“Home2Home” is a documentary that features a young German bike rider, Dennis Kailing, covering 41 countries over 761 days on a solo bike ride across the world. This is the story of a person who takes a break from his monotonous life that follows the same routine without any motivation and decides to go on an exciting journey to explore the world and make memories. He travels around 44,000 km, making new friends, visiting new places, making new memories, and enjoying his expedition. He learns new languages and new ways along the way as a little something to remember the places by. He discovers countries and places that have yet to be open to tourism. Although a wave of homesickness and the urge to go home hits him when he is a few kilometers away from his home.
While Dennis Kailing made his way across the globe, he arrived at places he could not bike through. Sometimes he took the plane to travel, and sometimes he relied on ferries. As a solo bike rider, he stumbles upon certain obstacles that lead to a setback in the journey. He has to take a break for a few days to repair his bike or to explore the natural flora and fauna the nation has to offer. He learns a few phrases that help him communicate better with the natives. He had the happiest times during his journey in Asia because he was almost never alone and also met a few bike travelers on the way. In Indonesia, he meets Cyril, who is traveling from Beijing. They together enjoy their days in Sumatra with the kids they met on the way. Every day at 5:30 pm, it rains in Sumatra without fail, and due to the excessively hot temperatures, the rain was welcome and fun. Cannonball diving into the rivers made his day.
Dennis Kailing had arrived in Thailand before he set a course for Indonesia. He set aside his bike for 2 weeks to enjoy the lovely paradise Thailand has to offer. He made long-lasting friends who hosted him in Cairns, Australia. They partied and had a good break from all the traveling he had done in the past few months. In Australia, however, Dennis did not enjoy it much. The ride to the cities was a pain. Unlike in Asia, where he met people everywhere he went, in Australia, there was nobody for kilometers to come. He was cycling all alone, and not even a lone car went past him some days. The Outback of Australia were unbearably hot, and the prices of bare necessities shot through the roof. There were days when Dennis had to travel without taking a bath for two days and simply survived on canned beans and toast. However, amidst his regrets, he met Ferris, a traveler from Australia who was on his way to cover the continent on foot. He provided Dennis with motivation to reach the actual city in Australia that people loved. He then kicked back and relaxed for a few days before setting off to the United States and meeting his friend, Robert. They traveled together for 3 more months before they parted their ways.
Solo traveling is daunting. Even settling in a new place for career enhancement or further studies seems very daunting. Undertaking a solo bike ride across the globe is an even more daunting task. Dennis, through the “Home2Home” documentary, takes the audience on a visual trip through paradise as well as the obstacles he faced. Safety becomes a huge issue while solo traveling. There are places around the globe, like El Salvador, Mexico, where people can kill a person for a few cents. Even while sleeping, a person should be aware of their surroundings because there is always a threat prevailing. There are places like Iran, which are beautiful and have their own restrictions. Iran leans toward anti-US sentiments due to the wars, and after the US embassy left the country, the Iranian government forbids any US-related product. However, all these do not diminish the gratifying humility that the Iranians display toward the solo travelers. Dennis was lent a place to stay and was able to pass his time safely here. Although, it is a bit sad when he was asked a few provocative questions in the interview for the US visa.
The countries are daunting. However, when a solo traveler undertakes a journey, there are a few things that they need to keep in mind. They should always carry food, because while traveling through places like the Outback, on day’s end, the travelers may not find a shop to stock up on supplies. They should at least learn a few phrases of the native language to make their journey a smooth one. They should plan their journey ahead of time to get a grip on the routes that are available. It is also necessary to contact travel communities for a solo traveler. It becomes easier when they provide a place to stay and also help out with the planning. Carrying things for a camp out is always a good option, because, on the road, there might be no house or hotel to rest in the vicinity. Travelers have to depend on the nearest source of clean water to stock up. They have to keep in mind that they have to cover long distances when they can to get closer to the nearest inhabited area. Having a good relationship with the locals improves a traveler’s chances of a better tour and also getting shelter and food. While traveling, it is okay to rest; our bodies need time to heal from the exertion. When in a country, it is good to apply for a visa to the next country early. It’ll give the traveler a time period to enjoy the present country to the fullest. When a traveler is in a new country, it is necessary to keep in mind the rules and regulations, customs, and cultures of the new country. This is to avoid any trouble that can be caused due to a mishap of sorts. Places like the deserts and the Outback should be covered at night to avoid the heat and the winds.
Biking across the globe is actually interesting. It is eco-friendly, and it makes the journey easier because there are many places where cars, or any other private vehicles, do not ply. It saves a lot of money required for traveling, and through biking, a lot of places that are not on the itinerary of many tours can be reached. Though pedaling is a bit tiring, it is rewarding once the destination is reached and the view is just breathtaking. Biking is allowed everywhere, which makes it easier, and the trope of paying exuberant amounts to the tourist taxis can be avoided. Undertaking a solo trip gives anybody an undiluted experience of different cultures. People across the world are different, and it is visible through their mannerisms, their culture, and their places. Traveling opens up a broader spectrum where people get to meet others, and understand and appreciate their culture. Travel makes it easier to accept the trivial differences between people. It gives way to memories and experiences that are priceless. It also shows a different picture of what is being portrayed through the media. A country can be fabled or defamed through the media, but the difference is only realized when a person visits the country.
The documentary, “Home2Home,” in some ways, really teaches us that when we visit a country through an agency, how much of the country is veiled and how much of it we can experience. Through the solo journey that Dennis took, he took us through a visual journey of accepting and understanding people as a whole. The documentary also teaches us what pure joy, humility, helpfulness, and acceptance really is. We have immersed ourselves in a rat race and have completely forgotten to take a break and venture outside to experience the true beauty of nature. The kids in Sumatra really taught us how easy it is to derive great pleasure from minute things. Although there are harsh realities to traveling, there are delights that will make us forget about the harshness. “Home2Home” really provides a push toward the adventurous in us. Setting out on a quest across the world might be the next big thing most people need in life. The world is huge, and it depends on us on how we make memories that stand out to us.
“Home2Home” is a 2022 Documentary Film created by Dennis Kailing.