I am living a 100% Shareable life. The 2000sq ft loft I live in is being paid for using AIRBNB.com, not to mention serves as some additional passive income. I get around whenever I need using ridesharing, which to even my surprise, by relinquishing ownership of my costly ‘97 Ford Contour, I know find myself driving around town in a M6 BMW! Through a barter situation, I also enjoy daily organic, gourmet organic food chef! For the first time in my life, I am fully living my life’s purpose and passion of documentary film - again, all with seed money raised through crowdfunding (www.http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/entrepreneureel/looking-to-fund-couchsurfing-the-documentary-got-1), after traveling the world for free using CouchSurfing.org, as well as the plethora of other sites that allow me to live the most enriching life I ever have! Maslow (as in Hierarchy-of-needs-Maslow) could not be more proud …. and its never been more relaxing and fulfilling as when I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off attempting to work countless hours to afford these pleasures I never had time for!
Since I left on my around-the-world film shoot for www.OneCouchataTime.com, I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing this concept that we are entering a new “age of sharing.” It is only recently that we are identifying these seemingly random mediums as actually being connected and apart of this “new sharing economy” and sharing revolution. This new paradigm shift in thinking is completely free and literally at our finger tips (key board).
Imagine, this could be your life: You wake up and juice carrots fresh from your SharedEarth.com garden before Zimride whisks you to your co-working office, where you get on your Freecycle laptop to book a CouchSurfing host for your trip to Buenos Aires next week. To zip around to the afternoon meetings you arranged using LooseCubes, you unlock your BMW RelayRide in the parking lot. When you realize you forgot to buy those new nightstands, you hire a runner on TaskRabbit to swing by Ikea, pick them up, and assemble them with a drill borrowed from NeighborGoods. You arrive home to greet your Airbnb guest who is renting your extra room for $175 a night which more than covers your transportation costs as well as the hot fillet Mignon dinner for two you ordered using Gobble and your free copy of 4 Hour work week, you traded using Bookcrossing, resting on your new nightstands.
VIEW THE VIDEO ABOVE TO LEARN WHAT IS OUT THERE: **Nevermind Rachel Botsman’s hypnotizing, melodic voice, reminiscent of Kelly LeBrock from Weird Science: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25q3hxlgvw4… She also happens to be one of the forefront speakers on “Collaborative Consumption” and brilliantly articulate on the manner.**
Douglas Lima email@example.com to alexandra Liss <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM
First of all I’d like to tell a little story about… me.
Sometimes life gives us the opportunity to find people in the most unusual ways, and although it seems to be a coincidence… it’s not.
Time is the best thing in our lives, to make us understand how many parts of ourselves we simply leave behind, and we keep living our lives, never looking up inside, trying hard to find what is the most important thing for us. For me… taking this time, stop and stare, means getting appart of all the things that really made me be who I am, to feel free to learn new things, evaluate my behavior and thoughts, and discover what’s up to come in the near future.
Life is a very interesting thing. And “to live” is also.
Having life, is like to perceive energy to spread your wings and feel the air between your feathers, while you go gliding, closing your eyes, feeling in connection between you and the universe, that you can’t see.
“To live” is about the way you use the power of the gravity while you’re coming down… And how you can go through the wind, longer and longer. Deep into your dream of seeing the world from a different spot.
The thing is… As the saying goes… “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.
Maybe the truth is right in front of your eyes, and you don’t want to see. Or you are simply denying yourself, the right to attend your own expectations.
I’m in this moment. It’s time to observe many mistakes I have done in life, look up to the future, and make different next time.
But, what I can feel, is that this “future” is already happening all the time. And that maybe I’m loosing a very special moment of my life trying to persist in the same.
One week ago, I had the fortune to know two persons, that maybe have changed my life, for better and they don’t know.
It’s easy to understand why, although they were not in tune with that. The energy, that I mentioned as “life” before, is the right word to describe Alexandra. All the passion and heart that she puts in everything she does, does not compare to anything I’ve ever seen in life. Seems to be one of the craziest glimpses of light in the desert, that makes you believe that althought you may be feeling alone, you may be not the only one, so try to find the way.
