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ABOUT THIS BLOG

In the summer of 2009, Nicolas Rapp decided to take a break from his Art Director job at The Associated Press to attempt a one-year overland travel around the world in a 1996 Toyota Land Cruiser. He was back in New York in February 2011 after traveling 15 months and 37,000 miles.

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  • Halfway through, questions and answers

    Posted on July 21st, 2010 Nicolas 56 comments
    Arriving in Muscat.

    Arriving in Muscat.

    - daysAre you still on schedule?
    I think I am. I am planning to be back in the U.S. sometimes in March or April 2011. It means that the trip would have taken a year-and-an-half. If I would have cross Europe as I originally planned, I would be way behind.

    - Just wondering if you are well protected – what kind of gun do you carry?
    I keep pepper spray in my door, and plan to run if something bad happen. Seriously, once I pass Pakistan, I should be OK.

    - You do tell us interesting things about the trip, but truly, are you having fun, or has it become tiring and tedious? The other night when you slept in the desert, were you frightened at all? Do you just go through the day enjoying it, or do you worry and get aggravated with the delays… fill us in a little on “Nick”
    I am still having fun. But it is true that the trip took its toll on me. I feel more tired that I was at the beginning, thanks to sleeping conditions not optimal everywhere. Some days I have low energy. The food requires adaptation, I pass on meals pretty often when I need to be somewhere at night, and finding vegetables can be difficult if you want to stay healthy. Because my fridge is down, I can’t really stock up, and have to eat more street food.
    It has been tedious sometimes, especially the bureaucracy involved in the visas quest. But it makes me feel great as well when I finally succeed getting into a new country. I also now have a lot of equipment letting me down. The heat and vibration damaged many items, the latest being my laptop. I plan on buying a new one, along with a new battery for my fridge, in Dubai. So basically, everyday there’s something breaking.
    I don’t worry much anymore about anything, finding that everything eventually turns out to be OK. I also learned to not take “no” for an answer. The most recent annoying news is the refusal from the Pakistani embassy in Muscat to give me a visa. I hope to be able to get it in Dubai, or Iran. Because I am on schedule, I have some freedom of movement and ready to adapt.
    Being alone can be difficult on a trip of this scale. You really have to take care of everything. Driving, cooking, washing clothes by hand, trying to get information on the next leg of the trip, finding ways of communicating. There is really not one minute of down time. When finally I can crash somewhere for few days, I sleep a lot and usually have annoying paperwork to take care of.
    But again, it is very satisfying to be able to overcome the obstacle, and keep pushing through. So yes, I am happy, and proud to be still on the road.

    - I don’t know if you have calculated your half-way point since you changed your Africa route, but it looks to me like you must have passed it by now!  Keep on going!

    Cumulative miles for trans world expedition

    I am not sure exactly of the route I will take, but I agree, I think it’s pretty safe to say I am half-way home. But something can happen anytime.

    What will I do if I can’t get the Pakistan visa? Cross Afghanistan? Ship my truck to India? Since the beginning of the trip, I drove 23,000 miles (36,800 km).

    - I take it you have to go to Tehran for touristy stuff or just strictly getting more visas (because it’s quite a detour from Pakistan)?
    I was actually planning to go north through Iran to visit some sites of historical interest and turn east toward the border without going through Tehran, but I may have to go there to get the Pakistan visa. It would be interesting to visit the city, but the traffic is supposed to be very bad.

    - Just curious why your route has you traveling north in Iran before swinging east?
    There are interesting places to see going north, especially up until Esfahan.

    - You’re so matter-of-fact and objective in your reports. Are you having fun? You’re really into your trip now, is it everything you imagined it would be? What have you learned about humankind? Do you read the responses to your journal entries? Are you lonely?
    Yes, I am still having fun. I met some great people while travelling, and learned a lot about how people live in the countries I crossed. It was also interesting to spend a bit of time with expats from many countries and see how they adapted in their new life.
    Before the trip, I imagined I will have more time to enjoy my visit in all these different places. I reckon staying on the road takes a lot of work. I always think about Asia as the place where I will be able to relax and have more of quality time, as travel there should be easier. Africa has not been easy, and yes, I am lonely sometimes.
    People everywhere I wet have been amazing, and I mean it. I think this year has, hand will be, a great lesson for me, and will teach me to be a better person. That was one of the goal of the trip.
    And of course, even if I don’t reply immediately, due to limited internet connection time, I read every comment on the blog.

