You were that's true. Before we combined the businesses, you're right. Yeah, so [00:14:00] 2002, I bought a Land Rover Discovery 2, which was about as big of a mistake as the Amigo. So you want to go travel around the world and let's buy the least reliable... and plus I had no idea what I was doing as a traveler, so let's buy the most unreliable Land Rover ever made. So I did a trip down to Mexico and barely made it back across the border with the, like the air conditioning compressor almost coming off of the motor. So yeah, that was not the best choice. So then I ended up getting that 2004 Tacoma, which is when things started to really change. Yeah. I remember that truck.
Matt Scott: It had the... was it the first truck that had a topographic wrap? No, that was Genesis. It was Genesis for Overlanding.
Scott Brady: I had a topo map on it.
Matt Scott: It was 2004 and it had a topo map. And I remember, like... I remember seeing this before Expedition Portal and I saw it at SEMA or something. I'm [00:15:00] like, wow, it has a map on it. It's a map. It's got the little lines; man topo maps are cool. And now it's like a horse that’s been beat to death a thousand times. Poor horsey... it was a great idea.
Scott Brady: It was the only roof tent at SEMA that year.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Which is like... I mean, now you struggle to not see a roof tent on like a super duty with 38 inch...
Scott Brady: On a Subaru.
Matt Scott: Or a Subaru.
Scott Brady: Yeah, they're everywhere.
Matt Scott: So, Expeditions West leads to...
Scott Brady: Expedition Portal starting, and Expedition Portal was inspired in large part by a forum community called Four Wheel Drive Trips. So there was a group of folks there that I did a lot of traveling with, but the website didn't focus on international travel at all. It didn't have an international component and it had a very limited vehicle-based component to it. So it was [00:16:00] all about planning these trips. So it was about four-wheel drive trips and all of my first. Longer distance back country travel was through that forum. I don't know if it's still in existence. Hopefully it is, but the people who were on that forum were very fundamental to me learning a lot about this. But having that technology background, I felt comfortable starting my own forum. That would include a lot more about vehicles and a lot more about international travel.
Ashley Giordano: So it started out as a forum or... it was a forum.
Scott Brady: There was no editorial on it in the beginning. It was only a community forum, and then I think by the time 5-6,000 members. I realized it's probably a good idea to start putting some editorial on there. so at the time i had the web site expeditions west.com, which was all of my editorial. And I was writing for Off-Road Magazine. I was writing for Four-Wheeler. I was writing for other outlets, and I was learning a lot from those folks. I remember [00:17:00] when I first got published in four-wheel drive in Sport Utility, which was a magazine that Phil Hal ran forever. And this guy was... he was like a legend to me, like I loved his magazine. I loved the way that he emphasized trails and getting out and exploring and, and he was also air force. And he just took a chance on me and let me start writing for his magazine. And he was one of the first ones that really helped make that possible.
Ashley Giordano: What was some good advice that he gave you about writing?
Scott Brady: I think one of the things that he helped me most was being really organized around the package that I contributed. I found that in those early days that the, the editors would get most frustrated when things were incomplete. Like when it didn't have captions and it didn't have the right images at the right size and the copy wasn't delivered at the right word count that they asked for. He didn't have a lot of feedback on my [00:18:00] writing cause I had done a lot of writing in my life, mostly through business, but I think that the writing was okay. Not great, but it was passable. But he was really focused on the packages. So those that are listening, if you want to write for a magazine, deliver a really clean, concise... make it easy on the editor, Matt maps run magazines in Australia, and I'm sure that you thought like, you know, this person just delivered me a really tidy package. Thank you for making my life better.
Matt Scott: You can have the job next time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So, yeah, 2006 was the start of the, or 2005 was the start of the forum and then in 2006, I competed in the Outback challenge, which was the next big step.
Matt Scott: And you were the first American to...
Scott Brady: To win that, yeah.
Matt Scott: Give us the elevator pitch
Scott Brady: on the Outback challenge.