At the same time, David, the one who comes full of expectations, and ready to face all the fears, as nothing could arrest him of his long way to explore everything that touches deeply into his heart, is so open to share his peace and interest with you, that makes you feel secure and trustful to do what you have to do.
All these words are just a try, to thank them for giving me one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life through CouchSurfing. I don’t care if they will put any of the words I said in the documentary, or not. But I care of make sure that I’ll always hear about them. And that always when I get one step up, they’ll be part of it. Because the inspiring words they told me, as the stories I heard, the challenges they have given me, makes me wish to do the same. Makes me wish to follow my dreams, and to believe that I CAN, as I know they do.
Alex and David, thank you so much for everything in this short but amazing experience. Be sure that you passed through my life, in the most important moment of it, and that your presence gave it new colors. New inspirations, new desires, motivations, affections, and I’m now feeling encouraged to make it happen!
Something tells me that we’ll have much work to come, maybe together… Maybe in parallel ways. But connected, anyway.
I can’t wait to see you again.
Today’s theme is serendipity.
The day started off with my host, Hans, cs aspiring filmmaker, family man, and maybe the most organized and helpful German alive— handing me these thick, black leather biker pants … He was taking me on a tour of Alken, Brodenbach, Macken, Burg Schoenburg… country side of West Germany.
We were meeting up with fellow Csers, Marko and Lucie, who CouchSurfed with him a few short months ago in May. Interestingly enough, Hans, who is an aspiring filmmaker and shooting a short on CouchSurfing in India, found me through the promo video on youtube. Excited to meet another filmmaker whose work was quite impressive, I asked Hans if he would be interested in hosting me in July and assisting with the film by helping me meet with some local csers he thought may be of interest.
So hans writes to Marko, to tell him about an American CS Filmmaker — and Marko responded “not Alexandra Liss by chance?” Turns out Marko donated to my kickstarter campaign for the film back in February!! We had never met, but Marko was one of the supporters who made this film possible. A-mazing!
So…despite how ridiculous I felt in these biker pants which made a squishy sound everytime I waddled about, I forged through the embarrassment (but its better than being street pizza, eh) and rode on the back of Hans’ Yamaha Virago 535 to Marko and his girlfriend, Lucie from Czech republic.
Marko was Lucie’s first CouchSurfer about a year ago — and they ended up falling love and giving their relationship a go in Germany. Now, I was apprehensive at first to interview them because as we can all recite in unison ” CouchSurfing is NOT a dating site.” But after 5 minutes of chatting with them, it was clear that they understand the ethos and spirit of CouchSurfing and as in life, sometimes love just happens. It was a marvelous interview.
Hanging out today with Hans, Marko and Lucie, was like spending time with old friends. We cut through the surface very quickly, all in a bit of awe of our connectedness and intertwined history surrounding this film.
Although I have my own skepticism when it comes to religion and destiny — I can not deny the serendipity that took place today and continually reveals itself. Although there is much uncertainty between who I will meet, where I will sleep, or how the shoots will go, this path seems to be guided by many happy people… and many happy accidents.
Bring it on!
Although I have only left March 30th - a little over 3 months ago, marking the half way point of this shoot, I feel like I have grown years. Time feels confusing lately, until dear friend and CouchSurfer, Claudia Sigala, helped put into perspective:
“THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION”
Life is a constant journey, which to me, translates to BE THE MOMENT.
It is our cognizant ability as humans to foreshadow and reflect using measures like time - which is helpful towards fulfilling greater goals - however, enjoying the process - which is never ending, to me, is the key to happiness and success.
In the spirit of drafts and processes, I uploaded a screenshot of the PROCESS my graphic designer and artist, Cece, goes through en route to the finished piece. Often we cringe at exposing our process — but I show this because every destination or finished project has its stages… It takes mistakes and wrong turns to expose the right ones.
So today I rejoice at todays journey — which the process has recently brought me to an epiphany about shifting focus on the purpose of this film. Shooting a documentary can be such a cathartic process that reminds me of sculpture that we slowly pick at, forming the shape every day. So, although, I am very much intrenched in that process, I rejoice at todays destination.