    - Are you still on budget?

    budget for trans world expedition
    I didn’t compile all the numbers, but I believe that I still am on budget. Yet, I just tallied numbers on fuel, food and accommodations costs. It shows that I am right on target. But surprises can be found later when I will compile all the numbers.

    - Even with the issues you’ve encountered (and endured) yourself personally, the Toyota seems to have worn well too. With all the vehicle options available to a world ‘asphalt’ traveler, I’m guessing you approve of your choice. All these months on, are you still happy with the Toyota…?
    Yes, I am very happy with the truck. It has done well with very little maintenance. I am just dreading the day where something very bad will happen. Hopefully I will be in a place where I can get parts. But maybe nothing bad will happen?

    - I’ve been wondering, has your stomach rebelled at all against the local foods and drinks you have been experiencing?
    I pay attention to the food I eat, and even if my stomach is never the same than back home, I never have been sick to the point where I had to stay in bed for one day. I avoid meat outside of supermarkets, and wash vegetables with water and bleach. But I always keep toilet paper handy! I sometimes experience low energy because of this strange diet and the heat.

    - What about gas prices in the upcoming countries?

    map_fuel_cost
    Gas will be pretty cheap until India, which is good. Unfortunately, I will probably have to pay for places to camp or sleep while in Iran and Pakistan. Asia should be pretty cheap for food and accommodation.

    - I haven’t seen Nadia post anything on here. How’s she doing any Hoot?
    She is good. She is now working in Paris, trying to make some money. She is still not married.

    - Did you get your new passport with empty pages to get more visa stampings?
    I got one back in Tanzania. It is an emergency passport with only ten pages, and next week, I will only have three pages left, thanks to those countries taking full pages for each visa. I will have to make a new one, maybe in India.

    - I guess you have asked some help getting Indian visa. Did you get that? Where do you plan to get that? I live in US and I am not sure if I can be of any help regarding that.
    My passport is at the Indian embassy right now, and I should have my visa next week. The Iranian visa, which I thought would be impossible to obtain, turned out to be easy to get. But now the Pakistan visa is an issue since the country decided to restrict foreigner travels.

    - I heard that it was illegal to drink alcohol in the middle-east, is this true?
    Indeed it has been pretty dry lately. In Djibouti you can drink, but beer is pretty expensive. In Yemen you can’t buy any alcohol anywhere. In Oman, you need an authorization to buy alcohol. Dubai should be more relaxed, but then it will be dry through Iran and Pakistan. I guess it’s good for me, right?

    - Is your route in the United States written in stone?
    No, it is not. My point of arrival will depend of boats schedule and shipping prices. Maybe San Francisco, L.A., or I would also consider a port on the west coast of Mexico. But I definitely want to cross the U.S. from west to east. Often while I am driving, I am thinking of the kind of party I will do when I am back.

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56 Responses to “Halfway through, questions and answers”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by H.W. Who?, Nicolas Rapp. Nicolas Rapp said: New blog post: Halfway through, questions and answers http://transworldexpedition.com/?p=1708 [...]

  2. Ms. Marti-Nashville

    Yes! It’s been a while since you posted questions and answers. Thanks! Its as though you are right here talking to each one of us. Your thoughts and feelings are very well represented in this blog. Thank u! I know I’m not the only one that hopes we get to meet you in person someday. U sure are a good money manager! Guess you didn’t plan on the expense of a new computer and battery for the frig., but you know that you must spend the money on the frig. maybe the place you purchased it will give you some kind of credit since it didn’t last a full year. Never cost anything to ask! LOL

    Forge on my Friend!!

    Ms. Marti ~Nashville, TN

  3. Thank you for answering all our questions. We continue to send you positive energy and prayers so that you continue to be safe.
    suzanne

  4. Glad you’re still doing well, Nicolas! Hang in there! Safe journeys!

  5. Hey everyone reading this blog,

    If you’re anywhere close to New York, I suggest we start thinking about gathering somewhere along the road entering New York to welcome Nicolas back next spring.

