People sometimes ask what I’m running away from with my travels. I’ve even had a few tell me to stop running away from my problems and to start living life. “Grow up,” they said.

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, problems, etc, etc.

Long-term travelers are refusing to be adults. I even had a boss one time say, in reference to a traveling musician, that even her husband knew better and got a real job.

While society thinks traveling is something everyone should do at one point, it’s 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, are all too often accused of running away.

Yes, go travel — but just not for too long the world says. Responsible people don’t just travel forever.

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.”

To all those people, I say – you are right.

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

I’m avoiding your life.

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 nomads 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 us mindless ants marching to and fro.

We 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!”

The accepted path of the “American Dream” is go to college, get a job, get married, buy a house, have your 2.5 children, raise them, and then retire. Only then, after you’ve put in your time, can you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Society boxes you in and restricts your movements to their expectations.

And any deviation is considered abnormal and weird.

People may want to travel, tell you they envy what you do, and say they wish they could do the same thing. But they never do. Few people must the courage to take the leap, no matter how much their heart pulls them. They are simply fascinated by a lifestyle so outside the norm.

Well, I don’t want to be normal.

I feel like the reason why people tell us we are running away is that they can’t fathom the fact that we broke the mold and are living outside the norm. To want to break all of society’s conventions, there simply must be something wrong with us.

Life is what you make it out to be. Life is yours to create. We are all chained down by the burdens we place upon ourselves, whether they are bills, errands, family, etc. If you really want something, you have to go after it.

People who travel the world aren’t running away from life. Just the opposite. Those that break the mold, explore the world, and live on their own terms are running toward true living, in my opinion. We have a degree of freedom a lot of people will never experience. We get to be the captains of our ships.

But it is a freedom we chose to have. We looked around and said, “I want something different.” And then we went for it.

I’m not running away. I’m running towards MY idea of life and what that new normal looks and feels like.


  1. What a fantastic definition of the way we can choose to live our lives authentically and our freedom to do as we choose is a beautiful way to thrive.
    I have followed the Norm way too long and it has cost me a great amount of heartbreak.
    The greatest part of the adventure is looking deeply into who we are as individuals and finding acceptance through love. ?

  2. Carrie, I love to read what you write and hear you tell stories! Your positivity is rubbing off on me? At my age, we gotta be like sharks…keep moving and doing! Blessings for safe travels always. GlennyGlen of the Big Bend?