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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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  • New York, I am back

    Posted on February 26th, 2011 Nicolas No comments
    Crossing the Hudson River

    Crossing the Hudson River

    On Saturday, February 12, I reentered the Manhattan Island after 456 days on the road. My trip took me through 37,000 miles of adventures I would never forget.
    But in the immediate, as I was driving through the Georges Washington Bridge, I could not completely unwind, since there was pressing matters to take care of. As I entered New York State, I could not really just drive around. In fact, I had to be very discreet, as my registration and inspection had expired months ago.

    Arriving in Times Square.

    Arriving in Times Square.

    So it is with very little fuss that I crossed the city, dropped my dad in a hotel and continued toward Brooklyn after stopping twice on the way to see some friends.

    Parking in New York can be challenging, even for a world class traveler.

    Parking in New York can be challenging, even for a world class traveler.

    When I got to my old neighborhood, I stopped to the auto shop I used to spend time at, and also the place where I got my vehicle ready for this extraordinary trip. Everybody was doing well, and it was great to see a lot of old friends.

    I arrive in Brooklyn, at the auto shop. Singh, Mike and others.

    I arrive in Brooklyn, at the auto shop. Singh, Mike and others.

    Next, I went back to my old house, and met with my landlord, Jay. He was aware I was coming back, and had space in the driveway for my truck. It is where it is going to stay for few weeks, the time for me to settle down and get the paperwork sorted out.

    Reentering Brooklyn by the Manhattan Bridge.

    Reentering Brooklyn by the Manhattan Bridge.

    All my belongings are there as well, in the basement since 2009. I don’t really want to open boxes as long as I don’t have an apartment, so even now, two weeks after coming back, I am still wearing my expedition-style clothes as I roam the streets of Manhattan. I did shave my beard as people were looking at me a strange way, I thought.
    Jay gave me some mail which arrived a while back, and it turned out that I was in a more complicated position that I thought.
    Apparently, I broke a new record without even knowing it. It seems that some papers didn’t go through after I left, resulting in some problems with the Department of Motor Vehicle. Consequently, as I was driving happily in exotic regions, my driving license was suspended. Which probably makes me the only man in history who drove around the world with a suspended driving license…

     

    It feels good to be back in New York which is the place I still call home.

    It feels good to be back in New York which is the place I still call home.

    As night was falling, I took the subway back to Manhattan where I met a small group of people to have drinks in the Lower East Side and celebrate the successful expedition.
    In the few weeks following these events, I have been of course readapting to the life in the city, but also working hard to prepare my future. I am staying at Sergio’s apartment for few weeks, and from there I am straightening my administrative status, and trying to find a job.
    I think I may be too exigent in my job search as of now. After everything I saw in the last months, I need something that will be very challenging and exciting. I can’t work just for the money, I need more. As promised, I will let you know when something comes up. I sent my Carnet de Passage back to AAA, which will allow me to get back the huge guaranty I had to leave in order to be able to cross borders.

    The Carnet de Passage.

    The Carnet de Passage.

    I have been reconnecting with my past in the last two weeks, spending time with people who matter to me. Of course it is strange to be back here, but I can already tell that I am still in love with New York, which is a relief. After all, I need a place I can call home.
    I will be busy in the next few weeks, and months. First of all, I have to find this miracle job. Then, I will update this website so it is easier to navigate through the different places I have been to, now that the chronological order matters less. Dan – the friend who spent some time with me in Peru – gave me a hard drive with the video he shot while we were traveling, and I would love to make it available on this website as well. In the upcoming time, there will be more maps and details on such expedition preparation, so it will be helpful for travelers. Also, I would love to work on a book. But it is going to be a side project, something I can work on once I have a job.
    So please keep checking here for new content. There will be other updates, and I would love if you guys could stick around.
    My apologies for not updating the website earlier. Apologies also to the hundreds of people who emailed me but still didn’t receive a reply. I will be working on it soon!

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86 Responses to “New York, I am back”

  1. Awesome!!! I followed you since the very beginning after reading it on MSNBC and must say I’m impressed. Looks like a blast, for better and worse. Keep up the posts.

