Armchair Adventure Festival Delivers Antidote to End of Fair-Weather Escapades

Some of the most well-traveled and colorful characters in the overland industry came together to share their top travel stories, tips and tricks during the November 27 – 29 Armchair Adventure Festival. Founded and hosted by Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, “The Armchair” is a UK-based live-streamed event series, which provides attendee viewers the opportunity to enjoy adventure travel stories from the comfort of their own armchairs at home. Viewers are also able to connect directly with the hosts and presenters through a chat box feature, so questions are fielded just as they would be at an in-person event.  

Well-known overland travelers like Charley Boorman (Long Way Round / Down / Up), Sam Manicom (adventure travel author, Into Africa, Under Asian Skies, etc.), and Lisa and Simon Thomas (2 Ride the World) contributed their wealth of knowledge earned over hundreds of thousands of motorcycle miles via live panels and in-depth interviews. Women in overlanding were well-represented by Elspeth Beard (the first British woman to ride a motorcycle around the world in 1984), Steph Jeavons (the first person to ride a motorcycle on all seven continents) and Overland Expo’s own, Eva Rupert

READ MORE: ONE-TANK ADVENTURES: ROUNDTRIP JOURNEYS, ONLY FILL UP ONCE

Event organizer, Reece Gilkes, was also excited to introduce lesser-known travelers like Karl Bushby to “The Armchair” audience: “Many may not have heard of Karl. He left Argentina in 1998 to walk an unbroken path back to his home in Hull, England. Fast forward 22 years and in that time he’s walked through the Darien Gap over the Pack Ice from Alaska to Russia and he’s still going.” 


Image: Karl Bushby / ArmchairAdventureFestival.com

Image: Karl Bushby / ArmchairAdventureFestival.com

Relative newcomers to the overland scene joined in to offer their fresh perspectives and unique stories. Tim and Marisa Notier (Notiers Frontiers) provided an update from Africa, where their movements have been severely limited due to COVID. Travel vloggers Craig and Aimee of Kinging-It have traveled India via rickshaw and introduced the audience to their converted bus. Change Your World Fund grantee, Kirk Williams (Impact Overland) traveled South America in his van, which was adapted to suit his needs as a C6/7 quadriplegic adventurer and raised more than $20,000 for the Walkabout Foundation.

Bishop and Gilkes are no strangers to adventure travel and altruism themselves. The duo holds the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by scooter and sidecar, having circumnavigated the world together in 2017/2018. During that journey, they strived to raise awareness about and funding to combat modern-day slavery. Keeping true to that “do good as you go” mentality, their Armchair Adventure Festivals have raised more than $16,000 for COCO and the NHS Charities Together Fund. 


Image: Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, asseenfromthesidecar.org

Image: Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes, asseenfromthesidecar.org

For anyone who missed the November Armchair Adventure Festival, all of the live video segments were recorded. “Backstage passes” are available here for $2 and will enable the viewer to enjoy this content through the end of December.


Header Image: Tim and Marisa Notier, Notiers Frontiers

Latest Stories

Instructor Spotlight: Amanda Zito

Instructor Spotlight: Amanda Zito

Overland Expo is thrilled to welcome Amanda Zito back to our instructor lineup at Overland Expo Mountain West 2023.
Backcountry Bites: Melty Brie Skillet

Backcountry Bites: Melty Brie Skillet

The Backcountry Bites series sponsored by Bushwakka Adventure Gear brings you recipes and tips to elevate your camp cooking experience.
Show Your Love for Overlanding with Exclusive Merch

Show Your Love for Overlanding with Exclusive Merch

Each event will have exclusive graphics that are only available at that location, but of course we'll also have branded…

Photo by Brett Willhelm

THE WORLD IS WAITING.

We keep our fingers on the pulse of the Overlanding world. Join the Overland News community and get our email on all things overland—including Overland Expo show updates, offers, and overland-specific articles.