Home2Home (2022) Movie Script

Seven continents, three oceans,
about 200 countries
and the unimaginable diversity
of cultures, animals,
plants and landscapes.
And my world ranges from
the front door to work
and back again.
Every day is the same: Getting up,
searching for motivation,
not being able to find any,
but setting off anyway
till the sun goes down,
and the next day
it's the same game all over again.
A "game".
But what is the goal of the game?
Have you ever won it?
Is it even possible to win at all?
If the goal is to find happiness,
then I don't understand the tactics.
I've already thought about taking a break,
but what would really help
would be a starting shot.
I've been asked many times
if it's risky to cycle around the world,
because they say the world is dangerous,
and you can see that
on the news every day.
But what does the news
say about the world?
Maybe it's risky, maybe it's not.
But first and foremost,
it should be a huge adventure.
I've never been on a bike tour,
so I have no idea
what I'm actually doing here.
But I'm not the first person
to travel this way,
so it's got to be possible.
But how?
That wasn't right.
This one goes over here.
Hold on
- My son
- All the best. Take care.
You too.
See you in two and a half years or so.
Bye, Dennis!
In the first weeks
I'm just trying to get away.
And this actually works pretty well
with a bicycle,
even without having practiced in advance.
Of course,
some days are pretty exhausting,
but it's getting easier every day.
You also have that in Germany, right?
I'm traveling alone,
but "alone"
doesn't necessarily mean "lonely".
What's your name again? Dimitri and
- Nelina.
- Nelina.
From Vienna I've followed the Danube
and after only five weeks,
I've already reached the Black Sea.
- Did it.
- How is the Black Sea?
The Black Sea is beautiful!
And it's so black. Look how black it is!
Just a few days later
I'm already leaving Europe.
Pretty amazing
what you can do on a bicycle.
So, the bridge is over there.
I just have to cross it,
and then I'll be in Asia! Wooh!
My friend, you are on a highway.
No bicycle, okay?
Bicycle in bus: no problem.
Culturally, it's not quite the Asia
that I'd imagined,
but, geographically, I've arrived.
The first flat.
3,400 kilometers.
I don't know if that's
a good or a bad performance,
but let's see if I can fix it somehow.
Who knows how many hours I'll need
One and a half hours for one tire.
I guess I have to practice a bit,
but, fortunately, I'm not in a hurry.
Slowly I'm getting used
to traveling by bike.
I mostly camp wherever it seems safe.
I'm not 100% relaxed yet,
but it's getting better every day.
When I wake up in the morning,
I always wonder where actually I am.
I might be woken up
by a lawnmower behind a gas station.
I might wake up in a mayor's office.
Sometimes I even wake up
and I'm already in a different country.
Going downhill in the Caucasian Mountains
is simply breath-taking.
Obviously, going uphill
is equally exhausting,
but as soon as I can enjoy
the view from the top,
all the pain is gone.
In the more isolated areas,
I sometimes struggle to find any food.
But every time I think
I'm about to starve,
I eventually find a solution.
Yes, yes, yes.
The three angels in gangster outfits
leave as quickly as they had arrived.
It's these random encounters
that make a bike journey so special.
They mostly last just a few moments,
but sometimes they lead to more.
Nairi saw me on the bike
and said something about coffee,
so I followed him.
Wintery eating.
With his mother and his aunt,
he lives in a tiny shack
at the side of the road.
- Cow.
- Cow.
- Cow. Cow.
- Cow.
Three cow.
There's a cow coming.
The three of them wanted to invite me
to stay for the night,
but their house is so tiny,
that there's just not enough space.
So, yet again,
a garden becomes my bedroom.
Anybody here?
What's your name?
My name is Melsida.
Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin
Our "Germany Boy".
Before I started my journey
I was wondering
how you can communicate
if you don't speak the same language.
First of all, there's sign language.
What does a cup of fresh whey taste like?
- No, no!
- Good?
I always try to learn
some important words,
even if it's just ten.
It helps me survive and, at the same time,
people get excited when they hear
their language coming from my mouth.
- "Thank you?"
- "Thank you"
- "Hello?"
- "Hello", "barev".
- What?
- "Barev."
- "Barev?"
- "Barev."
We often talk about cities or countries,
as they sound the same in most languages,
like the names of celebrities.
Dennis! Arthur Abraham. Boxer.
Yeah, he's a champion in Germany.
Arthur Abraham!
Having a conversation
isn't actually that difficult.
English: "Yes". Armenian?
Yes, Armenian man: Arthur Abraham.
A dinner, Armenian classes,
a campground and a breakfast:
they all have some value.
However, no one would ever accept money.
What counts here is gratitude.
I've met three super nice
and helpful people,
but I'm already leaving them behind
after one day.
But that's how it goes on a long journey.
What remains are the memories.
From southern Armenia
I want to enter a country
about which you rarely hear anything good.
I'd already organized the visa
at an embassy in Turkey.
Alleged possession of nuclear weapons,
legal discrimination against women,
one of the highest
execution rates in the world,
violations of human rights,
political separation
from Western countries.
All that, doesn't say anything
about the people of this country.
Hello, my friends!
In Iran I can ride my bike
just like I did in other countries.
Or rather, I rarely get to ride at all,
as many truck drivers
offer me a helping hand.
Because I'm a guest, and, here,
a guest is considered a gift from God.
If it's not an Iranian truck driver,
then it's two German globetrotters
who will pick me up.
And there's always space for the bike too.
Strangers offer me their help everyday
and I'm often invited to spend the night.
Hospitality is so important here,
that people often take a day off
just to show me their city.
And you may not believe it,
but in Iran you're even allowed to laugh.
Reza, come here!
I found Reza
via the CouchSurfing travel community.
This website is not blocked in Iran,
unlike many others,
including Facebook and YouTube.
I'm staying at his place for a few days
and one morning he invites me
to try his favorite breakfast:
sheep's head.