  2. Thanks for sharing your trip with us Nick. Almost sorry it’s over but so glad you’re home safe especially with what’s going on in the world. Your trip might have been very different if you’d left now. Looking forward to your updates with the site and good luck in the job hunt.

  3. The begining of another journey
    I wish you well Nick and happy you are home
    Take care and God Bless You,, 🙂

  4. Welcome home and congratulations. Reading the blog has been fascinating even though I didn’t tune in until somewhere in South America. Great pictures, wonderful geography lesson for us all, and your writing style made it seem like we were all riding “shotgun” with you.

    Thank you so much!

  5. Congratulations! I am sure you will find a great job, there are many wonderful ideas posted here by your followers.

    I had a good laugh about your expired liscense.

    God bless you,
    Beverly

  6. thanks for the ‘last chapter’ of this journal… me with many others are going to missed it dearly. I have to admit I checked it even while on vacation. It’s just time before you get to your next challenge in life, Nick – whatever that may be. We all believe in you! Just let us know when you get there…

    All the very best!
    Dan C

  7. Welcome back to your “home town”. It was great traveling the world with you through this blog. Thanks for taking us all along. Good luck on the job search and settling back into a routine.

  8. Congrats Nick and welcome back. Thanks for sharing the pics and your journey around the world. Looking forward to the book. All the best on the job hunt.

  9. Hey Nick, now I know we’ve never talked or anything, but I need to write an essay about an inspirational person I’ve read about, and I would really love to write about you. I was hoping in any free time you have you could email me and maybe help me out with it? It would be a lot easier then me trying to find bits and pieces on the internet 😉 I would really appreate it
    Thanks, Steven

  10. Hi Nick,

    Welcome back! I’m so glad you made it all the way around the world. That’s amazing. I’m completely astounded and very, very proud of you. I’m sure you won’t have an issue getting a job. Thanks so much for letting me (and all of the other followers) tag along in your adventures. I look forward to your book. =)

    Best,
    Sirena

  11. Welcome home Nick. You are my hero.

  12. 37,000 miles! Wow! What an amazing adventure! Thanks for taking us along through your blog. I will never forget this experience.

  13. Charlie A. (Santa Clara, Ca)

    Harvey (Naples, FL),

    You are the man!

  14. Nick,

    I found your blog on the Africa Overland site and have been following it as you have traveled around the world. I have not posted before but I have to say thank you for keeping us all updated on your journey. It certainly has provided me with a window or snapshot into another world of adventure and travel, while I have been going about my everyday life over the past year.

    Im sure that settling back into ‘ordinary’ life will not be easy and I hope that you wont leave it too long before you set off again on another adventure!

    If you happen to end up in Ireland, let me know if I can help!

    Many thanks again,

    Hugh.

  15. Ms. Marti~Nashville, TN

    Steven,
    Have you read all of Nick’s travels? If you have, it seems that should be enough, if it inspired you in any way. I haven’t had a write an essay for quite a while, so really don’t know what else you would need from Nick. Did he inspire you???? Go from there. Also read on this site “About Nick”. If you haven’t read all of the blog or his entries, you should!

    Ms. Marti

  16. Harvey (Naples, FL)

    “Charlie A. (Santa Clara, Ca)
    March 2nd, 2011 at 6:52 pm”

    Thanks! I’m a lawyer by trade and people generally pay me for that advice. For Nick it’s FREE!

    Cheers

  17. Tammy in St. Louis

    Thanks for the update! It is time to relax a bit and gently get back to this reality! Take care!

  18. I am glad to read you are back Nick. It was fun reading about your adventure. That invite to Brooklyn Brewery is still standing amigo.

  19. Nick,

    I hope you are having a wonderful time catching up with friends and readjusting to being home. As much as I love traveling, the feeling you get when you come home is a different kind of exhilaration–I do love that feeling of comfort, warmth, and familiarity. I look forward to hearing about the new (fabulous) job I know you will get and also on your side project. Oh yeah, I am so glad you didn’t get busted with your suspended license during your trip!!!

    nari

  20. I have been reading your adventures since the beginning. What a fantastic journey you have been on; and thank you for sharing it with us all. Welcome home!

