* 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.
Let Me Know What You Think!
Fox News,,….. pfffftt
The Runaway Guide says
Man, it’s like these people have never heard of the concept of a theme before. ‘Runaway’ is a obviously a theme for a travel blog, not a how-to site. Goodness.
Ian Robinson says
Leif, You don’t need to apologize for urging people to runaway. Especially not because FOX News (a nefarious organization to say the least) claims that you inspire people to runaway.
Americans need to runaway!
So what if you take some abuse from some “Fox News watching” travelphobes who are afraid their kids won’t fall in the couch next to them and let villainous characters like Bill O’Reilly brainwash them into fighting on some retarded side of a non-existent culture war!
If any of these dredges took the time to read your site, they might have a different opinion. They might say, “wow, working on a tour boat in Egypt might be more fun than watching this stock report program on my TV.”
But they didn’t and they don’t. They reacted to a non-sense news story and then paid no attention to a new opportunity. Screw em
Keep doing what your doing Leif. America needs more runaways.
Ron | Active Planet Travels says
Leave it up to the press to turn something totally positive into the worst thing in the world. We all support what you’ve done 100% Leif and don’t let anyone get to you. I think it’s obvious who have been following you on your journey and understand what your true message is. Those who just skim through, don’t read into your articles and get the wrong message obviously have a stick up their ass… ;-)
Good post. The best sentence for me is a minor one though: “I hope to self publish a book soon about the year I ran away.” Yay, you are still working on it ;)
The Runaway Guide says
Yup still chipping away, I want it to be perfect that’s why I’m taking so long.
What a such simple bad-ass thinker they are. If they take for granted the blog’s name (runawayguide),so why not they questioned about the name of hundreds PC games which obviously show inappropriate name such assassination etc?