Thursday, June 11, 2009

Saying Goodbye

Half of my biking crew left yesterday morning, and for the first time on this trip, I realized a great risk of this journey. John, Huw, Joe, Mark and Sam. It was so incredibly unexpected, this feeling that struck me, is there anything I can write that could come close to expressing it?

How do you explain, for example, meeting a group of people who after only a few days truly feel like family?
Or the feeling of being so incredibly adopted that you feel completely comfortable, and at home with a group of people who only days before were complete strangers? What about trying to imagine your trip without them?

God, it's so cheesy to try and explain, but it would include all of these things, I suppose: Laughs, lots of laughs, so much good, really good conversation, so many stories told, pool playing, walks into town, cramming into cabs to get back, watching the TT and getting schooled in bike racing, all the fabulous shared suppertimes and breakfasts, and then there was of course, trussing me up for my first bike ride around the mountain... I felt like I was being fussed about by 7 father hens.

They're probably all blushing. The British aren't so mushy like us Americans, or more specifically, like me.

Right. So yesterday morning when John knocked on my door and announced, "Sig, we're leaving..." I flew out of bed in my pajamas and swung open the door, squinting to see them without my glasses on, all a-panic. Leaving? Already? I was wanting to get up to have breakfast with them before they were gone.... I was hoping to get some more time.... but I'd overslept.

John and I exchanged a quick hug, but all the rest of the boys were geared up already, helmets, gloves, glasses, on their bikes. I didn't have my shoes on and I couldn't see very far. I had been thinking much of the night before about what I wanted to say to them... how I could possibly express everything so they would really understand.

I had been trying it out in my head. Thank you for being so awesome, thank you for the full English breakfasts and the laughs and the... making me feel like family.

I wanted to tell them that I would never forget any of them, and that I wished I could be a part of their clan forever. That they were one of the best bunches of fellows I'd ever met in my life, and the world was a better off place with them on it.
Instead I said, "Bye, bye... have a safe journey... bye..." with a smile. John mounted his bike and they drove off. I closed the door, and sat down on the edge of the bed, and I actually had a little cry. I felt a huge sense of loss at not being able to tell them all the things I had wanted to say, but maybe some things, I realized, sometimes don't need saying.

Wol and Big John and Paul were still here until Saturday, which is, incidentally, my birthday. I was so glad to have them here for a few more days, and at the same time, the thought of having to feel this terrible feeling twice was just horrible.

I think I've heard people say that sometimes when you travel, you have to be careful not too get attached. That's the risk I'd discovered, and I might sound silly, but it took me completely unawares. But to those people, I would like to say, that I think that is absolute garbage. In fact, if you find any people worth really getting attached to, absolutely do it. Because you are among the very lucky.

I may have to say goodbye, but maybe goodbye doesn't always mean farewell.


  1. Hi Sig - did you find the real fairy bridge at your second attempt ? just found that the IOM fairy population come out in force on 20th june at Ballona Bridge - so looks like you left too early

  2. Ayup Sig

    I think we all enjoyed our 'brief introduction' and the insight into your world. I, for one, have never had any dealings with fairies. I can't speak for the others though!! I'm glad we brightened up your few days and wish you well for you future.


  3. Wol I found the realy fairy bridge!!! And it was A-MAZING. I'm catching up here in Galway but am definitely going to write about it and post some pics... Man, I can't believe my timing on Isle of Man. First the TT and then missing the faeries : -)

    Glad you got home safe and sound.. xo