Originally posted on May 6, 2015
When planning an open ended trip, there is always someone that will tell you that you’re running away from your life. Are you?
I’ve read this in several blog posts by travel bloggers, like Nomadic Matt (post here) and by Kristin (post here), on how travelers must be running away from something otherwise they wouldn’t be going from place to place. To me, the situation is a bit different because people (friends, family, coworkers) have been telling me that same thing for quite some time.
When I first went off to college, it was normal. I mean, people move away after high school to go to college sometimes. You’re not a weirdo if you do it. But then I began applying for jobs and internships outside of the state of California, and before I knew it, I was being questioned as to why I applied so far away.
There was an odd thrill about being somewhere with street signs that are different from the ones in California. I had never in my life heard a tornado warning on the radio until I arrived in Colorado. I first heard a warning on potential hurricane while watching the dark sky in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
That set me off into a continuous search for a place where I felt better. I moved around southern California trying out different schools, and then went up north to San Jose.
A fear of commitment?
The truth is that me, like a few other bloggers out there, feel like we have to have an answer for this question that just doesn’t apply here.
When planning an open ended trip, there is always someone that will tell you that you’re running away from your life.
Who says you’re running away?
Let me guess. It’s someone who is pursuing a career, or climbing up the corporate ladder, with a perfectly planned out idea on how their life will be 5 years, 10 years, heck, 20 years from now. They have plans to purchase a car, or a house, they know they have to plan for retirement early, but are still waiting to start putting money away because they haven’t found their perfect savings plan, or they still have a few shows to catch up to on Netflix.
He or she takes a while to figure out how to deal with the “gatekeepers.”
Who are the gatekeepers?
The ones who tell you that you don’t have enough experience to get that job, that your GPA was too low for the entry level position, the ones who tell you: you need a piece of paper to pass through here.
Like a tollbooth for life, where admission to schools, jobs, to visit a country, to vote, to buy a car, to own a home, and to adopt a dog require a piece of paper from someone, along with some hard-earned cash in order to be allowed to do what we want to do.
This pressure, to live life just like everyone else in our society is put onto us by the same people who have accepted this as their fates. They can actually tell you, with certainty, how their life will be in 5 years. Is that what you want? I hope your answer was yes, because otherwise you’re one of us, and dealing with those ideas can turn out to be quite the challenge.
So are you running away?
Running away? From what? From a made up idea that we have to live life like the majority? Running away from another person’s perspective on how your own life should be?
I believe their intentions are good, they believe that they are helping you by watching out for you and potential dangers of the great big scary world out there. That maybe you’re not saving up for retirement, and you’ll end up homeless. They want you to be safe.
In order to use the term “running away” there has to be something to run away from, and in my case, it is always going to seem like I’m running away from life to those who believe that I want to live like they want me to live.
“Face your problems,” is something that I’ve heard as well.
Facing the problem would mean conforming to a life I don’t want. If you have found yourself in this position, where people have started asking you why you’re running away, ask them “From what?” and they’ll give you a vague answer, like “From your life.” The thing is, your life is something that you have a choice in. You are 100% in control of what you choose.
So no, you’re not running away from your life… you’re living it.