“Everyone Says I’m Running Away”: A Tribute to One of My Favourite Posts From Nomadic Matt’s Travel Blog

So far everything on this blog has been written by myself or Andrea. But sometimes others have already stolen the words from your own keyboard.

The piece this is quoted from was written by Nomadic Matt and posted on his blog in 2009. Though I only read it years later (at the prompting of my mom – thanks again for showing me!), it’s one of the reaffirming statements I often turn to when in doubt about a life spent abroad. It’s not an easy enough choice as it is – leaving behind the idea of a conventional career, a house, financial security, friends, and even the prospect of having a family a lot of the time (well, for me this isn’t a big one; I’d rather birth pineapples than children). But having others criticize your choices, the priorities you make in your life, is almost the most difficult.

So for anyone who’s ever wanted more than the slatted light of venetian blinds bending around the corners of your cubicle, or who’s dreamed of a life where dreams do come true (hello Disney upbringing!), or felt too guilty or guilted to follow your deepest goals, I’m spreading this post so that you don’t have to feel you need to validate your aspirations.

Your life is your own path: don’t let it be muddied by the opinions of others. You have every right to make your life into anything you want.


Quoted from “Everyone Says I’m Running Away” by ‘Nomadic’ Matt Kepnes

“The general opinion is that traveling is something everyone should do—that gap years after college and short vacations are acceptable. But for those of us who lead nomadic lifestyles, or who linger just a bit too long somewhere before reaching that final homestretch, we are accused of running away.

“Yes, travel—but just not for too long.

“We nomads must have awful, miserable lives, or are weird, or have had something traumatic happen to us that we are trying to escape. People assume that we are simply running away from our problems, running away from “the real world.”

“And to all those people who say that, I say to you—you’re right.

“Completely right.

“I am running away.

“I’m running away from your idea of the “real” world.

“I’m avoiding your life.

“And, instead, I’m running towards everything – towards the world, exotic places, new people, different cultures, and my own idea of freedom.”



To read the complete article and much more by Matt Kepnes, visit his travel blog “Nomadic Matt“. 

9 thoughts on ““Everyone Says I’m Running Away”: A Tribute to One of My Favourite Posts From Nomadic Matt’s Travel Blog

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. It has always been my opinion that whichever way someone chooses to be happy and productive without hurting anyone else is the right way. There are 2 key concepts in that sentence, however. Living that kind of life at the expense of someone else’s well-being or on one’s parents’ wallet is a whole different matter. Other than that, there’s nothing wrong with doing it “your way”. Enjoy! Life isn’t worth living otherwise.


    1. Lol yeah on someone else’s wallet is entirely cheating ;P here’s to the satisfaction of of every cent of sweat getting you where you want to go!


  2. I’m glad you posted this. There is no guarantee as to what length of time one is given for Life, so it is crucial to decide what it is that is most important…most desired and yearned for with the longing of heart and soul in the core of one’s being…and figure out how to achieve it in order to feel fulfilled and content with the end results. Some people have no desire to travel…they truly want the things Matt turned his back on. Others want to travel only in small holiday packages. Those who want to embrace long-term travel and make the world their home should not face the criticism of those who do not. Each of us choose our own journeys according to what we love or fear. Love serves as a magnet drawing us towards our passions and priorities, fueling us with determination to help us overcome all obstacles. Fear will convince the majority to not even attempt the chosen path…to try another route, or redefine and lessen our ambitions. Fear is the one that will leave you full of regrets at the end of the road. All the shoulda, woulda, couldas are the result of fear. That, in itself, is enough incentive to keep your focus on your personal dreams and goals and to ignore the headshakers and naysayers and follow your own star.


      1. Thanks for you being my daughter ❤
        I'm glad you are living your dreams and value the days. In the stories of our lives minutes are punctuation, hours the words, days the paragraphs, weeks the pages, months the chapters…until the years become the book.


  3. I hope all 121 of your blog followers get some inspiration to “follow that star”. Speaking of which the crew of the NC1701 did travel far and wide seeking out new adventures. I’m glad you are following that direction and happy that you have the motivation to DO IT !


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