Meet Eric Giuliani
6' 9" tall Eric is part Personal Development Coach, part Fitness Guru, part Photojournalist and Philosopher all wrapped up in one towering individual that has embraced Self Mastery as a mission. And he's chosen a life of travel as the vehicle to to take him there.
"Is this all there is?"
Where as most of us just resolve to fall in line and march along in locked step with the masses, Eric decided he had a choice. Or perhaps that he had a mandate: To leave the routine, the "normal" the conventional behind and strike out on his own, to learn about other lands, cultures and people and what they all had to teach him about his own humanity.
But Eric is not impulsive or neurotic. He planned his escape with the precision of an engineer. He read, observed and asked questions to determine what combination of skills and knowledge he would need not only survive, but thrive amidst the uncertainty of unfamiliar lands and people and the unpredictability of circumstances, beyond his control.
As he describes it, he gave himself a year to prepare for the adventure.
He turned his living room into a work space, His walls were soon festooned with cutouts of the continents, notes, diagrams, illustrations and strategies all jotted down in color coded sharpie. He set a goal of learning at least one small thing each day that would move him closer to achieving his goal. He downsized his living space, took a second job to sock away extra money, paid off bills, stopped watching television, took night classes in photography and went to the gym in his spare time.
And as you might imagine, the fears and uncertainty creeped in to his psyche. Almost as if the cosmos was testing him to see how committed he really was. The doubts took hold for a while, but the yearning eventually hardened his resolve and he redoubled his efforts to stay the course and grew exponentially as a result.
He succeeded in leaving the Rat Race as he calls it and has become a consummate videographer, storyteller and inspirational presence on social media. He posts his videos for free on You Tube and writes about his adventures on his blog and Twitter page. Anyone who has ever desired to learn about travel, personal development and in particular, the place where those two trajectories meet, must subscribe to Eric's content.
He is incredibly down to earth and humble about his successes and challenges. He doesn't sugar coat anything or provide a glossy, Bourgeois perspective. He is crystal clear that every problem, doubt or fear he encounters appears for a reason. It is part and parcel of the overall journey and not labeled as good, or bad, but rather as grist for the refinement of his own personal integrity.
Through his videos and writing, I have the sense that I know him. Or maybe I recognize the part of me that he represents. Either way, though we've never become acquainted or even exchanged greetings online, I've developed a vested interest in his success.
I want to believe that even in the midst of so much polarization between West and East, so much uncertainty about the future of global politics, international cooperation and the safety of travel, that the risks actually pale by comparison to the benefits of leaping out of my comfort zone.
His journey is my journey. I hope you will also be encouraged to hop along for the ride. I imagine, if you asked Eric, he would probably tell us that his mission is not only to experience the world first hand, but also to encourage each of step out of our [dis]comfort zone, to dream and work towards redefining what really IS possible.
SHANE ERIC MATHIAS