When everyone says “you’re running away”

No running sign. Photo from Nomadic Matts website.

No running sign. Photo from Nomadic Matt's website.

A common headache many vagabonders face is criticism from people back home. They say things to make you feel that travel is irresponsible. If you return home to work, they think you validate that their lives are “the real world” and your adventures abroad aren’t.

Prolific travel blogger Nomadic Matt hit out at the haters with his great post, Everyone says I’m running away. He echoes the sentiments I’m sure many of us feel. His post is a grand manifesto about vagabonding in general.

This excerpt is a good sample:

“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.”

There’s a good follow-up article over at Brave New Traveler called, Are long-term travelers avoiding “real” life? It delves deeper and links to more related articles on this topic.

Have you ever been criticized for your travel lifestyle? How did you respond?

Posted by | Comments (9)  | November 20, 2009
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

9 Responses to “When everyone says “you’re running away””

  1. Sabine Says:

    Pure jealousy, that’s what I think. Thanks for the link.

  2. Christine Says:

    My mother said that about me. I am an English teacher in Korea. She called all the lo lng-term English teachers abroad “losers” who “can’t make it anywhere else”. That is so wrong. At least they are WORKING and doing something with themselves.

  3. Lindsey Says:

    My older sister has thrown that on me for years! And it’s always…. ‘Normal’ people don’t travel like you do….honestly- after five years of living as a gypsy; all I can do is nod and smile on that affair. But it makes it difficult; especially when it is blood family.
    My friends, over various states and countries just want pictures 🙂

  4. Nora - The Professional Hobo Says:

    Ha Ha – Ever feel ahead of your time? I wrote on this topic a few months ago too, when a friend challenged me by suggesting that full-time travel is an act of withdrawing and escaping from our responsibilities to society.
    If interested, check it out here:

  5. Backpacker Says:

    Some people may get envy of how we (as travelers) treat life, how we enjoy life. All I want for my life is to SEE the REAL BEAUTY of the WORLD. That’s my ULTIMATE GOAL why I am traveling and EXPLORING the WORLD.

  6. » Travel and art of running away :: Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog Says:

    […] written before about how to handle such a response from friends and family, but what do you say when it’s true, you are running […]