How to Disappear Completely And Never Be Found


I wanted to move into a homeless shelter because I thought that girls who were homeless would be more likely to go out with me.

I had this fantasy version of what a homeless shelter would be like. We’d sneak around to each others rooms as if they were dorm rooms. It would be romantic. Lots of giggling. And crack smoking. Heck, I’d try it. For love.

I had a job and wasn’t really homeless. I had a place to live. But my girlfriend at the time hated me I was pretty sure of it and I needed a change.  Plus the homeless shelter was right next to my place of work. I could’ve lived at the shelter and it was about a 20 second walk to work.

How great can life be? I ask again: How great can life really be?

The homeless shelter director said “no” to my request. He called my references. I had said I wanted to write about the experience. My boss, my ACTUAL boss at the time, said I was probably mentally ill.

I didn’t have that job for too much longer. Nor did I move into the homeless shelter. But they did let me give chess lessons there.

All of this to say, there’s something primal in me that wants to disappear. To mix with what I view as the lowest of the low, to forget about my past, to sign up for a future that is meaningless, to think only about right now and give up everything else.

[Related: Do You Make Fear Decisions or Growth Decisions ]

When I was a kid I bought the book “How to Disappear Completely  And Never Be Found.”

I don’t know if any of the techniques still work but here was the author’s plan:

Look at old newspapers from around the day you were born to find the names of babies that died that day. Ask your state government for their birth certificates.

This isn’t unusual. Many people lose their birth certificates.

Use the birth certificate to get a social security card (say you’ve been a permanent student up until now). Use the two forms of ID to get a bank account, credit cards, driver’s license.

Change your hair color. Lose weight. Put a tack in your shoe so you start to walk differently. Start siphoning money out of your bank account until it is all in cash.

Find a crowded city where you can rent an apartment cheap and disappear in the crowd. Plan on building an employment history by starting with temp or construction jobs.

Then disappear. Just walk out of your house and never go back. You’ve just committed pseudocide.

The word “pseudocide” fascinates me. Its like a “little death,” a phrase often used to describe an orgasm.

The book had anecdotal stories of people who had disappeared (how the author kept finding these people was never explained).

People running from marriages, lawsuits, the IRS, or maybe just every now and then someone needs an eraser, some whiteout to rub over emotions, fears, anxieties.

A clean slate that would bring a temporary Nirvana when some, if not all, of the mental and emotional baggage can be discarded with your old life. Wrapped up in a garbage bag and left behind a bowling alley.

The feeling never left me.

When I’m in a neighborhood I look around and judge whether or not I could disappear to here.

Would people find me?

Would I ever run across someone I knew or who recognized me?

Could I just be swallowed up by the chaos here, live in a shelter, work temp jobs in the back of a deli, argue in broken Chinese in some broken down Chinatown?

“Mad Men” is coming back this Sunday. Don Draper, of course, lives a secret identity. And one of the best episodes to ever appear in television history was the episode (“The Jet Set”) where he lived a secret identity within a secret identity – when he just simply disappeared while standing in the lobby of a hotel in California and went off with a bunch of wealthy vagabonds, each with infinitely long back stories that we would never know and never hear of again.

By the time Draper emerged from this new identity, he found himself wealthy, divorced, and dealing with the questions we all grapple with: who are we really?

I have baggage. I have people I care for. Other people I’d rather avoid. I have things I hope for. I have goals and ambitions. I have grudges.

No matter how much of a minimalist style you want to have, you still are stuck with all these things in your head, for better or for worse.

What if you could just wake up in a new place and all the baggage is gone?

What if you decided, “You know what, these goals aren’t worth it. Too many people die while climbing the perilous mountain of their goals.” When you are young you think you can climb that mountain. But when you start to get a little older you realize, “Damn, if I fall then that’s a long way down.”

Disappearing into the depths of some ghetto, satisfying only your minimal needs, using your aura of mystery to acquire minimal friendship, and just living each day as it is dealt to you, might solve these issues.

The question is: with your current identity, can you live as if you’ve already disappeared?

We all want to de-clutter. To throw things out. But a minimalist lifestyle is bullshit unless you can do it across every sheath in the daily practice: not just physical, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual.

More importantly is to throw away the baggage, the grudges from the past that 1000 years from now will mean nothing, give up on the ambitions for the future that are more trouble and anxiety than they are worth, to de-clutter your brain.

To be free. To suffer a “little death” or to be “born again.”

Picture yourself in a brand new identity. Truly homeless. A vagabond. A nomad.

Imagine you have enough in the bank. Imagine your prior responsibilities are all taken care of. You can go to India and live there for 20 years on almost nothing.

Nobody knows who you are. You are brand new. It’s as if you woke up in a new body. You have no connection to the past and no goals for the future.

Really picture every detail of it. When I visualize it I feel a great weight lift off my shoulders. I want to feel that way all day long.

Tell me the truth – how do you feel?

Related Reading:

How to be THE LUCKIEST GUY ON THE PLANET in 4 Easy Steps


Follow me on Twitter and then you can always track me.


Twice in “Mad Men” they play in the background “Song of India.” One time when Don is meeting Betty Draper in Italy. Another time when Don disappears into “the Jet Set.” The song evokes mystery, foreign-ness, a sense that anything is possible, a feeling of disappearing into a long-forgotten dream.

Here is a link to a non-vocals version of the song (i.e. what they play in the show):

 Song of India

I also like with vocals.  I actually think this is the version they play, but without the vocals.

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  • Thank you for this post. I think we’ve all felt this way occasionally, or often. Sometimes I want to just get in a car and drive to the middle of nowhere and start over. Then I realize no matter how far I drive or fly, unless I give myself electric shock therapy, my mind will always be my home, for better or worse. There’s no way to escape who you are, even if you fool everyone else. You can stay a recluse and be alone, maybe order all of your food online, never go out, but what kind of life is that? There are certainly times and reasons where completely running from your past and present makes sense, but in most cases what you have now is probably a lot better than what you’d have if you decided to run. It does feel like a big weight lifted off one’s shoulders in theory, but the truth is the grass is always greener…

    •  What if its possible to emotionally and mentally de-clutter in your current life, as if you had disappeared. So many blogs appear about living a minimalist lifestyle but i view minimalism as something that goes much deeper than just the physical. I don’t know. I just imagine, “what if?”

      • Nfamous365

        I agree in that the ultimate goal is to emotionally & mentally de-clutter your brain so that every day is like your first day in India, or your favorite place on the planet. With your help/guidance I’ve been starting my journey by first eliminating crappy people & then constantly having the “thought police” on patrol and deleting the “not useful” thoughts.  It’s a lot of work but the days do tend to be a bit easier & more productive when focusing on things that truly matter.

      •  Classical artists of a hundred years ago used to revere a polished finish (a detailed, realist painting) as reflecting an organized mind.

    • WesternWind

      hey there everycentcounts.

      Really truly think about this. 

      “You are not your thoughts” -someone other than myself.

      Maybe you can’t escape who you are; but who you are is ever-changing; your thoughts are just footnotes to help you piece life together. Do you still need someone to feed you or change your diaper?? No. You grew and will continue to.

      Maybe the grass won’t be greener; but what if it is??? 

      “.. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” ~ Steve Jobs 

      “It is even better to act quickly and err than to hesitate until the time of action is past.”
      ~Karl Von Clausewitz
      You are in your 20’s; even if you make a decision you aren’t content with (when it comes down to it; there is no such thing as a wrong/right decision; just ones we are content or unhappy with). 

      • reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes and the one that most closely matches my life experience:

        “If you reach for a star you might not get one; but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”
        Leo Burnett

        Personally, I never got that star but things have been pretty damn good and the reaching was fun.

        • Tia

          “Two men look out the same prison bars; one sees mud and the other stars.” Frederick Langbridge

        • Prismonic

          Life is built out of mud.

  • Andrew_ferri

    This is a brilliant enlightened piece. I left everything I knew in 2009, picked up and moved to souther California. Everyone said I lost my mind. I had a job on Park Avenue in NYC and left it to work at Joes Crab Shack and manage a small hotel in a surf town. I was healthier than I had ever been, I was making great choices and was happy. I was writing everyday, and was living a minimalist life on the beach. I met Abby during this time, and you know the rest. We were just married, the wedding combined my old life and my new happy one. I am so happy I left the old life behind.

