Where do I start? This is very difficult to explain –
especially since I do not understand it myself.
My last newsletter was written back in October (http://fb.me/tD3yptvt).
I wrote that Cindie was taking a break to stay near the Dalai Lama, and
we had plans of reuniting in three months. This is what she told me and
I fully believed it until a few weeks later when I rolled into the small
Nepali village of Limbini where I received an email from Cindie saying
that she had flown to Arizona, hired a lawyer, and was pushing through a
divorce as fast as she could.
To say I was floored would be an understatement. I
never saw any of this coming. We never had a fight, no hitting, cheating
or anything else to explain this. I was very happy and content being
married and I thought Cindie was as well. I believe that marriage should
be forever. I tried everything to save my marriage – offered to stop
traveling and settle down, stay in India, marriage counseling – I was
ready to do anything she wanted. But Cindie's mind was made up and
finally I had to accept this.
Our divorce was complicated and very emotional for me.
We have no children but we owned a house that we both loved and each
wanted to keep very badly. We also had our online business to split and
all the copyrights and royalties for our books to divide. We also had
the normal things to divide like retirement plans and the few
possessions we have in storage. The process was long and hard and sent
me into a tailspin of depression, anger, and sadness for weeks. During
the time I was so freaked out I could not eat and lost a full 50lbs.
I apologize that I can only tell one side of this
story – my own skewed impression. I wish that I could bring you Cindie's
side as well. She is staying in Dharamasala to help the Tibetan people.
I will always truly wish her well. She is a very smart and talented
woman and I'm sure she will be a great help to the Tibetan cause.
During this ordeal, I was truly moved by all the
support of my family and friends. I'm especially grateful to my sister,
who poured out her unconditional love for me by rolling up her sleeves
to help with the nightmare of negotiating a divorce from overseas. I
felt like I was 18 again, standing on a beach in Florida with my
backpack, calling my sister collect on a payphone to ask for advice.
I have been traveling most of my life. I made it work
out that way and have no regrets. It started with living in my unheated
van almost my entire senior year of high school. This is where I learned
I can be tough, resourceful and survive all the difficulties that an
uncertain life on the road can dish up - and even make it fun. The day I
graduated from high school I departed on a hitchhiking trip that was as
crazy as an 18 year old with a backpack could make it. My university
years were spent bicycle racing but once I graduated I was again adrift.
I rambled around on a bike solo, picking up temporary work from town to
town. I settled in Arizona for awhile, but after a few years I was back
on the road again with Cindie. The years we spent touring the world
together are priceless to me. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
There are four things necessary for a traveling
lifestyle - income, time, bike/equipment and being excited to see the
next place. The first three items are usually the most difficult but I
have had them for years. The fourth item is troubling me now. The big
unknown at this point is if this rambling lifestyle will still be fun
without a partner. I would be lying if I said I didn't seriously think
about just giving up and going back to Arizona. The thought of moving
back to my home in Prescott, is very comforting. The road is not always
a kind companion and when things turn miserable I let my mind wander to
Prescott and know I can have that whenever I want. I also thought about
settling down to teach ESL for a year in a country like Taiwan or South
But as I write this from my rooftop bar in Kathmandu,
Nepal, I realize that there is still so much of this part of the world I
want to see. The Indian subcontinent is not easy to plan for because of
the visa restrictions and the three month annual monsoon that shuts down
travel. I'd like to be in Darjeeling for the monsoon, and time is short
to make the ride. I'll stay on the road for now. Who knows? There are
other wandering bicycle drifters around – maybe the road holds more
surprises for me.
Either way it is just me now. I hope all of you will
Traveling Since 2002 + No Plans To Stop