Really delicious!
It's pretty good.
You can't see
that it's a sheep's head any more, but
maybe that's why it's so good.
When you eat sheep's head,
after that you need to drink a lot,
because sheep's head
requires water afterwards.
And now we can go and buy
Persian Pepsi.
Come with me. Come with me.
Come on!
This is Persian language.
That means: Live the moment now.
And this is Pepsi.
Pepsi. Pepsi. This is not original.
But, right here: "original".
What's so special about a Pepsi can?
Just like the Coca Cola,
it has the right label,
but it's got nothing to do
with the real brand.
As the real thing comes from the U.S.
and the Iranian government
wants nothing to do with them.
I think it's pretty good.
It also shows that it wants
nothing to do with the U.S.
The U.S. embassy was taken over in 1979,
and has never reopened since.
Now its walls are covered
with anti-U.S. slogans.
Nevertheless, there's no need for
travelers to be scared when visiting Iran.
But, unfortunately, it's not a country
where you can enjoy unlimited freedom.
The religious rules
influence the country's laws
which include all kinds of
interdictions and restrictions.
For example, Iranians are not allowed
to have a partner or be in a relationship
unless they are married.
Even flirting in the park
is punished by the morality police.
That's why the youth
came up with "DorDor".
You need a wide road with two U-turns
to be able to constantly drive in circles.
It looks like a traffic jam
but, in reality, people are flirting
from window to window.
After having exchanged numbers,
you can secretly arrange
an illegal date later on.
You probably have better chances
with a big BMW,
but, as an exotic foreigner,
a bike is more than enough.
For the rest of the world,
the political separation often overshadows
what a spectacular country
Iran actually is.
And especially what generous hosts
the Iranians are.
I was invited over and over again
to drink a tea,
to have a meal or to stay for the night.
I hope the people will soon get the chance
to enjoy some more freedoms.
Until then,
they'll continue to drive in circles.
I take the night ferry
to cross the Persian Gulf to Dubai.
Past the highest building in the world,
and a hotel where one night costs
the same as a round-the-world bike tour.
From Oman, I want to continue east.
But there is the Arabian Sea.
That's why I will be taking my bike
onto a plane for the first time.
And, once again,
I have a lot of helping hands.
We put the bike into a big box
and off we go to the airport.
As much weight as possible
in the carry-on luggage
and some final tape around the box.
The five kilos of excess luggage
are ignored after I tell them my story.
To the airplane, security check,
and takeoff.
Like I said, the Bosporus marks
the border with Asia.
But culture-wise, so far
it hasn't been the Asia I'd imagined.
Now I'm in Asia.
This time, I found someone
via Warm Showers.
Warm Showers is an online community
for bike travelers.
One good thing about it
is that you have a free place to sleep.
But what's even more important,
is that you meet people
and find someone
who knows their way around the city.
So, we are in Swayambhunath.
We call this one monkey temple.
I love to come here,
because I can see the valley from here.
And every time, when I come here,
I wonder where me room is,
because there are a lot of houses
and I cannot find my house.
Even now I cannot find it, you know.
This one is the World Peace Pond.
If we can put a coin, this kind of coin,
inside that pocket, then we are lucky.
I don't know if it's true,
but we believe in that myth, so
Sometimes I hit the sack and then I feel:
Oh, I'm lucky today!
Let's see if I can make it.
- Please!
- Oh, no!
Let's do it!
Oh, no! It was just on the top.
We will have a good day today.
Because I made one shot.
I chose Kathmandu
because many embassies
and consulates are situated here.
And while my visa applications
are being processed
I'm getting to know life in Kathmandu.
A Hindu death ceremony,
where the bodies get cremated,
marks the end of my waiting period.
As, after a week, I finally have
two colored stickers in my passport.
Myanmar visa.
India visa.
Let's move on.
After five days
in the foothills of the Himalayas,
I reach the lowlands of Nepal.
With the visa in my passport
I'm allowed to continue to India.
The Indian traffic is like hell on earth.
Apart from that, India is dirty,
utterly overpopulated
and impoverished.
At least, according to the information
I found on the internet.
And, at first glance,
the prejudices seem to be true.
But if you pigeonhole an entire country,
you're probably far from the truth.
Especially, if it's such a huge
and diverse country.
India can be very different.
An English teacher approached me
and invited me to stay the night.
Of course, I can never know
if a stranger is trustworthy.
But as long as you trust your gut,
you'll stay safe.
That applies to me as well as for him.
As a teacher, he often helps
the children in his village after work.
He wants to show me the tea plantation
where most of the villagers work.
Hi, this is Binod Lama.
Binod Lama giving you the details
of what is being done
by the tea garden employees.
The name of this tea garden
is "Hope Tea Garden",
and the workers
are cutting the tea bushes.
And the tea garden employees
start working early in the morning.
They start working at six or seven o'clock
till 1 p.m., or sometimes 3 p.m.
And for this toiling and hard work
the company pays them, in Indian currency,
rupees, 122 only.
122 rupees are around 1.70 euros.
1.70 euros per day.
Now I understand why so many Indians
go to Dubai to help build skyscrapers.
The poverty wage over there
is many times higher than the wages here.
In the slipstream of various trucks,
I continue my journey east,
always with the hope
that I won't hit a pothole.
In order to enter Myanmar
from the easternmost point of India,
I had to apply for a special permit.
And after countless e-mails
and 100 dollars for the application,
I'm allowed to cross the border
right at the appointed time.
I did it. I'm finally in Myanmar,
formerly "Burma",
and the people are quite friendly.
First, I will head south.
It's the 16th of December.
Eight days till Christmas.
We'll see what's happening then.
In Myanmar, tourists aren't allowed
to rent motorized vehicles,
and even if you bring your own,
you have to follow a tour guide
and pay a lot of money.
