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View Full Version : I think I messed up - please help!!



nancy sv
04-04-2008, 12:18 AM
I'm hoping you guys can come up with some brilliant solution to this problem I've created for us...

As you know, we are taking off soon to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina. A guy wrote to me a while ago and asked if he could join us for a portion of the journey in either Central America or South America. I figured he meant a week or two, so wrote back and said we would love to have him join us.

He's written a number of times to check in and let me know he is still interested in joining us, and I wrote back cordially.

Anyway, a week ago he wrote and said he was trying to decide if he wanted to join us for the Mexico to Panama section or the Ecuador to Argentina section - YIKES!!!! I wrote back that Mexico - Panama would probably take us 6 months since we move so slowly. It is possible to do all of Central America in a month or two, so I figured he thought we were going pretty fast.

So today I get a message from him that he is still trying to decide which segment he wants to do, but he wants to help the "team" - should he take more Spanish lessons or a bike mechanic class - which do we think would help the "team" more?

Now I'm freaking out. There is no way we want this guy with us for 6 or 8 or 10 months!!!! I don't mind a week or two - that would be fun. But the logistics of dealing with four people and a dog through a bunch of countries is pretty involved - and to add another person into that could be awful. Not to mention that we kind of enjoy traveling together as a family and would like to keep that.

I do think he's a nice guy and I don't want to shatter him - but I need to let him know somehow that we only want him with us for a week or two. Certainly not a whole bunch of months!!

Any suggestions?

sassandgroove
04-04-2008, 12:22 AM
Wow. YOur trip sounds amazing. Can I come. (kidding....)

I would just tell him the truth. "This is a FAMILY trip, we want quality family time together. We were thinking you could join us for a week or two." Also maybe tell him what part of the journey you were thinking, instead of leaving it open.

Good luck and have a great safe trip. :D

icerose
04-04-2008, 12:35 AM
Wow. YOur trip sounds amazing. Can I come. (kidding....)

I would just tell him the truth. "This is a FAMILY trip, we want quality family time together. We were thinking you could join us for a week or two." Also maybe tell him what part of the journey you were thinking, instead of leaving it open.

Good luck and have a great safe trip. :D

I'm with Sass, make a clean cut, offer him the ideal segment you'd want him to be on and give him the expected time frame and what would help you out, but make it clear you've been planning this as a family trip and you want to keep it that way as much as possible and add in that he's a sweetheart to be willing to give up so much time to join you, but you just can't have addons for that long on this particular trip.

nancy sv
04-04-2008, 01:05 AM
I just feel so... I dunno - like a slime ball for leading him on or something. But honestly - it never occured to me until last week that maybe he was thinking long term! I suppose I need to draft a letter and break it to him that we just can't have him with us for forever!

melaniehoo
04-04-2008, 01:07 AM
I agree with Sass. Better to tell him now than have to break it to him when he's already there. You'll feel better being honest about it.

nancy sv
04-04-2008, 01:15 AM
How do I get myself into these messes???

melaniehoo
04-04-2008, 01:27 AM
Wait, I just reread your original post. You're taking your dog?

Autodidact
04-04-2008, 01:31 AM
I don't think you even need to justify it. You just say "We can ride with you from x to y, then we'll be doing the rest alone."

Yes, melanie, just call her Nancy "And the Dog" Vogel.

sassandgroove
04-04-2008, 01:36 AM
How do I get myself into these messes???

You are nice. BUt there is a big difference between being nice and being a doormat. Don't let this go at the expense of hating your trip and resenting this guy and being mad at yourself. It is good and valid to draw bounderies. If you feel better tell him you misunderstood when you agreed and you were just thinking a week or two. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

bluntforcetrauma
04-04-2008, 01:47 AM
Just kill him and dump the body in an out of the way location. Problem solved. Thank you. Drive through.

