„Je voudrais que quelqu’un m’attende quelque part…”

Foto: sxc.hu

This is the title of a beautiful book of short-stories by Anna Gavalda, one of my favorite writers. It is one of my favorite book titles as well, it coins the one desire that every one of us has – of knowing that there is something or someone worth waiting for.

That there is somebody waiting for us at the end of the road, at the end of the workday or simply at the end of a plane ride…

I would totally put this phrase somewhere on the wall of an airport like Schiphol or Heathrow…a big airport, where people depart and arrive every day, each of them carrying his or her own sorrows, hopes, dramas, beliefs and dreams. And, probably more than anybody, those who fly to remote parts of the world are the foremost secret carriers of the hope of having somebody waiting for them beyond the „Arrivals” line. Of having somebody to hug and share their travel itinerary with, of knowing that there is somebody at the end of an airport hall who is there just to welcome them to that place. Somebody who eagerly waited for them, built hopes and experienced the nervousness of the expected arrival.

Whenever I find myself in an airport, and lately it is happening quite often….I always enjoy analyzing people around me, trying to get behind the masks that they are wearing and catch a glimpse of what their lives are like, of what awaits them at the end of the plane ride that we are going to share. What hides behind the talkative businessman’s mask that rocks the globe with his traveling…is he secretly wishing somebody was waiting for him at the end of that journey as well? Or does the lonely lady with sad eyes also wish that the strong hands of the man in her life would carry her Louis Vuitton suitcase upon her arrival in a remote country, on the other side of the globe? And, moreover, how many of these people are so accustomed to their solitude that they rarely dare to dream about being waited for?

I am a solitary traveler myself. I go to the airport on my own, fly to places in which there is no friendly voice to greet me upon arrival and then come back carrying my own – Burberry, not L.Vuitton  – suitcase. It has become more than a habit, it is a way of life. However, I often wonder if solitude is a habit worth fueling or if it is something we should run away from as much as possible.

Can solitude itself become a way of life? Maybe this is the trap in which most of us have fallen…we are so used to doing everything on our own, showing how strong we are, for fear of seeming weak or helpless, that we are afraid of letting anyone carry our suitcase or gently kiss our forehead…we are even afraid to dream that somebody could possibly wait for us in some remote airport. We are just afraid that his presence in our life would make us vulnerable to a possible „goodbye”, so we prefer to shut him out from the very start.

Maybe sometimes it is worth taking that risk, allowing someone to wait for you. You might end up just as alone as you were in the first place, quietly waiting for your flight in an empty airport at 7:00 in the morning. Or you might find something wonderful. Maybe sometimes you should allow somebody to carry your suitcase for you and rather than reckoning yourself weak, choose to consider yourself loved. Flights get mixed up, luggage gets lost and hearts get broken…and there is no travel insurance to cover that. But is it worth taking the risk? Maybe. Or…you’ll never know.

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