    I’m planning on being there… how about you?

    John

  6. Thanks so much for these interesting tidbits. I look forward to your next installment of this great adventure.

  7. Hey Nick,
    I can’t believe you made the half-way point. You truly are my hero. Besides driving, getting the visas, taking pics, I see you’re still keeping up with graphics. Hopefully I’ll be able to join you on the later part of the trip. If not, we’ll share some good times again when we’re both stateside. Good luck on your visa quests.

    Miss you,
    Kat

  8. Awesome update! Thanks, and wishing you continued safe travels.

  9. Hey Nick,

    Good to see you answer a few questions! On the last question concerning your return trip through the U.S., I have contacted both Best Western and Accor which are large chains that could accomodate your needs while traveling through the States. I used Accor when I hitch hiked from Amsterdam to Barcelona in 2006 and they were right on! I am stil waiting for a response as to them sponsoring you on your way back. I chose these two hotels because of the amount of places they have hotels. Although I’m pretty sure that if you wanted, you would have a home to stay in in every State that you travel through. And you may not even want the help. Of the two, I fedl that Best Western could come through for you. There are other options also but I would rather hear back from these two first. Any comments on the matter?
    And on a side note, I hope you find your “Shangi-la” in Asia. I’m so jealous, but in a good way.

    Janis Joplin once said, “Freedom is having nothing more to lose” I think you are truly free my friend! Enjoy and keep those wheels turning.

    Manolo

  10. Ms. Marti-Nashville

    Hey Nick, I just noticed the new page on your site about the truck! Duh on my part. How long have you had that there? I’ve been wondering from way back, why was the snorkle added to the truck?

    Ms. Marti~Nashville, TN

  11. Thanks for answering all those questions, Nick! It’s really good to hear a little more about what’s going on with you, not just how you got from point A to point B. I wondered a while back if you read the comments until I saw you post replies here a couple of times. You obviously know how much we are all pulling for you – if there’s anything we can help with, just put it out there and I’m sure someone can help! If you need a place to stay in central IL on your way back to New York, I can offer up a bed and a meal, just drop me an email. Take care of yourself, can’t wait to hear more!

  12. Hey Buddy

    If you can not get pakistani visa your best bet would be shipping your vehicle from BANDAR ABBAS (IRAN) TO NHAVA SHEVA – MAHARASHTRA PROVINCE IN INDIA or MUNDRA, KANDALA – GUJARAT PROVINCE IN INDIA. If you do decide to ship it to Gujarat, let me know if you need any help, Do not hesitate to email me.

    Cheers
    Kay

  13. Hey Nicosaurus Rex,

    It’s Aaron from LA, Cinthia’s brother-in-law. A quick hello to let you know I’m enjoying the blog. This entry in particular really has me trying to figure out how I can meet up with you in Asia. I’m a good co-pilot and my Cantonese is flawless. Have you ever thought of giving you truck a nickname? Like the “Green Hornet” or maybe “The Magic Carpet”? Just saying.

    Cheers and keep on trucking,
    ao

  14. Dear Nick:

    Way to go, Nick! Thanks so much for the thorough update as it is much appreciated. At some point it occurred to me that November (the one year mark) might be somewhat optimistic. But, as one of your bloggers noted, many of us will be happy to welcome you back to the states. Your comment, “So yes, I am happy, and proud to be still on the road”, really touched me’ because after spending a full day with you, coincidentally in South Africa, I must share with bloggers that you are one of the sweetest young men I have ever come to know in such a short period of time. I do indeed pray for your happiness and you most certainly should be proud that you have many successes to brag about on this journey of more than half a year. Like my own child (who is exactly your age but by one year), you are on my mind everyday. I pray that I can indeed be present at your celebration on the other end, in New York, because I can already imagine welcoming you home like a son. Your bloggers may want to know that you are a warm-hearted old soul living in a young body. Your light within shines brightly. You are very likeable and this shows even through your words above; and how you take time to answer our questions. How you can speak of being a better person is amazing to me, as such a statement is just what I mean here about your warm heart. Nick, thanks again for keeping us informed. You will remain in our thoughts and prayers to the end of your journey, and beyond.
    -joyMaria

  15. Hey Nick

    Breaking news, Not a good one, Latest news is that there was a recent bombing in the border town of ZAHEDAN on the iranina side on 16 th july and more than 20 dead with many revolutionary guards and the border crossing between IRAN & PAKISTAN is closed.

