The Runaway Guide on Fox News

the runaway guide featured on fox news

You guys aren’t going to believe this but I’ve made Fox News! And of course their story is as ill-informed and ill-researched as all of their news stories.

Here’s what I have to say to Fox and the hundreds who have messaged me

I’m very sorry about this situation but I will not be held responsible for it. However, I will do my best to help, not out of guilt but out of compassion. In fact, I have already tried to make contact with him.

My site and fb page is first and foremost a travel adventure blog. It is a place where I chronicle my travels. It is not a place where “kids meet adults” as claimed by fox news.

The title refers to figuratively running away. Most people understand this. However, since I was once a runaway and it is an integral part of my life and story, I can’t leave this part out.

Most of my readers are backpackers and people who aspire to travel.

Yes my site glorifies travel, but it does not glorify literally running away for teens. It is a point I am quite clear about throughout my site.

In the one article that actually pertains to kids running away, my primary goal has always been to dissuade them from doing so. In fact, part of the reason why I started this travel blog was to provide an informed resource by someone who actually ran away. Previously all that was available to kids was this terrible wiki article, , that hardly touches on the negative implications of running away.

In addition, I often feature articles which encourage kids to travel in more orthodox ways and with their parents consent. Please see, How To Convince Your Parents To Let You Runaway.

Understandably there will be some kids who will be inspired by my site, they will disregard my guides which asks them not to run away, and do so anyways. In this case, it was not my site or guides that planted the seed. They found my site because they felt so serious about leaving home that they went so far as to research it on the internet.

I receive hundreds of e-email a month from kids who want to runaway.  In them I try to understand their situation, give them strength, convince them that there will be plenty of time to travel in the future and ask them to wait until then. I always advise all kids under 18 who contact me specifically not to run away. I have a unique perspective, kids can relate to me, and this puts me in a position where I can actually help.

As a result of my site, I am very confident that I have inspired many people to travel. I am also confident that I have prevented countless kids from actually running away. Both of which have always been my primary goals.

To all of you who have sent me messages recently, please first read my site before you blindly accuse and label me such absurd things as human trafficker, and a pedophile.

Please read through it first.



Let Me Know What You Think!

  1. says

    That is just a crazy misrepresentation of the truth which Fox News is amazing at! Obviously nobody (including you) would want underage kids roaming out on the streets. This site is meant to be inspirational and prove that you can in fact travel with very little. Says nothing about LITERALLY running away from your parents. Anyway, great site and keep up the good work!

  2. James says

    Keep in mind that this is a local Fox affiliate, not Fox News. I can’t believe the posts on this families Facebook page. I replied to a few posts, but expect they will be deleted soon.

    It is good to see from the comments on their website that a lot of people can actually read and know what your website is truly about. Their story is ridiculous.

  3. Jib says

    Hi Leif,
    I’ ll just say the same line I said to you, : Thank you for your inspiring website, Leif. And I still wish to continuously read the good works from you !!

  4. Paula says

    this is so funny, your site is about a love of travel not running away from home. silly fox news twisting anything into a story

  5. says

    This is the craziest thing I’ve read all day! Geez, man, bet you didn’t want to get your 15 minutes of fame this way, huh? Ouch! Keep you’re chin up, mate.

  6. says

    Parents are clearly afraid of information. Total BS story, I definitely agree :)
    But keep doing what you’re doing because the world needs the knowledge you provide. Where else can someone learn about hitchhiking and camping and scrounging for food?

  7. Cathy says

    The twist the news gave your website is unfortunate, but the name “Runaway” appealed to my ‘grown up’ sense of adventure, and I looked up your site immediately! At least you have some free advertising.

  8. Miguel says

    I can’t believe Fox News can call themselves journalists? I wonder if there is any type of law or anything to help out. You don’t even have a forum on this site so its not realistic that the kid would run away with someone from this site. If your domain is with Godaddy I would switch that ASAP because they don’t offer protection. Once someone wants your site down they either fine you or confiscate your domain.

  9. Elena says

    If kids want to run away, they will eventually. Better to be prepared than not.

    Leif, it’s a good thing you’re doing.

