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EVERYONE SAYS I’M RUNNING AWAY

My dad always asks what I’m running away from with my travels. A few weeks ago, a commenter told me to stop running away and to start living life. “Grow up,” they said.

And, years ago, 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 long term and isn’t interested in settling down or getting a conventional job must be running away from something.

They are just trying to “escape life.”

They are running away from responsibility, being a grown up, heartache, their problems, etc, etc.

We’re all just Peter Pans refusing to be “adults.”

While society thinks traveling is something everyone should do at one point — it is only gap years after college or short vacations that are acceptable. Get it out of your system and come back into the Matrix.

Those of us who lead nomadic lifestyles, or who linger just a bit too long somewhere before reaching that final homestretch, we are accused of running away.

Yes, go travel — but just not for too long.

We nomads must have awful, miserable lives, or are weird, or have had something traumatic happen to us that we are trying to escape. 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 say to you—you’re right.

Completely right.

I am running away.

I’m running away from your idea of the “real” world.

I’m avoiding your life.

And, instead, I’m running towards everything — towards the world, exotic places, new people, different cultures, and my own idea of freedom.

While there may be exceptions (as there are with everything), most people who become vagabonds, nomads, long-term travelers, and wanderers do so because they want to experience the world, not escape problems. We are running away from office life, commutes, and weekend errands, and the corporate 9 to 5. We’re running away from the strict path society has laid out as normal. The one that makes as mindless little ants marching too and fro.

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. I want to look back and say I did exciting things and lived life on my own terms, not say I spent my life reading blogs like this during my lunch break while wishing I was doing the same thing.

No one dies going “If only I had spent more time in the office!”

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