    • Capitalistic


      • I left 8 years ago and moved to Ukraine..did some odd and ends teaching jobs here and banked some cash been free love it..but now am low on cash and have to return to the USA..Maybe work 1-2 years and return

        • avenger 402

          You’ve been to Ukraine?! Damn, I never thought that someone would want to live in such a sh*tty country (corruption and economic failures of the government destroy every merit of living in Ukraine – except that you can do literally everything if you have connections)…

          • UKRAINE is good :)

            fuck you? Ukraine isn’t that bad. You got all of that from the media? YEAH! Probably

    • Great comment Andrew thanks for sharing. I’m almost starting to think when someone calls someone mentally ill it says more about them than it does about you.

      Congratulations on your amazing new life. If I’m ever in California I’ll be looking for that crab shack to buy you a drink.

    • Andrew, congrats! I peeked at a picture or two on facebook. You guys look great and happy. And yes, sometimes we need that shaking up to free the mind so good things can happen. I wonder if every day there are “daily” versions of this we can do. 

    • That’s a great story Andrew. Do you miss any part of your old life?

    • Laura G.

      I fantasize about moving to a small mid-Western town to just be a waitress in a diner. I also work in the financial industry. Congratulations on your now happy life!

      • WesternWind

        You only live once. If you aren’t truly happy , then do something about it! Although I wouldn’t suggest the midwest…..Maine is nice; so is Portland.

        “.. almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” – Steve Jobs

      • Fibonacci85

        If you DO go to the midwest, make sure the area is homely. I’ve been in the midwest my whole life. Many places are just dead inside and it hurts to see. But don’t let someone like me change your dreams, home is what you make it, and dead or not, friendly people are everywhere.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously awesome comment! very inspiring!! I’ just finished college and I’m not enjoying the corporate life at all… I’m probably going to take a similar leap. Problem is I already live in Southern California….

      • Dizgusted

        For your similar leap I suggest that you move to Texas. Then you’ll realize how well off your are right now!

      • You could always move to the Florida Keys — island life with a road to the mainland.

    • Rob

      That sounds great, but how do you afford the cost of living?  Even a shack here is expensive.

      • justin

        Sounds like you;re in a big city…..
        I’ve rented houses or mobile homes in small towns in the south for as little as $160 a month.

        • Lyrik

          where? I live in the south and rent a room for $450/mo and can’t find anything cheaper than that.

          • userbronco

            Try a small town in GA

            Manchester , Lumpkin,

    • I AM NO ONE


  • I have thought about escaping my life quite often as of late. If only it were easier I probably would have done it by now. Psychological baggage will always follow you even if you try and lose it.

    • My guess is its possibel to drop the psychological clutter. But maybe its even harder than getting rid of the physical clutter.

      • Richard Dykiel

        That’s why changing your physical environment (location, life style…) helps. 

      • G3K762

        Physical clutter is harder to escape. Maybe you’re running from an addiction. That won’t change until you face it. Many people are. I have a marriage teetering on the brink of collapse after more than 25 years, no real reason….just drifted apart. My wife is going to make a decision on our future by July. In most ways, I’m saddened beyond comprehension about losing her. I’d be shattered.

        Yet somewhere deep inside me, there’s something that says “just go and never look back”. I hate living in New York, where the need for income trumps almost everything else. Our cash flow is usually tight, but we’ve been great savers and have close to a million between us in retirement assets. I could take my half, render unto Caesar (or maybe not) and go explore the vast west without regard for what tomorrow may bring. I’m a very young 47 and require little in the way of material goods. I’m torn. My wife is beautiful, thinner than our wedding day and a wonderfu woman. I just think she doesn’t really care for me any longer. I look to a life feeling sad for what I may likely lose, yet am excited at the prospect of real freedom. Does that make any sense to anyone?

        My youngest is in college, my oldest a military officer. I can still see them, but realistically, how much time do they really want with me?

        The future is bleak. The future is exciting. What will be the path?

  • Richard Dykiel

    Alternate scenario: live in a country for 42 years, marry, have kids. Then take your family to a new country and start a new life. You don’t disappear per se; you are still in contact, somewhat episodically, with your old friends. But you are now different, picking the new culture and set of ideas. I was lucky, it worked well for me – I won’t go back.

    • I like that idea also. 

      • Richard Dykiel

        James, want to try moving to my old country, France? They are desperately in need of your views on life, creativity.

    • Markie Mark

      How can you start a new life in a new country if you’re anti-social or rather not perceived as very friendly?

      • T.

        @Markie Mark: Moving to a new country if you’re anti-social is the perfect solution. My husband and I did it 15 years ago and we’re about as anti-social as they come. We live in a non-English speaking culture and we are as free as birds. When you’re non-native, no one expects you to be friendly. The cultural norms don’t apply to you simply because you *are* foreign. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, and don’t have to socialize with anyone you don’t want to. It’s a beautiful arrangement.

      • Richard Dykiel

        Well, how can you live your life today if you’re anti-social? Anyway it’s amazing how much can change in yourself, attitudes and all, when you press the big ‘reset’ button. It can be sudden, like a move elsewhere, or gradual, like the  changes James underwent in his own life.

  • Stuart Schrick

    Hey James you where mentioned in this article.

    Since on of your hobbies is monitoring your blog stats you probably already know.

  • Dear James,

    Fascinating post. Are you familiar with the 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer? He essentially escaped society, giving up an immense inheritance and lavish lifestyle in an attempt to find who he really was outside of the material world with all of the trappings you describe. After years of isolation and reclusion, he wrote that “life is a pendulum swinging between suffering and boredom, with fleeting moments of happiness.” Schopenhauer’s philosophy perfectly captures the spirit of this post.

    •  I am going to wikipedia him right now! I think this is also the first time I used wikipedia as a verb.

  • Heh; I’ve also read this book, and been fascinated with the concept of “disappearing” for a long time.

    At various points in my life I’ve “escaped” to a lesser extent: leaving my hometown in the northeast in my 20s, turning my back on academia and graduate school, and deciding to move cross-country for love. My girlfriend and I haven’t ruled out a more dramatic move together, if economic/political conditions in the US make it a good idea.

    As far as the “disappearance” you’re talking about, I think Emerson was right: wherever you go, your giant goes with you. Disappearing does seem cool (in a great-movie-idea sort of way) and a fresh start is sometimes just what someone needs, but to the extent that your problems are your own doing, they’ll follow you no matter where you go.

    • Anonymous

      Take it from me, Nick, turning your back on academia and graduate school was probably one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. 

  • Brasil61

    very nice James I did this ..twice..I’m 50 ..and not running from..was moving towards .. great book I read and took serious-> I Am That  

    • Funny, did you know I was reading that book this very second? 

      • not surprised at all.. James .. it takes work but is as clear and true as it gets imo ..and I have read alot.. I have been reading that book literally for years.. 

        • In fact, Claudia just said to me, “I wish this was on Kindle”. because we always have to carry it back and forth between floors. But I find its a good book to just open and start reading, which is harder to do with kindle. 

    • Murali

      I wonder if you have read any book from Sri Ramana Maharshi, especially, Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi. I agree, I AM THAT is an amazing book.


      •  Yes, I think Maharshi is the real deal. If I can list people like him I think the list would only be about 5 or six people. Who else do you feel is like him?

        • Murali

          I would list Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj  and  Sri Robert Adams (an American  disciple of Sri Ramana, who had met Maharshi in late 1940’s). Robert Adams’s book, Silence of the heart, is a  spiritual classic, albeit not as popular as I AM THAT.

        • J Krishnamurti for one … very much like Maharshi.. they get to the same place and K’s life story much more dramatic.. 