  10. says

    Wow, and there you have it. Now you see why I have to get out of this crazy country for a little while… this is the kind of crap we have for “news”. I’m sorry you have to endure this sheer ignorance and sensationalism. You have done a wonderful thing with your website, inspiring unknown numbers of people to follow their dreams. In fact, I am one of them. You helped to inspire me to quit my job and get out on the road as a backpacker– even start a blog myself. Forget about this rubbish, enjoy the silver lining of increased traffic to your site! Best of wishes with your travels and hope to run into you along the way.

  11. Levi says

    bs…If they had actually read some of your posts before the report people would understand that you’re not trying to convince kids to run away. If anything, you’re trying to get them to travel minimalistically. There’s nothing wrong with traveling the world and having some fun. Keep up the good work and don’t let stupid people get to you.

  12. says

    Leif my man,
    I woke up this morning and checked your website for any new articles as I do on a regular occasion, and this popped up. After yesterdays read about motorcycling through South America, I did not expect to see this slander portrayed upon you from propaganda central, Fox News.

    I like this website for a variety of reasons, mainly the unique content, adventure stories, and no shame travel stories. This site does not teach nor have any articles related to teaching your pi***ed off 16 year old how to run away from home, because they hate there life.

    It is about running away from the mainstream, confirmative corporate bullish*t and living the life you really want to, not the life you were led to believe you should live. The life of monotony, rushing, wanting and living with a chain and shackle. I cannot sum it up better than a band I like called ‘The Brow Horn Orchestra’, already have;

    “There’s youth- soon to be consumed by the rat race
    ‘til too fat to crawl back through the cash maze
    They say: “strive for wealth and get a wage,
    And climb enough to buy yourself a better cage
    And like the cogs in some great, grey machine
    The city teams with lost who nay-say their dreams
    And fiend for the weekend and that dim light time
    To find the wrong side of the thin white line
    Its cut-throat, so don’t get blood on your best tie”…

    I have been travelling for over 4 years now and always found work as I went along. Therefor I have never had to go to a extreme methods as Leif. But I have friends who lived off dumpster diving in Barcelona and who lived in squats all over Europe.

    I was living in Spain many moons ago and had no work and virtually no money. So I bought and chopped some fruit, walked along the beach with containers filled with big juicy chunks of watermelon and made enough to live and always had fruit to live on!

    My point is this.

    Have some respect for what ‘The Runaway Guide’ is really doing. He travels the world, to places most would never dare, documents the highs and lows, in a funny and honest way.

    This is not a website devoted to selling $29 eBooks on ‘How to break free from the corporate grind and become a unique snowflake like me’, as many travel blogs have become.

    Leif always finds a unique way to show his entrepreneurial spirit while on the road and showed this in Africa selling cut up Palm sugar. Even if someones child was thinking about running way, and stumbled upon this website, they would hardly be planning on running away to Africa!

    Keep up the good work Leif,

    I wish you all the best and hope this backfires on Fox and you get a million new subscribers!


    Adam F

  13. says

    I can’t even watch the clip, I’m already angry enough just hearing about this. Sorry you were misunderstood and ignore the angry mob, you’ve got a great site and an interesting story and you’re not forcing anyone to run away (what a stupid thing to even imply).

  14. says

    Oh my goodness. I don’t really know what to say :| When I first read your blog and read the important articles, I figured out that you created this blog to encourage people to travel, but with hopes that the readers will think twice before they do that decision to run away from home. We have different reasons on why we went to get out of the house and I dunno.. I just feel that your site is not the one to blame at all! I don’t see any forum or chatroom here. I hope the researchers of FOX News will do better next time or they should’ve just emailed you first. Let’s talk on FB soon. Take care, Leif!

  15. Alex says

    Ridiculous… Ignore them mate keep doing what you’re doing and don’t back down or edit/delete old posts. You have done nothing wrong.

  16. says

    People only read what they want to read. This is ridiculous. Accusing you of making people run away from home. And the people from fox, obviously haven’t read anything from your website. This is just putting the blame on someone else. They should look at the relationship with their childeren first, before accusing anybody else.

    I think this is a very inspiring website, keep doing what you are doing!

  17. Oleg says

    Hi Leif,

    wow, i can not belive how your amazing travel blog was misunderstood by Fox. I would never have imagined that just by the name people can judge, since by just browisng 1-2 minutes everybody can see that its allabout backpacking…stay tight man !

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