* The following are responses to the most common questions I have received lately.
1) While I’ve read you do not condone or encourage literally running away from home, would you say that in some ways your site promotes it?
Yes, my site does promote and even glorifies running away but in the figurative sense. It is designed to prepare, empower, and inspire others to travel the world. Through my guides I illustrate that travel can be extremely cheap, and if you’re up for it, even free. It is for “the runaway” in all of us.
However, in no way does it promote kids to run away from home. In fact it completely discourages it, a realization that is blatantly evident upon further investigation into my guides. Here I illustrate the extent of my mental and physical suffering during that year alone on the road without a dime. I encourage kids under 18 to seek more orthodox means of travel, such as a gap year or study abroad. I also advise them to first seek their parents consent. Please see, http://www.runawayguide.com/health-spirit/how-to-convince-your-parents-to-let-you-run-away-travel-the-world/
I did not plant the seed. They found my site because they felt such desire to run away that they went so far as to research it on the internet. And upon further research I confidently believe most come to the conclusion that it is best not to.
However, I do receive hundreds of e-mails a week from kids who are contemplating running away. 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.
2) Do you believe sharing your own story could encourage a teen on the verge of running away to do so?
I don’t believe that my site pushes kids to runaway any more so than by watching “Into The Wild.” As I stated in the former question, I am confident that my site ultimately dissuades kids on the verge to reconsider their plans.
3) Also, I spoke with a father of teen who ran away. He said the name of your website is inappropriate. How do you respond to that?
Yes, it would be inappropriate if I where whole heartedly encouraging kids to runaway. But as I hope you are now aware, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.
The site name obviously stems from the fact that I myself was a run away who traveled around the world. It is an integral part of my life and my story. I hope to self publish a book soon about the year I ran away. I hope that when kids read it that they can run away through me, instead of doing it themselves.
To everyone who has criticized my website recently I ask you to please read further into it before you jump to conclusions. Considering what was previously on the internet, a step by step guide on running away without including any of the negative implications, I believe and hope that you will find that my site is ultimately a beneficial resource for kids contemplating running away from home.
Regarding the recent runaway named Jon, I am very sorry about this situation. However, I will not take responsibility for it in any way. I offered to help not out of a sense of guilt but out of compassion. I had never been previously contacted by him. Additionally, I am not sure how, as Fox News claims, he connected with “gangsters” through my site or facebook page. There is absolutely no way this would be possible. To the family and friends, I understand your situation more than most and I pray for the safe return of your loved one.