  16. christine schroeckenstein

    Hey Nick,

    I have no idea how I found you (I think it was the Today Show) but have followed you from the start. Everyday I look to see if there is new post :-) I’m amazed at your skills and bravery!!

    Whenever you get lonely think of all of us here that are with you in spirit. So many thoughts and prayers come your way! Thanks for answering so many questions. Since this adventure is beyond the reach of most of us we do appreciate the details.

    Stay safe. From here in the heartland (Minnesota)

  17. I am unsurprised by the willingness of the Iranians to give you a passport, it’s trying to get out where I fear you may have trouble. I know there are many interesting places in Iran but still, it’s Iran. It is a very stable country but not for Westerners I hear. If something goes wrong there is no American embassy, the Swiss I believe handle our affairs there, do you have some kind of plan in place?
    I just read a wonderful book on Iran written by Robert Baer, he has traveled there on a few occasions and he isn’t always so warmly invited, though he is a former CIA agent so that might have something to do with it. He also commented on the driving, atrocious comes to mind. Make sure all your t’s are crossed and your i’s dotted while there. I am looking froward to seeing some pictures and of hearing how well you have been received. The Middle East is so beautiful, it’s a shame that the countries and the rest of the world can’t seem to put an end to their problems.

  18. Hi Nick!
    Love this post along with the snazzy graphics. :) The trip looks great! Be safe out there. Mike and I are always thinking of you. I’m looking forward to this homecoming party!
    xo
    Siobhan

  19. Wow, what a trip you are on! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and I’m just leaving a message. :-) Glad you are doing okay. LA was pretty hot last week, but after catching up on your posts, I feel like such a wimp complaining about the heat. Stay cool and safe! I reall love your blog!

  20. Nik! You are totally amazing! I look every morning and evening and thank God you are alive when I see a post. You are so creative in your explorations, writing, and ESPECIALLY your photography. My favorite is still the truck on the salt flats!

    Thank for those beautiful charts and creatively answering the questions which were some of the very ones swirling around you in my mind.

    Please be careful! You have endeared yourself to me and many others who follow you day by day.

    Ted

  21. Nick: I think the only thing that’s dead in your laptop is the hard drive, since they do not take to vibration well. If it even turns on and you see something on the screen, there is hope for repair. In any case, if you’re buying a new laptop, get one with a “solid state” drive which will not be susceptible to vibration damage.

    If you have determined yourself what is wrong and feel you can buy the parts to repair your laptop yourself, I can mail you the necessary installation media to get it running.

    Good luck with the Pakistani visa!

    Edwin

  22. Scott Carrithers

    Nick,
    Should you ever decide to “cheat” for a day or two….just let me know….There is a first class ticket with your name on it. DBX-JFK courtsey Delta Airlines. Personnally, I watch for your comments everyday and wish for your safety and good fortune. Keep your chin up and the wheels turning. See you on the flip side, Nick. I’d like to be the first to buy you a beer!

  23. Thanks for the great Q & A! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading all of your posts as well as all of the comments from your many followers and admirers. Along with everyone else I wish you much good luck and success for the remainder of your journey. Travel safe!

  24. Hey Nick this was good to see the questions answered and mine too!! About Nadia haha. You two had fun from the start. Hope this new Visa come through for ya. Will be praying for ya too! The Sc Stunt chicken

  25. Nick, I have followed you from day one. I read abuot on AOL news. You have inspired me to start a blog of my own and will be taking a tirp to Alaska next year. Hope to do a bit of blogging on our trip. I have enjoyed reading about your adventures but is is ceritanly a young corragous persons trip. Not my style as I am a senior citizen but have really enjoyed reading about your adventrues. Keep up the positive attitude. As to being lonely I am sure you miss Nadia and the other fellow who was with your for a while but you do seem able to meet new people whereever you have gone.

