Backpacker Radio 98 | Eric Giuliani on Traveling 70,000 Miles Around the World on a Shoestring Budget

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.

We wrap the show with a quick chat about Trail Days 2021, a triple crown of things we’d do with a million bucks, and an absurd story about a bear biting a woman’s ass in an outhouse.

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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?


As Trail Days Moves Forward, Hikers Wonder About Safety by Tina Mullen

The Trek Editorial Internship

Gear Wars: Merino Wool vs. Synthetic Base Layers Katie Kommer

Reddit Brain Buster: What’s a fact that makes you uncomfortable? We’ll start — bones are wet.

  • The strongest species on earth is the dung beetle.

Triple Crown of things you would do with a million dollars*

*must be selfish, not altruistic

5 Star Reviews

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Alaskan Woman Attacked By Bear From Below

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