But with my bike,
I'm allowed to move freely.
Once again,
another reason to travel by bike.
The majority of the population
works in agriculture,
and many live from hand to mouth.
If they're able to put something aside,
it's often used for religious purposes.
I see golden pagodas
and Buddha statues everywhere:
some small ones, and some bigger ones.
Throughout the country, children and women
wear a light cream on their faces.
Once again it's an English teacher,
who I met in the local pub the night
before, who is able to explain why.
I don't know how to translate "thanaka",
so let's just call it "thanaka".
Just call it "thanaka". Okay.
So, why do you do this?
You know, it has a good smell
and as a cover for the sunlight.
This is a stone and this is from the tree,
and we just need to add water. Only water.
- Just water?
- Yeah, sure.
And then we do this.
- Like this?
- Yeah, sure.
to ear.
Ear and ear.
And then the neck.
- Good smell. You know?
- Yes.
What is it called?
"Brow." The brow.
- It's a beauty session right here.
- Sure!
- Okay!
- Yeah.
You need to wait,
because it's not dry yet.
So, when I'm on the road it will dry
and then I will say "mingalaba"
and people will think,
"Oh, he can speak our language.
He has the thanaka. He's one of us."
Yeah, sure!
At the local market, Bobo and I
test if my camouflage works.
And, somehow, nobody seems to notice
that I'm actually a lot taller
and look rather European.
And no one seems to care that I'm wearing
cream, which men don't tend to do.
I'm one of them now.
How much is it?
100 kyat.
- Really?
- Yeah.
Is it really just 100?
Yeah, 100 kyat.
100 kyat is about 0.07 euros.
So that's seven cents
for a bowl of noodles.
- Have a nice day.
- Okay. All the best.
- Bye, bye!
- Yes, okay. Bye!
The temples of Bagan
would've been perfect to explore by bike.
But, instead, I'm feeling sick.
I can only guess what's draining
all the energy from my body.
How much is it?
- 100 kyat.
- Really?
Is it really just 100?
Yeah, 100 kyat.
Can a simple meal
really knock a person out like this?
Or is it actually a tropical disease?
I have trouble staying on my feet,
but instead of resting,
I try to keep going.
At the hospital they gave me
all kinds of pills to numb the pain.
I can't eat properly for six days,
yet, I still cycle
almost 100 kilometers every day.
After a week
I think I might be hallucinating:
the path leading through the rice field
transforms into a three-lane highway.
But it seems I'm not dreaming after all.
What were they thinking with all this?
I don't get it.
I mean, there is nobody here.
But what follows
is one hotel after the other.
The three-lane highway
turns into a seven-lane highway
but I'm all alone.
The government claims
that over one million people
live here in the capital of Myanmar.
But there's no trace of them
and as soon as I leave the ghost town,
I'm back on the field path.
After a long week
I've more or less recovered
and it's just before Christmas.
I wish I could celebrate with my family,
but they're 8,000 kilometers away.
And here in Buddhist Myanmar,
they don't even celebrate Christmas.
Or, at least, that's what I thought.
About 6% of the population are Christian.
So I feel a little bit more at home
on Christmas Eve.
A little more colorful, a little flashier,
but just as beautiful.
I've been on the road for six months now
and I arrive in Thailand
at the start of the new year.
After 10,000 kilometers,
I kind of know how to handle my bike.
And looking at the traffic in Bangkok,
I no longer want to swap vehicles anymore.
Paradise is definitely not located here.
That's in the southern part
of the country.
Up to this point,
the bike helped me discover
the lesser known parts
of the countries I visited.
But after more than six months,
it's nice to meet some people
from my home country again.
So far, I haven't taken
many breaks while traveling,
but here in Thailand,
I don't touch the bike for two weeks.
As the expiring visa is forcing me
to leave the country,
I continue my trip to Malaysia
and hop on a ferry,
which takes me to Indonesia.
Sumatra's jungle is one of
the most biodiverse in the world.
But the question is,
how long will it stay like this?
Big corporations are wiping out
the rain forest to plant oil palms.
In Malaysia, a large part of the journey
was rather boring.
And there wasn't much to see
in Eastern Sumatra either.
Hoping that the west coast
has more to offer, I set off:
all the way across the island.
In Indonesia, most of
the international tourists go to Bali.
But Bali is actually only one
of over 17,000 Indonesian islands.
That means that you won't find
many tourists on the other islands.
And when, suddenly,
a tall white man appears,
it's got to be documented.
Thank you.
What is love?
Baby don't hurt me
A few days later,
I've crossed Sumatra from east to west.
And it really paid off.
I'm Cyril from France
and I'm cycling from Beijing to here.
I met Cyril on the road
and we travel together
along the west coast, going south.
It's monsoon season, meaning we have
amazing weather during the day
and right at 5:30 p.m
The next day,
the weather is amazing once again,
we talk to the kids
at the side of the road,
watch the fishermen at the Indian Ocean,
try to swim
and right at 5:30 p.m
The next day,
the weather is amazing once again,
we enjoy the stunning landscape,
jump into the river with a couple of kids
and right at 5:30 p.m
What do you think will happen?
- Check!
- Check!
From Germany, I remember rain
as being something rather unpleasant.
But here in Sumatra,
with 35 degrees Celsius,
the kids show me
how much fun rain can actually be.
It doesn't matter that the boys,
Cyril and I all speak different languages.
Everyone understands
the international language of a smile.
Today is Cyril's 31st birthday
and there couldn't have been
a better party than this.
To honor the birthday boy,
the kids even let him win.
After a week, I'm alone once again.
Cyril had to leave
in order to meet his brother.
But, riding solo
is still a lot of fun in Indonesia.
The people are open-minded
and every day holds something special.
- Bye, bye!
- Bye!
Besides, Indonesia is the perfect country
for bicycle-island-hopping.
I can go from one island
to another by ferry,
usually for only one or two euros.