  26. Hey Nick! Congrats on half way… stay with it and we’re pulling for you from St.Pete!

  27. Watch out for Dubai drivers: comments from a friend who lives there.

    ” I’ve learned to give the following vehicles an extra wide berth while driving in Riyadh: 1) old suburbans driven by old men, 2) small sedans with scratches and dents around the bumper, 3) white pickup trucks and 4) any car with tinting dark enough not to be able to see inside.”

    Good Luck. If you have a party at the end, I will be there.

  28. Been reading your blog every week since you started this….

    Have never commented before but I wanted to say that your trip is nothing short of visionary!

    Keep up the good work. Let us know if you need anything.

    Joe – Florida

  29. Nick,

    Your journey is amazing, and you truly are an inspiration. For those of us who could not do what you are doing, thank you for sharing your story and allowing us to live vicariously through you.

    When you’re driving for long stretches, how do you combat the loneliness, and what do you do to occupy your mind?

    Wishing you many happy adventures,
    Lisa

  30. Hey Nick, and everyone!

    I would like to organize a “care package” for you. We would need a place here stateside where those who wish to help can send some items, and a place in your near future where we can send it to. Perhaps an embassy you will visit. I also need a volunteer who would like to recieve these items and then ship the goods. I would volunteer if no one else wants to. You should also tell us what are the things you miss the most or what items you would like to see in the care package, food, toilet articles, reading material, DVD’s etc.

    So all you TWE followers who want to help, step up to the plate and lets hit a home run towards Nick, You with me?

    Manolo

  31. Nick,

    I really liked the graphs and stats you have posted. Also the compilation of your questions and answers is really good. I was really surprised to find my question answered . I have posted this question quite some time ago.

    Congratulations, you are half way into your trip. With the kind of grit and determination you have showed until now, I am convinced you will complete this trip overcoming all the hurdles. Good luck for the rest of your trip. I will pray for you. Stay safe during your trip in Iran and Pakistan.

    Vijay

  32. Nicolas,

    Excellent update for all of your followers! I can see that one of your most valuable attributes is your persistence. Your pictures are first class! So, keep on educating us as we try to imagine what your next challenge will be. So far…so good. Thanks for keeping us informed.

    Bob- Seattle

  33. I love reading your blog! Best of luck for the second half of your trip. I want to come to your party when you return to the US! -Mary

  34. Wow, I love your blog. My husband and I have been following you since the start, and I think you are a truly amazing and strong person. I would love to do what you are doing, yet I don’t think I would have the courage to. I wish you continued luck and safe travels! I’m not sure if I’ve previously said it, but if you pass through Utah when you are in the States, my husband and I would love meet you and take you to dinner! Well, good luck.

  35. Ms. Marti-Nashville

    Manolo and others, a great idea for the care package! But, I think a donation to his PayPal acct. would be an even greater care package. Nick is going to be in Dubai and will need to replenish some essentials there. The thought is great though!

    Ms.Marti

  36. Hey Marti,

    I agree, however, there are items that money can’t buy in foreign countries, like macaroni and cheese, charmin toilet paper, (My experience in other countries has been that most toilet paper is like sandpaper!). There may be also other items that Nick can’t get. Cash is every ones friend, except where it can’t be spent. Perhaps Nick should make the call. Either way, those who can should send a cash gift through paypal for incidentals.
    Let’s keep this guy going and happy!
    Manolo

  37. still following you… agree the salt flats photo was my favorite….

    stay safe… i think i would love the cultural part of your travels but not the driving or visa issues. that would wear me out for sure…

    do you think returning to regular life with 9-5 job will take adjusting? will you have some post-trip sadness? or anti-climactic feelings? i hope you will be able to ease back in smoothly….

    take care and be careful!

  38. @ Lisa:

    Hopefully Nick won’t have as many issues in Iran as a U.S. citizen – he’s a French citizen if I’m not mistaken… still, it is a place where you should exercise a lot of caution.

  39. This is my first comment, but I’ve read and enjoyed all of your posts. I enjoyed this one in particular; I found it interesting to hear more about the emotional side of your travels rather than just the data. (Although I also enjoy the data too! And the photos!) I enjoy living vicariously through you while I sit in my cubicle! Safe and happy travels!!

