Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................

Post 87: Parting Company

Writing this Blog has become a replacement for my diary and as such is moving beyond the physical aspects of the journey. My experiences are probably moulded by the emotions that I’m feeling at the time and attempting to divorce these two factors is a step too far for my weary mind to attempt. My writing here may offend or disappoint some people, …… but the writing will at least be honest.

Before heading out from London I read the ‘The Motorcycle Adventure Handbook’ by Mike Scott. One particular section of the book discusses the problems that will be encountered when two people are travelling together over a long period of time. It suggests that the only solution to ‘Buddy Fatigue’ is to spend periods of time riding alone with the intention of meeting again at a specific time and place. We discussed this before departure and both agreed that it was sound advice from a man who’d already bought several of the tee shirts and sent the postcard.

Back in Austria Alan began making certain comments, remarks that shocked and angered me in equal measures. Such comments from a total stranger would have been unforgivable, … but from a friend who is fully aware of my personal history, it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach. We had an amazing argument and I suggested that we part company and possibly reunite at a future date when the air had cleared. Alan offered the hand of friendship, apologised unreservedly and asked me to stay at least until he was confident enough to ride alone. After much though I agreed to stay until he felt that he was ready.

Over the past month we’ve grown further apart and while I’ve been thriving on the interaction with people and places, Alan has been turning in on himself and drawing a veil over all aspects of the life that is happening around us. It seems for Alan that everything that we encounter is always slightly wrong and not quite like it would be at home and this he finds difficult to cope with. The daily task of trying to raise his spirits and help him along the way has drained my energy and the whole journey runs the risk of becoming a burden for both of us. It’s true that we’re very different people and that perhaps I adapt more easily to changing circumstances simply because I have a little more experience, …. but if Alan refuses to accept the fact that ‘Travelling’ will involve some hardship, .. then perhaps this is not the experience for him.

I’ve reached a point where I feel that I can’t continue carrying Alan and that he needs to stand on his own two feet, take some responsibility and begin to use his own initiative. He’s certainly as capable as I am of completing this journey but he simply needs to understand that for himself. Several weeks ago we reached a point where there was no ‘teamwork’, …. If something now needs to be done and I don’t personally do it, … then it simply doesn’t happen; if I don’t cook then Alan doesn’t eat. This journey is a once in a lifetime experience for both of us and I have no intention of ruining my own or Alan’s experience by allowing an atmosphere of irresolvable tension to continue.

I’m sure that Alan will tell his side of the story and I’m also certain that there are understandable reasons for his inactivity that one day I will grasp, …….. from tomorrow onwards we will be enjoying our separate journeys.


Anonymous said...

OMG! Shocking and sad.

I wish your posts had dates attached instead of your "post number ...." (sorry small minor niggle). When you and Alan were blogging at the same time it was easier to tell as his posts would have the date referring to the same item you had just blogged about.

And isn't it Alan who is writing the diary for Rider's Digest ...?

Will you be carrying on with that from now on ...? (I think you deserve the column in Rider's Digest if you have been carrying the can for completing the journey.)

Best wishes for the remainder of your (possibly solo?) journey,


Anonymous said...

Shocked, stunned, disappointed but at the same time understanding. There are 1000's of us hanging on your every word Geoff and as such are willing you both on. I'm sure I speak for us all when I say that we wish you both well and that this is just a 'glitch' in your adventure, that our dreams are made of.
Take Care, post soon.

texastengu said...

Whoa I am just a vagabond, a drifter on the run
the eloquent profanity, it rolls right off my tongue
'Roll Em' Easy' Little Feat

The journey has just begun.
May your road be long and joyous.

Looking forward to seeing you here in Texas.

Jim in Austin

Anonymous said...

Stick with it mate. Harry.

Jacqueslemac said...

I've just looked at my Tiger sitting in the front drive and felt terribly envious.

Stick with it and things will work out. And if they don't work out the way you expected, they'll still work out.

And in common with another comment, could you please add the date to your blog. I don't know if I've read what happened yesterday or a week ago.

Thanks and good luck. Can't wait to read the full story.


donkeyote said...


you really can't begin to imagine how proud i am of you for standing by your principles and heading off on your own. you've shed some extra luggage - now go and enjoy yourself.

your brother, alan in boonville, ca.

'Blue 88' said...

Thanks, .. and it is I who writes for TRD. OK, .. I knew I would never abandon Alan in Siberia, .. but I had to get his attention and make him understand how serious I was. We'll ride to Vladivostok and ship the bikes together, .. but from there its Route66 for Alan and 101 for me.
At the begining I promised to get him there safely, ... I'll keep my word.