Travel Therapy #5:
Finding Your Tribe
“You are truly home only when you find your tribe.”
Effortless. That’s how it feels to be with my French family. Something that cannot be said of any of my relationships back home. After a week with them in Corsica, I returned home with a huge epiphany…this is what it feels like to be with your tribe. From now on, I will tell anyone who feels tribeless that finding your tribe is absolutely joyful, so don’t give up until you do.
We fit. Our passions, our interests, our sense of humor, our appetites — for food, music, and travel — are all from the same book. There’s an easy and comfortable intimacy between us that I have craved for as long as I can remember. Despite not seeing my French family for a couple of years, our bond hasn’t loosened.
Having always felt like the odd woman out, I’m overcome by relief. The fear that has been lurking in the shadows of my soul for decades — a fear of not belonging anywhere — is gone. Poof! Go figure…apparently I just needed to hang with Europeans! Of course, I really wanted to understand why I clicked so well with them, so I stewed on it. Here are just some of the things about my French family that resonate with me…
- They are motivated by relationships and hedonist pleasures, not capitalistic endeavors.
- Their opinions — about everything from music to politics — are not limited by their country’s borders.
- The gap between generations is narrowed by an engaged youth and adults with perpetually youthful hearts.
- Laughter and silliness comes easily and often.
- Both the adults and the children have sophisticated and healthy palates.
- The majority of meals last longer than 15 minutes and may stretch as long as 4 hours.
- Travel is seen as necessary, not as a symptom.
- Women maintain their sense of self and drawers full of sexy lingerie after having children.
- Parents don’t become hyper-absorbed in their children’s lives and make child-free experiences a priority.
Yes, these observations are only based on my experiences with a handful of French people. Of course, they’re not true of all Europeans. And, I’m certain they apply to many Americans whom I have yet to meet. But, there’s no doubt that these qualities have been virtually absent from my life until now and I am far from a hermit.
It’s absolutely crazy that almost immediately after the lack of a tribe hit me at my core, the Universe gifts me with one. Okay, I’ll admit that I have some frustration and sadness that it’s halfway across the world, in a country whose language I do not speak, and I only get to see them every other year. But, I refuse to allow this to taint our relationship or loosen our bond. I have a suspicion that this challenge might be part of the grand plan for my life. Hmmm…something else to ponder.
Now that I know exactly what finding your tribe feels like—like being in the right place with the “my” people—I am certain I’m misplaced. But I know I have the power to change this…with some effort, time, patience, and some of that Corsican feistiness.