  40. Dear Manola:

    I know the feeling of wanting to “do something”, or wanting to “do something more”. Keep your good thoughts coming—you have our attention. God bless you.
    -joyMaria

  41. Awesome post, Nic!

    To everyone,

    On meeting him in NYC, I would love to be there. I agree we should start planning now but not too many details as Nic has a long way to go before that time and he could get hung up anywhere…or maybe just decide to stay somewhere for good…I heard those Asian women are very nice!

    Safe travels!

    Dave

  42. Hey Nick,

    I’ve really enjoyed following you through your blog from day one. Good luck with the Pakistan visa and keep having fun!

    Cheers from Brooklyn,

    fRaNk

  43. Thanks for sharing, in Ohio and following your adventure…Nice pictures, Keep it up ! Be smart & Safe!
    jeff

  44. Nicolas,

    De passage à New York j’ai essayé de te contacter et c’est la ou Stan m’a dit que tu était parti
    faire un tour du monde, ton voyage était déjà bien entamé et de temps à autres j’allai sur ton blog
    pour suivre ce périple .Je n’ai qu’un regret…ne pas l’avoir su plus tôt!!! Enfin à ton retour j’espère bien
    que tu fêteras cela dignement.

    Alexis.

  45. NIK
    Please! Please! Please! Try to answer me in your future posts. Follower since day 1. Why didn’t anybody want to travel with you(besides Nadia & Dan)? This would have been the trip of a lifetime. Hell. I would have went with you. I understand people have lives of there own and this is a massive undertaking but. damn. If you were my best friend…I would have most def. have gone with you! I spent a year and a half surfing the beaches of The Americas with a friend…living on beaches and sleeping on pool side chaise loungers. riding chicken buses and working for food. It was such a grand experience. God bless you my honorary friend…God bless you!

    Surfer Dude

  46. Manolo — I think your suggestion is very generous, but I think Ms Marti is right — the best option is PayPal. I backpacked around the globe solo for a year, visiting many of the same countries on Nick’s itinerary. Several friends and family sent me care packages, and got “stung” with a rather large customs bill. So those small items that I couldn’t get like Dentyne chewing gum and sports bars ended up costing my loved ones an extra fifty bucks!! So I think I can speak for Nick when I say he would rather forgo the Charmin for a few more greenbacks!

    Nick — If you are reading, please do try to make it to Esfahan. I was there last October, and Imam Square is magical, especially at night! There is a cool little tea house just over the entrance to the market where you can sit and watch the sun go down and the lights come up over the square. Also, Shiraz is a beautiful town with good shopping to replenish. I thought Tehran was worth it for the incrediby impressive Crown Jewels (British jewels pale in comparison!) and the Shah’s former palaces. Otherwise, I agree, traffic was a nightmare! Maybe you can park on the northern outskirts and take the subway in.

    Iranian people treated me wonderfully, even moreso when they learned I was a US Citizen. I hope you receive the same hospitable welcome.

    Suzanne in Atlanta

  47. I was just wondering why you don’t just go through Russia and then head down to China, then ship yourself to the U.S. ?

  48. Hi all,
    Thanks for all the messages. I don’t need anything really at this point. Just having you on my side is great.
    And believe me, you don’t want to spoil me, remember I work better when hungry! And keep your money to pay me a beer when I am back. Or 6.
    Which lead us to the home coming party. I think what could be better for everyone is to meet at different places in the U.S. and have small parties as I go east. It will allow me to spend more time with each one of you, and it will be easier for people who have less money to travel as well.
    Anyway thanks a lot for the love.
    The news here are that I will be leaving tomorrow for Dubai. I had no success getting the Pakistan visa yet, but still working on it. There will be a new post in the morning giving more info.

    - “Surfer dude”, sorry I missed your question. Basically, there are not much candidates to cross Yemen, Iran and Pakistan these days. And I didn’t want to take the responsibility to bring people with me as well, as anything can happen. Also my route is constantly changing, and the visa dance is difficult, especially if I would be traveling with someone from another country…
    - “Ian Ojeda”, as a backup solution, I am looking into crossing into Russia. See my post tomorrow.
    - “Renee”, it will be OK to be back to a 9 to 5 job. After so much time on the road, I will be happy to take some rest at work.