Well, it started in Australia, and it was kind of like the rebel or kind of like the Dakar in a way, but with more modified vehicles. So it was high speed, plus recovery, [00:19:00] plus very technical terrain. And they held it for many years also in Morocco, and that was where I competed. Patrice Rider was my sponsor out of France. And he literally threw me the keys to a Land Cruiser. They wanted us to go over there and kind of represent the United States. They wanted to have an American competitor. And I don't think that they thought we were going to even get our...
Matt Scott: Take this Frenchie.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Nathan Hinman was my navigator. We talked about navigators in the podcasts on the Rebelle rally. And Nathan was an absolutely stellar navigator and he never squealed when we were going sideways at a hundred miles an hour down the road. So, you know, it was really helpful to have his expertise and we never broke the truck and we never really got lost. And because of that, we were able to do well in the race.
Matt Scott: And then shortly after that Overland Journal.
Scott Brady: Yes. So by the time expedition portal got to maybe 20 or [00:20:00] 30,000 members, I realized like, there's, there might be a business here. And I was still working in technology, higher education technology at the time to pay bills. But I realized like there might be a real option here for me to make this my life to finally close that loop on being able to travel, and that was when we started the magazine. So this was late 2006, and I was having a conversation with Jonathan Hanson and he's one of the most talented writers I've ever seen, and he also has a lot of specific knowledge around vehicles and overlanding, and he also has like impeccable taste. So combining those attributes with my desire to start a publication as well and yeah, we were kind of finishing each other's sentences on what we wanted the magazine to be. And [00:21:00] we just went for it. I mean, like I had no idea how to make a magazine and Jonathan had never been a publisher either, so we had the right ingredients. And I think maybe it actually helped us that we had no idea what we were doing, because we didn't have the fear of knowing he didn't know, we didn't know what you weren't supposed to do. So we just did exactly what we would want a magazine to be.
Matt Scott: Was it the first, so spring 2007?
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Ashley Giordano: Yeah. What was the first issue like?
Matt Scott: It was the camp chair one, right? Was it the like $600... cause I remember for a while, Overland Journal was the $600 camp chair magazine. The Camp Chairs are sitting right there.
Scott Brady: Yeah, actually it's the same company and that's actually a funny thing. Cause it was the $600 camp chairs are the only ones that have lasted for the last 15 years. Like I still use them on a regular basis. But I don't know if it would be a regret, but it was a realization for us that there is premium quality and then there's just [00:22:00] expensive and just expensive doesn't have a place in Overland Journal. And that was an important lesson for, for us that we learned from our readers by calling us out of saying like hey, that's kind of ridiculous. And they were right, it was ridiculous. And there's nothing wrong with featuring something of premium quality that happens to be expensive because that's what it takes to make it, as opposed to something that's just expensive for being expensive sake.
Matt Scott: Luxury.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. I mean, they're, they're actually still great chairs, but no one needs Buffalo hide to accent, their canvas sling chair.
Ashley Giordano: Do you remember what else in the first...
Matt Scott: Speak for yourself, I love Cape Buffalo.
Ashley Giordano: What was in the first issue. Do you remember, like what kind of articles and photography?
Scott Brady: Graham Jackson had the cover photo and it was Graham Jackson's trip across Africa. And that was an incredible piece. It was a [00:23:00] perfect fit for us in the beginning. And then we also had an article in there from Chris Scott, a Motorcycle article as well. I don't remember much of the other pieces that are in there. That's actually quite some time ago now that I think about it, 15 years ago, so.
Matt Scott: And that was before iPhones.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it was very, very early in that smartphone days. Yeah.
Ashley Giordano: What did it feel like holding that magazine in your hands? Like the first one printed?
Scott Brady: So. Even a little bit better for me was the magazine is printed in Salt Lake by a place called Hudson printing and Stephanie Brady, who at the time was my wife, now my ex-wife, but she's still an important part of the business. And we went together to go up to Hudson printing, to go see the magazine come off of the printer. And so to watch the pages fly off of this printer at [00:24:00] this incredible rate... and to, to hold the proofs in our hands and to sit down at their conference room table and proof the magazine and start that relationship with that printer that has continued to today. So Overland Journal is still printed in the United States, and it's still an employee-owned business, and it's still all of those things that we started as so cool. So that was a pretty special experience. Like the ink barely dry. Yeah, it was very cool.