DWSTXS
04-04-2008, 01:54 AM
I agree with sass. Tell him that he's okay for a week, but afterwards it reverts to FAMILY vacation.
My bet is that, even if he's told this, he will try to string along a lot longer than he's welcome to.
It might be better to be firm, but brutal and say he's not welcome. (unless he REALLY, really understands that after a weeks or so, he MUST leave the family vacation.)

If he does that. then BFT had the right idea.

nancy sv
04-04-2008, 02:02 AM
Wait, I just reread your original post. You're taking your dog?

Yep. Crazy eh?? For the record - the dog was my husband's idea. That being said, John is now wanting to leave the dog with my sister, but I've fallen totally, completely in love with the little guy and he's going with us. Period.

melaniehoo
04-04-2008, 02:04 AM
Yep. Crazy eh?? For the record - the dog was my husband's idea. That being said, John is now wanting to leave the dog with my sister, but I've fallen totally, completely in love with the little guy and he's going with us. Period.

Wow. I'm so curious - does he have a little cart behind the bike, sit in a basket... how does that work?

nancy sv
04-04-2008, 02:08 AM
I've got a milk crate on the back of my bike that he rides in. I've blogged and posted pictures about his little basket here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=90#more-90

melaniehoo
04-04-2008, 02:12 AM
That is too adorable! And practical. I wonder if you can use regular velcro straps and attach them yourself, just so things don't fall out.

What a sweetie!

nancy sv
04-04-2008, 04:42 PM
He is soooo cute riding in his crate!! I think he'll be a lot of fun to have a long. Yes - he means an extra 20 pounds, which is a lot, but he'll be worth it.

I've looked the velcro and I think I've found some that should work. That's on my list of things to do in the next few weeks.

yappo
04-04-2008, 04:58 PM
Wow, are you allowed to bring pets across the borders all over the American continents?

Sten

Hillary
04-04-2008, 05:39 PM
(Get ready for a post with a total lack of helpful advice.)


I've got a milk crate on the back of my bike that he rides in. I've blogged and posted pictures about his little basket here: http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=90#more-90

Adorable dog! You make have said somewhere, so sorry if I'm making you repeat yourself, but is Dash a Rat Terrier?

maestrowork
04-04-2008, 05:42 PM
Yeah, let him down easy. You can still be nice when you say "no" to someone. Just be honest, and say, "I'm sorry, there must have been a misunderstanding. We'd love to have you for a week or two, but it's basically a long FAMILY trip..."

nancy sv
04-05-2008, 03:59 PM
Wow, are you allowed to bring pets across the borders all over the American continents?

Sten

Yes. We will have to have statements from the vet that he is healthy, but otherwise we should be fine. In all actuality, we've heard that most of the borders we'll be crossing won't even check the papers - but we'll be sure to have them just in case.


Adorable dog! You make have said somewhere, so sorry if I'm making you repeat yourself, but is Dash a Rat Terrier?

Yep - isn't he adorable? I just love that little dog. I had never heard of a Rat Terrier before, but I think I'm sold.


Yeah, let him down easy.

I sent out an email today - explaining that there had been a big miscommunication and that we can't do 6 or 8 months with him. We could meet for a week or two, then meet up again for a week or two further down the road, but we will need our space. I hope he doesn't feel too badly!

nerds
04-05-2008, 04:56 PM
Well. I'd be careful, nancy, in whom you hook up with. I find this to be at the very least faintly grasping, needy, something, on his part. Doesn't sound right at all. But then I don't worry about being nice, I worry about who people really are, and I'm not a trusting sort at all.

This is like inviting someone to a dinner party and they become the Guest Who Would Not Leave. Not good.

Your children will be with you, and you know nothing about this man. The above advice is good advice. Set limits, tight ones, and he'll just have to take them or leave them, period. He'll live, believe me. There's something not right about all this presumption of his.