And then, I've arrived on Bali.
Here everyone wants to have
their own unique Bali experience.
And I'm having mine too.
My hand is swelling up.
And my elbow
also got a taste of the asphalt.
My luggage has fallen off too, but I guess
it's a blessing in disguise.
A scooter driver crashed right into me,
but apart from a couple of bruises
I'm uninjured.
The bike has also been damaged,
but with cable ties and a rubber band,
it's up and running again.
Hey, mister!
How are you?
- Good!
- Good!
- Where are you going?
- Where are you going?
And now Flores.
- Flores.
- Take care!
To get from Flores to Timor,
I've taken the night ferry.
The upper decks are way too crowded,
so I stay in the lower deck,
close to my bike.
I remember the first night of my journey,
when I was so scared I could hardly sleep
and put my bike in my tent.
Meanwhile, 12,000 kilometers from home,
I can sleep almost everywhere.
Even on a rocky ferry,
between some dirty trucks.
A cow.
Oh! A cow.
When I first started thinking about
this trip, over a year ago,
I discovered this small country.
- Hello!
- Hello!
And yeah
And now I'm here. Oh, my god!
I don't know
Timor-Leste gained independence in 2002,
making it one of the youngest countries
on our planet.
So, far it is quite non-touristic,
due to the lack of infrastructure.
But looking at this paradise,
I hope it stays this way.
All-inclusive hotels and tourist buses
should stay away from these magnificent
beaches for as long as possible.
Daniel? Dannis?
- Dennis! Dennis!
- Dennis, yes!
I must admit that the roads,
especially in the south, are not the best.
Or, to be honest,
they are in terrible condition.
But that's what makes it adventurous.
If you should happen upon
a high-quality bridge,
then something has to be wrong.
The rivers are the only source
of water in many villages,
which leads to tragic encounters
with crocodiles every year.
This trio over here are said
to have recently eaten two people.
And it seems I'm next on the menu.
Holy shit!
No problem at all.
So the saltwater crocodiles
let me live to see another day,
but more interesting things
are yet to come.
My navigation app told me
there should be a main road here.
But this doesn't look
like a main road to me.
Snake, yes?
Awesome! Really awesome.
- Good.
- Good.
Tastes like
smoked trout, just a little tougher.
Very good.
The eldest caught a python
and the younger boys took down
some marsupials with their slingshots.
So-called grey cuscuses.
It may not be
my favorite dish of the journey,
but after a long day in the jungle,
even a grey cuscus stew
with rice tastes alright.
To round off my trip in Asia,
I want to go up high once again,
as high up as possible.
But, on a bike,
that really takes a lot of effort.
I didn't know how close
the continents were situated,
but, from Timor,
Australia is just 600 kilometers away.
I've been on the road for ten months now,
and apart from some smaller leaps,
I've made it to this point by bike.
It's not my goal to cover
as many kilometers as possible,
or to be the fastest,
or to reach some kind of final point.
But it still feels kind of special
to know how far I've made it.
Is it even possible to top that?
As spectacular
as Australia may seem at first,
it's incredibly boring when nothing,
literally nothing changes for days.
Sometimes I don't see a village
for 200 kilometers.
Sometimes it's even 400 kilometers.
There are no kids
running and smiling by my side anymore.
There is nobody here.
On the mountain in Timor,
I thought I was the king of the world,
but here in the Outback,
the harsh reality catches up with me.
and toast.
Every day is the same: Getting up,
searching for motivation,
not being able to find any,
but setting off anyway,
riding till the sun goes down,
and the next day
it's the same game all over again.
It's been one whole week now
and the next two weeks
will probably be the same.
I thought Australia was this small island
at the bottom right corner
of the world map.
And that after all those kilometers,
cycling from Darwin to Cairns
would be easy.
But now I realize that 2,600 kilometers
are still 2,600 kilometers,
and this on a goddamn bike.
And as if the loneliness wasn't enough,
my dynamo charger died,
meaning I can't even listen to music.
I wouldn't have
a phone signal here anyway.
Now it's just the Outback and me.
The fly problem is out of control.
The highlights of 2,000 kilometers
of cycling can be quickly summarized:
One day, I have to cross
some saltwater crocodiles' living room.
So, actually, nothing new
Another day,
I cross the border of two states.
Thereby, nothing changes.
Except that I must wear
a helmet from now on.
250 Australian dollars,
if they catch me without one.
I have to go days without a shower.
When my head itches it itches.
And in the few villages out here,
there's really nothing to do.
But at least I can stock up.
More beans and more toast.
Everything else is too expensive out here.
The joy of travelling is gone,
but if I stop now
I'll never reach the east coast.
So I just keep on going.
When even the sun disappears
and nothing makes sense anymore,
I suddenly have an epiphany.
Stop, Ferris!
Ferris MC? No, it's Ferris Gump, man!
- How are you, mate?
- How are you, man?
- What's your name?
- Dennis!
Dennis, nice to meet you!
From Germany. And you are Ferris, I guess?
- Yeah, Ferris from Australia.
- Oh, yeah.
A crazy man running across Australia.
- Wow!
- I'm the first Aussie
to run across Australia, on my own.
Solo. By myself.
It's not easy. It's fucking tough.
I'm doing like 50 to 75 kilometers a day.
What? How much?
75 kilometers!
- And how many kilos is that?
- About 50. 50 kilos.
It's good. Once you get
the balance point like here
then you can just like
- So you're going to Darwin?
- Yeah.
Have fun!
- Have a nice run!
- Have fun on the east coast.
Thank you. I will.
Run Ferris!
Ferris keeps on running
towards Darwin for charity,
and I leave the Outback
after three incredibly long weeks.
This has to be the Australia
people have been so hyped about.
I'm finally able to afford
other things than beans and toast,
and I also find people
whom I can stay with for a couple of days.