Ashley Giordano: Look at the list? We can check some things off here.
Matt Scott: Check a few things off.
Ashley Giordano: Oh, you've been on a lot of trips and had a lot of experiences, which one was the most life-changing or impactful?
Matt Scott: Chucky Cheese 1992. Little Billy's birthday party.
Scott Brady: I would say that some of my [00:25:00] trips have been very good for me professionally, but they're not always the same ones that change me personally. And I was on a trip in, I would say 2016 was a very big year for me, as far as personal transitions, but I had done a trip to Uganda and Kenya and. We had some interactions with the Ugandans there that was extremely humbling for me and made me very aware of how fortunate I am in my life in ways that I had never really noticed at that depth before. So I think that was when I started to transition from being a tourist, to being more of a traveler, so despite the fact that I had done some very big vehicle-based trips prior to that, I felt like I was a stone skipping across the surface of the water. [00:26:00] And I had never really gotten very deep, so I had managed to cross continents, but never really get an understanding of the place, a deep understanding, personal understanding of it. So that trip to Africa was big for that. And I went on that trip with Brian Bass. Who's a great friend of mine. He's been on the podcast a few times, and that was really important to travel with someone like him that sees the world in a very different way. And as an archeologist and as an anthropologist, he sees it in ways that I would've never been able to see before. And then later that year I did a motorcycle trip to south America, and it was part of a group called Expedition 65. So I went down to, to Peru with the group, and then I left the group in the Andes just by myself on a motorcycle, and I worked my way back up to Columbia. [00:27:00] So it was the first time I had ever traveled for that long alone with my own thoughts and very few distractions on a motorcycle. Cause you're fairly focused on not dying. You don't have a lot... you're not playing with your phone. You just maybe have some music in the helmet, and I came to terms with some things that needed to change in my life, and that was like an extremely emotional point for me because I was all alone coming to terms with all of these things that needed to change in my life. Like on the side of the road of the Pan-American trying to come to terms with the things that I needed to do different, and I think that being on a motorcycle alone is something that it's actually a little bit scary for me to do now because it, it is very... it opens us up to think about our life. Maybe it's meditative in a way. I don't know. I'm not, I'm not trying to make it sound too esoteric, but I think just being quiet by ourselves at times is a really good idea. [00:28:00] And so I had thousands of miles of being quiet and that really resulted in some personal change.
Matt Scott: And then going back a little bit, I mean, Exhibition Seven was a huge thing, a huge accomplishment. But when I heard you say that, you know, the rock kind of skipping the surface. Did you really enjoy that trip?
Scott Brady: There were elements that I enjoyed about it a lot, the personal connections that I made, I mean, all that time with Bruce Dorn and Sinwei, and you came along on parts of the trip and spending time with Greg and his family and just... Kurt William's now a lifetime friend and Clay Croft. I mean, we, you know, we shared the pink room in the brothel and in Russia, you know, it's just like you just end up with these lifelong friendships and connections. And then if I look at it this way and it was actually Barry [00:29:00] Andrews that I credit with this shift, in my perspective on Expedition Seven. I was telling him like I'm so focused on all... there's all these moving pieces. There's all this that has to happen. I don't feel like I'm really enjoying the travel. And Barry said, that's not what you need to be doing right now. He said, you're going to get a PhD in overlanding by the time you've gone to all seven continents with these vehicles. And I don't mean to assume that I've gotten a PhD, I haven't. I mean, I only know 5% of what I would love to know, but his mindset was right. Shift the perspective from the fact that you can't be a traveler right now, you're an expedition leader. You have all these people that are counting on you to arrive safely and to accomplish a goal together. So it allowed me to get my focus back on. Learn everything that I can about going around the world about Carnes, about shipping, about shipping by air, and shipping by boat, and shipping by rail. And I got to learn all of those things in great detail because of [00:30:00] Expedition Seven. So is it the way that I would recommend people see the world? It may be a good way for some people to see it that way, but I would not generally recommend that. I think that you're better off slowing down.
