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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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  • From somewhere in the Pacific: Questions and Answers

    Posted on October 26th, 2010 Nicolas No comments
    The beach in the evening. This place is so quiet compared to Bangladesh and India, it is unreal.

    The beach in the evening. This place is so quiet compared to Bangladesh and India, it is unreal.

    As I write this post, I am awaiting my truck to arrive in Port Klang, close to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I chose to do a little side trip in the meantime, and I am now in a beautiful place as you can see on the pictures in this post.
    Let’s see if you guys can find out where I am. Please leave a comment with your guess.
    Meanwhile, I thought it will be a good time to do a little Q&A with recent questions I received.

    From Daniel:
    I’ve been silently following your travels since you were in Central America. At first I thought you were crazy, in a good way, even sent you five bucks. Here are my questions.
    – Have you found what you have been looking for?

    I was not sure what I was looking for when I left, but I was looking to become a better and smarter individual. Not sure if I became better, but I am definitely wiser about the state of the world and a stronger person. I feel that I will be different when I will be back in New York, and maybe a more interesting character.
    – Once you complete your journey will you stay in the US?
    Yes, I will stay in the U.S. My world journey also reinforced my conviction that New York City is the best city of the world – for me – and the place I want to live in. I hope my kids will grow up there as well.
    – If you leave the U.S., with your journey in mind, where would you move to?
    If I had to leave NYC, I could live in other places, but I would hope I could travel a lot from where I would be at. I saw a lot of places that I liked, but I would not necessary like to spend my life there. Most likely candidate could be Mexico City or Montreal. For some reason I often think about La Paz, Bolivia as well…
    – If you haven’t found what you are looking for, do you think it’s possible?
    Many people, including me, will never find what they are looking for. And because of that we keep going and undertaking new challenges.
    – What happens when you get back to the US?
    I will try to find a job and start everything from scratch in NY. I made it there in the past, so I should be able to make it again. I hope I will find a job I love and have a great relationship and kids at some point. So as you can see, there’s a lot of work ahead of me.

    Lucille:
    I see you made it to my country–Philippines. Would love to hear what you think of it.

    Hi Lucille, it is nice to hear from you. Thanks again to let me crash at your place in Oman. I just had a layover ion the Philippine so I couldn’t see the country. Too bad, it will be for next time. Be well.

    Dave:
    When are you gonna be home? I want to start planning a trip! I wish it could be for NYE or around some holiday. I really want to be there for it!

    Hey Dave, my old friend. I will not be in NY for few months. I imagine I will be driving in Asia for something like two months, and shipping back the truck to Los Angeles will take three additional weeks. So I will probably not be in California before February, and in NY sometimes in March. And this is without speaking about any unexpected events…
    But I often think that it will be great to see you when I will be back in the U.S. Even in few decades I can picture visiting you and smoking the hookah together. As usual, I will bring the Ethiopian beer, but this time I will not have to smuggle it through the Djibouti border.

    They even have Kmart stores!

    They even have Kmart stores!

    Sharat Reddy (Jay):
    The Mercedes that I bought from you is running well. You can have it for a few days after you return to New York.

    Hey Jay, please don’t speak to me about this car, I still miss it! Glad you were able to get it running right. I hope to see you back in NY. You should come meet me at the Georges Washington Bridge when I do my re-entry in Manhattan.

    Joe from Bama:
    World boy, its joe form bama, only got a sec, i will let you what’s up with me in the past yr, damn here they come… later…

    Joe, I suspect you put yourself in some kind of trouble again. Almost one year we didn’t hear from you. Not sure who is after you, but if they are who I think they are, don’t let them lock you up.

    Jojo:
    Big follower here. You in Manila yet? Hit me up. Drinks on me!

    Jojo, I should be in the Philippine for a layover of 15 hours or so very soon. I will send you the details and maybe we can meet. Thanks!

    Jaime:
    I would love to hear the radio interview! Any idea where I might be able to find that?

    Jaime, unfortunately I have no idea where you can find the interview, didn’t hear it myself.

    Perfect beach, transparent water and pale sand. Lot of Japanese in vacations.

