Eric Jonathan Hill
What is a native Californian, Biology graduate doing bungee jumping in Uganda or paragliding in Iceland? What might be the adventure of a lifetime to most is just Tuesday for bachelor Eric Jonathan Hill, whose project The Global Odyssey is sweeping up interest and support on a, well, international level.
Eric’s goal to visit all 195 UN-recognized countries, while setting a world record, is lofty to say the least. But if anyone can accomplish this, it’s Eric. Growing up with five brothers and sisters and a family with a passion for exploration, he caught the travel bug early.
I remember wanting to see every country in the world since I was in Kindergarten, Eric said. “Of course there is sadness and injustice in the world, but I want to focus on the good… the awesomeness that exists in every country I visit.”
Before he started the project, he wanted to reached his goal of seeing all 50 states so he could better appreciate the experiences and cultures beyond the borders of his home country. In May 2012 he did just that with a visit to Alaska. Nine months later the project officially began with North Korea in February 2013.
The Global Odyssey Project Begins
In February of 2013, Eric began The Global Odyssey. Already having visited more than 70 UN-recognized countries, he’ll need to retrace his steps in order to reach the Guinness Book record of visiting all UN-recognized countries and Taiwan in the shortest span of time. Since the day the project began in North Korea, February 19th, 2013 , Eric has visited more than 25 countries, and has the photos and memories (and some bumps and bruises) to prove it.
Drinking raw goat blood in Kenya isn’t exactly a familiar experience for Eric. Growing up in the Citrus Heights, California suburbia, he followed a pretty typical path; graduating high school in 2000, attending and graduating Brigham Young University with a degree in Human Biology and a minor in Business Management, and making all the preparations for dental school (he even scored in the 98.7th percentile on the DAT). But a true child of the world, Eric found more passion in culture and experience than in dentistry.
And lucky for the followers and supporters of Global Odyssey, he’s making the most of that passion.