  • DaemonC

    James, this is an awesome blog. I was thinking this exact thing today! Sort of. I was thinking of “homeless by choice” which is pretty much the same thing. Yes when I think about it it seems like true bliss. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
    I am very happy with my minimalistic lifestyle, but you reminded me that others I care about need my help in navigating this truly thoughtless and unforgiving cruel world we call life. So I stay in for their sake. One day tho, it will be a reality. It is a reality, as long as you follow the golden rule. Make today an awesome day! DaemonC 

    •  Yeah, I agree. Its almost like you have to check the box on three things:
       – know enough to survive and take care of your responsibilities
       – be nice to others
       – and about yourself, know as little as possible.

      Then freedom.

  • Donna

    That music, Sadko Song of India Rimsky Korsakov, almost made me cry. And I’m all grown up.

  • Andrew_ferri

    And that’s my take away from this piece. I have taken steps backward as you know, since crossing over. It is a great point that we can do things in our daily lives to beak away. Thanks for checking in on us James!

  • Awesome piece! I think a lot of people can relate to the excitement that this very idea of getting a ‘rebirth’ creates!
    Reminds me of a 7-day meditation technique I read a few years back, haven’t tried it yet, though. Check it out here:

  • For about a hundred-million years our little furry forefathers roamed from place to place.  Over the past five-hundred-thousand years we perfected this nomadism by following the seasons, the herds, and the water, ingraining lifelong motion into our genome.  Once we stopped moving for a week or a season we would find a secure temporary place to nest. 

    Just a few decades ago Realtors got involved in the process.  They used our desire to nest as a tool to convince us that in order to be secure we must remain fixed to one place for a lifetime.  They made us believe that we must own the place and that we must insulate ourselves from the harsh world around us with as many things as possible.  Motion becomes impossible.  We become slaves to place and possession.   

    Today we attempt to satisfy our innate nomadism with a two-week trip to the Ixtapa but come away feeling the need for more.  When we know we need to make a change in life our inner vagabond kicks into high gear and drives us to want to shed possessions, shed the familiar and start-over somewhere new. 

    The internal conflict caused by these two realities – our innate desire to move clashing with society’s focus on keeping us motionlessness – creates big problems.  Recognition is the first step to resolving an inner conflict.  Realizing that the dissonance exists allows us to be mindful of how it shapes our lives.  After that, the problems solve themselves. 

    No need for sadhus or magical thinking.    

  • Murali


    Awesome post. 

  • Debbie Sharratt

    It makes shudder. I want connections to my past and goals for the future.They inform who I am and what direction to head. Without those things what purpose would drive your new life in India?

    • I don’t know. I ask this sincerely: is purpose a pre-requisite to being happy? The answer I lean towards is: No. Purpose happens automatically when we find happiness. 

      • Eric K Hyde

        I think you are attaching and linking the idea of success with purpose. I think purpose is a macro kind of life construct with goals being more an individual desire. And since goals are individual then success can only be judged by yourself and is not a shared yardstick. Shared yardsticks lead to standard rules- and thus often to unhappiness.

        But back to Purpose, which is a shared connection/destination of most humans who are looking for happiness. I believe our purpose, and also the way by which we attain happiness and joy, is by the human interactions and our service to those we interact with. And I don’t think that concept should only be applied to those we are related to, those we know, those who appear similar to us. I think if you are driving down the road and you see a board with a nail in it you should stop and throw it off the road, that if you see a man running in anxiety down the road you stop and ask if he needs a ride to whatever appointment he is late for, if you are in an airport and see a women obviously overloaded with bags and 2 kids you lend a hand.

        I live a hybrid of the two points you put in opposite ends of this spectrum. Every 2 to 3 years I get a message with 150 to 200 different city names on for me to select 6 places I might live. I pour over the list, I ask around, I draw on what I have learned from living on 4 continents in 6 countries and visiting over 40 countries since I was 19 years old in 1986 as to where I want to live next. Then after my 6 are whittled down to 1 (by my actions and unfortunately by other’s actions as well), I move there. In a very structured and intense process that has the name “Orders” attached to my “choice”.

        I arrive with a sponsor who takes me to a home that has all of the exact same pieces of furniture of the home I just left, I am taken back and forth to a workplace for 3 days to a place with not a single person who is the same as the last place I worked. But each person I run into at the new place has the same titles and jobs and do the same things as their counterpart doppelgangers did in my last post. I am then left on my own to learn the routes to all the places a human being needs to live. I find “my” grocery store, my service station, my restaurants, my auto parts store, and all those same but different places that we incorporate into life. And then on Sunday I go to Church (I am Mormon) where we are on the same number lesson from the same lesson manual in Sunday school as whatever place we have just left. The structure is the same, the attitudes and “yardsticks” are the same and within hours we will have found all of the doppelgangers from our old home in our new home.

        I have found what works for me. No, I don’t really disappear. But for many intents and purposes, I do disappear from my home in the States and from all of my family. They see me every 1-2 years and have little contact with me in between. I meet and build friendships and relationships with different people from different walks of life, and then every 2-3 years I “disappear” from that group of people’s lives and go to another place and country where I get to do it all over again.

        Hopefully, I will have learned something in the 2-3 years and I am better at everything on this “reset”. It is like moving in the middle of High School for my whole life. Taiwan, Hong Kong, L.A., D.C., China, Rwanda, Serbia, Iraq, and now Harare, Zimbabwe. I am currently sitting on one of those ubiquitous chairs that I have sat on for the last 10 years in this job and all of my “boxes of things” are in big wooden crates in Masasa, waiting for little pieces of paper that will let them go back “home” to DC. Where I don’t have anyone who will drive me to work and I don’t have anyone who will issue me a house and give me a chair like the one I sit one here.

        I am a little scared, but at least I know what lesson we will be in on Sunday in the Sunday School manual. It is a different way of doing things. One that works for me.

  • You are the haunted house, Altucher. You can’t run away from yourself and you can’t run away from the pain of BEING yourself.

    I preemptively apologize if I’m misreading you, or projecting.

  • while all of you here want to move to India ( I am yet to discover the joys of India!), I moved from Indian to the United States. It was a big move for me and especially learning how to survive in corporate America. I dunno if I would want to go back to India. I wish I could feel the same way you feel about India but my friend bitching about 10 hrs of power cut this summer at temperatures around 110 , I doubt it! Are you still planning to go to India? 

    •  Well, I was more thinking of tenement housing in Chinatown actually.

  • Your last paragraph reminds me of how Steve Jobs began his journey to build Apple.

    • “I wanted to be like an orphan, who had… just arrived out of nowhere, with no roots, no connections, no background” page 33, Steve’s biography!

      This one stuck out in my head, coz I live, or make effort to live, by this idea everyday! :) nice catch Richie!

  • Rickyleerobinson

    I did it and never looked back.  I am pretty lonely sometimes, pretty happy sometimes.

    • Having known you in your previous incarnation 30 years ago I can say, you really did do it! 

  • Thats so enlightening article. I’m from India. You really can dissapear there :)

  • This post really hits home for me. 
    I left everything and everyone I knew in Australia to live in Estonia in 2009. It was the best decision I ever made.
    We always have more freedom than we realise. 
    You really can become someone else if you really want to.
    PS I love ‘Mad Men’ and ‘The Jet Set’ episode too.

  • JP

    This pseudocide fantasy is, for me, best elucidated by the “Flitcraft parable” – a short, seemingly throwaway passage of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon,” excerpted here: . This parable also forms the beating heart of Paul Auster’s brilliant novel “Oracle Night.” I highly recommend both books.

    • “Oracle Night” is on my shelf. Will try to start reading it this week, thanks for the recommendation. Working my way through “Choke” at the moment by Pahliunuk. 

      • Funny that you are reading Choke (great book by the way) as a lot of discussion in here recalls ‘Fight Club.’ 

  • I have now lived in three countries and it’s usually me running away from some kind of pain. Last time I did this I moved from L.A to Vietnam for one year, at that time I was running away from a failed marriage. It did not work -it never does. My baggage checked-in with me on that flight to Asia. I have found that the best way to deal with pain is actually becoming friends with it. Get to know it, learn what triggers it, feel where it hurts, taste its flavor, chances are it’ll be bitter but this is the only way to know who you truly are, to discover that you don’t have to run away anymore is to find real freedom. But I still want to run away -everyday.