Southwest France hospitality is unparalleled to anything I have ever experienced! My host, Raphael Bosc, who I hosted for a week in my Upper West flat in New York last August returned the favor TEN FOLD! He brought my camerahand/producer, Chelsea and I , to his parents house in the deep country.
They cooked up duck, potatoes, with cherry pie — everything from the garden and home made. Although they spoke little English and my French is nothing to brag about, we had a wonderful exchange of laughter and delicious food!
One of my favorite moments on the trip… While on the streets of Cambodia, my host and fellow surfer came across a random street party… Then Justin Beiber’s hit song started playing and the crowds erupted… was surreal.
Robert is surrounded by interesting characters — who all have the interest of bringing awareness to the importance of spiritually acknowledging and connecting to our ancestors. This is the forgotten, unwritten Afrikan way which they believe will provide our lost and corrupt societies with a moral compass into a sustainable and natural existence.
Stella or “Machena, Machena” walked into the property, full dressed in white, smiling and cheerful. She was married for 23 years, a straight laced business owner who was told by another Sangoma (spiritual healer) that she also possessed these healing talents. After consulting 5 other Sangomas who all said the same, she completely changed her life and embraced her calling…
I booked a flight from Zambia straight to Joburg, thankfully, just in time to I could stay one night and make my flight to Durban to meet Sifiso Mazimbiko. Was only $140 through 1 Time air — a small surprise to my budget — but it was absolutely worth it.
Magical and special experiences have taken place on this CouchSurfing adventure - especially when I arrive to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
My South Africa host Emile, and his gf Bianca decide they wanted to focus on their holiday and since I am clear that I’m making a documentary am more interested in experiencing through local eyes and guidance, we decided to part ways for a few day and then connect back and drive through Bullawaya (toward S Zimbabwe en route back to South Africa).
There was only one family out of three signed up for CouchSurfing qho returned our cs request - luckily all I needed was one. It also happens to be the one and ONLY Korean Family in all of VicFalls… maybe for all of Zimbabwe for all we know; The Kim’s. I was greeted by Steve, Wang Soo, his wife, and 5 year old daughter, Kyuri. They are all hilarious characters who love to BBQ, laugh, drink. They were extremely friendly and hospitable.
Shortly after moving to ZImbabwe, when they heard first hand from a Cuban Doctor, about the atrocities and neglect of abused kids who contracted HIV, they decided to do something about it. With no assistance from the gov’t, they used their own money to open a kids day care for children suffering from HIV and provided them free medication for all who need it.
I was touched and inspired by the example this family set. They were not rich nor were they were not using religion as their guiding purpose. They simply saw a problem that needed attention and they took it upon themselves to do their small part.
callherhollywood asked: Hi! I'm doing a big research paper about couchsurfing in Europe and was wondering if I could e-mail you some questions about it? If you haven't done it yet, do you think you could recommend someone who has experience? Thanks so much! :)
Absolutely I can help… its the CouchSurfing way.. where in Europe? When is it due? Email me: email@example.com
Manchester legend, Adam hosted an AMAZING dinner for us… He spent 1,000 days traveling and now he’s settling with his lady and baby bump on the way in Ho Chi Minh… He speaks on his experience of settling down and love :)
It only seemed appropriate since the film ends with a burn at BurningMan (yay to getting official permission to shoot this year!) to start the film with a burn.
I gathered my closest friends together at Ocean Beach and asked everyone ahead of time to bring/write/express something they wanted to let go - an idea of themselves, relationship, etc…
When one puts them self out there.. there are always going to be fans - and there are always going to be critics. Although 99% of the feedback I have been getting is positive, some people just dont understand that I am not funding a vacation and to the contrary this is the behind the scenes making of an experimental film - where the entire crew is international, CSers, who are donating their passions to the cause.
I am posting this video of my friend and colleague, Arin Crumley, whom I hugely respect who says it all..
I am really curious about this, and especially about how close the blogger will go on the locals when it comes to the love making, and whether it will be among the locals or only among the couchsurfers…