Andy Biggs is an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose images celebrate the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. Andy unfolds the world of the Serengeti, Okavango Delta, and other fauna-rich destinations onto our doorstep with striking emotional depth. His guided photographic safaris allow the traveler to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a lifelong admiration for Africa’s beauty and culture. Banana Republic used 13 of Andy’s photographs as the cornerstone for their Urban Safari campaign. He was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, Wild Places category, as well as Highly Commended in the Unique Visions of Nature category.
Bill Dragoo is an adventure motorcycle coach, certified flight instructor, commercial seaplane and sailplane pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, Jeeper, adventure journalist, and a lover of all things that happen off the pavement. Always game for a challenge, Bill has won numerous competitions in motocross, cross-country mountain biking, and sailboat racing. He has enjoyed first and second place finishes at RawHyde Adventures Rider’s Challenge and represented Team USA in BMW’s 2010 GS Trophy competition in South Africa, Swaziland, and Mozambique. He is quick to tell anyone that the synergy between riding and writing has opened doors he never would have imagined as a younger man.
Brad Van Orden
Brad Van Orden seems to have made a hobby of completely changing his life. His first career was being a professional cyclist, but he eventually moved on to design implantable medical devices as a mechanical engineer. Next Brad became a successful tech entrepreneur in the renewable energy sector, and thereafter became a travel author. In his most recent exploit, he and his wife, Sheena, circumnavigated the globe in their Volkswagen van over the course of nearly 3 years. He has authored two books, and he and Sheena were named 2015 Overlanders of the Year by Expedition Portal. He now lives in Seattle, Washington, with Sheena and their newborn son, Remy, where he seeks to uncover new ways to treat diabetes.
For 8 years, Brandon cut his teeth building and maintaining high-end Porsche race cars for Autometrics Motorsports, provided track support for NASA, PCA, American Le Mans and Grand-Am events, and competed at PCA-sanctioned autocrosses. During this time, he worked as a mechanic and tire changer at prestigious races such as the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, and helped AMS achieve third place overall in the NASCAR-owned, Grand-Am racing series—the highest of any independent team at that time. For the past 9 years, the skills acquired from his racing background have been directed toward planning and modifying vehicles for overland tours and organizing trips. When he isn’t traveling, Brandon can be found seeking zen in his workshop or planning his next outdoor adventure.
Chris Scott is an award-winning, U.K.-based adventure travel writer who specializes in the Sahara; he’s visited over 40 times since 1982, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea using motorcycles, 4WDs, a jacked-up Mercedes sedan, local bush taxis, and camel caravans. Chris’ desert films have been featured on the National Geographic channel, and for many years he updated the Outback regions of Australia for Rough Guides. His books include Sahara Overland, the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, and Overlanders’ Handbook. He recently published a short guide to Sahara camel trekking as well as The Street Riding Years, an urban memoir describing his life as a motorcycle messenger in 1980s London. An Amazon bestseller, it was Ride magazine’s “Book of the Year.”
Clark was born in central Arizona and grew up hiking, camping, and traveling with his dad, a mineral exploration geologist. Spending summers in Latin America as a kid while his dad worked in the field gave him a strong sense of adventure and a desire to learn more of the world. After serving a stint in the U.S. Coast Guard, he has returned to a full-time job in an emergency department, but takes every chance to travel. The occasional shock of reality at work, mixed with the good fortune of being able to do things like photograph a traditional wedding in Kyrgyzstan, has given him a unique outlook on life and a deep love of meeting new people and experiencing different cultures.
David Priddis describes himself as an adventurous soul who likes taking photos. With 94 countries and a 4-year, 146,000-mile, round-the-world journey in his Land Rover Defender, Goliath, under his belt, this is a bit of an understatement. Vast landscapes feed his passion for photography: from the Sahara Desert to the Outback of Australia, tundra wastes of Alaska, and craggy mountains of Patagonia. He loves to share his images through social media to inspire others to get out there and see the world. In between adventures he lives on the island of Jersey just off the coast of France—the perfect playground for enjoying waterborne activities like kayaking, diving, and swimming.
