I left Cádiz on Monday, a place where I felt more vibrant, more myself than I’d felt for a long, long time.
As I counted the days remaining, things of mine kept breaking every day – my saddle, my phone screen, you name it, up to the point where on the day after I left, the East wind arrived, at 40 km/h, almost flying me back to the city. The signs are all there, I’d say, if I were superstitious: Cádiz doesn’t want to let me go.
Not that I wanted to leave.
I was surprised by how many goodbyes I had to say; even more by how very difficult many of them proved to be.
And while I’ve managed to get most, if not all, of the broken things fixed, there’s one that – obviously – has no quick fix, and I can only hope that the coming two months and a half of cycling adventure will serve to heal it, or at least provide a distraction.
That said, not even the prospect of adventure could give me enthusiasm. I want to do this, I want to finish this trip I’ve been dreaming and planning for over twelve years, but right now, I couldn’t care less. If it weren’t for some common sense and a great deal of stubbornness to finish what I started, to keep to plan, I might have stayed. For a while at least.
Better leave while I don’t want to.
Now, do I realise that, however painful it was to say goodbye, I’ll probably lose contact with many of these folks?
Is it clear that the few months I spent in the city were prety much the “honeymoon phase” of living in a new place?
Am I aware that the very transience of this setup is a great part of the magic?
Still, I spent five months of my life there.
I shed the armour of numbness that I’d been wearing for longer than I care to recall.
I became, however fleetingly, part of the place. A small and insignificant part, but a part nonetheless.
Of course it broke my heart to leave.
But heartbreak is beautiful if you embrace transience, if you can appreciate the bittersweet flavour of change.
Better leave while you don’t want to.