This is an email I sent out on November 14, 2010. I apologize for not updating this website sooner – it’s been pretty rough these last months.

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I have some news… can’t say it’s bad news, really, but it doesn’t feel quite like good news either. Let’s call it “conflicted.”

I am going home to Madison, Wisconsin.


During some touristy time off in Alexandria, Egypt, I slipped on some wet concrete and fell off my bike. It was such a little thing; it took less than a second. But the ramifications are turning out to be much larger and more far-reaching than I could’ve expected.
I was hospitalized for surgery in a foreign country (again) and they installed a titanium plate with 11 screws to stabilize the wicked communuted fracture on my left femur. There were other complications as well, but that’s part of the full story, hopefully coming soon.
Lily came to take care of me. Then my mom came to take care of me. Capers came and helped too. I thought I was getting better; I figured I would be able to walk with a single crutch(and therefore be able to take care of myself) before they all had to leave again. But I wasn’t.
Not sure why (a “high rate of non-union” with this type of fracture?) but it hasn’t healed very much at all, and the orthopedic surgeon’s latest recovery estimate was 5 months before I can even put any weight on it.
That’s too long to couchsurf, and being able to walk normally(and ride a bike fully!) is too important to me to risk living on the streets of Egypt or in my tent out in the desert somewhere…. so I’ve decided to go home and stay with mom for the recovery.
This means an airplane. Which sort of represents a complete breakdown of my principles. Sort of feels like giving up, sort of feels like failure. This world bike tour has become my life, and though “going home” has always been the goal, I really wanted it to be all the way around the world first, by bike and sailboat. Anyway, to grossly understate matters, it was a hard decision to make, and not without its sorrows.

But I am not giving up on the tour. I am leaving my bike with a good friend here in Alexandria, so one day(probably after a year or so of recovery) I will be back, to dig up the scarab, to visit he accident site, and to pick up exactly where I left off.

Hopefully this will just make a great part of the whole story. And whatever route my emotions or opinions about this may take, up, down, or around… well, it’s life, vibrant and glorious, as always.

Wish me luck!

With Love and Joy,

Thank you.

Charles Brigham

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4 Comments on Going Home

  1. From knowing you through work, and from reading you thoroughly, you’re not a failure. Don’t let something like this get to you, Chas, this isn’t the end of anything. It’s merely a forced break, a cosmic high-sticking penalty.

    The universe has a sick sense of humor. You’ll be back to pick up where you left off.

    Just don’t get fat in the interim.

  2. Hey Charlie! Seems like you cycle for world revolution too these days… don’t feel that you need to entirely deny responsibility for the Arab Spring, i just hope that the place is in a better way when you return to your journeying!

    here’s a long delayed Hi from Hackney,


  3. Oh no.
    I just found this page again (since I forgot the name) and -what horrible news.
    I hope your recovery progresses well and you can continue.

    I wish you all the best and karma and peace and everything! 🙂

    Linda (CS in Vicenza@Maximo)

  4. Hi Charlie, I’m just a visitor of your page. I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Just want to say that it was really exciting finding this “blog biography” on this morning (through couchsurfing) and reading it. It’s like reading one of the autobiographies that I’ve been reading lately (even though they’re mostly spiritual ones). It’s very good, I could almost feel the pain in your descriptions and feel like I was there with you. And it’s better knowing that this is the real life of people. Well, I think my message for you is keep going, you’re really good on writing, this that happened is just part of the process; and what i want to share if it’s of any help is, it seems to me that whenever we’re too convinced, too sure of something or some idea(let’s say going to one extreme) we become unbanlanced and then the universe comes and shakes us up so we can come back to the middle, not going to one extreme or the other, just staying in the center. whenever we become too attached to one idea, the universe comes and creates a situation that can make us let us go of that attachment. only then the real nature of the being that we are (which is not an idea, is just being mind-free,beyond mind or thought) can once more be free, and fluid.
    hope you’re ok now, and hope to see more of your posts. thank you.

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