    • I think that is a good approach. Getting to be friends with the pain. I think the idea of visualizing the disapearance, and seeing the feeling it creates, and trying to hold onto that feeling and understand what feels good about it, is more useful than the actual running. 

  • I too always dreamed about being homeless, until one day I just did it… kind of.

    I sold nearly everything I owned on craigslist or donated it to Good Will.  That was how I bought my one way ticket from New York to London.  I wanted to disappear.  Whatever didn’t fit into my 40 lb backpack was discarded or left in the corner of my parents basement.  I left a secure job, a beautiful girlfriend and a great group of friends.  I often wonder if I was unknowingly smoking crack at the time – maybe sleep-smoking?  That was just the fear talking.  I would later learn that this was the best decision I ever made. 

    3 months of traveling through 30+ foreign cities, seeing the architecture, and experiencing the culture changed my life.  Sitting on a park bench reading and people watching for hours on end. I made quite a few international friends, mostly travelers.  They understood my horrible stench, tattered clothes, and grotesque travel beard.

    Then came my return to the U.S.  Culture shock in my home country was surprising to say the least.  Too much was going on.  Too much to grab my attention and pull me away from my goals.  But my trip had changed me to the core and allowed me to block much of it out.  Thanks pseudocide.  I rediscovered my passion for writing while I blogged about my adventure abroad.  I had seen, first hand, what a simple life not only entailed but how happy it could make me.  So, now I write.  I work meaningless jobs to make ends meet (frowned upon by my family because of my college degree).  But I’m happy with my life as a hobodrifter.

    Thanks for writing James…

    •  And thank you for writing. You are sort of a living example of how to do this.

    • Anonymous

       Uhhh Steve…. how are ya just going to leave a comment like that and not even post a link to your blog. Comon!

      • Tony

        I’m always amazing how how lack of “attention to detail” (laziness) permeates society.

        Did you not notice how Steve’s name above is hyperlinked in red?

        See, just simply clicking on it would have gotten you this url:

        • Anonymous

          Ya I already got it. But I decided to leave the comment as it compliments Steve’s contribution. But hey thanks for being a dick I’m sure you were happy for a few minutes.

        • Vickymex2003

          It’s good to know, Tony, that you’re “always amazing how how” while calling out other people’s errors. Attention to detail? Good luck with that.

        • UncleMookie

          Thanks for pointing that out, Tony. I’m (no kidding) colorblind…

    • lucybrewster

      Thank you Steve for your wonderful post. I know it is 3 years old, but I am just running accross it today. Stange how I found it. Watching the Bourne Supremacy, I saw him running the beach in India. I googled ” How to disappear completely…” and your post came up. You already know my heart. I am a wonderer too. It’s good to know about a kindrid spirit. My responsibilities to my husband and children in college prevent me from the vagabond life right now, but “these things too will pass eventually”, and I will be climbing the steps at Machu Pichu, washing up in a bathroom at the Luvre and basking on the beach in Belise.
      Love to you and all with wanderlust.

    • Jersey

      Steve, if your “meaningless jobs” allow you you to do something you love (writing), they’re rally not meaningless. None of us has to look very far to find someone with whom we WOULDN’T trade places for anything. Congratulations on finding a place in which you’re happy!

    • I AM NO ONE


  • “I wanted to be like an orphan, who had.. just arrived out of nowhere, with no roots, no connections, no background”
    – Steve Jobs (Biography)

    Leaving your past baggage, is the only way to experience the Happiness in life. You become just like an “Intelligent” “Kid”. What more could you ask for? ;)

    • Yes, well said. Its the Kid that is innocent but still knows what he doesn’t know and is not afraid to experience the freedom of exploration. 

  • I think I feel bored? If you remove the complex nature of expectations and everything you do in your life to meet them, life would be quite dull.

    Sounds like a fun experiment though.

  • Good stimulating post.
    Diogenes the philosopher, in the third century B.C., withdrew from the world, saying he wanted to live like a dog. Therefore he was called the Cynic. He was the son of a man who had been convicted for defacing coinage, and he wanted to do the same on a universal scale: to live like the social construct was like a superscription on a coin that, after all, was nothing but base metal.
    It’s a philosophy of retreat from a hostile world, (he lived under an oppressive regime), which has a certain character of “otherwordliness”. For example, he condemned Prometheus for having given Man the arts that produced the artificiality of the technological world, (in the 3rd century!); but material goods are not secure; only virtue  and contentment through resignation are secure, he said, and should be valued by the wise, which seems to me to be what you’re proposing. 
    But if you were to carry the proposition to its logical end, you wouldn’t be even writing on this blog.

    • Thanks. I did not know about him or Schopenhauer (mentioned in another comment) before writing this post and now after looking them both up they are definitely on my things-to-read list.

  • Also, I’m convinced that some people do this every 10 years or so, just without the disappearing part.

  • “Wherever you go, there you are.”–Buckaroo Bonzai

    • boo

      My husband and I did a cross-country move a few years ago and I thought it would be totally life-changing. In many ways it was, but boy did I come to understand that saying. A few of my problems moved with me because it wasn’t circumstances causing them, it was me.

    • Haha. I like that. 

  • Demian Farnworth

    Holy smokes just three weeks ago I just broke a three month-long funk in which I was ready to jump in the car and change zip codes every day. The only problem is I have a wife and children I love. 

    The temptation to disappear was real and seemed like a good way to solve my “problems” but in my case it would’ve been merely avoiding responsibility. 

    The legend about Gauguin fleeing to the South Pacific intrigues me, and the obsession with fame and the fear of failure…of not accomplishing anything “significant”…is behind my motive to flee often, thinking if I didn’t have a family I could devote myself to art and “really” accomplish something.

    I have a letter from Sweden, from the Noble organization, that says I won the prize in 2046 for Literature. It’s fake, something I made to motivate myself to write, but I often find that it interferes with my relational side of life. In the New Yorker the other day I came across a cartoon where an accountant announces to his family that he was leaving him because he felt like they were keeping him back from truly reaching his potential. Funny as hell, but all too real. 

    I know that in my case if I would have run my problems would only have compounded. Behind me a wake of destroyed lives…wife, children, mother, grandmother and really close friends, not to mention ruined business relationships.

    In my case the conquering of my depression was to take control of my life [I’d let it get out of hand]…make the right decisions involving work…and exert control in my sphere of influence was the answer to my problems. 

    I think guys by default want to flee. We are seduced by the easy rider life. That’s why I enjoy running long distances and hanging out in remote forests…by myself. But at some point I have to return to my responsibilities.

    I made choices to be where I am now so I’m obligated to fulfill the responsibilities. And be happy about those decisions. I really have a good life…great wife, wonderful children, the best of friends a guy could ask for, enviable work…so a lot of what motivates me to split is sheer self pity. Anybody relate? ;) 

    • Demian Farnworth

      By the way, I was about to share with you a link to a guy name Simon Black [not his real name] who runs a web site called Sovereign Man…it’s all about independence, planting multiple flags, nomadism…but his site…well…disappeared. 

      Try it:

      •  Interesting. I’m going to try and find out on

      • You’re right, (the sovereign man is too); it’s all about planting multiple flags and eluding the state. The feeling is unsettling at first, but exhilarating.
        Also, in the ascetic downsizing, lets-get-rid-of everything atmosphere of this post, I’d like to say a word in favor of the object, in the sense of the product of industry: industrial design is art. I love a car designed by Marcello Gandini, (check him out); I love light airplanes; boats, (you can live on them); furniture designed by Carlo Mollino, (check him out too). Creative activity is good. It’s human. Being human is good: even God became a man, just to try it. Let’s enjoy it. There’s no need to mortify ourselves.

        • Demian Farnworth

          You’re spot on Leonardo about creativity and being human. I love what you said “even God became a man.” It is good being human and creating. And I usually find myself in a funk when I neglect that side of my being because I get so focused on work or responsibility I fail to invest in creating. Thanks. 

    •  Demian, thanks for sharing this. And yes, I think taking control of life comes hand in hand with feeling the real relief that we imagine would come with disappearing.