Matt Scott: It seemed to be a huge transition for you is that like post E7 or pre E7, it was expedition leader Scott. Post E7 it became traveler Scott.
Scott Brady: Totally.
Matt Scott: You know, like the desire... it was almost like you kinda ticked the box on the dream vehicle, perfect scenario, this, this, this, and then you just kinda like... cause you pretty much stopped caring about trucks after that.
Scott Brady: That's very true.
Matt Scott: You know, from a friend perspective.
Ashley Giordano: What about Greenland then? Because that's the most recent expedition.
Scott Brady: Yeah, and Greenland I enjoyed very [00:31:00] much because I was in a different role. I wasn't the expedition leader. I had some leadership elements to my role, but I was there as the photographer and I was there as a driver, and also all of us had evolved a lot. We had all grown as travelers and we all wanted things to be a little different. And it was also something that had not only... it was less of like a first in the sense that like Expedition Seven was to take the same vehicle to all seven continents, whereas Greenland, like it had never been crossed that way in a vehicle by any means. And there's reasons for that, because it's super difficult to do that. And so that expedition for me, felt the most remote, the most risk. We had many moments where we recognize that we were at great risk and that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed that being so far out on the hairy edge that [00:32:00] it makes a bunch of things come into focus. And also there were people on the team that were reaching their limits of what they felt was safe, and we were working through that together and there was a lot of trust that we all had to give to each other to continue forward to the goal. So the Greenland trip for me was one of the trips that I've enjoyed the most. It was just incredible to have done that with that group of people, and there was never a crossword spoken despite how intense it was. So yeah, Greenland was different for sure. And I think I had learned a little bit... I'd grown a little bit before then, too.
Ashley Giordano: That was the first... was it? I can't remember. Which crossing?
Scott Brady: It was the first long access crossing of Greenland. Yeah. So that was really... that was amazing. It was really amazing and beautiful.
Matt Scott: Then you guys did like a double crossing of the Ross Ice Shelf in [00:33:00] Antarctica too. Didn't you?
Scott Brady: We did. Yeah. So we, we crossed from the east coast of Antarctica at the Russian Novolazarevskaya Base. All the way to the Leverich glacier, the Ross Ice Shelf, which is the other side of the continent. And then we had to turn around and get back to the other side. So yeah, we ended up doing a double crossing of Antarctica.
Matt Scott: I remember being in your office that would have been 2012 or 2013, and that's. I just put an Antonov on my credit card.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean we literally needed to hire an Antonov, you know, it was actually an Ilyushin Il-77. So it was what we ended up using, but yeah, amazing. Yeah, really incredible.
Ashley Giordano: That's cool to have those experiences at, as a team on an expedition, but then also contrast with your own personal travel, how you like to travel. Plus all the other [00:34:00] guiding and press trips, and that's a lot of experience.
Scott Brady: It results in a lot of time behind the wheel. I think I finally have let myself be just still enough to start to soak in some of the lessons of travel. And that feels good to me, like just this sailing trip that I did being in the middle of the Pacific ocean.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean, that's something drastically different for you.
Scott Brady: I mean, because of COVID, I mean, I had planned on going to Africa.
Matt Scott: You were going to do the motorcycle.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. And all of that was shut down, and Brian McVickers and Rusty Frons who owns the boat they invited me to come along and just... I mean, I had no idea what I was doing as far as sailing went, but I learned a lot by the other end of it.
Matt Scott: Yeah. And then you bought a sailboat.
Scott Brady: I did buy a sailboat after that. Yeah.
Matt Scott: He bought a vessel in which you can burn money inside of on the water, and then burn the vessel.
Scott Brady: Exactly. I'm learning that very quickly here. Yeah. [00:35:00] But no, the sailing is something else because it's like overlanding but more difficult, and you're more remote. I mean, we were a thousand miles from land at one point in any direction. So you just don't get more remote than that than in being in the middle of the Pacific.
Matt Scott: Do you see... I mean, so take the Greenland thing and then take the Pacific crossing that you did on the sailboat. Do you see yourself being more driven by more challenging trips in the future, or do you see yourself wanting to travel more and interact more like your Africa trip in Uganda?