Washing clothes, personal hygiene,
bike cleaning
Cheers, buddy!
What happens
in the party capital of Cairns
I can't really remember.
What I can remember is the guy
with the guitar on the beach in Thailand.
His name was Willi
and he learned to play the guitar
while riding a skateboard.
Meanwhile, Willi emigrated to Australia,
but we stayed in touch
and will meet again after five months.
Australia is starting to be fun.
At least,
that's what I thought for a moment.
By now I'm on the road
for exactly one year,
but there's no party to celebrate.
Instead, there's the Australian winter.
Wet and cold weather
is already annoying as hell,
but what's 1,000 times worse
is the headwind.
Every damn day I have to fight
against the invisible enemy.
Gusts of up to 60 kilometers per hour.
It's twice as exhausting
and I'm only half as fast.
I could already be much further,
but I'm not.
The situation is driving me crazy!
Okay, so this actually always worked:
Just riding at night or in the evening,
because the wind would die down then.
But now, even at night,
it's coming from there and going there.
I'm coming from there
and have to go there.
It's very bad. Very, very bad.
Physically, and especially mentally,
the wind is draining all my energy.
But, to lift me up,
the Australians placed some kind
of cyclist poetry at the side of the road.
"Survive this drive."
"Take a break, stay alive."
The weather is great as well.
Nice. It's nice over here.
Just nice.
And It's happened. 20,000 kilometers.
20,000 kilometers
doesn't help me at all!
In the end, it's only the bottom line
on the signs that keeps me going.
Do I regret anything from my tour so far?
I do indeed.
But after more than
5,000 kilometers in Australia,
I'm finally where I wanted to be.
In the first weeks of my journey,
I met an Australian.
Back then, he told me
he'd welcome me in Sydney,
if I really made it that far.
He kept his word.
- How are you, man?
- Good!
Gelnhausen to Sydney
in twelve and a half months.
In Australia you are not allowed
to drink alcohol in public places,
so we took the alcohol-free,
3.99, sparkling Lambrusco.
Nanny state!
From Australia
I want to take a plane to the U.S.
But as I learned a couple of months ago,
the U.S. and Iranian governments
don't really like each other.
And since I've been to Iran,
I can no longer get
an electronic visa for the U.S.
Instead, I have to apply for a real visa
which costs time, nerves, and 160 dollars.
And, for the safety of the nation,
I even have to be interviewed
at the embassy.
There is the tower.
Let's see what they want to know.
Hello, Mr. Kailing,
I see that you're applying for a visa
and you have recently been to Iran.
Am I correct?
- Yes.
- Okay.
I am straight-forward with you:
Are you a terrorist?
- No.
- Do you plan on becoming a terrorist?
Well, sounds fair enough.
We're going to issue a visa.
Get ready to receive your visa
within five days by mail.
Have nice day.
With the visa
I'm allowed to enter the USA,
where I meet a visitor from Germany.
I've arrived in Seattle
and I'm not alone anymore. Finally!
Because Robert is with me.
- Robert, please say "hello".
- Hello.
I say we empty this can,
check out Seattle a bit and then
Where are we going then?
It's logical:
If you cycle downwards, it's easier.
Robert is my old roommate
from my Berlin days.
He wanted to ride the west coast with me
and drink some beers.
- Cheers!
- Cheers!
And do whatever it is you do
when you're in the U.S.
I said: Okay!
We just bought a growler.
Look! It's a huge beer!
Traveling together
has a totally new dynamic.
You fool around a lot more,
drink a lot more beer,
and always have somebody to talk to.
In Robert, I found someone
with whom I can have
extremely deep conversations.
It's nice here.
Yeah, it's nice.
I can't drink any more beer.
- Thank you.
- Thank you very much.
We got some free stickers.
It's always the same.
I have to pay and Robert drinks the beer.
Yes, that's how it's got to be.
- Can you try? Have you still got money?
- I think so.
"Your card has expired."
So, what do we do now?
What about the drug business?
Yeah, let's go into the drug business.
- Should we declare these as "drugs"?
- No.
Yeah So, what now?
We're talking about medicine
for people who have headaches
and for those who want
to relax after work.
So we thought,
why not do something good
with a little "snip, snip".
In Germany it's not legal
and I'm wondering
what it's all about, because
it's a plant.
Throw it in.
There. Now you can hang it up.
For one week we work
in the so-called "Emerald Triangle".
In this region of Northern California
cannabis has been cultivated
in a big way since the 60's.
The global discussions
about the legalization of this plant
will probably continue for a long time.
But as long as the farmers
are forced to work outside the system,
the profit is, of course, much higher.
So there is enough left
for some cycling harvest hands.
"It's all about the Benjamins, baby!"
You somehow have to finance
a bike tour like this.
Now you know how.
During our visit,
the plant is still illegal in California.
But only a few weeks later,
the population shows us
that we apparently did something useful:
A referendum determines the legalization
of cannabis in the state of California.
It's so beautiful!
We just got into a bike race
and there's a food station over there.
We'll empty the whole thing out.
Get out of here!
Go. No goddamn number.
Get out of here. That way. Oh, sorry.
We got kicked out
of the Best Buddies Challenge,
but our personal
Best Buddies Challenge continues.
Look, there is a tree
coming out of the tree.
Of course,
most of the time it's great fun,
but by now we've been traveling together
for several weeks,
24 hours a day.
So, not every joke works as planned.
He's a wimp, that's why he's pushing.
Shut the fuck up.
Dennis, you're washing up again?
It's always the same.
Robert isn't doing shit.
You're doing a great job
as a washing up specialist.
When you have a flat, it's nice if there
is no fucking Dennis Kailing around.
Because he knows
how to motivate his employees.
Motivate? He knows how to annoy
everybody with his trash talk.
Turn off the fucking camera.
Getting along is sometimes easy,
sometimes difficult.
