A Thousand Thank-You's!!

Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
1
22
Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Florida
Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Packing my suitcase that last time, something hit me, it was a surreal feeling. For three months the one thing that was with me every day was that suitcase. I never unpacked my cloths for three months and it's the size of a carry on.  I had thirteen shirts, three pairs of jeans, three pairs of shorts, two pairs of shoes, one jacket and eight pairs of socks.  That suitcase has been to every country with me. I stood over top of it and smiled.  I learned so many things along the way but one thing I realize is just how little I need.  Every time I showed someone that suitcase they all said the same thing, there is no way you can pack what you need for such a long trip in that little bag.

I headed to the airport and once I checked in and through security I headed to the gate to change my seat to an exit row.  Throughout the past three months I was on twenty-eight flights and each time I was able to be moved to an exit row.  However since the AeroMexico airlines computers had crashed this was the first time I had to sit in a regular seat.  While waiting for the plane I met Cinthya a beautiful Peruvian girl on her way back to Miami Beach.  It was a red eye flight with a layover in Mexico City.  Once in Mexico City, I collected my bag with Cinthya and her father and we headed up to check in and get our boarding passes for the connecting flight.  Once we got up to the ticket area there was a sea of people and for a second I thought there is no way we will ever be able to check in and get on our flight, which boards in two hours.  I have never seen so many people standing and the line was literally not moving.  The computers had crashed and reservations were lost. 

There was one area in the airport where people where trying to get through where they could get there boarding passes.  Cinthya went up to them and tried to go though but they wouldn't let her and if they wouldn't let her then I thought there is no way they will let anyone through.  Then I saw them turn away about ten people it was like a velvet rope and the bouncer wouldn't let anyone into this exclusive club.  I walked up, nodded my head and he brought the rope down and let me in like I was the President.  It was unreal, then I made my way to wait in the ticket line and this American family came behind me and I asked them how they got in and they said "I told them your my brother".  So after knowing that I was now able to get people in I went back and got Cinthya and her father through, we all made the flight, which was completely empty since, no one else could check in.  My trip started with my friend Cynthia who lives in Canada introducing me to Clara in Hong Kong and my trip ended with me walking off the plane and though customs with a Cinthya from Peru.  My parents were waiting with big signs on the other side of immigration.  It was hard to say I was home because I never felt more at home than everywhere I was along the way.  When I left three months ago I didn't know where I was going.  Along the way I would pull out a world map and pick the next spot and then buy a plane ticket.  Nothing was planned and every decision was made in the moment.  Somehow across the world each day the weather was perfect.  Everyday it was between 75-85 degrees and it drizzled two days in three months.  I was gone for three months, which is a really short amount of time to go to so many places, and if you have ever felt this feeling than you know.  But it was almost like time stopped along the way, I lived a lifetime and was gone for many years it's the hardest part of the trip to explain to anyone.
 
There is no way I could ever properly thank the people who helped me and who I met along the way.  I was able to travel around the world by myself but was never alone.  It's hard to imagine meeting so many life changing people along the way and when I sit back and think about it, it’s almost overwhelming.  The amazing thing is that it’s easy to meet other travelers but most of these new friends lived in each country so that added to the uniqueness of my experience.  They knew where to eat the best street foods and could take me to places that most tourists don't get to see and experience.  All of them went way out of their way for me a stranger and are the true definition of kindness.  The cities, beaches, wonders of the world were all great but the people along the way are what I will remember most and cherish from this experience.  The people are what matter.  They are the worlds greatest teachers and all do it with humility and without even knowing there teaching.  Also a special thank you to my parents who when I called four months ago and told them I was willing to quit my job to travel around the world alone not knowing where I would go, they supported me.  Not only did they support me but also along the way I could feel how proud they were of me from thousand of miles away.  The best way I can explain it is a quote from Goethe "The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred...unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way." 