Gary and Monika Wescott have spent the last 45 years globetrotting around the world, from the arid desert of Turkmenistan, following the Silk Road, to the jungles of the Amazon, and across Siberia in the dead of winter. The couple’s travel adventures have been published in 10 countries and 8 languages. Their in-depth knowledge of the problems and joys of overland travel in remote areas is incomparable. Gary and Monika’s meticulously prepared travel/research trucks, from their original Land Rover to the current Ford F-550, The Turtle V, have been an inspiration for many. Their experience and photography encompasses what Overland Journal is all about. From the beginning, The Turtle Expedition’s motto has been, “Don’t take the trip. Let the trip take you.”
Graeme Bell is a full-time overlander and author. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, but considers Cape Town home when not traveling the planet with his wife, Luisa, and two children, Keelan and Jessica, in a Land Rover Defender 130 (affectionately known as Mafuta). To date, the Bell family and Mafuta have over a period of 7 years toured Southern and East Africa, circumnavigated South America, and driven from Argentina to Alaska before touring the U.S. from coast to coast. In December 2016 Graeme personally transformed their Defender from a standard double cab into a camper with through access, a pop-top, and sleeping for four in anticipation of their current adventure, driving from the United Kingdom to Asia.
Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga blends fine art photography with documentary photojournalism. He is a regular contributor to Arizona Highways and National Geographic, and an instructor for Visionary Wild photo workshops. In 2010, Jack’s Stone Canyon image was selected as one of the 40 best nature photographs of all time by the International League of Conservation Photographers. He has donated his talents to various conservation projects, joining teams of celebrated photographers in highlighting potential environmental degradation. In 2017, he received the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA) Lifetime Achievement Award. Jack has authored, co-authored, and provided images for a considerable number of books. His latest, A Photographer’s Life, was released in 2016. He and his wife, Margaret, live in Tucson, Arizona.
These days you’ll most likely find Jake climbing, surfing, skiing, or skydiving. Travel and adventure have always been a constant in his life. Having served as a Recon Marine, he finds inspiration from veterans or those who are currently serving. His travels have taken him across six continents and each experience has had a lasting impact on his life. It was his military experience and sense of adventure that pushed Jake to pursue photography as a career. Whether he’s rappelling down waterfalls in Hawaii, ice climbing in Alaska, surfing remote beach breaks in Baja, or alpine mountaineering with partner, Evan, and their dog, Carolina, he remains true to himself and ever humbled by the journey.
Jake is a New Mexico native who became familiar with backcountry travel during childhood. Some of his earliest memories include riding shotgun in his dad’s Ford Bronco while crisscrossing the Great Divide, and sleeping under the stars in Denali National Park. As the founder and owner of New Mexico Backroads, he provides professional guiding, scouting, skills training, and photography services to a host of individuals, companies, and government agencies. Each year, Jake logs over 15,000 miles traversing the most remote and rugged regions of the Southwest. His field work ranges from wildfire photojournalism to multimillion-dollar treasure hunts. His passion for untamed territory and raw experiences, depicted in his photography and writing, evokes the human desire to explore.
As one of the world’s most seasoned and respected explorers, the former Royal Engineer Colonel John Blashford-Snell has organized over 100 expeditions. He led the first descent of the Blue Nile and the navigation of virtually all the 2,700 miles of the Congo, as well as the first complete crossing of the Darién Gap by vehicle. Under the patronage of Prince Charles, he led Operations Drake and Raleigh, adventure challenges for young people of 30 nations named. He is closely involved in helping the disadvantaged young, holds many of the top awards for exploration, and has twice been decorated for his work. He is President of the Scientific Exploration Society, Just a Drop water charity, and a pioneer of innovative means of transport.
Raised in Yorkshire, England, Johno Ellison left home at age 18 to join the Royal Air Force, where he trained as a helicopter pilot. The pursuit of higher education led him to Aston University where he studied sustainable product design. Johno’s longing for adventure has taken him through more than 80 countries and his escapades include driving a $300 car to Kazakhstan, hitchhiking through the Balkans, and backpacking around South America. At the start of 2011, Johno and the It’s on the Meter team departed on a 15-month expedition to travel around the world in a 1992 London black cab. They set a new world record for the longest taxi journey.