Scott Brady: I think that for me it comes down to...
Matt Scott: Or you can do both.
Scott Brady: Well in a way it is both. I find myself wanting to do some bigger motorcycle trips while I'm still healthy. I don't have any injuries or anything like that. And there's some things that I want to do on the motorcycle and just [00:36:00] really soak up that experience. I'm finding myself less interested in doing something big, just because it's big. I want to do something that feels like it would be a learning opportunity for me or the people that I'm traveling with so that I find myself interested. I'm also interested in going to places that really haven't been explored that much, just so that we can give a fresh perspective from Overland Journal and from our own content of a different kind of place than has been traveled to a lot. So I do find myself pretty interested in that kind of thing,
Matt Scott: Overland, Ohio.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Ashley Giordano: What's on the top of your list?
Scott Brady: I do want to drive or ride a motorcycle from probably Cape Town or Johannesburg up to Egypt. I'd like to see that part of Africa. I've seen chunks of it, but I've never kind of strung those along. I've never been to Tanzania and [00:37:00] Matt speaks so highly of that. I'd love to go there. I really liked my time in Kenya and Uganda and South Sudan. So I'd like to continue up that direction a little more. I'd love to see Egypt and the deserts of Egypt. So I'm really excited about that.
Matt Scott: Sudan's on my list. Like that Northern Sudan area kind of south of the Aswan reservoir and dam. That looks cool.
Scott Brady: And as I understand that the people there are wonderful, and I'm just so looking forward to interacting...
Matt Scott: Didn't they just have another coup? And then Ethiopia is also that whole a civil war in the Tigre region.
Scott Brady: So that's, that's the way around the Ethiopia problem right now is to go through Sudan. So it might be a timing issue, I might need to leave and come back or something like that, but I'll just start the journey. So that's, that's a big one for me. There's a good chance that I'll be able to continue on the sailboat through the Northwest passage or at least part of it. And that sounds really interesting to me. [00:38:00] And I would, I would have to say that right now I'm just really enjoying watching the team produce incredible things. I mean, the team here at Overland International is just... they're exceptional in ways that I'll never be exceptional. And to watch them create the content that they're creating at the level of quality that they're creating it and with that level of professionalism and insight is just so fun to watch. So that I'm also enjoying.
Matt Scott: That's you Ashley.
Ashley Giordano: I was like, Ooh, who are these people?
Scott Brady: So to me, that's another adventure that I'm enjoying is just watching the team rock it.
Ashley Giordano: What draws you to leadership?
Scott Brady: I don't know if I'm good at it or not. But I do, I do know. For me, it feels natural to be in a leadership role on something like an expedition. Like that feels very natural to me and I think that that works works [00:39:00] okay with my skill sets. I think that when it comes to leadership within business, I have so much that I would like to do better and be better at, but maybe that's what I enjoy about it is that I have so much that I can learn about being a better leader and to be a better support to the team in the ways that I can. I have a lot to learn on that front and I enjoy learning that. So hopefully I'll keep learning.
Matt Scott: I know you've got something written down that list. I know you do.
Ashley Giordano: We could go a lot of ways here.
Scott Brady: Okay. Let's do it.
Ashley Giordano: Or do you want to choose one?
Scott Brady: Let's deep dive.
Matt Scott: Why overlanding?
Ashley Giordano: I feel like you kinda answered that already, but yeah...
Matt Scott: We've gone through that one.
Ashley Giordano: Cross it off.