      I try every morning to really really imagine it. To picture that freedom. I feel that relief wash over me and then the trick is to go into my real world but keep the relief. To keep that feeling of freedom, as I watch the prison bars disappear around me. The ones that my mind built and not anything man-made.

      • Demian Farnworth

        Well said, James: “The ones that my mind built and not anything man-made.” Isn’t that the truth.  

      • Richard Dykiel

        In reading those exchanges I realize I didn’t answer Jame’s question: “how do you feel?” Because I did change my life, and because it was a positive experience, I don’t need to imagine, but just to remember the feeling of freedom I experienced, and that I still experience after all these years. The feeling of having found a place in the world where I belong. Much as you don’t choose your family, you don’t choose your place of birth. But you always have the freedom to change.

        I remember when we were getting ready for the move; a friend visited us and expressed his envy at our moving to the USA. To our question “why don’t you do it? After all you are young and without strings”, he looked back at us and said “yes, but I’d be doing this alone..”

        Some people move to escape their lives, and some don’t move for fear of being alone, a foreigner in a strange land. 

    • Richard Dykiel

      Now that I have chosen where I wanted to live, I relate. But life is long, and once my kids are on their way, maybe I’ll live my next dream, casting off on my sailboat.

      • Demian Farnworth

        Richard, nice dream, and that’s something my wife and I think about, too! however, There is that tension though that we may not live to see the day our children on their way… So it’s kind of like finding that balance, right? Going freelance I’ve found has allowed me to find that balance. And because we homeschool we can take extended workations [though that’s not easy because I’m a routine guy]. :) I also try to keep in mind not to miss the present, namely investing in my children’s lives while they are still with us. 

        • Richard Dykiel

          Looks like you don’t need to read James Altucher anymore, do you? Just joking :-) Good for you finding that balance, and paying attention to the present is important. I’m just looking into the future, whatever happens.

          • Demian Farnworth

            Nah, I’ll never stop reading James, because it’s not the pointers and tips that draw me…it’s the raw storytelling from a stock guy that keeps bringing me back. ;)

  • Zacoking

    It’s an incredibly liberating experience to be in a city/country where absolutely no one knows you. I have had this a few times in my life and think it is extremely important to figuring out who I was and what I wanted from life. As you said James, it frees you from all expectations, all projections of how other people see you and want you to be. It has become a staple of Australian culture that we take off and do a year or two of International travel – maybe this is because we are so geographically isolated, maybe due to our migrant heritage, but for whatever reason I think it’s fantastic. Not only does it broaden your worldview, but just like Don Draper you get a chance to start over. Ever considered touring around Europe/south America/anywhere for a year James?

    • ds

      Very very true! I haven’t done much international travel, but a year after high school I moved about 6 hours away to the city and hung out with a whole new crowd of people. These people had no expectations for who I supposed to be and the mold I was supposed to conform to. Several years later I looked back and realized I was a completely different person, who was no longer timid and shy from essentially being bullied into being the person I was expected to be. 

      I have personally found that middle/high school was probably the most crippling place a young person can be and this probably held my personal development back several years. Being thirty years old I am feeling again like I’m being held back because of my own ridiculous fears that I won’t fit into other peoples expectations. I’m recognizing this and I really don’t care as much these days about what anyone thinks. I am seriously considering moving though, perhaps overseas for inspiration and to get another fresh start where I can truly live the amazing life I want to live.

      Anyways, you Australians are on to something and I think everyone in this world should do several years travelling before they settle down anywhere. It’s good for one’s personal development as I have found, but also to give people more awareness of other cultures and respect from where others have come from!

  • Anonymous

    i’ve done it twice, but then I don’t really have a family so it’s a lot easier…I think life today has too many boundaries…

    • Yes, I agree. But I still think that feeling of freedom is possible. The boundaries are outside of us but the ones inside can be broken. 

  • Kate

    you may be the first person to actually convince me to watch Mad Men from the beginning (missed the beginning and then felt like i am just too behind to catch up).

    Also, why do you think people get so hung up on ‘roots’ – i have wanted to move for 2years and have finally convinced my husband to move.  CANNOT WAIT!  am so done with 3 hours of traffic a day. and over crowded stores/events on weekends (seriously, a grocery store with a 2 level parking garage SHOULD NOT RUN OUT OF PARKING SPACES) *ahem*

    •  Kate, thats a great question and related to my posts on why I think people should not buy homes. I don’t know what the fascination with “roots” are. I think they are an outcome of a trillion dollar mortgage industry that relies on people thinking that happiness == roots. Biologically we were nomads for 90% of homo sapiens lifespan on this planet. And then suddenly we needed roots to be happy.

      • Ze wad

        “I don’t know what the fascination with “roots” are.”

        People wish to be settled:  only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them. – Emerson

  • Capo Regime

    James great post.  I think the escape theme is strong and lately getting stronger in the U.S.  Routine and lots of expectations dominate people and well its very confining.  Plus the lunatic notion of only two to three weeks vacation and glorifying work (work which usually consists of being in some cubicle in a drab office building, doing mind numbing work, is true for most college grad sort).  If I had a dime for every person in the U.S. who takes pride in carrying over vacation time I would have a lot of dimes.   With this mindset its no wonder that taking off to Papua New Guinea or being like the guys in route 66 is so damn appealing.  I know for a fact that for Australians and Europeans the pressure is less as well most people travel a lot as it is and get out more.

  • If you haven’t already, check out Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series of novels.  Jack has a small bank account, the clothes on his back (he buys new ones when they get dirty) and a folding tooth brush in his pocket.

    Very appealing to me and, I’m getting there……

    •  J, I definitely will check those out. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Vickymex2003

      Jlcollinsnh, I think you’ll be way better than Tom Cruise in the role of Reacher!

      • thanks Vicky….

        at least I’m the right size.  Tom Cruise??  say it ain’t so!

        is there a Reacher movie in the works?

  • “But a minimalist lifestyle is bullshit unless you can do it across every sheath in the daily practice: not just physical, but also emotional, mental, and spiritual.”

    Boy – have I found this to be true.  So as I de-clutter I am dumping the baggage and learning so much about why I am the way I am.  It starts with getting rid of junk, but then it takes on a life of its own……just stay the course.  And soon you’ll be a new person.

    It takes work.

    •  So true. Every day I try to find things to throw out, and then things to throw out of my head. Which is often harder than discarding an old book I haven’t read in years.

    • Ponder this: What I Own and What Owns Me

      • everything you own owns you.

        • Exactly.

          So if you own hurts, anger, disappointments etc. it’s by choice.

          I think it takes awhile to understand that you can throws those things away.  I know it’s taken me a lifetime so far, and I am still working at it, but it’s getting easier by the day.

    • April Judson

      I found the same thing 736. When I examine the physical object I am tossing, it makes me question my motivations for acquiring ‘stuff’ and my need to hang on. It’s a great way to jump start the process of simplifying all aspects of your my life.

  • we are All Transients.

  • random Q

    James, have you read Shantaram? And if yes, what are your thoughts on his experiences.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you are not encouraging kids to run away… Do you know what that would do to their family?

    • Funny, that was exactly what I was encouraging with this post. Damn, as the principal said in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “the jig is up”.

      •  did you just quote Ed Rooney?  Sweet!

  • Dave Blaha

    I moved to the Virgin Islands a few years ago to disappear and have met a lot of people who did the same.  It’s pretty easy.

  • Victimmg1

    this is great i do the same thing i even read that book. i even took a vacation by  myself one time. i went to arizona and just roamed around. rented a car drove from place to place, got lost missed a flight home. weird thing is i drove to vegas one day just because i get a kick out of gambling once in a while and sure enough i ran  into someone i knew.