Jon S. Solberg, MD, FAWM, FACEP, is a board-certified, U.S. Army-trained, emergency medicine physician and wilderness medicine consultant. In addition to sustaining a busy civilian medical practice, he has worked in Cameroon and been deployed to a combat zone in southern Afghanistan. Currently, he’s continuing his education at the University of Utah and has nearly completed a Diploma in Mountain Medicine. When not working, he enjoys exploring the backcountry in his Power Wagon with his wife, Agnieszka, and their three children. He’s an accomplished scuba diver, a reasonable mechanic, an instrument-rated pilot, and has been declared a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine.
Kande is co-founder of Adventure Driven, a professional photography and marketing company focusing on overland and adventure lifestyles that inspire others. The spawn of adventurous parents, her earliest exploits include hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail at 2 years old, barrel racing, and mountain endurance horse riding and training. At every opportunity, she is out mountain biking, trail running, camping, spear fishing, and sailing; thrill seeking is in her blood. An avid sports, dirt, and dual-sport bike rider, Kande and her husband, Seth, enthusiastically overland throughout North America. The next challenge in her sights is participating as a navigator in the 2,000-kilometer Rebelle Rally in October 2016 on a team with Nena Barlow. Look for them in the red Rebel Ram truck.
Karin-Marijke Vis and Coen Wubbels
Karin-Marijke Vis and partner, Coen Wubbels, use their various talents as a freelance duo to combine their love for adventure with work they enjoy. Sometimes described as being the “slowest overlanders in the world,” they believe in making connections and staying in a place long enough to do so. Their journey began in 2003 when the couple purchased a vintage BJ45 Land Cruiser and began a 3-year trip from their home in the Netherlands to Asia. Terminally infected by the overland bug, they continued to the Americas, and are still on the road today. They’ve been published in magazines around the world, and in 2013, Expedition Portal awarded the pair the coveted Overlander of the Year award.
Life Remotely is Jared McCaffree and Jessica and Kobus Mans, overlanders, foodies, ground tent campers, and digital nomads. After a decade of dreaming of life on the road, the trio packed their tech careers and gear into a Toyota 4Runner and headed south. They arrived at their destination, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 18 months later and published Forks in the Road: Recipes from Overlanding the Pan-American Highway. Jared, who has an unhealthy obsession with bacon, is the team’s chef. Kobus, who believes that hot sauce is an appropriate condiment for every meal, is the driver. Jessica, the onion-hating chief baker, is the navigator and voice of reason. They founded Life Remotely to help others realize that life on the road can be a reality.
Lisa Morris and Jason Spafford
Born and bred in Great Britain, Lisa has sunk herself into various watery depths over the last 2 decades, instructing and co-running scuba diving trips around the globe with her partner, Jason. They are currently wending their way from the bottom of the planet to the top on two wheels. Lisa is a spirited advocate for women riders, adores telling tales on the trails, and operates as a field editor for various overland and motorcycle publications worldwide. Jason indulges his passions as an adventure traveler, underwater and wildlife photographer, a drone pilot, and filmmaker. Their skills as media professionals have earned them a loyal audience, and fans follow their life of adventure on their blog.
Lois Pryce is a British travel author, journalist, and broadcaster. In 2003 she left her job at the BBC to ride from Alaska to the tip of South America astride her Yamaha XT225. Upon her return she wrote the book of this trip, Lois on the Loose. In 2006 she set off to ride the length of Africa, including the Sahara, Congo, and Angola. Four months later she rolled into Cape Town and penned Red Tape and White Knuckles. She’s since crossed the U.S. in a Ural sidecar outfit, created a DVD guide to worldwide motorcycle travel, and co-founded the Adventure Travel Film Festival with her husband, Austin Vince. Her latest book, Revolutionary Ride, features her 2013 solo motorcycle tour of Iran.
