Overlander Spotlight: Nick Taylor, 7P Int'l (video)

Nick Taylor was born and raised in Northeast England, a self-described "mackem" — an informal nickname for natives of the city of Sunderland.

Taylor is an instructor with 7P Overland. He teaches expeditionary-style driver training to new overlanders and those who want to tackle the tougher terrain. “[7P Overland] is really about getting people outside with their vehicles,” Taylor said. The goal of 7P is to equip drivers with the knowledge and skill to navigate anything from small weekend camping trips to multi-year, around the world journeys. Taylor’s experience was gained in spending a lot of time in North Africa in the Sahara Desert and the _Rub'al Khali_ Desert on the Arabian Peninsula. He’s a veteran of long-range travel through sandy terrain.

Taylor calls himself a “computer guy and engineer.” He has worked in investment banking, financial services and telecommunications. It was at the end of a full-time job, that Taylor began to reevaluate time and how he wanted to spend it. He describes the loss of his father as a “pivot point” in his own life. Taylor’s close-knit family felt the loss very deeply. His devoted parents had so many plans for retirement, sadly his father never made it that far.
Taylor decided that he didn’t want to wait for “someday” in his own life.

Before taking the next step in his career, Taylor took four months to begin his first expedition with his childhood best friend. His first trip took him to Morocco, which is still one of his favorite places. He began with an organized tour but also did some exploring on his own. He describes Morocco as a land filled with medieval cities and curving medinas — older parts of cities or towns that are typically walled and contain streets that are too narrow for vehicle traffic. Taylor describes Marrakesh as atmospheric and colorful — where communities often cook outside at night in the squares, creating a profusion of aromas and tastes. From Morocco’s cedar forests and mountains, his expedition took him to the western coast of Africa, through the western Sahara to Mauritania, where Taylor says the “real Sahara” begins. Mauritania is one of the few places in the Sahara people can explore on their own with minimal restrictions.

Taylor’s experiences from his first trip inspired him, and he’s been overlanding since. Now, partnering with 7P, Taylor helps others learn skills and techniques for off-road driving; many of which he learned the hard way in his own travels. A Camel Trophy logo often painted on the side of 7P Land Rovers is “one life, live it.” This slogan encompasses Taylor’s philosophy on travel. Taylor decided he didn’t want to buy into the thinking that many people have; that you can work hard for forty years, then cash out and begin to live. “You know what? People drop dead before they can even get close to that. So get out there and do it right now, that was my thinking,” Taylor said.

To learn more about 7P training trips, visit www.7P.io