After working as an educational consultant for six years, former Binghamton University men’s basketball player Eric Giuliani, ’01, realized he didn’t want to settle. The slow burn of his job was eating away at him, and driving home one day, he decided that he was going to quit his job to travel the world. He filmed, photographed and wrote along the way, eventually publishing a book about his travels. “Sky’s the Limit: One Man’s 70,000-Mile Journey Around the World,” was published on March 6.
“I think people enjoy a routine, and I am certainly a routine person, but there was just so much monotony,” Giuliani said. “I literally had a script and you had to do your training sessions and teach and say the same thing off the script pretty much every day, so I was even cracking the same jokes at the same time every day.”
But Giuliani didn’t quit immediately. After making the decision to travel the world, he used the final year at his job to learn skills in photography, videography and writing at his local community college.
Prior to that point, his interest in travel began when he was a student at BU. As a former member of the varsity basketball team, Giuliani remembers looking out the window on his way to games.
“My love of traveling grew out of all the long bus rides we would take,” Giuliani said. “We would play in New Hampshire, New Jersey. We played in Florida once. I really felt I just enjoyed the camaraderie with my teammates and being on the bus and on the road almost more if not more than playing basketball.”
He chose Cape Town, South Africa as his starting point and flew there, marking the first and last time in his three-year journey that Giuliani used a plane. He almost exclusively used public transportation to cover all seven continents, using cargo ships to get across the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and a cruise ship to get to Antarctica. Not utilizing air travel sometimes proved difficult, as Giuliani was in Uganda when there were warnings about terrorist activities, but he was determined to stick with his decision.
“There’s a terrorist group called Al-Shabaab and unfortunately they attacked and killed 140 people in a university called Garissa University which is in Kenya, and I had to take a bus directly through that region that week,” Giuliani said. “It wasn’t just the threat anymore, there was actual violence happening … that was a really seminal moment where I could’ve said ‘You know what? I’m going to forget this; I’m just going to fly to Ethiopia.’ I was following my dream to make it around the world, but it really became a mission at that point.”
Giuliani didn’t have a lot of money going into the trip, so he used a bartering system for the entire three years, never having to pay for a hotel room.
“Before I left, I emailed every hotel in Cape Town and I had this crazy offer, which I didn’t think anybody would accept,” Giuliani said. “I offered to do photos and a film of their hotel — their rooms, their restaurant, their pool — in exchange for room and board for the week. I had no experience in this; my portfolio was only practice shots on the beach.”
Giuliani emailed a hundred hotels in Cape Town, and the next day, three hotels replied and accepted his offer. He used this technique for the rest of the trip, and in every city, there was at least one hotel that accepted the offer.
During his journey, Giuliani created a travel blog called Travel Tall and decided that he wanted to try to write an ongoing book in the midst of traveling, labeling each post as a chapter. Once Giuliani came back to the United States, he turned all of those blog posts into his new book, “Sky’s the Limit: One Man’s 70,000 Mile Journey Around the World,” which became available on Amazon earlier this month.
“I always say [“Sky’s the Limit: One Man’s 70,000 Mile Journey Around the World”] is like “Eat, Pray, Love” meets Bear Grylls, so it’s kind of like this inner journey of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ not really spiritual but in a sense there’s some spiritual undertones and it’s kind of like this soul-searching, find yourself type of thing mixed with Bear Grylls who is that survivor-man type,” Giuliani said.
Since quitting his job, Giuliani has amassed more than 40,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram. Making that move was a big step for Giuliani, but it’s one he doesn’t regret. He confronted what he was truly curious and passionate about in life and urges everyone to do the same.
“Write down all the things you’re curious about,” Giuliani said. “I think the word curiosity is really important, and I would just start pursuing those things you’re really curious about. Maybe they don’t lead to anything or maybe they do and they lead to a deeper dream or deeper experience that you didn’t even know you were looking for.”