RSS feed

LIKE THIS WEBSITE?

So send me few $$ I will use toward the hosting of the blog. Thanks! Via Paypal.
GET UPDATES ON

Translate

EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish

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.

Visited countries

Calendar

March 2017
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

MONTHLY ARCHIVES

THE ROUTE

Click to see the map




 









  • New York, I am back

    Posted on February 26th, 2011 Nicolas 86 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!

  • Night at the haunted campground

    Posted on November 15th, 2009 Nicolas 25 comments
    So finally, even if not completely ready, it was time to go. I have to pass the Mexican border before the end of the month, and have to stop in few places, including Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas and Houston. So I left on November 14 at 10:30 in the morning after piling way too much things in the truck.
    Pix 177 lefferts
    I said good-bye to the guys of my block, including Jay, my Brooklyn landlord (on the right), and Smash from Global Block (Yellow jacket) who may meet me somewhere in Central America where he is traveling regularly to host hip-hop events.
    Nadia, the woman in the middle, is an old friend from childhood, and decided few days ago to come with me across South America, until she runs out of money.
    Pix BK
    I also stopped at the BK mechanic shop to say goodbye to Mike and Singh, two guys who helped me a lot with the few vehicles I owned in Brooklyn, including a vintage Mercedes 280SL I had to sell to finance the trip.
    Pix Bridge
    Then, along with my new passenger, we passed the Manhattan Bridge, went across Chinatown, and took the tunnel to New Jersey.
    Pix NJ
    After crossing Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, we arrived in Virginia, and as the night was already here, after grabbing something quick to eat, we tried to find a campground. Difficult goal, it turned out, as it is kind of late in the season. As the night went darker, few miles outside of Front Royal, we found a mysterious place populated only by remains of broken cars.  We went to the office, but nobody was there, and a glance by the window revealed an incredible mess. As a thick fog came down on us, we agreed we had to stay here, even so we could not decide if the place was open for business or not. We opened the tent, and the light was off by 9 p.m.
    Pix tent

    So finally, even if not completely ready, it was time to go. I have to pass the Mexican border before the end of the month, and have to stop in few places, including Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas and Houston. So I left on November 14 at 10:30 in the morning after piling way too much things in the truck.

    The crew from Lefferts place wishes good luck to the expedition

    The crew from Lefferts place wishes good luck to the expedition

    I said good-bye to the guys of my block, including Jay, my Brooklyn landlord (on the right), and Smash from Global Block (Yellow jacket) who may meet me somewhere in Central America where he is traveling regularly to host hip-hop events.

    Nadia, the woman in the middle, is an old friend from childhood, and decided few days ago to come with me across South America, until she runs out of money.

    Mike and Singh say good-bye after checking the car one last time

    Mike and Singh say good-bye after checking the car one last time

    I also stopped at the BK mechanic shop to say goodbye to Mike and Singh, two guys who helped me a lot with the few vehicles I owned in Brooklyn, including a vintage Mercedes 280SL I had to sell to finance the trip.

    manhattan_bridge

    Crossing the Manhattan Bridge

    Then, along with my new passenger, we passed the Manhattan Bridge, went across Chinatown, and took the tunnel to New Jersey.

    NJ

    Entering New Jersey

    penn

    Pennsylvania

    After crossing Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, we arrived in Virginia, and as the night was already here, after grabbing something quick to eat, we tried to find a campground. Difficult goal, it turned out, as it is kind of late in the season. As the night went darker, few miles outside of Front Royal, we found a mysterious place populated only by remains of broken cars.  We went to the office, but nobody was there, and a glance by the window revealed an incredible mess. As a thick fog came down on us, we agreed we had to stay here, even so we could not decide if the place was open for business or not. We opened the tent, and the light was off by 9 p.m.

    campground

    The haunted campground