An adventurer, pilot, photographer, and world record holder, Matt has lived and worked in the U.K., Australia, and Hong Kong. He has been flying aircraft since the age of 16 and served for 6 years in the Royal Air Force. A member of The Explorer’s Club, Matt’s been to over 100 countries around the world and ascended various famous peaks across five continents. He’s been sponsored by big brands such as GoPro and featured by Red Bull. A qualified Wilderness First Responder, commercial and paramotor pilot, and British Military Overseas Expedition Leader, Matt’s led several multidiscipline adventures around the globe. All of these life experiences led him to establish the world’s first Adventure Academy.
As a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, Matt served as an infantry assaultman and Marine Raider with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines Fox Company Weapons out of Twenty-Nine Palms, California. Upon his return from Afghanistan in 2010, he was diagnosed with service-connected post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, and post-concussion syndrome. He began doing volunteer work in an effort to find a healthy outlet for stress management, and quickly realized the benefits of being part of a team and serving the community. Staying connected to nature also helped Matt’s reintegration into civilian life. His lifelong passions for both the outdoors and nonprofit service led him to create Team Overland, which provides guided overland expedition opportunities to veterans.
Growing up on a cattle ranch in Northern Nevada, Ned acquired his first car, a $25 Renault 4CV, at age 11. He bought his first 4WD, a 1960 Willys CJ5, in high school and has been running around in the dirt ever since. In his 20s he traveled with wrench and backpack to over 30 countries, including a drive from Johannesburg to London in a Bedford truck. More recent overland treks have included Venezuela, Peru, Vietnam, and Australia. In 2010 and 2011, after 37 years of ownership, he prepped his trusty Willys for the Mexican 1000 vintage rally and came home with trophies both years. His latest adventure was a multi-year, round-the-world sojourn with longtime companion Kat Weichert in Charlotte, their 1987 VW Syncro.
Rensina van den Heuvel
Born and raised in Australia to Dutch immigrant parents, Rensina van den Heuvel lives on a large property in the remote mountain area of Carmila West, Queensland. She has traveled extensively through Europe, Asia, and parts of the Middle East and Africa, sharing her experiences through photography and writing. She has led tours in Mongolia and Morocco and lived in China. Rensina enjoys connecting with people and experiencing firsthand the rich diversity of cultures in our world, bridging the cultural gap through slow travel and giving. A “cando” woman, Rensina’s greatest passion is to collaborate with people, especially women, to ignite empowerment through projects of sustainability. Rensina is the author of Russian Documents, Mongolian Dust.
From the hills of Northern England, Sam Watson first traveled the Sahara Desert at age seven, and it stole his heart. Since then he has lived in various locations in Africa and the Middle East, and in the process mapped areas of the Sahara, Middle East, and Kenya. He has worked in desert search and rescue, as well as for various conservation projects including the Kenya Wildlife Service and Born Free Foundation. He is happiest when overlanding in one of his three battered Land Rovers: Elsa, Tusker, and Bumblebee. Based in Egypt and the UAE, he spends most of his time exploring the remote corners of the Sahara and Arabia. Sam is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Royal Institute of Navigation.
Steve Tarani is a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who served in protective programs and was on staff at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Security Institute, and Security Force Training Department at Kirtland Air Force Base where he worked for the Anti-terrorism Assistance Program (ATA). Tarani has served the U.S. defense, law enforcement, and intelligence communities for over 30 years as a respected protective programs subject matter expert and service provider to numerous high- and low-profile U.S. federal agencies. Steve has authored eight books to date and is currently employed internationally as an active protective agent, professional educator, and keynote speaker.
Tom’s overlanding experience spans over 50 years and 110,000 miles, including three U.K.–Gulf journeys (one through pre-tarmac Saudi Arabia), off-tracks exploration in northern Africa, and the first-ever lateral crossing and continuous gravity survey of the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, for which he gained the Royal Geographical Society’s Ness Award. Tom is, as he puts it, “CEO, MD, author, photographer, designer, and postal clerk” at Desert Winds Publishing in the U.K., from which have emerged the Vehicle-dependent Expedition Guide, Four-by-four Driving, The Nobility of Wilderness, and Quiet for a Tuesday—the story of his 16th foray into the remotest regions of the Algerian Sahara. He doggedly awaits a visa for another long-range solo desert trip—this time, experimentally, in a Jeep Renegade.