    Perfect beach, transparent water and pale sand. Lot of Japanese in vacations.

    Judy:
    Have you encountered any other travelers from US or Europe recently? Since there are no women in the pictures I was wondering what it would be like for a female traveler to visit Bangladesh? What would the experience have been if Nadia was still traveling with you?

    Judy, I saw one guy from France in Bangladesh, and a Swiss couple in Goa, India.
    Although women seem to have more freedom in the way they can dress in Bangladesh than in Iran or the Emirates, this is still not the West. In general, women are expected to be accompanied by a male relative in public. I would think that visiting the country as a woman alone would be very difficult. If Nadia would have been with me, it would have been difficult to sleep in the same room because we are not married.

    Crystal:
    I am curious about you nightly routine when using your tent. Is it an easy set-up?

    The tent is easy to set up. What is more complicated is that you need to put a lot of things out for cooking. When you have twenty people around, things get easily out of control.

    Charles A.:
    Hey Nick, I am curious what a custom made tail light lens looks like. Can you post a picture?

    Hi Charles, I will post a picture when I get the truck back.

    Sylvain:
    Did you look into crossing Australia and New-Zealand?

    Sylvain, would love to go there, but it would be too expensive. Next time!

    Fran:
    I’m wondering what you plan to do with all of this when you return home? Is there a book in the works perhaps?

    No book in the work yet, but I will certainly consider it, if there is some interest. Of course it would not be my main project when I get back home. The first thing I would have to do is to find a job. Hopefully something I like. And hopefully I can get back to a normal sedentary life and enjoy it.

    From several other people:
    What will be the route you will follow when coming back in the U.S.?
    It seems that I will reenter the country through Los Angeles, California. My father has express the wish to come along, so I hope it can happen. The route is not definitive, but there’s a preview here.

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42 Responses to “From somewhere in the Pacific: Questions and Answers”

  1. Charlie A (Santa Clara, CA.)

    That kinda looks like Diamond Head. But it hard to tell.

  2. Charlie A (Santa Clara, CA.)

    I got it, How is Guam?

  3. I think you may have to take even more southern route when you go across in the winter – it can be difficult through Colorado and Kansas in the winter.
    Terribly windy and snowy.

    No clue as to where you are, but it looks beautiful and relaxing and exactly what you needed after all the challenges the last 2 months.

    Enjoy, and thanks, as usual, for sharing!

  4. Well, the Kmart on this web site looks suspiciously like the one in your picture…

    http://www.guamportal.com/shopping/kmart_guam.html

  5. Since you had a layover in the Phillipines to make it to this beautiful beachy place with lots of Japanese tourists, KMart & Little Caesar’s. I’m guessing you’re in Australia…maybe the central coast (Perth on the west coast or Brisbane on the east coast, perhaps?). I cannot tell what side the steering wheel is on in that parking lot pic! There is KMart & Little Caesar’s in Oz, so my guess is there.

  6. Hi Nick,

    Glad to read that you are relaxing and enjoying what me a beautiful place. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you are in a far flung place like Vanuatu or the Samoan islands….

    I’m probably way off but it was worth a shot!!

    Enjoy yourself. Not sure if you are a diver but it looks like wherever you are the underwater life would be great…

    Andrea

  7. this is the coolest: you called us “you guys!” we’ve all really gone on this trip with you that’s for sure. it’s gone really fast – now that we’re beginning to talk in hindsight. thanks for answering questions and giving us a sketch of you travels across America. looks like you’re taking the same highway back to NYC that you started on; you’re making a southern sweep of the US. too bad you’ll miss Columbus, OH; it really is much prettier than NYC; smells better too. oh well.

    now, where are you? my guess is that you’re in Ho Chi Minn (Saigon). i’m probably completely wrong, but while you’re in the (yearly) mood to explore, why not?

    enjoy the peace and quiet, sun and surf.
    one of the guys,
    suzanne

  8. Jenni-Kirkland, WA

    Are you in Guam?

  9. Hey Nick,

    Let me guess ! Is it Singapore ?

  10. I am sure many of your followers will be able to look at these pictures and figure it out quickly. I, however am not a world traveler. My guess is Hawaii.