I could not imagine meeting over forty people along they way and I owe the world a thousand favors because of these amazing people: Hong Kong-Clara, Melody;  Singapore-Andrea, Tilden, Mike;  Thailand-Chanita, Joy;  Australia-Nerissa, Tina, Violia, Ivan;  New Zealand-Carol;  Indonesia-Dek;  India-Rajinder, Harminder;  U.A.E-Devy;  Jordan-Charlie;  South Africa-Khosi;  France-Dave, Lael;  Italy-The Giuliani's;  Peru-Yudy, Marisol, Cinthya. 

There were so many other people along the way from the girl I met who recently had tea with Nelson Mandela, to the former child solider sold into slavery who when he was released opened an orphanage and forgave those who sold him, the American business man in India who always looked up to his older brother who never had a job and lived off the land, the hotel owner that told me if I ever come to Nigeria he will have a military escort waiting for me and the Sri Lankian women who works for the UN and was on her way to live in Afghanistan for the second time.  Then the last morning in Lima there was a 75-year-old man waiting tables in a busy cafe.  I remember think how he was flying around helping everyone like his feet were not even hitting the floor and he didn't speak English but as I left pulled out a tablet and scribbled his name down, it was Angel. 

Along the way I read some incredible books, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling the two weeks leading up to the trip, The Teaching of Buddha in Southeast Asia, The Bhagavad Gita in India, The Thoughtful Guide to Islam in the Middle East, Nelson Mandela:A Long Walk To Freedom in Africa and The Message of the Apus in South America along with The Alchemist, The Power of Now, A New Earth and The Power of Intention.  They are without a doubt some of the most amazing books that helped to guide me through an indescribable journey.

People have asked me how much the trip cost and I don't know because I stopped keeping track in the second week, whatever it cost you can double it or triple it because it was the definition of priceless.  I stayed in some five star hotels and some of the dirtiest hostels in the world and both were perfect.  I can't tell you who painted what paintings or when the temples were built or why religions have rituals or where the capital building or what was in the food.  But I can tell you what they all feel like.

Before this journey I left a job that I no longer enjoyed doing and when I returned home I found that that job was no longer there for me.  I don't know how many people would be excited to not have a job but after going through this life-changing journey I feel like I can now do anything and go anywhere.  At the risk of sounding to cliché if I ever feel like I can't do something I will remember the kindness of Chanita, the inner peace of Rajinder, the determination of Khosi, the harmony of Yudy and the enthusiasm of Luciano.  Truly the world’s greatest teachers where all things are possible.  Along the way someone asked me "If you could do anything regardless of money or education what would you do?"  I didn't hesitate and said "Exactly this".  I can still answer that question with the same way today and that is what this journey is and was all about. 

A few things which I learned along the way were if you have an intuition follow it and then let the signs guide you because when you have the courage to follow your inner knowing doors will open up that don't otherwise exist.  Bad things cannot happen even in a perceived setback there is an amazing opportunity.  Nothing and no one can complete you; you’re responsible for your own happiness, which can only be found within.  Everything is easy and the world is a reflection of what you think and feel about yourself.  Be thankful, in awe, ask, believe, feel, and receive.  Nothing is a coincidence.  And finally this is not the beginning, middle or end it’s the moment and that is all it will ever be.

"The unexpected connections we make might not last, yet stay with us forever."-Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

"Thank You"-Eric Giuliani (giuliani_eric@yahoo.com)
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Comments

worldtraveler2
worldtraveler2 on

Great entry. I can so relate with everything you said......I took my son on a round the world trip for one year and it was without a doubt, the best thing I ever did. When are u heading out again?

steve douglass on

Eric;

Congratulations. You had the courage to get lost until you found yourself. You'll never, ever regret it. I did the same thing in 1961.
Cheers, Steve Douglass, friend of your parents.

Lily on

Hi Eric,

Life changing experience huh. :) you are very lucky to have that opportunity to travel around the world whenever and wherever you want to.
just great. just a pitty you missed to visit the Philippines. :)

Momin on

truely amazing trip :) when are u heading out again?

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