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Origin: Francis Tapon's mom is from Chile and his dad is from France. He was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He's been to over 80 countries, but he keeps coming back to this magical city because he loves earthquakes.
Languages: He spoke Spanish at home, French at school, and English everywhere else. He can get by in Portuguese and Italian, barely survive in Russian and Slovenian, and speak a few other languages like a two-year-old.
Education: He has a degree in Religion from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. So he is well prepared to start a church and make lots of money off of it.
Backpacking: He walked across America four times: he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and in 2007, became the first to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail. In 2009, he was one of the finalists for the California Outdoors Hall of Fame, which "features nominees who are world-renowned for their skills and who have helped inspire thousands of others to take part in the great outdoors." Although he "barely missed induction," he was quite honored to be nominated. Some think that they nominated him because he's evangelized about the glories of backpacking 20,000 km (12,500 miles), but we know the real reason: they're impressed that he backpacked for 45 days without a shower.
Author: He wrote The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us and Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America. He also produced a 77-minute video about his CDT Yo-Yo.
Current activity: He is looking for a video production company and TV network that wants to co-produce a show about his upcoming three-year trip in Africa.
10 Year Plan: If you're curious about where he's been and where he's going, check out his 10-year plan.
Things Francis has never owned: A television, couch, bed, chair, or spaceship. (He's disappointed about the last one.)
Goal in life: Visit every country on the planet and share the experience with others. Amazon.com and Lincoln Mercury considered thousands of travelers to find the one person who best represented the dream of traveling the world. They picked Francis and profiled him in the two-minute video below...