  21. Maria Bernardes

    Hola Nick,

    Congrats about your fantastic journey around the world!
    I believe you came back seeing things differently!
    This is a fantastic feeling.
    Everybody will be waiting for a book soon,ok!
    Have a great 2011!
    Maria

  22. Welcome Back Mr. Nicholas! You are a wealthier and far richer man from the experience than you will ever know. Choosing to share your trip with us, is a gift that can never be measured, repaid, or put into words. Thank you for your journey! and again, Welcome Home to wherever you choose to be.

  23. Charlie A. (Santa Clara, Ca)

    Nick,

    Have you given and thought to Harvey’s idea about The William Morris Agency? Why not mate, you are going to be in the neighborhood, what do you have to lose.

  24. Charlie A. (Santa Clara, Ca)

    I hate my auto correct thing on my comoputer. Ha!

  25. Wow how cool good job. LOL LOL LOL LOL ………………….. That must have been really hard 2 do great job. heheheheheheheheheyheheheheh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I bet that ur happy 2 B home.

  26. Chris & Eileen Roehrig

    Nick,

    Welcme back!! It was an amazing journey that we were glad to have shared with you and give you a little help along the way. I agree with Harvey. I think you need to get an agent and tell the world your story. With all the crap reality TV on now you would be the real thing.

    Good Luck and keep us informed about your next move.

    C&E

  27. Congratulations on your trip! I have been watching you the whole time and have seen some amazing places through your eyes I would have never seen before.

    Thank you!

  28. My 7th grade Global Cultures classes have been following your trip since you started a year ago! We have been fascinated by your blog posts and photos, and are glad you are home safely. The students decided that a book is definitely in order…maybe even a movie! 😀 I thought you might be interested to see their most recent comments about your return home. So as not to fill up your blog, I had them comment on our class blog (http://gcphoenixms.blogspot.com/). I invite you to visit and see what they wrote! (They are under the “He’s Ba-a-a-ck!” entry). Best wishes to you, and if you ever come to Columbus, Ohio, please let us know…we’d love to talk with you!

  29. Beth, thank you for sharing the kids’ comments. I’m enjoying them. Linda

  30. Felicitations,
    Je vs suis depuis le debut! j’ai adore l’expedition , en particulier, l’Afrique.
    Merci pour le voyage,
    Sissi

  31. Nick,
    Thanks for letting us travel with you and have our “armchair adventure.” I even made it a Fun Friday post for my schools’ blog.

  32. Way to hang tough Nick! I am sure there were times when you said to yourself, “what did I get myself into?” Way to press on and complete the mission. I did something similar in my early 20s on a much smaller scale for 2 years and never had one regret. That was 20 years ago. The experience will stay with you and will put things in perspective throughout your life. Let us know if you get to the midwest. G-man

  33. Congrats Nick, what an amazing adventure. Thanks for allowing us to tag along for the ride!

  34. Harvey (Naples, FL)

    Nick,

    Can you please assist me or at least point me in the right direction?

    I am now suffering from a severe case of TWEWS (pronounced TWOOSE). If you don’t know it by its acronym, you might recognize it as Trans World Expedition Withdrawal Syndrome. I’ve got the classic standard symptoms for the disease. I regularly click on your web site and find few if any “New” reports regarding your trip around the world… followed by an acute shortage of comments from your adoring public. This is immediately followed by separation anxiety, loneliness and near depression. Rumor has it that thousand are suffering the same malady with no antidote in sight.

    Any suggestions?

    Cheers,
    Harvey (TWEWS sufferer)

  35. HE’S BAAAACK!!!!!!! (AND HE MADE IT!!!!!!!!!!) Wonder if he saw any animals?

  36. I too am suffering from TWEWS! However, I strive to be a patient person. I look forward to the changes on the blog, which keeps me tapping in. Suggestions? I have none Harvey, but I will continue to tap in and see if any one else does. Nick, I hope you are well and having a beer to celebrate Saint Patricks day! I am curious… someone recently told me that cigarettes in New York cost 13.25 a pack, is this true?