He's 51 years old and pursuing a dream not just for his own satisfaction but with the idea of educating and inspiring others.
Erden Eruc is originally from Turkey and is on a trek that started in San Francisco and now brings him to Hackberry, Louisiana.
He is showing that one can make it around the world through "human power" and is therefore making his way by boat or bicycle. His boat has landed in Hackberry where he and his support team will stay for a week or so and then he will take off for California by bike.
He's a man on a mission and a man with a message. Eruc rows a boat, rides a bike-- swims, runs, walks whatever-- but only under his own power-- and he hopes to teach kids to pursue their dreams and never give up."I am doing a human power circumnavigation, which I started in 2007 July at Bodega Bay, California."
His trek around the world has been underway for five years.He's rowed from Africa with a stop in Venezuela and then onward. He's quite the fascination of folks at Spicer Hughes Landing and Motel.
Eruc says voyage is his dream. "To get around the world with human power which means I can walk, I can swim, I can bicycle, I can kayak, I can row. Basically I did not use sails, I did not use engines to move myself from one phase of the journey to another," said Eruc.
But there's more to it. Years ago when he was a boy in Turkey he was interested in becoming an astronaut but he explained, "All astronauts were Americans. And I thought I could not be. Therefore I did not even try."
Now he knows there's no such thing as a goal too lofty-- and he wants to send that message to young people whom he hopes to educate and inspire. "Children have what I call MTV attention span and they love to say, 'I can't.' When they believe that they can't they quit and they don't even try. They quit too early. They quit before their prime. And they then become lazy. So, it is necessary for us to set goals in the future. Dreams don't become reality unless we set goals and we strive toward them," said Eruc.
Eruc, himself 51, also has a message for aging baby boomers. "You know, we're still capable of shaping this world and taking action. We don't need to sit back and say, 'I'm done.' There's a lot we can contribute to this world,'' said Eruc.
Eruc and members of his support team will recuperate in Hackberry and within the next week and then he will get on a bicycle to launch the final leg of his round-the-world trek back to San Francisco. He hopes to get there in July.
You can follow his adventures at www.around-n-over.org