Ken
04-05-2008, 05:30 PM
why not invite him over to your home to stay with you for a few days. That way you could get a good idea what he's like. If he is really as nice as he seems you could have him along for the 6 months, or maybe even for the whole trip. By the end he could become a part of your family, instead of remaining out there on his own :(

kikazaru
04-05-2008, 06:12 PM
why not invite him over to your home to stay with you for a few days. That way you could get a good idea what he's like. If he is really as nice as he seems you could have him along for the 6 months, or maybe even for the whole trip. By the end he could become a part of your family, instead of remaining out there on his own :(

Yikes! Kidding right?

nancy sv
04-05-2008, 06:38 PM
Bike touring is a funny thing - we often hook up with people for a week or two and then part ways. It really is fun to have someone with you sometimes to kind of change the routine. So when he wrote about it at first, I was like, "Sure! That'll be fun!" Even if he ended up being a jerk, what's two weeks? We would survive.

Anybody who will ride a bike thousands of miles with all their earthly possessions on it is someone I can trust - that I know. So I don't worry about this guy in that sense - it's more just personality. I don't know if we will really get along with him, and I don't want to commit to a long term thing with someone I don't know. (It sounds CRAZY to hear those words come out of my mouth because that is EXACTLY what I did with my husband. I didn't know him from Adam, but committed to spending a YEAR with him cycling in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. When we arrived home we got married.)

maddythemad
04-05-2008, 06:45 PM
Egads. This is not a fun situation.

That being said, I think you definitely need to tell him the truth. Otherwise the whole trip is going to be a lot less fun, and he will probably figure out sometime during those 6-8 months that he's not really wanted. Just tell him very nicely that although you would LOVE to have him along for a few weeks, you're afraid this is really a "family trip," and maybe you should have made that more clear.

Good luck, Nancy. :)

nancy sv
04-05-2008, 06:56 PM
Thanks Maddy - I set out the email last night, but haven't heard back from him yet. I'll find out soon enough how he feels about it!

maddythemad
04-05-2008, 06:58 PM
*crosses fingers*

Susie
04-05-2008, 09:35 PM
Much good luck, Nancy.

Bartholomew
04-05-2008, 10:49 PM
If you didn't want me to come, you could have said something. :(

Ken
04-05-2008, 11:18 PM
Yikes! Kidding right?

Yes.
Just trying to cast this whole scenario in a clearer light, in hopes of getting Nancy to reconsider traversing about the country with a stranger. IMO she should just tell the guy she cancelled the trip and then go without him, unethical as that is.

JimmyB27
04-06-2008, 12:33 AM
Nancy, did I mention you guys are my absolute heroes? The dog too, that's so awesome!
As to your problem, you could always just slash his tires and pedal off before he wakes up one morning if he turns out to be someone you don't want to travel with.

AmyDoodle
04-06-2008, 12:37 AM
Just kill him and dump the body in an out of the way location. Problem solved. Thank you. Drive through.

I think this is the way to go. Except I would mount his head on a stick on the front of the lead bicycle as a warning.

You know, just so everbody's sure of where you stand.

Just sayin'.

JimmyB27
04-06-2008, 01:09 AM
I think this is the way to go. Except I would mount his head on a stick on the front of the lead bicycle as a warning.

You know, just so everbody's sure of where you stand.

Just sayin'.
Make sure you take it to a taxidermist first though, it'll really start to stink up after a few days in the heat. Trust me.

nancy sv
04-06-2008, 02:45 AM
Make sure you take it to a taxidermist first though, it'll really start to stink up after a few days in the heat. Trust me.

And exactly how do you know that?

nerds
04-06-2008, 03:40 AM
I think this is the way to go. Except I would mount his head on a stick on the front of the lead bicycle as a warning.


Excellent.

JimmyB27
04-06-2008, 01:47 PM
And exactly how do you know that?

Uhh....educated guess. Yeah, that's it.

AmyDoodle
04-06-2008, 07:02 PM
See there, Nancy we're here for you.

We gotcher back.

nancy sv
04-06-2008, 08:54 PM
I heard back from him - he's good with it. That was basically what he had in mind anyway - meet up here and there as we work our way southward. He is hoping to find some NGOs along the way and volunteer for a couple weeks, then continue on. All's cool!!!