  11. Sorry for the second note.

    For the heck of it I went back and re-read some of your older posts from the beginning. It’s been a year already.

    How has your expectations from 1 year ago measured up to your experiences so far?

    Andrea

  12. Guam.

    That is not a guess but a statement. The tip off was the Kmart store, the largest in the world.

    Manolo

  13. Guam or Cebu?

  14. It’s got to be Kahului, HI… the only location that I could find a Little Caesar’s Pizza inside a Kmart….

  15. Just looked at the other posts… John S, I think that you’re a better detective than me 🙂

  16. I tried to get a close up of the license plates on the cars in the K-Mart photo, but weren’t you sneaky in making sure they were concealed. Can’t even tell if they are US wide rectangular size or the long European rectangular size. It really looks like some place in the US. The car models are the same, but……..not enough SUV’s. I am going to go with Manolo’s clue and guess Guam as well. It’s close to where you are, you would have had a lay over in the Philippines, it wouldn’t have been too long of a flight, other internet photos of the Guam K-Mart also show the Little Caesar’s sign out front and from investigating other Guam photos the beaches and the one hotel shot are the same I saw in other Guam photos.

  17. I just wanted to say one other thing. If it really is Guam – Bravo to Charlie A for being the first to guess it!!

  18. My internet search came up with Guam, Nick. Even so, your journey halfway across the world has certainly alerted me to the fact that a world map should never be too far from my desk. I am so happy for you. You are the bravest and most interesting human being I have ever known. Please don’t be shy about writing your book. It is expected that you will want to tell your story and pass it along to the children you speak about having one of these days. You more than anyone I can presently think of deserve the quiet, peacefulness of white sand beaches and sunny days. Thanks for keeping us posted. Safe travels and many blessings your way.
    -joyMaria

  19. 1) Guess = Bali
    2) US route – consider going through Moab, Utah…its pretty much on the way, and will be the most interesting thing you see until New York.

  20. OK, OK, you win. Charlie A. from Santa Clara, CA. was the first one to guess right. You guys are good. Come back tomorrow for a new post! Hope you are all well.

  21. I took too long to guess! I had it when you said Island in the Pacific. I’ve been to Guam. Nice place. There’s a hotel (the biggest one I think) that has a seafood buffet and all you can drink Heineken. That was more than 7 years ago though so things may have changed! Hope you’re enjoying it!

    Looking forward to meeting you in NYC when you get there. I’ll make sure I have plenty of vacation days saved up!

  22. It has been good following you since day one, can’t even remember how I found out about you the very first post ever, but enjoyed always coming to twitter to see if you updated. which is always well written and great pictures. You could make something as fare as a draft magazine with the posts see if you could publish. Any Hoot- Know My post are short ( want to let you know I’m at least reading ) But your welcome, friemds and all ,Nadia, ect. aytime. To stay here any other trips to Seattle.

  23. Joanne in New Jersey

    Nick, I have followed you from the beginning, fasinated by your journey, the Mom in me worried about you.
    Once you get a job and get settled I really hope you will write that book.

  24. Hey Nick,

    You really need to think about the “Book.” I can understand your concern about finding a job since you will no doubt be strapped for cash, but that is what a book deal is all about. Furthermore, I think you should be able to land a job based on your trip alone. Finding a publisher for your book should be easy since you have a list of buyers just waiting for your book. This would give you an advance and help your financial situation. At one point we tried to determine how many followers you had but with no success. But if you could compile a list of people that wanted to buy your book and showed this to a publisher, you would have better luck. Perhaps you can post a site where followers and the like could sign up for a copy. And you could say that your book is half written in your post and responses alone. Plus you should do it while it is still fresh in your mind. How’s that for a bunch of “you shoulds?”

    Need any help with a “book deal” just ask.

