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Adventure Overlanding: Then and Now

A panel discussion with Elspeth Beard, Simon and Lisa Thomas, Steph Jeavons and The Sidecar Guys.

To celebrate a year since the first ever Armchair Adventure Festival, we're releasing some of our favourite talks, interviews and panel discussions from the Winter 2020 Festival. This content was previously only available for free when it was live but we thought since we won't be going 'live in your living rooms' for a crazy amount of time this weekend, we should at least provide you with a weekend full of existing Armchair Adventure content!

One of our favourite sessions from the winter Armchair Adventure Festival was the 'Adventure Overlanding: Then and Now' panel discussion.

Adventure travel changes. Back in the 80's when Elspeth Beard (pictured above) was becoming the first British woman to ride around the world on a motorbike, adventure was very different to what it is today. Maps were on paper, Google translate didn't exist and a 'post' about the progress you'd made that day would take months to reach your followers back home.

Now, the journey is comparatively easy. Got lost? Get up Google maps. Need place to stay? Wheel bearing fell out while riding through the desert? 'Go live' to your followers on Facebook and see if anyone knows how to fix it. We did all of those things. It could be fair to ask where's the 'adventure' in modern adventure travel? Maybe that's the hard bit now? Finding the adventure.

Technology doesn't always put a dampener on adventure though. We probably wouldn't have raced through Polish forests in a Ural sidecar or sipped strong coffee with the Sudanese Biker club had they not found us on Facebook. We had plenty of adventures on our journey around the world by scooter and sidecar but we did wonder what it would have been like had we left London in 1982 like Elspeth. To try and get an idea, we put together a panel of seasoned adventure travellers to talk about 'Adventure Overlanding: Then and Now' at the Winter Armchair Adventure Festival.

The panellists for this super interesting chat included the legend that is Elspeth Beard, Simon and Lisa Thomas, who have been riding around the world on motorbikes for 17 years, Steph Jeavons, the first person to ride a motorbike on all 7 continents while circumnavigating the globe, and yours truly, a couple of idiots who got very cold while becoming the first people to ride around the world on a scooter and sidecar.

Check out the panel discussion for free below. We talk about the impact of technology, cheap air travel and yeah, the future of travel in a world with COVID-19...

Don't forget if you'd like to watch panel discussions like this one in a sunny field in Cornwall this year, you can join us at the first ever in-person Armchair Adventure Festival - thanks so much if you've already bought your tickets!

Don't fancy coming in person but still want some adventurous content live in your living room that weekend? Join us for free for the virtual festival. Just sign up for your free front row seat here.


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