‘Why on earth do you prefer staying with a foreign person rather than in a hotel when travelling?’ People asked me this a lot when I prepared my ‘couchsurfing’ trip to five far-away places. ‘Aren’t you afraid that your host is unfriendly or even dangerous? What if you have to sleep on an uncomfortable sofa? Or is it about sex?’ That one came up a lot.
These ideas made me laugh, they were far from my imagination. When I first heard about Couchsurfing I rather felt that I found something that I'd been seeking for a long time. Here was the gate in the digital cosmos that lead back to real encounters and experiences. I grew up in a globalized, increasingly connected world. But in this respect I found I was spending far too much time alone in front of my computer. Suddenly here was the website that resolved this contradiction. With the simple gesture of hospitality, it is possible to visit strangers at home, and to personally experience foreign daily life.
Amongst four million online profiles I searched for people with visionary or radical life concepts. I found five generous hosts, who were exciting protagonists as well has having lives which raised bigger themes. Being part of their normal everyday life, it became obvious that in the end we all do the same – with slight differences in the details. The spent time together filled my abstract idea of a world that is growing together. Somebody who was a complete stranger to me short time ago, shared their space and offered me shelter and food – something deeply touching in its universal simplicity.
Global Home is a film about an opportunity that comes with the globalised era: the possibility of making connections with like-minded strangers all over the world, to understand differences as enrichment, and to take some concrete steps towards the idea of “Global Citizenship”.