    Manolo

  25. Donna Ft Lauderdale USA

    Hey Nick, it was interesting reading your answers. I am glad that you did come back on and tell us where you are, and it certainly looks like a great place to wait. I can’t wait til you’re back on the road though with more travel sights as you wrap up this intereting, beautiful trip.
    That’s cool about your dad, I hope that he is able to make it! Looking forward to your next update, with hugs from home, Donna

  26. To be more specific, it is Tumon, Guam. The Marriott hotel was the big tip-off for me. Thanks for playing!!

  27. I’m sure that’s Guam as one of my earlier guesses. Nick, are you still going to cross Indonesia as the initial plan?

  28. K Mart what the hell, i have been in Bibb County Correctional for the past year due to the fat woman i told you about a year ago. Man you are the man almost around the world. I guess i can’y call you world boy no more, hell you are the world man. Sorry i could not keep up with you , but what can i say i have been working for the State of Alabama hahhaha. This Bibb county is in the middle of the state and i live in south Alabama. No one would come see me, damn fat women. She turn me in for some little thing(can’t say or will not say). Bibb county sucks, wetlands ass, its a swamp. well i will try and keep in touch more since i’m out.later WORLD MAN ps just between me and you how are the world babes???? 🙂

  29. joe from bama , damn can’t spell uh

  30. It looks like Guam. I spent several months there in the early 90’s. Haf Adai & Shaka Bra!

  31. Harvey (Naples, FL)

    Nick,

    You are defentily in Hawaii!

    Probably Oahu but looks like it might be the Big Island of Hawaii… Maybe Hilo or Kona Coast!

    The tags on the car gave it away along with the beaches plus the mountains in the backgroud at the K-Mart!

    AhloooooooooooooooooooooooooooHa!

  32. I was going to say, your photos are from/of Tumon Bay, Guam. I recommend you grab a bite to eat at the Jamacian Grill for lunch or dinner and King’s for breakfast.

    Also, if you drive through Vegas, drop me a line so I can buy you a drink or two.

  33. “Ditto” on Manolo-Corvette’s gracious comment. Good Advice 🙂

  34. is it lankawi island?

  35. Glad to see you are doing well and will be coming to L.A. When you arrive here we hope to talk to you on the Motorman show.

  36. MarkFromLosAngeles

    Looks a like Guam — Tumon Bay perhaps? I was there in summer 2009 for 2 months.

  37. MarkFromLosAngeles

    Ah! I just looked at your latest post. Guess it is Guam!! Guam was fun. Learned how to scuba dive and flew jets out of Andersen AFB on the north side. The most beautiful beach I ever saw was Haputo Beach on the northwest side. It’s on Naval territory though so I’m not sure if you’d be able to visit it. Have fun!!!

  38. NotFromBibbCoCorrectional

    those guys get web access? who knew?.. I also live in Bibb County, just not in the joint. Small world.

    I already know it is Guam, being a late arrival, but that point is Lover’s Leap, my dad had it painted on a weaved palm ‘basket’ that was three feet in diameter and really shallow. I/We lived on Guam for three years so I would have recognized that point ANYWAY. Think the guy who painted it projected a slide of his(my dad’s) onto the basket and painted away. My Mom still has it.

  39. Truly enjoyed following your journey of a lifetime! Just wish you could keep going and continue posting adventures.

  40. Nick,

    Definately think about writing the book. I am sure you have more stories than what is included in your blog. Your pictures are amazing and I would love to see more which you could include in the book. Hope you had a nice time in Guam. Sorry to see your return trip thru US will not pass by our house. Thanks for opening up the world for all of us followers.

    Judy

  41. Nick, I was surprised when I saw your proposed route through the states that you are looking at going south from Wichita, KS. If you change your plans and decide to head north through Kansas City instead you and your dad would have a place to stay. I’ve followed you from the start of your journey. What an adventure! You will never be the same.

  42. Hi Niolas.
    I just know about your World trip last Sunday, so it will take me few days to be updated. From now on I will follow your voyage.
    It seems that when you passed by South America you had troubled because there were no translation service, but there is the translator in google.
    Also I wan to share the text reader that can be very helpful.
    http://www.readplease.com/english/downloads/#rp2003
    Then the site were you can download a lot of books in several languages.
    http://manybooks.net/
    Please greet for me the thai people.
    My question for you is if you were born in France?
    With the best wishes.
    Francisco Javier