This is a report, I recently received from one of my clients. She describes an emotional experience that many of you know (I do). With her permission, I am sharing it with you.
Last week, I spent about 1.5 hours sitting in a McDonald’s. Why? you would say. Well, I was there earlier in the week and had noticed that it seems to be a meeting point for ‘marginalized’ people. Immigrants that can’t pay for internet and come there to use the free internet facilities, homeless people, elderly people that come there to talk. Somehow that is comforting for me.
I feel the same way; that I don’t belong, that I don’t have a home, not being part of a group. I know, it is very melancholic. And you know what is worse? There are many regulars; and these regulars have found their social contacts so they DO belong to something.
However, there are always some that don’t. Like that man tonight speaking with a very French accent, carrying a trolley with him. A few men were playing some sort of internet game among each other on a mobile phone and he tried to join in the conversation and be part of the small group but they wouldn’t let him.
They did not pay attention to him at all. After they finished the game, the loudest of them said: Ok, I’m going and the group dissolved. But he didn’t leave; he went over to another table where another 3 men sat and started talking to them. The man with the trolley followed and stood beside him, trying to show he was interested in joining the conversation but after another 10 minutes he noticed that he wasn’t getting anywhere and he left.
And maybe that is why I like to travel; when you travel it is obvious that you don’t belong. You are somewhere temporarily, moving from one place to another. And since you know that you don’t belong and others know that too, it becomes bearable. At those moments you don’t feel the pain and you can concentrate on the voyage itself. Getting from point A to B is all that matters; no questions asked by anybody. And at the same time the travel is a continuous search for a home; a place where I can belong.