    OK guys, really looking forward to meet you. Good luck for those who have to go to work in the morning!

  49. Ian: I beleive Nick talked about the “northern route” back in october (or something like that).. Basically, the reason why he opted this “southern route” is due to cost. Going through Russia and the *stan countries are relatively cheap, but getting into China is another story. China has not signed onto any of the Geneva Road Conventions and therefore do not accept an International Driving Permit nor any related documents. The only way to drive through China is to go through a travel agency in which they will get you a private tour guide to “ride shotgun” with you the whole way from one end of China to the other. As you might imagine already, the costs for the guide is astronomical already, and add the costs (and time) to get special foreigner license plates, insurance, and vehicle registration in China, you’re talking about thousands of dollars. 3 crazy Irish dudes have done this back in 2003 going from Dublin, via China, to Sydney. A lot of their travel costs was through China! (their site is down right now) Don’t forget there is also the internal security issues China has right now dealing with the Han/Uyghur racial tensions in Xinjiang, so it might be difficult for a foreigner to pass through… that is, if you can even make it through Kyrgyzstan (also have racial tensions going on right now, between the Kyrgyz and the Uzbeks). Unless you want to go the long way through Mongolia. With all being said though, this is all nothing compared to what’s happening in the Middle East.

    Anyway, an alternative is to not go to China at all but to drive through Siberia all the way to Vladivostok and ship from there back to the states. But right now it’s summer and driving conditions on THE road in Siberia is Hell as it is just a giant muck. The road is pretty much in unfinished state but is heavily used. Travel is actually easy in winter due to the mud problem (freezes over in winter)

  50. Manolo-Corvette

    I will be more than happy to take the items and ship them over to him. If Nick is ok with receiving everything he can post my email on one of his updates and you can all email me for my address.

    I would ask a couple of $ to help cover the shipping, anything left over I would either PayPal it directly to him or send it as cash, whichever he preferred.

    Matt

  51. Eileen Kelterer

    Reading comments about your truck reminded me to ask why you decided on an older truck for the trip instead of a new or newer one since this is such a strenous trip on the vehicle?

  52. Too bad you won’t be going to Jordan…………
    Safe travels!!

  53. Eileen: that generation of land cruiser is very popular around the world and there’s many parts and service knowledge available for it. Newer ones are very rare. That and there’s the cost issue… used cars are cheaper than new cars and your warranty is useless overseas anyway. Generally speaking, the newer you go, the more electronic gizmos you’ll see in a vehicle, which is bad especially if you drive through a salt flat!

  54. I’ve been away from your site for a while, Where is Nadia?

  55. I was having trouble sleeping the other night and needed something to occupy my mind, so I went back thru the archives and read all the posts I’d missed before I learned of this blog, sometime this past spring. I realized that the detail with which you describe the places and people is amazing, and loved all the descriptions of the jungly rainforests and arid drier places. I ached for you when you were stuck in the mud on top of that mountains! Altitude sickness is extremely miserable – experienced it myself in an adventure several weeks ago.

    Anyway, I continue to be amazed at what you’ve been able to accomplish and see and experience. I don’t know for sure that I’d be brave enough to do what you’re doing. I’m sure it’s much different to be right there living it day-to-day than the way it looks in the mass media. But the things that are reported are enough to scare me, and so I’ve been grateful to read your personal glimpses of what life is like for the real people who just make their lives everyday.

    I manage in a relatively small resort in Northern Utah. If you’re interested in spending time here as you traverse the US I would be happy to give you accommodations. We have all the amenities, including a day spa and restaurant. You’re more than welcome any time and I’d be so excited to host you!

    I keep you in my prayers regularly and wish for your continued safety, especially in those places that are harder to get in and out of. I hope the visas become easier to obtain so that you have less stress. Keep on moving!

  56. Marlon Trivino (Corona, CA)

    Great reporting! This questions and answers topic are great. It really tells a lot more of what goes on on your expedition.

    If you’ve decided for your route to go through Los Angeles, I’ll also be able to accommodate you in my house if you like. I have an extra room, billiards and spa. I can cook some mean BBQ Chicken and Steak. Sounds Good? Let me know.