What was your experience with running away

Why you can't run from yourself

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At first I just wanted to travel. Once around the world. Not forever - only for half a year. After I left my company, I had the time and money to do it. The trip should be a unique Become an experience at the end of which I wanted to return and work somewhere again. But then it turned out differently. On the way, I started a successful blog that soon financed my travels.

That is why I stayed in Germany for only a few weeks after my return. In a short time I met friends and family and then moved on. Only later did I try to stay longer in Berlin. It should be two months. Two months in which I tried to find a new everyday life. But that was harder than I thought, because the ceiling quickly fell on my head. After meeting all of my friends once, I didn't know what to do with myself. I felt increasingly alone and saw little meaning in my existence. I had too few deep friendships for my taste and I was also missing a partner.

That's when I started running away.

I cut the time in Berlin by a few weeks and flew to Mexico earlier than planned. As soon as I got there, I suddenly felt better. The sun laughed in the blue sky, there was a lot to discover, I learned Spanish and met other travel bloggers. My questions about meaning also vanished into thin air. I was happy in those days, but I knew it wouldn't last. At that time I wrote home that I would be fine, but I know that it would not last at home. In everyday life I could no longer suppress my longing for better relationships. I knew I was on the run.

Despite this early insight, it would be a year and a half before I settled down again. For so long I kept going to feel better on the other side of the world than I could at home. If I kept moving and discovered new things, I was fine. During this time, I hardly thought about what I was missing.

But the longer I traveled, the more the new thing lost its charm. Soon I didn't want to see temples, waterfalls, and beaches anymore. They all looked the same. I increasingly lost the desire to move on and stayed longer and longer in individual places.

When there was no daily change, I quickly felt that I didn't automatically feel at home abroad. After all, I stayed the same person. Regardless of whether I was in Leipzig or Cape Town, I had the same thoughts and feelings, self-doubts and questions of meaning. I was still the quiet guy with low self-esteem. Wherever I went, I always took myself with me.

Travel and other symptoms of an escape

As a digital nomad, I wasn't the only one on the run. Most nomads wanted to leave their old life and do something new. One or the other could imagine returning home, but were afraid that they would no longer find their way in normal everyday life.

However, traveling is not the only way to run away from yourself and your problems. Other behaviors can also be symptoms of an escape. Before I started traveling, I would dive into my work a lot. I often stayed in the office until late at night. I worked from home on weekends. In addition to my jobs, I also pursued other projects at times. I was mostly successful with this, which made me all the more to draw my self-esteem from my work. Outside of my job, however, I felt rather uncomfortable.

Everyone escapes in their own way. For some, it's work and travel. Others move to a new city - as if everything were better there - or change jobs in the hope that the next one will finally make them happy. Some people see the answer to their dissatisfaction in a larger apartment or a home. In other cases, a new partner should turn things around or a child should save the relationship.

Many people long for a fresh start. If only the external circumstances changed, they would be better off. Do you believe. But no matter what we change on the outside, there is never a solution to the problems on the inside. We all always take ourselves with us, because in the end it still is wewho have the next job, live in the new house or have to get a partnership right. We look from the same eyes, stuck in the same head, have the same memories of the past and expectations of the future.

Endure instead of running away

We can only bring about changes in ourselves. To be comfortable with ourselves, we need to go to the root of the pain. The sooner we do that, the better, because the problems don't go away on their own, and sometimes they become more urgent the further we try to run away from them. By throwing myself into work and later traveling again and again, I moved away from my real goals. I wanted better relationships, but they don't exist on night shifts and on trips around the world. I took the opportunity to get to know my friends and new people better. I've only been to the office or traveling.

My work has changed in the meantime. It is no longer in the foreground of my life. I allow myself to give more space to other things. In addition, I no longer work alone, but with Jasmin, and in this way I can deepen a friendship at the same time.

I also stopped traveling last year. I no longer feed on the daily changes and the highlights of traveling, but try to make an ordinary day nice for myself. In the meantime, I can work on my relationships or build new ones that are sustainable and not dependent on the weather, as was the case with long-term travel. I create opportunities for myself to meet new people. I approach my neighbors a little more, attend events more often, take part in dance classes, do sports with other people, sign up for group travel and promote online dating more than before. These are all new routines that bring me closer to my goals.

That doesn't mean that I always feel good at home. There were phases when I wanted to run away. Just get on the plane and away. But I force myself to endure something instead of fleeing.

Even if everything is not always beautiful, I can feel how things are going in my life. My friendships have improved. Until two years ago, I only saw my friends every few weeks. We told each other what was new and went our own way. That’s much better today. Things are also looking good when it comes to partnership. It has paid off for me not to flee to work and travel anymore.

Probably it would pay off for everyone. Also for you, in case you run away from something. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel like it at first. It is easier to give in to the escape reflex. Facing your problems in the eye takes a lot of energy. It means spending time with yourself, stepping out of your comfort zone, enduring sad moments, and taking responsibility for yourself.

But even if the great satisfaction is a long time coming, at least your self-esteem will benefit if you endure your problems instead of running away. Because self-esteem arises from acceptance, conscious experience and personal responsibility. Over time, the escape reflex will also decrease, because why should you flee from someone you like yourself?


Photo: Man with a Shutterstock suitcase

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