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2015 Overland Expo WEST

Written by  Beau Johnston
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To paraphrase Charles Dickens, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a weekend of sunshine, it was a weekend of rain (a lot or rain, oh and there was the snow too!).’  Despite the less than desirable weather, the Overland Expo team pulled off an amazing event.  I think the weather actually brought everyone closer together.  In fact, I don’t remember seeing anyone angry or frustrated due to the weather.  I do remember seeing a lot of smiling faces, and I am positive I was grinning from ear to ear the entire weekend. This weather helped me, at least, slow down and really take my time to talk to the instructors, vendors, and attendees. 

What can be said about Overland Expo that has not already been said? This year marked my fourth time attending the event at Mormon Lake and, while I was not able to teach this year, I enjoyed every moment of the event – yes even the weather. There are few events that are greater than the sum of their parts, and Overland Expo is one of them! The event has become more than the amazing classes (I might be biased but they bring in some amazing instructors) and vendors.  Like many others, Overland Expo has become an annual reunion of the overland community. Work schedules and geography often keep us from seeing our friends throughout the year, but we try to make time for Overland Expo.

It is not the place that is important, although Mormon Lake Lodge is a great venue, it really is about the people.  The event gives me a chance to share a meal with folks I would consider some of my closest friends.  Few events I am privileged with attending offer this sense of community.  I look up to a lot of the attendees, vendors, and Overland Expo team; spending time with them helps keep me focused on what is important in life and why I am passionate about travel, seeing new places, and meeting new people.

You owe it to yourself to attend Overland Expo at least once in your life.  I must warn you if you do decide to attend, it may result in an increased desire to travel, see new places, and meet new people.  But that is okay!  You can count on me being at the 2016 Overland Expo West, so maybe you should to.  I would love to grab a beer with you and ‘talk shop’ about travel!

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