  • Fruedianexcusesarefunny45

    “If someone told me that I could live my life again free of depression provided I was willing to give up the gifts depression has given me–the depth of awareness, the expanded consciousness, the increased sensitivity, the awareness of limitation, the tenderness of love, the meaning of friendship, the apreciation of life, the joy of a passionate heart–I would say, ‘This is a Faustian bargain! Give me my depressions. Let the darkness descend. But do not take away the gifts that depression, with the help of some unseen hand, has dredged up from the deep ocean of my soul and strewn along the shores of my life. I can endure darkness if I must; but I cannot live without these gifts. I cannot live without my soul.'”
         ~ David N. Elkins, Beyond Religion, p. 188

    I cannot forget what my past has taught me. Running may work well for some, but not for me. This existentialist quote sums up my thoughts. I can’t stop and forget all my ambitions, hates, fears, friends, and enemies who made me who I am today. Everyday we wake up a new person. If one really wants to start anew, start out gradually. This worked and will continue working for me. Life goes on; it is impossible to repeat the happiest times in our lives fully. So we continue on into the dark mist, looking for a light to hold onto until a gust of wind comes and blows it out again.

  • Paul


    While the idea of disappearing and living the simple life sounds appealing. It also ignores one major fly in the ointment.

    Health. I recently tore my rotator cuff and detached a biceps tendon. The pain was unimaginable and constant. Luckily, I had insurance and access to a good surgeon. It’s been about three months since I’ve been able to lie flat without intense pain.

    I’m right handed and my right arm is still so weak and useless 20 days post-op it’s scary. I sleep in a padded reclining chair (luckily I had one) for, at best, 2 – 3 hours before waking up from pain as the drugs wear off.

    Without proper treatment or the heavy narcotics (for pain) I might well have done myself in- the ultimate and alternate way of disappearing I guess.

    Vagabonds, even with some access to reasonable money, might not have been able to get the treatment needed to continue living in a reasonable manor. Certainly not in a foreign land where you might not have good command of the language… or the sympathy of the locals.

    Without the help of my wife, I could not have gotten through the past few months, even here in the USA, and with plenty of resources. I can’t imagine what it would have been like, all alone, in some of the more primitive places many of your others readers have glorified in their comments.

    America has many flaws, as does our society in general. I’m scared for the future of our once-great nation. I just don’t know anyplace else that seems better and I’ve been desperately searching for some alternative in the same way prophetic German Jews must have been doing in the pre-WWII years.

    You see disater ahead but it’s very tough to leave everything behind simply because you hope and pray your vision of the future will be wrong.


    • rollingdancefloor

      It takes over a year to heal up. I have had 3 major tears, 3 surgeries, as you well know it’s a nightmare. It will get better, you may never have your full power, but it will get better, it just takes time, stay positive.

      • Deuce

        Drew Brees begs to differ. If you’re going to trap yourself here for the medical care, at least go to a better doctor. I recovered from a broken back faster than this. 3 years?! You should have sued your doctor after 2.

    • depends on the foreign land.  I’ve traded to many places where I’d prefer to be treated for injury that here in the US.  Of course, I’d prefer not to have an injury that needed treatment at all.

      Hope you heal quickly and completely.

    • Dutch

      “Those who would trade liberty for security deserve neither”.

  • Jeff

    Synchronicity! I was thinking about the Jet Set yesterday when I saw pics of Don Draper in the news. 

    I love the bit where he wakes up and is in a new world with new people.  “Why would you deny yourself something you want?” asks Joy.Good question.  My answer was to ‘disappear’ twice.  Once to the UK, now Asia.It worked.  I now have no excuses for not living exactly the life I want.  It’s great.But the great benefits come with great responsibility.  And 20 years after disappearing, I’m only just starting to fully realize that.

  • cowboy logic

    Live in Texas, live your dream.

  • Wyatt Junker

    Hey James.

    Listen to this.

    You’ve heard it before, but it speaks to your post.

  • Horsefeathers

    Between this inane article and the comments that inevitably have accrued I now have amassed a superb collection of ten-cent-store philosophy. You don’t live in a vacuum, you know. At least when you just sit around contemplating your navel you’re not adversely affecting the people who love you and depend upon you. This is the “me” generation at its finest and as close to pure solipcism as I would ever hope to encounter!

  • bala

    Interesting, if i do this i would certainly feel Lost than being Disappeared. I feel Humans are forever in search of a purpose, so this would probably help only if your current situation causes you intense pain or deep void. But the search for purpose will always brings you back to the door step of the same problem from which the person is running away. 

  • In a way, I disappeared temporarily and often, in the last 15 years – being on the road – arriving in a new location -frequently – coming in clean (socially) without a past – except the state of my license plates.  Quite refreshing…
    Of course, every revelation, leads you back to your “head” and all your baggage – the benefit – and understanding… (slowly) in minimizing that which was negative from the past… similar in many ways to the evolution of an “Acid Trip” full circle with new experiences.

    James, you have a gift – which is obvious to all your readers… thanks!!!!

  • ds

    Something else I found recently that’s kind of related to this post and ongoing discussion. The Eight of Swords tarot card sums it up fairly well. Have a look. I’m not a believer in religion or magic, but there’s always some truth to their teachings. 

    “This card usually indicates a time of powerlessness and restriction, and more often than not this restriction is self-imposed. You may be holding yourself back because you fear moving into the future, or because you are wary of getting hurt by a new situation, or maybe for no reason at all. In rare instances you will find that another person’s action – or inaction – is what keeps you from moving forward, but most of the time the blame falls on you alone. You cannot be held back unless part of you wants to be held back. The trick is finding a way to overcome that, and free yourself from the bonds of fear and doubt.”

  • Matthew

    James, you blew it out of the water with this post. I was getting a bit tired of the lists (though I appreciate how hard it is to publish daily). This one really struck a chord.

    “All of this to say, there’s something primal in me that wants to disappear. To mix with what I view as the lowest of the low, to forget about my past, to sign up for a future that is meaningless, to think only about right now and give up everything else.”

    “Tell me the truth – how do you feel?” 

    Damn, that’s good. So much so that I’m inclined to comment at length for the first time. 

    First of all, thanks for writing, and for bleeding on the page. The bottom has fallen out for me in the last year (failed business, hard landing), and your words have been a balm. 

    Now regarding the topic of this post. I’ve been the expatriate at various times (including Argentina). It certainly has its appeal, not least of which is being regarded as exotic by the local beauties. But there’s the flip side, which is that, in so many of these places, you never will belong, and your fellow expatriates are almost always people running from something. I recall the line from Sun Also Rises: 

    “Listen, Robert, going to another country doesn’t make any difference. I’ve tried all that. You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.”

    Some people are fine with living for themselves. A simple life. I’m not one of them. It’s not the legitimacy I crave, but rather the potential for impact that legitimacy bequeaths. But outside the US and maybe the UK, there really aren’t any open societies, that is, places prepared to accept you unconditionally. I get involved: I get pissed off at the injustices and mediocrities of many of the best refuges and want to help, and happen to believe that means politics of philanthropy. I go back to something Kafka said: 

    “You can hold back from the suffering of the world. You have free permission to do so and it is in accordance with your nature. But perhaps this holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.” 

    This is not to judge those who have chosen a simple life, or those who need to escape to reflect.  But merely something to consider. 

  • and who’s to say that you won’t mess up your ‘new’ life?

  • If I had never had my son I think I would have moved once a year to a place I knew no one. Just picked up without a word and disappeared into a new life.

    Of course, that isn’t possible when children are involved. Or, at least, not morally responsible.

    Still, I think of disappearing all the time. Though I know I’ll never really do it.

    • Bp

      You sound like the mom out of the film ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’. Google it.

  • Rio

    I’m still trying out the “live every day like it is your first” exercise.  And although it is very hard and I need to constantly remind myself that it is my first day here, it is probably the most exciting philosophy I have tried out. 

     Like others here, I too left everything behind in ’09 (well to be honest my job left me and then I left everything else), and what I ended up with was myself, minus all the distractions.  Hard to ignore yourself when you are all you have left. 

    I don’t think that for everyone it would take something so drastic, though. What it would take is whatever it would take to change your perspective because that is really what it is all about.

  • I’m in the middle of an experiment similar to what you’ve described. Started with just $10 and my laptop, not using any existing relationships or financial means, I’m rebuilding my entire life from scratch. All the while traveling through all 50 states. The first few hours I felt like I was going to die. It’s been rather liberating and enjoyable since.

    • Beatrice

      How did you do that. It is fascinating.

