Mar 17, 2021
In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Eric Giuliani. Eric, more or less on a whim, decided to trade his unfulfilling corporate job to circumnavigate the globe without taking a single flight. Yes, 70,000 miles by boat, train, and automobile, and- to make the story even more ridiculous- he relies largely on his very nascent photography skills to barter his way around the world. We learn all about this massive adventure, including an in-depth accounting for how he pitched hotels to lodge in exchange for his services, how difficult it can be to lay low during high terror alerts as a 6'10" former collegiate basketball player, what it's like to spend several days on cargo ships without any form of entertainment, and more.
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Interview with Eric Giuliani
00:05:07 - QOTD: What is a movie that inspires you or has inspired you to get outside?
00:11:02 - Where does your travel story start?
00:13:18 - Can you elaborate on why it’s better to hate your job than like your job?
00:15:31 - How did your finances and the philosophy of the travel itself interface with one another?
00:19:42 - So before you left you didn’t actually have the skills you were bartering?
00:23:59 - How far in advance were you booking places out (through bartering)?
00:26:15 - What was your success rate on reaching out to people? What goes into a good pitch for what you were trying to do?
00:28:21 - Did you ever feel any sort of imposter syndrome while doing this?
00:30:15 - Did your pitch start to work better once your portfolio got more built out?
00:32:30 - Did your pitch start to involve more video as you got better?
00:38:19 - Drones are the move.
00:39:28 - Can you share how you chose what destinations you chose? How you formatted the trip?
00:45:24 - Is it even more difficult to lay low as a westerner being 6’10”?
00:47:04 - You’ve mentioned that the bus rides are dangerous, can you explain some of the dangers they pose?
00:49:09 - Were there ever instances during these risky trips that put you on edge?
00:50:40 - Were you doing anything recreationally during the African leg of your journey?
00:52:39 - What happened after Egypt?
00:54:55 - How did you keep yourself entertained on a cargo ship?
00:56:00 - Were there any huge storms on cargo ships?
00:58:44 - Can you talk more about your Europe adventures?
01:04:13 - What were you traveling with?
01:05:35 - Did you buy new stuff as you went along?
01:07:12 - Who did you give the bartered jacket to?
01:08:06 - Were you good at pitching yourself in person before you left or did you hone the craft over the course of your journey?
01:09:11 - When you did pay for things did you ever negotiate? Did you ever haggle?
01:11:00 - What was the primary thread that you enjoyed about this trip?
01:13:33 - Where did you go after Beijing?
01:17:08 - Did you ever have a moment on the ships where you felt like it might sink?
01:19:15 - What does someone do in Antarctica?
01:23:00 - What is the place you are actually staying like? Can you describe the town or whatever it is?
01:24:20 - Do you have any general pieces of advice for anyone who’s interested in doing something similar?
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Triple Crown of things you would do with a million dollars*
*must be selfish, not altruistic
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