Castaway With Purpose

A documentary film by Around-n-Over

"Life is a gift -- live it!"

Erden Eruç

Note from the Director

This past May, I was coming to the end of a long year spent on the east coast. I was alone and away from my family, working through frustrating and depressing tasks. It was not one of the better times in my life but I was coming home, and that was positive.

Yet, I didn't know what I was coming back to. I wondered if my kids would still remember me. I had grown a rather handsome handlebar mustache and my hair hadn't been trimmed for 12 months. There were many days when I didn't even recognize myself. I wasn't sure what I was going to do for work and it was scary.

Soon after I returned to Seattle, my wife nixed my beautiful handlebar mustash and told me I needed a hair cut, as I was looking rather shaggy. So I called my old friend, Graeme Welsh, and set up an appointment. Graeme and I have been friends for 20 years now, since the days when I choreographed musicals and Graeme was a dancer in them. He was my barber then and has been cutting my hair every since. 

That hair cut would prove to be prophetic for me. While sitting there patiently, Graeme told me this story about his friend, Erden Eruc. He's cutting my hair and just chatting away. Then suddenly he gets very excited talking about an article in Outside Magazine that just hit the newsstands. It was a seven page spread on Erden and his successful circumnavigation of the globe, using only his own power and muscle. 

I said, "Wait...What?" 

I remember then reading the article as Graeme talked excitedly and clipped my hair. The first thing I said to him when he finished was, "who's telling this guy's story? Surely there must be a documentary being made or a book…something."

He said that's just it; no one was. He was frustrated for his friend because he knew the merit of such an incredible task and NO ONE was doing anything about it. 

I was shocked. I had to know more. And from that day on, I became obsessed with this story and this man.  

Who does that? What kind of a man undertakes that kind of a challenge and lives to tell about it?  Graeme also said he was married and that intrigued me even more. Who was she? How did she deal with her husband spending five years of their married life away and in such unpredictable conditions? 

That was the start of it. 

We created a Kickstarter fund raising campaign and set a target. It did well and we accomplished our goal, and more. We raised enough funds to allow us to begin assembling Erden's story. We've moved to an office space to work full time on the project. We've designed and created T-shirts, hats, a photo book, and this swanky web site.