My Meltdown Moment

Before setting off on this adventure across India, I knew there would be tears. I just didn’t know that they would well up inside me from from a place I didn’t expect whilst negotiating Pune’s morning rush hour.

The night before saw us blow a gasket at sunset, and wait in the dark for three hours whilst another kind stranger, who had already driven 20km to pick up a mechanic, was sourcing a new part for us from the next town. Surely that would be enough to evoke some eye leakage, right? But nope; we happened to parked up at a coffee shop at the time, and chose to count our blessings instead (in the form of multiple cappuccinos).

Once we were back on the road, we drove through the dark 10 km to the next town, which was decidedly devoid of hotels except one garish, bright-green monstrosity of a place with the ill-fitting word of Palace in the name. The owner expertly identified us as sitting ducks, and wanted to charge us a ridiculous price for a grubby room, but we weren’t willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater and risk being homeless for the night after a long day on the road (and by the side of it).

After a much needed but all-too-brief sleep, we hit the road at 6 am, heading for the city of Pune, which we hoped we’d clear before rush hour. Only, it’s always rush-hour in India, and when it was my turn to drive, we had just entered the city’s outskirts.


I got into the drivers’ seat and made my way through the intensity of the city roads, a feeling of utter apathy washing over me. Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe the complete lack of enthusiasm I felt, which was soon replaced by a healthy serve of anger sprinkled with self-pity.

I had tackled Ahmedabad’s city streets, as well as the hellish highways of Gujarat, and survived. Thrived, in fact. I didn’t know what my capabilities were before starting this journey, and I now knew I was capable of things I never thought possible.

I said out loud, “I know I can do this now, but I just don’t want to do it anymore!”

And then it all started catching up with me, especially the part about missing Tyrhone so much for the last four weeks I’ve felt as though a vital limb has been missing. I’ve been limping through, not wanting to admit that I miss my boyfriend like crazy, and that as much as I have had a wonderful time with so many fantastic people, I’ve missed the life we created together so much it hurts.

As motorcycles cut in front of me and cars sped past, everything melted away into the milky, smoggy air – my fear, my lack of faith in my abilities, even my desire to be independent and adventurous. Perhaps that was the major lesson in all of this for me, to recognize the love I have for my life and the person I choose to spend most of my time with, like really, understand how great and amazing it is, and stop looking at the tiny things that make it not-so-great, like the fact that he never does dishes.

And there I was, the picture of ridiculousness; a 32 year-old woman driving an orange auto-rickshaw through heinous Indian traffic whilst quiet tears snaked down my cheeks.

Then we got a flat tyre, and my meltdown was rudely interrupted by a problem that needed solving. And after it was solved, we cleared the city limits of Pune, headed for warmer climbs through southern Maharashta to Goa.

I felt better, lighter, and able to have a quiet giggle at my mid-morning melt-down, content in the knowledge that although the lessons I am taking out of this journey are not what I anticipated,  I’m learning exactly what I need to learn.

But I still miss my boyfriend.


My Meltdown Moment — 31 Comments

  1. Gosh, I don’t blame you. You’re made of tougher stuff than I am for handling all of that and not just throwing in the towel when the tire blew, but actually rising to the challenge and dealing with it. Wow. 4 weeks is a long time, especially when you’re going through so many incredible challenges. Even with amazing people around who you adore, it’s not quite the same as having that one person who understands you with only a glance (or less). Sometimes we just gotta go through it, though. Enjoy your brief day off and the rest of the ride! You guys are killing it. :)
    Carmel recently posted..Christmas Dinner & a Farewell (for now)My Profile

  2. Miss you too babe, and very proud of how your handling yourself. Nothing more rewarding than a good life lesson, keep soaking them up and you’ll come out of it an even more well rounded person than before.

    And yes, I hate washing dishes…

    Love you :)
    tyrhone recently posted..Life choices, the art of SacrificeMy Profile

  3. I am very proud of you Sarah and you should be also. What amazing memories you will have when you have finished in a few more days.Enjoy the rest of the trip as soon you will be sitting on a beach somewhere in the South of Spain. Enjoy every day. Love you.

  4. Bless you! I think doing what you are doing, it is absolutely understandable that you have a moment like this. All the new impressions, the pressure of completing the ride, the hectic life in India, the traffic, the people surrounding you with no sense of spacial awareness-I would have had a breakdown after the first day! Keep on going-not long to go now!
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Top – 10 things to pack for voluntary placementsMy Profile

  5. You are amazing! What an adventure. You are in our thoughts, both Alex and I dreamt about you last night. We were hanging out at a party :) Wishing you a day of safe travels. Lots of love xoxo

  6. I always love reading your posts because the way you write just evokes so many images.

    I love the honesty and all your realizations. Isn’t it great that we are fortunate to have these opportunities and life lessons to realize what we want and don’t want and to remind us what we are really grateful for in life?!
    Lauren recently posted..Photo essay: Istanbul, TurkeyMy Profile

  7. Hey sweetness. To have only had one major meltdown moment amongst all the challenges of what you’re doing is pretty bloody good! I had a dream a few nights ago that you finished the run at Cinqe Terre in Italy and were loving the awesome beaches there!! X

  8. You’re on such an amazing but intense adventure (I imagine!) that I’m sure it’s only natural for you to experience extreme highs and lows. Missing someone is one of the worst kinds of pain, but keep in sight that you’re doing this for an amazing cause. I’m looking forward to more stories from the road!
    Amy recently posted..Our Packing ListMy Profile

  9. So beautifully said Sarah. You and Tyrhone have something very special. I’m sure he is super proud of his adventurous girlfriend x

  10. India’s roads are enough to make anyone cry 😉 Its good to have a cry sometimes and just to let everything out that is bothering you, you feel so much better afterwards :)

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