  • pennywise

    I cobbled a family together at the 11th hour so daddy would be proud but it didn’t work. Had to buy 3rd world in bulk or there was no hope. They would rather kill me and use the parts to make stew than look at me. My house is in a ravine with sewage runoff from the neighbors in the back yard. And I’m old. And stuck.

    What if I had courage as a younger man? Was less insecure? Now I have neither courage nor youth. I’m trapped in a used minivan with a leftover woman and somebody else’s kid. I try to control the bitterness and fits of anger but can’t. Now my bitterness has put me in an even worse position and I’m afraid.

    How can I escape the misery? If I were young and handsome like Don Draper I might try something new. But I am not and cannot.

    • Don Draper is not real, you ARE. Yes, even old and stuck you are of much more value than a fictionalized unrealistic character on the sparkling lie that is a tv show. If you leave the family you hate, can it get worse? Yes, of course – you could end up living under a bridge with sewage run-off as your front yard. 

      But escape isn’t always a geographical cure, sometimes it has to be a cognitive one. If you’re unwilling to leave – and saying you “cannot” is still a choice whether you own that or not – ever hear of radical acceptance?Viktor Frankl: “Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

  • Mikey

    All of this is just so true. Im 25 years old, super ambitious and as i look back i realize i have given away years of my life until i reach my “goals” whatever they may be. I cant do this until i have this much $, i cant do that until i have this much $….. and on and on and on. Now as i realize im just letting my life go by… for what, as if im not good enough to put myself out there and live a “normal” life until i have succeeded. For years i have lived my life stressed and limited waiting to accomplish something first, its super unhealthy and depressing. Seeing successful and well off people talk about just walking away sometimes helps. As i get a little older i realize i need to live in the now. Im like the guy that doesn’t show up to the party until hes got the right clothes and right car, but then shows up with grey hair and everyone is 25 and im now 60 too late to realize what i lost. I need to work on changing my outlook and perception.

    • Good for you! It’s wonderful you realized now instead of waking up middle-aged with all the money in the world, all the “success” you thought you wanted  . . . and realizing you’re still not happy and your existence is empty. Best of what life (lived in the now) has to offer!

  • This is awesome. I have definitely had similar thoughts as far as moving to India goes. I wonder if the tactics you mentioned would still work today. 

  • Gil

    The downside of dropping out like that is that if you get murdered or get jailed for a crime you didn’t commit then no one’s going to care.

  • Spitfireatme

    James, since you mention “the little death” – do you think sex or more particularly semen loss are unhealthy? Hindus think the latter, intuitively I think any guy could feel his. Celibacy as health and a survival tactic, a way to become more energetic and aggressive, something I look to write about. Think of how much sex dominates people’s lives, and for what? What’s their reward? A few seconds of pleasure and so much obsession? Not to say sex is bad, I think healthy relationships are great! But I think sex in massive moderation is needed and the world is far from that!

    • Libertymike

      Ernest Borginee, at 95 years young, would disagree with you. 

  • wa_state

    My wife and I went thhrough this process a few years back. We had enough of the corporate life and sold all but 10 boxes of stuff (3 of which were wine:) ) and took off to South America. I had the perception that all the baggage would be left behind. This wasn’t the case as I didn’t take the time to really understand what we were running from. The physical running wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of emotional consideration.
    We returned back to the states after a my wife became pregnant (they put things in the water!). We are now back in the same grind we were before we left the first time. We are planning another get away this time with son in tow and more clarity on what we want in life for ourselves and our son.
    Thank you for another good article.
    Long live peace and liberty!

  • Rob

    I’m always looking for someone who would live in a hut with me on the beaches of Mexico, or in a cabin in the mountains.  No one has the guts.  I guess being a drone in this rat race is preferable to them.

    • Miriam Huston

       I will!! :) :) Im serious.

      • That’s a great challenge Miriam. Did it work? :-)

  • charles chapman

    What a commentary on our over-complicated lives. If only we had been born in India.

  • Ted

    Years ago after about six and a half years of college, I decided to escape.  I found a couple of waterlogged “fixer” surfboards on the beach and bought a VW bus.  I walked away from a fully furnished apartment and a girlfriend who had just discovered cocaine and wanted to kill me.  I did odd jobs for the next ten years and lived in three vans, two trees and three boats before I decided to head back to a normal reality.  I thought I’d try the American dream.  I bought a 3bd/2ba house with the two car garage full of toys, i.e. bikes, boats, etc.  I put up a white picket fence around the property and landscaped the place.  Then I saw some bums passing a bottle and remembered how carefree that life was.  I gave away everything I couldn’t sell, and am back to everything I can fit in my sailboat.  I’m planning a trip to the Bahamas, and if that goes well I’ll head down to the Caribbean.  I hadn’t considered the idea of obtaining new identification.  When I was living on the street everyone went by their first names and some other identifier like, “Guitar Randy”, “Arizona Bob”, etc.  Given the fact that I’ve never married and have no children, it’s pretty easy to just pick up and leave.  Although I do have a cousin that bought a boat and sailed  from Canada down to Central America with her husband and two children.  I did experience some fear and anxiety while I was getting rid of most of my stuff, but now that it’s gone I feel great.  I highly recommend it for anyone who is tired of the “rat race”.                                                                                                                          

  • Sean

    I’ve read stories about Zen monks who have a box that they wear around their necks. Inside this box, they carry all of their worldly posessions. The more they have, the more their box weighs, and the more difficult it is for them to carry it. 

  • Im moving to Costa Rica in june by myself… ill let u know how disappearing feels

  • This is amazing….I thought I was alone, going mad, but I suppose the appeal of the simple life is really not just for monks. I am in my final year in my university education, but I dread the life to come, although I have been almost literally bred for it one would say. But I suppose at least I’m not alone.

  • Justin

    Ive done the escape thing a time or two.

    You dont have to move to another country, although for some people I guess it helps.

    I had a nice job as a park ranger, got tired of it,  bought a (very) used  18 wheeler and hit the road.  Sold my car for the down payment on the rig, and got rid of everything but 10 days worth of clothes.

    Built a shower in my truck, installed a chemical toilet and fridge, lived in the truck for 3 years.
    Made good money too.  Saved almost all of it.  Used the money to buy a rundown cabin on  7 acres with a nice creek, bordering the Nat’l Forest in the Appalachian  mountains.

    Im back in the big city suburbs, raising my family and making good money, but still have the place in the mtns to escape to on weekends.

    Anyone wishing to chuck the rat race should do so,  you may discover the rat race isnt so bad after all, but you need to find out for yourself.

    In the  Ga Farmers Market Bulletin, there are almost always ads with farmers wanting someone to live on their farm and help out, in exchange for room and board.

    Lots of campgrounds have “camp hosts” who get to stay for free in exchange for cleaning the restrooms and picking up trash.

    You dont have to  move to the middle of nowhere to drop out, in  lots of coastal locations, you can anchor your boat  a little offshore for no fee.  In St Augustine FL, as Im sure you can in alot of other places, you can anchor your boat a hundred or so feet off shore, in the river and live there rent free.

    As for how to disappear, where people who are looking for you cannot find you,  thats a totally different  subject, covered best at

    Or just look at all the illegal immigrants, they have no ID, no (real)  Drivers license, or anything. Would be almost impossible for the govt to find,  yet there they are.

  • G.P.

    Honestly I would feel shit to live in India becouse its a damn poor country, people are sick and starving and it’s also full of spiritual mumbo-jumbo. HELL NO!

  • The David

    The closer you are to the truth, the more you disappear to others. But it’s not for the reason you think.

    • The Other David

       Can you elaborate ?

  • Travis Fields

    “The Jet Set” — nice call! 

  • MCB

    This is a very interesting and real concept – one that I suspect many of us have played out in our mind at one time or another – or repeatedly. If you can find a sole mate to disappear with, as I have been blessed with, that is even greater. I have moved across the country twice. And, though minor in the bigger picture as you have described, it does allow you to start anew. And, it is a very refreshing experience.