Scott Brady: I think that's still an interesting point to explore because [00:40:00] when I look at overlanding to me, it still should be about vehicle-based adventure travel. And maybe that's something that I'm more mindful of now than I have been in years past is that there's nothing wrong with overlanding becoming big and it becoming a big industry and it's providing for a lot of families and it's providing a lot of adventure for people. But I do think that it's important to continue to acknowledge the core values of what that's all about and even today, Ashley and I were in an editorial meeting, and we were talking about how do we share information about responsible use and about we're seeing some of the OEMs featuring content that is not just crossing a river, they're driving up the river and that is not what we want to encourage as an organization or as an industry. So I think as the industry continues to grow that's an area where I think it is [00:41:00] important to remember what overlanding is about, which is vehicle based, adventure travel and Overland Journal, when we started it, Jonathan came up with this fantastic tagline that said the environmentally responsible vehicle adventure travel magazine. And it doesn't mean anything, again, esoteric. It just means simply being responsible for these places that we're visiting, taking some ownership in the fact that I'm going to go camping and let's go in a smaller group. So that way we don't expand camp sites, let's take some personal responsibility on okay, yes. There's some trash in the campsite we just came to, let's take some ownership over that and clean it up. Let's take an extra five minutes. Maybe don't go on Instagram that morning and take a few minutes to put that trash in a trash bag and haul it away so that there's some prayer that 20 years from now, people will still be able to do this. And so I think that when you talk about why overlanding... [00:42:00] I think for me, it was this beautiful confluence for Scott Brady, for me, this beautiful confluence of adventure and vehicles and exploring and the unknown and risk. It was the combination of all of those things that really fed me.
Matt Scott: You know, I think when approached in the right way, overlanding can kind of be that last element of like the modern-day explorer. You know, it's like, it's you can be explorer, or you can play explorer. You can have both sides.
Scott Brady: Sure. Right. And there's nothing wrong with that. I mean, I still play, explore. I still go car camping. I still go four wheeling. And I still do things that would not traditionally be considered overlanding, and I just call them what they are. Like, I'm going to go camping this weekend, whatever. I'm going to go car camping.
Ashley Giordano: It must be so interesting to see the change though. I know since we started in 2013, you know, we had [00:43:00] a rooftop tent and everybody would come to the campground and be like, what is that thing? Can I see it? Like, what's going on? And now it's hard not to see a rooftop tent. So I'm curious what you've seen and how everything's changed now and where you think it's going.
Scott Brady: Yeah, there's been a lot of change. One of the things that's been positive recently is people are using more payload appropriate vehicles. So we're seeing a lot more full-sized trucks, which is good. The traditional choices for overlanding when we were using ground tents was fine, but once you load them up with 10,000 pounds of stuff, they're no longer safe or appropriate. So we're starting to see a lot more full-sized vehicle. So that's been a change, I think that's been positive as well. I also think that we're going to start to see some counter-culture around the more stuff is better and people are going to start to realize that they don't need 80% of the things that they have on their vehicle and what did they give up in order to have it look that way for [00:44:00] Instagram? Like what did they give up in their personal... how much debt did they go into to have that stuff on their vehicle? What trips did they not go on because they had spent so much money on the things that are bolted to their car? So I suspect that there will start to be this clarification of the fact that you don't need any of it to go around the world and that people have gone around the world with none of it. And it's very feasible to... if travel is important to you, then make that be where you put your emphasis. If the vehicle stuff and all the gadgets is important to you, then go for it. Like there's nothing wrong... there's not a right or a wrong. It's just, if travel is the most important, just remember that you don't need any of it to go see the world. To go around the world. There's been a few times in my travels where a highly modified, modified vehicle was necessary. Only a few times.
Matt Scott: I think the van life thing is kind of becoming interesting. [00:45:00] Yeah. You know, they're more about, I guess the comfort on what's inside, you know, they're not all crazy done up.
Ashley Giordano: That's true, yeah.
Scott Brady: There's a lot of us that are just aspiring to be homeless and living someplace really beautiful. You want to be not in a home in a city, you want to be in your home on wheels out someplace beautiful.
Matt Scott: Yeah, and technology and society is just allowing more and more people to do that.
Scott Brady: Totally facilitates that.
Matt Scott: You know, and we've had the conversation about like Starlink and Tesla and, you know, I think Verizon just partnered with Amazon satellite network and, you know, pretty soon you're going to be able to be anywhere. And you're gonna have... But along with being able to be everywhere, it comes with the equalizer of great internet all around the world. And that's a different conversation.
Scott Brady: It's happening right in front of our eyes. Yeah. Don't underestimate technology.
Matt Scott: [00:46:00] What's one thing. What's the last thing people should should know about Scott Brady?
