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(see all 3 book)'s RoadNews Newsletter: Tangled Up in Blue: How I found myself on the road alone.
, 2010 (Sent From Rishikesh, India)

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As you can guess, by the Bob Dylan song reference in the title, I hit a rough patch of road. Cindie abandoned the trip and went back to McLeod Ganj and I, uninvited, continue alone to Nepal. It is a bit of a long story which I try to explain below from my perspective

So, here I sit in Rishikesh, India, 300 kilometers from the border with Nepal writing all this down. Rishikesh was made famous in 1968 when the Beatles stayed in an ashram here to study with a yogi. Ever since then it has been a center of Indians and foreigners doing yoga and meditating. It is a very spiritual place and many believers tell me magic happens here every day. What a strange place to type this but here goes.

Before we started cycling in India we stayed several months in McLeod Ganj to wait out the monsoon season from June to September. I tend to like anywhere we go but this was the first place Cindie absolutely loved. She quickly made friends and began to do volunteer work.

Everything went as expected. Together we wrote and edited the India and neighbors bicycle touring plan, ( the rain stopped, we packed up our bikes, and said goodbye to our friends at a little gathering when we rode out of town.

We had several great days of cycling together through the mountains. The traffic and living conditions were not as bad as we expected and the scenery was breathtaking. Surprisingly, after a long slump, I was riding well. I guess all that hiking and some time off the bike did wonders for me.

When we reached Rewalsar Lake I felt like we were getting back in the groove but in the morning, after coffee, Cindie asked me to take a walk around the lake with her. Half way around Cindie became real serious and told me she wanted to go back for the next series of Dalai Lama teachings. I offered to download the English translations but she wanted to go back – TODAY. This was new territory for us; I naturally thought I would go back with her until I learned I was not invited. She also wanted some time away from me as well. Cindie and I like to hash things out and have time to think about things before we make decisions. When she sprung this on me I was shocked beyond belief.

Anyone who has ever spent time with Cindie and I know we travel together like a well oiled machine. Instead of deciding everything by committee we divide all the work and don’t step on each others toes. So, the next day, when I rode away from Rewalsar Lake solo I felt like I was returning from a time out with only half my team on the court. I had to pack differently, learn a lot about internet banking, and bad Indian maps. My sister reminded me that I had spent years traveling alone before I met Cindie, and I can do it again. “Tim, you are professional. Go do what you do.” After some time traveling and camping alone I realized: although half the team was missing I had finally been promoted to team captain and found myself moving through the world efficiently by making decisions quickly and rebuilding a routine. Figuratively speaking, I have been down this road before.

After my first couple solo weeks I see how this time apart is good for the both of us. Remember, we had been together 24/7 for the past several years and a break seems natural and healthy. Maybe we should have scheduled time apart a long time ago. I hope that when we reconnect we both have grown from the experience. It should breathe new life into our relationship.

As the days past Cindie and I slowly began emailing and sorting out what happened and our future. We came to the agreement that a few months apart would be good for the both of us. We have a firm plan of meeting up in mid January in Varanasi, India and cycling together to the south.

Apparently I have a few months to kill. I can go anywhere and do anything I want which is exciting to think about but all my instincts tell me is to just keep on trucking. It is what I do.

Tim Travis

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