Runaway Career Counselor

Runaway Career Counselor

Written by Heather

Topics: Planning & Reflection

Long before I decided to embark on this journey, but definitely during the time I talked about wanting to do it, I received an email from one of my best friends. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but I’m guessing he had been pondering this for a while. It was a relatively short message, sharing his concern that by leaving to travel for so long that I was actually running away and hiding from something. Sure, there were a few things in life at that time that weren’t the easiest to contend with, but they certainly weren’t making me run for the hills either.

I appreciated his desire to challenge me to assess my motives and make sure they weren’t centered around withdrawing from the present. I wondered if it would be selfish to leave my friends and family to travel and fulfill a dream. Would I be letting someone down? Did someone need me here more than I thought I needed to do this for myself?

Last fall, I came across an article from The Professional Hobo, and Nora shares that for her, full-time travel is an act of engaging with others — not one of withdrawal. Though it may not seem like the responsible or culturally expected thing to do, long-term travel does not mean you are disengaging from the people and issues you care about. It can mean the very opposite.

I will certainly miss birthdays, national and family holidays, special events, late-night conversations, hugs, laughing at inside jokes til your sides hurt, and many small but intimate moments with friends and family while I’m away. But it won’t be because I’ve chosen to run away from anything. It’s because I’ve decided to pursue something worth chasing. And knowing that for a year or so, loved ones will be an email, phone call, IM, or video chat away.

Still think we’re on the run? Check out Runaway Jane’s article on why traveling is not running away.

9 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Thanks for the mention, and I’m glad my article could provide some inspiration and help around this issue. You go girl! (smiles)

  2. Jane says:

    Hey, thank you very much for the mention! :)

  3. Poi says:

    I will miss inside jokes a lot. My group of friends has a lot of these (I’m sure most do) and I often find my self laughing at work at what appears to be nothing to other people.
    I will miss my friends loads.

  4. Andrew says:

    That is a cool article. I totally agree. I jumped off the expectation grind 2 years ago and moved to Europe. I have interacted with as many or more people here than I would have in 2 years at home. And due to modern Internet I still get to have contact with my friends all over the world.

    Travel may be running away from some things (it was in my case too), but it is also running TO a lot of other things.

    • Heather says:

      Agreed! There’s always probably a couple of things to run from, but MUCH more to run to :-)

      Just catching your recent post on dealing with fear. I *really* appreciate when people talk about the emotions encountered on this journey and look forward to following along with yours.

  5. Eager Existence says:

    Found your blog from The Aussie Nomads post about you. Interesting that we are all at a similar place in our lives. Can’t wait to read more. Now following.

  6. Lizzie says:

    Hi Heather, I was so excited when I stumbled across your blog, as I too am a Runaway Career Counselor! Well, I’m a Volunteer Coordinator based in a Careers Service at a University in the UK, and am moving to Vancouver for a year in January. It’s funny how you spend so long telling other people what to do with their lives, and then realise that you should start listening to your own advice! I’m now catching up on the rest of your blog with much interest!

    • Heather says:

      Lizzie — so great to meet another runaway :-)!!!! Going to go check out your site too. Curious what you’ll be doing in Canada!

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