When travel is a vanishing act

View from security cameras at an office.

The view from security cameras at an office. Photo: Matt Mordfin / Flickr Creative Commons

One of the thrills of travel is the chance to escape from your current life and create a new one. Sometimes, this is temporary and we return to our normal lives. Other times, you might want to make a permanent disappearance.

Lifehacker had an article called How to Ditch Big Brother and Disappear Forever. It’s an interesting exercise to think up ways to do this hypothetically. The world is so connected and computerized that it seems impossible. Every time you log onto the Internet, hit up an ATM, or make a purchase, that gets recorded somewhere.

For a fascinating case study, see the Wired magazine project Vanish: Finding Evan Ratliff. The magazine challenged the writer to disappear off the grid for an entire month. Then it launched a manhunt and enlisted readers to find Ratliff. You can read reports on the hunt on the Vanish blog.

In Evan’s Daily Costume Change, he documented his disguises by taking a photo of himself every day he was on the lam. On the other side of the chase, the most active trackers shared their accounts in Stories from the Hunt.

Have you ever thought about pulling a disappearing act? Share your opinions in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (1)  | November 5, 2010
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind, Vagabonding Advice

One Response to “When travel is a vanishing act”

  1. Desiree Kane Says:

    I totally have.

    And I realized that I have to consciously force myself to disconnect or I’ll go e-bonkers. What’s scarier is the agitation that NOT being connected/reachable creates.

    I haven’t been out of the country in nearly 10 years now and, tbh, wanderlust is a bitch! LOL

    Great post!