Today as I got off the crowded city bus to go to class, I saw a guy sitting on the side of the street playing a guitar. But this was no ordinary Chicago hobo, this was a traveler who had a sign that read “Traveling East to West” and a small stack of ones laying under his harmonica. My first thought was why is this guy asking for money? Normally when someone is traveling they have saved up enough money to do so (especially in the United States because it’s not the cheapest place to travel) or they’re at least working for a short amount of time to save up for their next destination.
Was this his job? Where is he from? What’s his story?
I couldn’t resist. I had to talk to him.
I got in my backpack and pulled out some money and right before he started playing the guitar, I went up to him with a dollar in hand and said,
Me: “Hey guitar man!”
Guitar Man: “Who me?”
Me: “Yeah, who else! So.. what’s your story? Why are you traveling from the east coast to the west?”
I’ve found that every person I’ve met whether a hobo, musician or whoever; everyone has a story. It’s unique and can sometimes be powerful, powerful enough to sometimes change how you view the world and the people in it.
I tried to understand what he was saying through his italian accent (so cute). So – he said that he is from Italy… and his dream was to travel across the United States, starting from the East coast of Boston and ending his journey in California. I asked him why he chose the U.S. and not somewhere that’s cheaper? He smiled wide and said that the U.S. has a lot of history and that this is where everything began, if he was going to travel somewhere that he wanted to learn along the way.
This made me think. Even though his story wasn’t that exciting and inspirational, that didn’t mean that he wasn’t still in the process of creating his story. Right there in that moment he was living his dream and didn’t care if that meant playing the guitar for money on the side of one of the busiest streets in America. This to me was very cool! It just goes to show that if you want something bad enough, sometimes you gotta prove it the world and sit on the side of the street and sing an italian song 😉
The funny thing about this whole story is that he just graduated from college with a degree in Medicine and wants to become a doctor. Funny, huh?
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us