Everyone Say I’m Running Away
My dad always asks what I’m running away from in my travels. A few weeks ago, a commenter told me to stop running away and live life. And I once came across a blog called “mom says I’m running away.” I’m not sure why but there is this perception out there that anyone who travels for a long time and isn’t interested in settling down or getting a conventional job, must be running away from something. Traveling is something everyone should do and gap years and short trips are acceptable. But for those who make being a nomad a way of life or people who just linger a bit too long before they make that final stretch home, we are accused of running away. Our life must be so bad or something so traumatic happened to us that we leave, wander, and never stop must be the reason behind our travels. People assume that we are simply running away from our problems- running away from “the real world.”
And to all those people who say that, I have to say to you- you are right. Completely right. I am running away. I am trying to avoid life. I’m avoiding your life. I’m running away from your “real” world. Because, really, I am running towards everything- towards the world, new people, and my own idea of freedom.
While there may be exceptions, most people who become vagabonds, nomads, and wanderers do so because we want to experience the world not to escape our problems. We are running away from office life, commuting, weekend errands and into everything the world has to offer. We (I) want to experience every culture, see every mountain, eat weird food, attend crazy festivals, meet new people, and enjoy different holidays around the world. Life is short and we only get to live it once.
As an American, my perspective might be different from the rest of you. In my country, you go to school, you get a job, you get married, buy a house, and have your 2.5 children. Society boxes you in and restricts your movements to their expectations. It’s like the matrix. And any deviation is considered abnormal and weird. People may want to travel, tell you they envy what you do, wish they could do the same thing but really, they don’t. They are simply fascinated by a lifestyle so outside the norm.
I feel like the reason why people tell us we are running away because they cant fathom the fact that we are doing what we want. We broke the mold and lived outside the norm. To break all of society’s conventions, there must be something wrong with us.
Years ago, at the height of the economy, a book called the “The Secret” came out. According to The Secret, if you just wish and want hard enough, you’ll get what you want. But the real secret is that you get what you want when you do what you want. Life is what you make it out to be. Life is yours to create. We are all chained down by the burdens we create upon ourselves, whether they are bills, errands, or, like me, self imposed blogging deadlines.
People who travel the world aren’t running away from from life. Just the opposite. Those that break the mold, explore the world, and live on their own terms are running towards true living in my opinion. We have degree of freedom a lot of people don’t. In fact, it was that freedom I saw in travelers years ago, that inspired me to do what I am doing. I am running towards the world, not away
And I never plan to look back.