I’m really lucky to be doing what I’m doing. I get to travel the world and write about all the crazy adventures I have. But by far the most rewarding part about being The Runaway Guide is not drinking massive amounts of sugarcane juice or surfing down volcanoes but rather the ability to inspire people to travel and the chance to help kids like myself.
In the past two years, I’ve received thousands of messages from kids who want to run away from home. It’s not easy responding to some messages but I try as best I can. I generally tell kids to stick it out, to stay strong, and to make travel plans for the future.
Occasionally, I receive responses such as the one below and nothing makes me happier. I realize that I have the power to help people, that I’m on the right track, and that I was always destined to be The Runaway Guide.
Message From An Australian Kid
I messaged you a little while back on tips for running away. At the time, I was deadly serious. I was pretty sure you would just say “don’t do it,” and leave it at that, but I was prepared to go anyway. I would have ignored you, but what you said truly amazed and inspired me.
What you basically said to me was; “I recommend you don’t go, but I will respect your decision.” You promised to help me out if I did go, even help me set up a travel blog for income. You said what you thought was best for me, but you didn’t question my decision. It was disconcertingly wonderful to get that kind of respect, and I thank you.
Despite that, I decided to leave. I took the tips from your website and your message, and put together a plan. I know how I will get money, food, water and shelter. I know how I will get away, and where I will go. Hell I even have a bag packed! All that is left is for me to walk out that door.
But here is where things get strange… I don’t need to anymore! My entire motive for running away was stress, mostly around school and family life. I felt trapped in this life, and I needed to break free. Now I can… and that is enough for me. Just knowing deep down that, if it ever does get too tough, I can up and leave with relative security, it is a really comforting thought. In a strange way, it makes everything so much easier.
But to the point, all I really wanted to say is Thank-you. You have given me a security, a comfort. Your tips, advice and respect have given me that little bit more strength I needed to keep going with life, and now everything seems so much easier. I am hardly stressed in school now… and it feels great!
If I do end up leaving, it will probably be in the next week. My parents are away, so I am staying with my grandmother. If I catch the wrong bus on the way to school, I will have until the next day, possibly longer before any-one thinks anything of it. But I don’t think I will. I don’t need to anymore.
So one last time Leif: Thank-you for everything, you are truly an inspiration.
Having actually run away from home, I am in a unique position to help kids like myself. I’m young enough to remember the intense longing to be free and run away but I’m experienced enough to know that it’s not a healthy path for anyone. Even if I do nothing else than help a few kids, this blog, The Runaway Guide, will have been worth it. Thanks to everyone who follows and supports me. If anyone wants to chat about anything, you can message me through Facebook at The Runaway Guide.