Same goes for route planning.
Even when I was traveling alone,
at times I couldn't decide for days
where to go next.
But now there are two opinions
and in the south-west of the U.S.
there are endless options.
So it's really hard to find common ground.
San Fran, Los Angeles
Or San Fran, Yosemite
Las Vegas
Grand Canyon
New York.
Monument Valley
Damn Los Angeles
- Yeah, if you had
- No, if I had 200 euro more
- No, if you hadn't booked your flight
- Yeah, but
- Shoulda, coulda, woulda!
- Exactly.
- Now there is actually just one solution.
- What do you mean?
Cheers, Robert.
Whatever What can you do?
You already know:
If you ride downwards, it's easier.
Congratulations to us. We did it.
We've reached the destination
of our dreams:
Today we're going to a party.
To a bicycle ride party.
And the theme is
Logan, what's the theme of the party?
It's Grandma Raver.
- Grandma Raver.
- Grandma Raver. Raver Grandma.
I'm ready for the rave!
If we were here right now
as the cops came along, me and you,
we'd be fucked!
But we are with 400 people right now
in a bicycle rave
drinking out on the streets,
and they can't do shit.
Of course, it's a party,
but it's mainly a wake-up call.
Imagine a city
where people only used bikes:
clean air,
no traffic jams, a healthy life,
some drops of sweat on the forehead
and a lot of smiling faces.
Everyone can do something good
for themselves and their city.
But instead, people take their SUVs
to go to the McDonald's around the corner.
The sooner the individual
stops putting personal comfort
above the well-being of all,
the faster we'll have cities
that don't belong to cars,
but to us, the people.
You took the picture?
Epic, dude. Epic!
One more, come on!
Did it? Sick.
Two photos are better than one photo,
because that's double the likes,
so then I can
be an influencer.
There are small
beer-parking-areas everywhere.
I guess I really can't say if it's better
to travel alone or together.
Of course, it depends on where
and with whom you're traveling.
But would it have been as cool
to travel the U.S. alone?
No way.
After almost three months together,
Robert returns to Germany.
I continue going south.
But, from now on,
I'll be on my own again.
No slipstream,
no fooling around,
nobody to talk to.
But, also, no compromises.
Now, I can once again
travel 100% at my own rhythm.
And the rhythm is good.
All you need is grasshoppers.
With these you can ride really fast.
given that you can ride.
In Mexico,
I spend half of my time repairing.
Number 15.
One flat follows the next,
and I need to replace
the expendable parts.
So, after 28,000 kilometers, my bike gets
a new crankset and a new cassette.
And without brakes,
it doesn't work as well.
But what's great about bicycles is that
you can repair everything pretty easily.
And as soon as one problem is solved,
the next one appears.
But in Mexico you can find everything,
and with every repair
I get better, of course.
And that's not all:
after a few weeks
I'm already mastering the language.
I've already learned some Spanish:
Two beers, please.
I've been on the road
for a year and a half,
and a Mexican family has invited me
to celebrate to New Year's Eve with them.
They want to show me how they kick off
the new year in the state of Tabasco.
This is how the sins of the past year
are eliminated.
Just to be safe, we also hit a piata.
That's how you do it in Mexico.
What is this?
And in order to make
the next year a great one,
we send our wishes all the way up.
Let go, but don't let go,
as it will fall down on me.
Let it go!
Through Mayan territory, I leave Mexico,
and cross Guatemala to reach Belize.
A young Maya boy explains to me
how they grow their fruit.
Come over here.
The banana is nice.
And the tree do the banana.
He is like a baby, true?
That grows up and up and up.
In the tree. Like a baby.
Because the baby is really nice.
With new knowledge about banana farming,
I want to head back to Guatemala
from the south of Belize.
There's no official border checkpoint,
but I found a small street
on Google Earth.
The shady soldiers let me pass,
but they don't have an entry stamp.
I cross some backyards,
pay one quetzal for the toll,
and I'm suddenly back in Guatemala.
For three days I'm an illegal immigrant
until I'm able to get myself
an entry stamp.
- Buenos das.
- Buenos das.
The border official explains to me
what the original purpose
of the route I'd taken was.
Only drug smugglers cross from there.
Only drug smugglers.
So I took the drug trafficking route
to get back to Guatemala,
and there's no time to catch my breath.
Next up is El Salvador, considered one of
the most dangerous countries in the world.
Before crossing the border I meet Jhony.
He was also an illegal immigrant,
just like me.
However, not for three days in Guatemala,
but eight years in the U.S.
He has some final tips
before I cross the border:
So now I want to go to El Salvador.
- You want to go to El Salvador?
- Yes.
- You should be careful.
- Why?
I've never been there, but people say
that they kill people
like they kill chickens.
If you have like 20 dollars,
and they really need money,
they kill you for 20 dollars.
- 20 dollars?
- 20 dollars.
- If you have
- I think I'm worth more.
So I actually have no chance
to get through.
- El Salvador is dangerous.
- Yeah.
I will just go and pray.
El Salvador has one
of the highest crime rates in the world.
The number of fatalities due to
violent crimes has more than doubled.
Violent crimes using firearms
or thrusting weapons,
armed robberies, murders and rapes,
and the blackmailing of citizens,
assaults with car bombs
Single travelers
should be extremely cautious.
These safety precautions from
the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
imply that I won't make it out alive.
Especially not on an unprotected bike.
At the beach everything seems normal.
People are relaxing,
the Pacific Ocean is calm.
But then I realize
what Jhony was trying to tell me.
I see firearms everywhere.
Every super market, every gas station
and every beverage truck
is protected with pump guns
or even with machine guns.
Every small store
is protected by steel grids.
The risk of an armed robbery
by one of the ruthless gangs
who roam El Salvador is just too high.
Subway is too expensive
for most people here.
Actually, for my travel budget as well,
but today I want to be part
of high society.
