why dubai

an explanation of the move…


I try to keep my personal life out of the podcast as much as possible, that’s the goal at least. For the past 5 years I have always focused as much on the guests as I can and when I do make it personal it’s in an effort to relate to the guest or make them feel more comfortable about sharing their own personal experiences and perspectives during a show. I try to stay out of it as much as I can but of course I can’t be completely sure how good of a job I do in that respect.


I posted on my personal Instagram account in relation to my recent move to Dubai, after reading everyone comments and direct messages it has left me wanting to give everyone a bit of a deeper insight into why I have made the move at this point in time and explain a little more about what I am hoping to achieve over here. It isn’t just personal, as it does have a major impact on the show and the Gypsy Gang, so here is an explanation. 


Moving from Australia wasn’t on my radar at all. Truth be told nothing was really on my radar. It feels like I have spent the last 5 years chasing my ass, just waiting to feel like I was somewhat in control and on top of things. There is a heck of  a story to tell from starting the podcast until now, but I might be better off saving that for a much longer post While the podcast has always done exceptionally well from a downloads/views perspective the podcasting landscape in Australia is extremely new and we are playing catch up from a business standpoint and it’s always been a really tough sell.


When I started the podcast it was also just me working on the entire thing. I was responsible for getting the guests, finding a place to record, setting up the equipment, doing the show, packing up the equipment, doing the editing, doing the posting, chasing the sponsors and then doing it all over again. Don’t get me wrong, this has by far been the most rewarding project I have ever worked on; but since I have started the show (officially) on the 1st of January 2018 it has completely consumed my life.


I have been through multiple studio setups in Australia before I was finally able to build a permanent location on the Gold Coast. I was then able to set up a great studio in the U.S. and Europe that has really exploded our audience. We get millions of views and listens every month now and last year we hit a huge milestone of 100,000 subs on YouTube. (140,000 combined on YouTube as I write this!)


Right from the start my long term goals for the podcasts were really simple. Get it to the point where I have a team that works on it with me that shares the passion for what we are doing and have them capable of doing all of the pre and post production so I have to worry about booking great guests and then delivering great shows.


I am super happy to say we got to that point about mid way through 2022. I am still not just walking in and doing the show and walking out and it’s still my round the clock job, but as far as the pre and post production goes, Ronan and Alex do a really great job and I have been able to switch my focus to the future for the first time in 5 years. Being in this place though kind of left me at a bit of a crossroads… In all reality this could be the first time in my life where I actually settle in, find a rhythm and get comfortable with where I am at. I could sit and “click off the laps” as they say.


 It was an oddly daunting feeling.


Even at this crossroads though moving wasn’t on my mind at all, until May last year I was thrown a curve ball in the form of a dream trip to Europe. The first podcast in our Euro studio was with Stark Future CEO Anton Wass and as a result of that I was invited to be among the first people in the world to ride the Varg. They picked the most amazing time to do it smack bam in between The Le Mans MotoGP and the Formula 1 at Barcelona. If you’re a hard core GT fan you watched our travel VLOGS from that trip, so I will save that story, but the relevance here is that it was the first time since starting the podcast that I got some real perspective on just how global the podcast is. It was also the first time that my wheels started turning about moving a bit closer to the action. I love Australia so much, but we are about as far away as it gets and I could see the kind of impact a move overseas could potentially make. And now that we have committed to the long term project of our own membership platform it only makes sense to push as hard as we can to bring our global audience amazing content from all over the world.


I spoke to a bunch of people close to me with mixed feelings about the move. I thought for a minute about Europe but it never really seemed like a super viable option. I ended up talking to Danny Ric about the whole thing and he suggested Dubai and it made a lot of sense. Dubai is the flight hub of the world nowadays and coincidentally is also the hub of motorsports globally too. The investment the Middle-East has thrown down in the last 15 years blows everyone in the world away and there are a handful of major events there in both F1 and MotoGP every year. As well as that Jiu Jitsu is the national sport in the UAE and Abu Dhabi plays host to a handful of the biggest UFC cards every year.


So about midway through last year Dubai became the object of my attention and I started keeping a close eye on everything that was happening there that was within my circle of interests. I started studying the business landscape there and putting the wheels in motion to register my company there and try to figure out the visa situation. I also started following the podcast scene here to see where we would slot in if I did pull the trigger.


The idea gained momentum in my mind though and by July I was basically committed to moving there before I had ever even spent a night in the city. Luckily for me I have a supportive partner who was willing to let me uproot our entire program and take a massive gamble. It was 2019 all over again. I was about to spend the next who knows how long spending everything I make to try and get a new studio off the ground in the hope that it would pay off down the track. This is kind of the point where my years of being that fuckup have come in handy. I don’t own a house and thanks to Kyle at Tropical Auto Group, I don’t even own a car. 


Gypsy Tales is what I have.


For better or worse I am going to have a crack. I have Ronz and Alex that have my back on the content side of things so it’s up to me to find a space here and hunt out some amazing guests that can hopefully keep making Gypsy Tales an even better version of itself.


The thing that really solidified this decision for me was that at some point I know that I won’t have this in me. Doing something like this is fucking hard. There is so much stress that you sign up for making a play like this. Stress and enormous amounts of self doubt, and like I said there will be a point where I just can’t roll the dice like this. There will be a point in time where I need to be comfortable, where I need some security, but that time isn’t now. For the last 5 years I have put everything into building this thing up. While I got the gas in the tank I wanna see how far we can go.


Ok, so here is the best case scenario.


I get myself a big ole warehouse within half an hour of the most international airport in the world. I build the dream studio. I’m talking on par with the best podcast studio’s in the world. We build out a dope garage for our bike builds, heck with the Dubai Autodrome down the road we start doing track bike builds, race car builds? ! We have an amazing overall production and creative space that would let us create any kind of content that we want. Of course there would be a bit of a gym and some Jiu Jitsu mats and all of a sudden we have a space that people start to hear about all over the world. This new Gypsy Tales HQ becomes a real destination for people when they come to Dubai, because nowadays everyone comes to Dubai.


Being 30 minutes away from DBX also means that I’m 6 hours from Europe and I can be present for some of the biggest motorsports races in the world and I can start to push the podcast into new places that we simply couldn’t from Australia. It also means I will be right there when the squad of UFC fighters roll through town. Dakar is here every year and in the winter Dubai plays host to a grip of MXGP riders that are looking to escape the brutal winter off-season in Europe.


That 2 paragraph highlight reel in my mind sounds great but it is going to take a fucking ton of work to make happen, but like I said, while I still have it in me I am down to give it a go… I can always go back to Australia if it doesn’t work out and I won’t die wondering.


I hope this has given you some insight into the mindset that went into this massive change for me. It’s been quiet on the podcast front these last few weeks, but as I think you can understand a lot goes into something like this and I hope that overall it’s a massive net positive for the show. I am excited at what the future holds and if we can pull this thing off I feel like we are going to be able to bring you a better show than ever before and hopefully that in turn puts the sports we love and the athletes we love on an even bigger platform to tell the same epic stories that we have all come to love.


I can’t thank you all enough for the support over the last 5 years. It’s been such a massive project and I project I never really knew that I was going to be undertaking. Like I said, none of this was on my radar and we’ve taken it further than I ever thought we could so why stop now?


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