Scott Brady: Well, I think that it's, it's. For me, there is this, there's a survivorship bias that I have because I've gone, I've done this for 20 years. So it's this idea that the steps that I took along the way resulted in this outcome, but it's literally just dumb luck. I mean, it's the fact that I stayed tenacious about it. And there's a survivorship bias at the other end of it to say like, oh It's not about the travel. I mean, it's not about the stuff it's about the travel, but I've learned that by buying too much stuff.
Matt Scott: It’s not about the travel. You heard this here.
Scott Brady: Exactly, I mean I started off with a overloaded Tacoma that I spent too much money on. And so I'm looking back on those mistakes that I've made. So it's not [00:47:00] like I have some well of wisdom, it's just I have a well of failures that resulted in me now, knowing that it's not about the truck and it's not about the gear, but that's because I had the trucks, and I had the gear. So maybe if someone listening can hear that, maybe cut out some of the mistakes that I've made along the way to get to whatever your goal is a little more quickly. I think that might be.
Ashley Giordano: One more question, because you ask this question every single guest, what's your favorite book?
Matt Scott: Can you read?
Ashley Giordano: Turning the tables. It's going to be a hard one. I'm assuming maybe it's going to be an easy one.
Scott Brady: I do love to read nonfiction. I don't read much fiction. Timely to this podcast, one of the few fiction books I read was doing. And that's now out and I have not seen it yet, and I'm very excited to go see it, but that was...
Matt Scott: We could do it. We could do a double date.
Scott Brady: [00:48:00] Let's go.
Matt Scott: A triple date.
Ashley Giordano: I was like why can't I go?
Matt Scott: I don't know if they let Canadians in. Sorry Canadians, you're just too nice.
Scott Brady: Yeah, so that, so the movie's out. So that was on the fiction book. That was one that I really enjoyed. I'm definitely not going to say Desert Solitaire or Monkey Wrench Gang, because I have actually not read either of those. But of the nonfiction books that I like, there's one that I think has been one of the more impactful for me and it's called Stillness is the Key. It's written by Ryan Holiday. I've listened to it many times. I've read it in print many times, and it helps to remind me when I'm traveling to be present, to be as much in the moment as I can, because otherwise it's in my nature to be in the middle of an adventure, a wonderful adventure, and to be thinking [00:49:00] of what the next adventure will be. Or what the next day will hold or whatever. So that has been a really important lesson for me that I'm only starting to scratch the surface on understanding and learning about that. But finding those moments of stillness, which means being present in whatever you're doing, and if you think about just the word present, it is a gift present means a gift. And that moment is a gift for us to be aware of and fully present in, and that's what I'm learning to do. So I'm less of a stone skipping across the surface, and I'm going a little deeper in the places that I go to and that I'm being more present with the people in my life. You know, my mom is struggling with an illness that like every moment that I have with her, it is so important. And so me being a little more still in my life, and not always grasping at whatever comes next. That's been [00:50:00] an important one for me.
Ashley Giordano: Big lessons, big life lessons.
Scott Brady: Well… and thank you both too. I mean, you guys have allowed for this podcast to be as successful as it has been, and I would not be here without an entire team of people. Without Jonathan’s writing skills and his taste and Stephanie's design and her taste. And we wouldn't be doing this today without Paula and her being the producer that she is of the podcast.
Matt Scott: We heart you, Paula.
Ashley Giordano: We heart you Paula, thank you.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean, Brian McVickers was our first employee and he's been a friend the entire time. We've worked together for nearly two decades. Yeah, so I have been the lucky recipient of the success of an incredible group of people. So again, there's that survivorship bias, like I've made it to this other [00:51:00] end because of those amazing folks.
Matt Scott: Well, thank you for coming, making the time to come on your podcast. I am your cohost. No, but seriously, man. I think you've changed a lot of people's lives. You certainly changed mine, and thanks for all the opportunity over the years and, yeah, I think it's cool to have a chat so people can get to know Scotty, not Scott Brady Expedition Leader. And on that...
Scott Brady: And on that bombshell...
Matt Scott: On that, tune in next time.
Scott Brady: Thank you all for listening.