Part of it is
that I'm protected by a pump-gun.
At the same time, children
try to sell sweets in the parking lot
in order to make
a few dollars for some food.
In the cities I try to avoid stopping
and at night I stay in some shady motels.
I could go to one
of the most dangerous cities in the world,
but instead I go to
one of the most dangerous countries.
I hear "gringo" shouts and see children
begging in south Honduras.
And things don't seem to be any better
in the north of Nicaragua.
One guy is waving a machete,
another one wants to beat me up.
Some people just don't want me to be here.
There must be nicer places
in this country,
but, on my route,
I don't have many good experiences.
And, unfortunately, I'm not the only one.
- Hi!
- Hi!
- How are you?
- I'm alright.
Who are you?
I'm Jarkko. I'm from Finland.
I'm actually living the last 21 years
in Austria, in Salzburg.
So you speak a little bit of German.
Yeah, it's like Austrian German.
So you like Viennese Schnitzel?
Well, it's actually my job to do it.
- So, you're a chef?
- Yeah, I'm a chef.
Jarkko has already been in Nicaragua
for a couple of days
and can give me some tips on what to do
and, especially, on what not to do.
When you go on smaller roads,
kids might throw stones at you
or things on you, and shout "gringo".
It happened to you?
Yeah, it happened to me,
but, well, kids are kids.
But when I went to Volcn Apoyo,
I took a small path with the bike
and there was a guy with a machete.
He was trying to stab me with it.
- Really?
- Yeah.
I just managed to grab
some money from my pocket
and he was more interested
in the money than stabbing me,
so he grabbed the money and ran.
It was like two euros,
so that's a cheap price for a life.
I now have a new safety gadget.
Foul! And I also have my knife.
Well, if you meet somebody with a machete
which is, like, that much longer,
better keep it in the pocket.
Thank you very much for this information.
- No worries.
- Have a nice trip.
- You too.
- Adis!
Further south the tension eases.
I visit volcanos,
cross the banana plantations
of Costa Rica and Panama,
travel across the mountain crest again
and reach the Panama Canal.
A jungle interrupts the Pan-American
Highway in the south of Panama
which means takeoff to:
I can reassure those who had concerns
when I mentioned this country
before my trip.
The times of Pablo Escobar are long gone.
Actually, I feel at ease in Colombia
and the great vibes
seem to pass on to me directly.
Until I have to climb the Andes
for the first time, that is.
I'm wrapped up really well, but it's
been raining non-stop for a week now.
But over there it says: Ecuador.
So, I'm hoping for some good vibes.
A new country.
Unfortunately, my hopes
did not turn into reality.
It won't stop raining for days.
In Sumatra, the rain was rather fun,
but here in the Andes,
with single-digit temperatures,
there's nothing funny about it.
I've got myself waterproof clothes,
but they're not working as I'd expected.
There's no water coming in,
but also none coming out,
meaning that I'm drenched in sweat.
I can't dry my stuff and, on top of that,
I have to climb
over 1,000 meters every day.
What am I doing here?
Why did I decide to set off
in the first place?
It feels like I no longer know.
I'm at 3,900 meters. And it's raining.
And it's 4C.
And there's one more thing:
I told my dad that I'd be back
in two and a half years.
See you in two and a half years or so.
But I realized that that would be
in the middle of German winter.
And that's definitely not the weather
I want to be cycling in.
So, I either have to start making
my way home pretty soon,
or do another whole year.
But do I want to do
an extra year like this?
I'll postpone the decision.
Maybe there'll be
a turning point after all.
So how did I do it?
Where did my good vibes
actually come from?
I think they came by going to countries
which I looked forward to visiting.
And sunshine had something
to do with it too.
Let's go!
To the top.
It's more or less flat.
But the air is thin
over 4,500 meters high.
It's 10C and I'm tired.
I'd like to sleep a little bit.
Close my eyes. Let it roll.
Going downhill in the Andes
is incredibly beautiful,
but going up is quite tiring,
because there's almost no oxygen.
And I can't expect a truck
to stop and pick me up at every climb.
But I don't have to
Of course, you can't skip the major
tourist attractions on a long trip.
But the very special moments
come along when you least expect them.
I got the number of someone
who lives in Abancay
and who hosts travelers from time to time.
That's all the information I had.
When I was around five years old,
when I was a child,
I built my first tree house over here.
In this part.
And, not too long ago, there was a family
that needed a place to stay
because they had to leave their home.
So I brought them into my home,
they stayed three month,
and I moved into the tree house,
because I also needed a place to sleep.
And I stayed, because I really like
to live in the tree.
I'm connected with the animals,
the pigeons, the birds,
the ants, the spiders.
It's their house
and I'm like a guest in this tree.
The good thing is
that we have water, lights,
internet, a phone
We have everything in the tree house.
Here we have a little bicycle workshop.
Here there's a kitchen with a gas stove.
We also built a bathroom with a shower.
If you want to use the bathroom,
you have to put this sign up.
This is a bed,
and underneath there is another one.
Nobody can see that.
There is another bed,
there is another hammock
and down here there's another bed.
One day, somebody came out from here,
another from there, and more and more.
I was like, "How many people are here?".
And what happens when it rains?
We have plastic covers, so the water
goes directly to the plants.
All the memories of the travelers
who have been here.
This is the best gift people can give me.
Now I have visitors
from all over the world.
Doesn't matter if they're cyclists,
backpackers, tourists
And when the people leave
it sometimes feels like
you're losing a member of your family,
because this is a place
without skin color,
without different languages,
these things don't exist here.
And we share everything.
Sharing, every day, and it's wonderful.
I love to be here
and I never want to leave.
- Is this for me?
- Let's go!
Because you are our friend!
I'm from Germany.
Bolivian. Keep this as a memory!
- Thank you very much.
- Take care!
Take care!
- Ciao!
- Ciao!
Ciao! Take care!
Just because I happened to be passing by,
these men gave me a pan flute.
Just like that.
The daily dose of the beautiful things
that happen on a bike journey.
So I continue
on the high plateau of Bolivia
as a proud ambassador of pan flute music.
At almost 4,000 meters there is no hurry.
A lot of tiny villages are very isolated
and there's not much diversion
for the inhabitants.
Just like here.
But today, there seems to be
something going on.
Somehow, this looks familiar.
685 days ago,
on the very first day of my tour
and about 30 kilometers from home,
I think I heard something similar to this.
Villa Esperanza and Frammersbach.
So far away from one another,
and, yet, so close.
Slowly, I start to come full circle.
I've been on the road
for almost two years,
and the decision of when to return home
is always on my mind.
See you in two and a half years or so.
Obviously, one can never discover
all the wonders of our world.
But, to be quite honest,
my motivation isn't that strong anymore.
Yet another country,
yet another 1,000 kilometers,
yet another 100 pictures.
The daily abundance of impressions
has become a normality now.
Maybe going home
would be the biggest adventure.
You might think it's impossible
to reach anybody
on an isolated dirt road like this one.
But we live in the 21st century.
- Hello?
- Hi, Mom! How are you?
Hi, Dennis. Nice to hear you.
Where are you?
Hey, listen
I'm on the last mountain, at 4,300 meters,
and from now on it's all downhill,
in the direction of Rio de Janeiro.
To Rio and the Copacabana?
I heard it's nice over there too.
I've got some news for you.
I booked a flight,
and I'll be home on the 22nd of July.
- 22nd of July?
- Yes.
- Two days before your birthday.
- Yes.
So, see you in
around two months.
- Great!
- Alrighty. See you!
- Take care!
- Yes, take care.
See you in two and a half years or so.
Or maybe sooner.
What? No, I'm going to see this through.
Maybe you'll make it in two years
Let's go!
I didn't know that my father
had fortune telling abilities.
But, like I said, we'll never be able
to discover all the wonders of the world.
40,000 kilometers nearly equal
the length of the equator.
Just like with the 20,000 mark,
there are no prizes to be won,
but it still feels great.
And then I arrived in Rio de Janeiro.
My final stop in South America.
After crossing the continent
from West to East,
I have to take the airplane
for the last time.
After all those kilometers,
a flight across the Atlantic Ocean
feels like I just arrived
in the next city with my bike.
You can't get any closer
to time travel than this.
The dress code in Morocco
is the complete opposite
of the one in Rio.
Such contrasts
are what make our world so diverse.
By now, I've been to 37 countries
on six continents,
and, having a German passport,
everything went relatively smoothly.
But many people
can't move as freely around the globe,
just because of their passport.
At the same time, the first six words
in the UN's Universal Declaration
of Human Rights are:
"All human beings are born free."
So why are there so many restrictions
and why are people ruled by people?
There doesn't seem to be an easy solution,
but some people
are at least looking for one.
Here we are in State Love.
State Love is situated in the heart
of the old town of Marbella.
It's based on the idea
stated in the resolution of the UN,
number 56/83, chapter two, article ten:
"Whoever manages to occupy
state territory within an existing state,
is automatically the new government."
That's what I did.
When I travelled to the United Nations,
I travelled with my diplomatic passport.
With diplomatic accreditation.
Here is the accreditation.
And, meanwhile,
I've been impliedly accepted.
An implied acceptance
is an international right.
And what motivated you
to found your own state?
I'm like a trailblazer
and I show people that:
"Hey! It is pretty simple.
There is a road to freedom."
That's my motivation:
a nice world, living in peace.
- You also have an entry stamp.
- Of course.
- Here.
- Okay.
Keep going.
- Oh, that's very orderly.
- I know.
Very, very orderly.
Keep on browsing,
and then you'll see who works disorderly.
Ah, here.
It was Mexico and Guatemala.
Do you also have an exit stamp?
You can only enter State Love.
- So
- Yes.
State Love.
And now you have to tell everyone
that you've been to State Love,
which you will do anyway,
because it's part of your journey.
- And everyone will see it in the movie.
- Exactly.
It's for real: State Love.
Yes, sir!
It's time to go home,
and the prices confirm
that I'm back in central Europe.
One scoop of ice cream in France
equals 43 plates of noodles in Myanmar.
And then, on this cycling path,
I arrive at the border to my home country.
No German flag, but
"Bike route information:
Dyke maintenance!"
Dyke maintenance.
Isn't it lovely?
This is our pride and joy: The "autobahn".
Nowhere but here.
If the earth were a sphere
and I kept going east,
then I'd to return back home one day,
coming from the west.
At least, that's what I'd imagined.
And after almost 44,000 kilometers
on the bicycle,
I do in fact turn onto the street
where I started my journey
more than two years ago.
How are you?
So nice to see you!
Now I'm standing here
So, what was it all about?
Once again, I'm where
I didn't want to be back then.
But I probably won't stay for long.
During my journey, I think I discovered
what I need to be happy right now.
It's not money, an expensive car
or the latest smartphone.
Two wheels, time and the freedom
to decide where to go next.
That's more than enough.
And the assertion
that the world is so dangerous
my travels gave me
a different perspective.
The opposite is true.
We humans stick together.
Everywhere I went, strangers helped
and supported me on this journey.
A conversation at the side of the road,
a cup of tea,
an invitation for dinner,
or even to spend the night.
And, most of the time, the most special
thing was something way simpler
What What remains is love
and having an open mind.
And what we do not accept is
that they don't smile.
What's next for me?
I don't know yet.
But it's not even that important,
because one thing
became clear during my journey:
the biggest adventures
hide in uncertainty.
The world is waiting.
It wants to be discovered.
761 DAYS
Subtitle translation by: Dennis Kailing,
Georgina Avgerinou-Panagiotou