  • Richard Dykiel

    And sometimes you don’t need to disappear forever; every summer I go sailing for 3 weeks the coast of Maine; meeting people in secluded anchorages I know nobody, and nobody knows me. Surprising how deep these ephemeral relationships can be.

  • Brianna

    Holy hell, I’ve yearned to run away for so long now, or just to join the circus. I’ve always found that when you go somewhere strange, by yourself you can’t help but do exactly what you want to and people are attracted to that. You can’t be fake because there is only you, no bullshit that is attached to you. When you feel trapped like I do, there is something incredibly romantic about just getting on a train or a plane and leaving your old life and baggage behind. I think I’ve been subconsciously doing this by getting rid of all my things, distancing myself from the people I know. Thankyou for this piece. It was incredible, and I think it helped me.

  • Dman73165

    I am a disabled Veteran of the Gulf War. I am married to a wonderful woman,we have one child.Some times I just want to disapear completely.We are buying a house with my VA Disability.I wonder just how long my wife could hang on to the house before the Government wanted to cut my benifits from me if I disapeared. My wife has a job. She is usually the sole bread winner in the house hold. I work but just can’t seem to keep the job, they let me go or out right fire me. I would not want to be unfair to my wife and child but I some times feel I just need to leave and never return. Not sure how I would live or where I would go. some times I feel I need to just walk away and never return, hoping my family would survive and move on. I deal with a lot of unresolved issues from my childhood, the war and with people in general.Being a christian by faith,hoping God would intervein in my behalf and show me the way to go.Please note, I am NOT suicidal, I hate physical pain in any way and it is a sin to kill your self anyway.Just a few comments here at 0306. Can’t sleep anyway. Thanks for listening.

  • Dave

    Everybody in this world is different and most comments will not work for anyone or everyone. Arguments start with any subject or idea that anyone has ever had throughout history. If you let someone persuade about some better life somewhere then that is your fault as you can only be happy knowing yourself and arriving there in your own car so to speak…it helps to have a partner as most of us cant bear to be alone but picking the right one is the key or its luck.

    ….I escaped hitchhiking across Canada when I was 17 in the middle of winter with a friend who I have never been able to locate since we were divided in Vancouver in the early 80s (Hey Mark Y)

    I joined the Navy and escaped for 20 years but now Im married (no Kids) and long for another sensible escape that involves few neighbors and nature. My inlaws became the variable that I couldnt account for when starting this new life 10 years ago and now i want to escape from them amongst other things.

    thought i would share;(


  • Guestie

    Yeah, but your life would be a shadow. You could never get a driver’s license, never marry  because it’s a crime to use a false name on these public documents.

  • chefnoone

    Become a chameleon. I have moved every 3-4 years (27 moves thus far) and concentrated on experiences in life rather than a set goal. You have two experiences you can’t do anything about, life and death. The rest are up to you. Working at GM for 30 years just doesn’t cut it.

  • Saranga

    20 years in Sri Lanka is much better than Yindia : ) India is filthy, Sri Lanka is a secret for that much needed secret identity. : ) Saranga

  • amali-sri lanka

    i want to do this too ,but here in my country its so difficult …sply fr a grl

  • mystery one

    So if one had a truly good reason to disappear, what good would this do? I have often dreamed, several times over the past several years of just picking up and leaving. There are reasons. But it is hard to do when one of those reasons takes all of your money. I do not want to take all of my possessions with me so what do I choose to take and leave behind? How would I go about getting the new identity? I know where I want to go, but just don’t know I am going to get there or how I will make it without having a job lined up. Thoughts?

  • calvin

    I was in a bad relationship where the mother walked out on me and our 3 year old daughter. I had bad habits and was young. I picked up and moved to a rural town about 75 miles away and met a woman that runs a dog grooming parlor. I had nothing and now I drive a brand new truck, have a good home and property, and my daughters the happiest she has ever been. sometimes you just got to leave all the shit behind.

  • i8barbie

    I would like to do this but I have about 10 thousand in debt. Do you think it would still be possible? I have a plan, my only concern is the debt and how I would leave that behind. Any tips would be great!

  • gypsy

    I know I could dissapear. I’ve lived the life of a gypsy. I’m a trucker.been thinking abou it alot

  • Ranger Chase,

    I left a town in America and changed my name few times.. after 19 years the FBI got me .. I joined the Army , became a Ranger , now 100 disable . I was on probation and became a HA .. I had a good time and still people do not know who I am ..

  • Thursday

    I came across this while googling “how to disappear completely” after waking up and feeling this friend who constantly sits besides me called “RUN”. I can’t explain why since I was a young teen the only thing I have committed to is leaving wherever I am. At first I thought it was moving to chase after goals but slowly has developed into a need. Every few years I have a new plan, a new place, a dream of a new life. I will admit I most likely am running away from myself (and don’t know why cause I’m pretty great)- but its awkward and lonely to be the one person in a family/group of friends who feels guilt and sorrow that I just don’t want the same things in life that typical women want. I constantly fantasize that the painful emotions of being me are absent in these new lives but they only subside for a few months and old patterns arise. I’ve never really met anyone else (females at least) who would like to disappear completely. I really like that I came across your piece this morning. Thanks.

  • tonytiger

    I am a 46 year old man and life’s pains hurt and deseat have gotten to much I have read all the comments listed and all the for and against arguments but if I do not take this chance just to vanish then I only see a funeral as my escape. I have had mental health problems for such a long time people see my vulnerability so time to pack up and go.

  • Disappearing is running from your problems but I feel that is the only thing I can do. If I had the money I would take a plane to another country and never look back.

  • Dooooookie

    Im not stealing some freaks identity

  • Cindy Williams

    I just googled “I want to disappear” because I do. This article was amazing.

  • and why we learn that….and post it?….lol

  • Lyrik

    No matter where you go, the only way you can disappear is with a new ss#. With the death index being listed, there is NO way to use a dead person’s ss#. You can legally change your name but that new name will be tied to the old if anyone does a credit check, ect.

  • Meow

    How do you get a new id? If I tried to get a new birth certificate it asks for the parents named and proof

  • Harry Balzack

    This book does not work in America anymore. It would’ve worked brilliantly until Sept. 11, 2001. Laws are currently in place at banks to prevent you from getting an account so easily. They require several pieces of information linking you to an address. Ok, so how did you get this address with no ID? Unless you have a way to acquire a new ID before you get a new address, otherwise your new landlord might google you (very common these days) or worse for some, see you on the news. This was an old technique taught back in the 60’s and 70’s by certain (of course naughty govt organizations) to help there peeps find new identities in a pinch. You might have been able to pull this off in Southern / Rural Kentucky until they discovered the interwebs. Good luck if you can do this. Many comments seem to be coming from escapists not wanted felons. If you want to leave and you’re not wanted, grow a pair and walk out your front door.

  • luckyfairy24

    I am contemplating leaving my 6 year old daughter and my boyfriend who has Melanoma just so tired of looking after both of them and feeling alone..I love them dearly, but Im a single mom thats gone through 2 custody court cases, I hate my job, I hate having to clean the house all the time, I hate not even been able to talk to friends on the phone, I dont do anything for myself, only look after them, and I feel like im 50 years old although Im only 34, Im an intelligent woman who has a lot to offer, I cannot accept that this is my destiny. I wont.

  • My Mum is Smart

    My mum gave me a very important message about this topic: Whenever you move, you take yourself with you.

  • Justin

    Ditch the boyfriend if he isnt working , contribituting to the household income
    And helping out at home. But how could you even consider leaving
    Your child ?

    You created her, she’s apart of you and can’t take care of herself yet
    And needs a mom who loves her

  • DrGinn

    I am in that process now. The reality of death is a great reminder. I have always wanted to just be free to wander the earth. After suffering a very near death experience last week. I am ratholing money and getting ready to take the love of my life and just walk away from it all. At 46 I can tell you younger folks take the chance live your dream run with what makes you happy NOW who cares what the world thinks.

  • DavidtheGreat

    When i retire im selling this over priced house in England and moving to a country house in France near bordeaux or the Vendee….I have 16 years and i cant fucking wait…i have equity in this dump and i dont intend to pay any of the loan just the interest. So far im up to 85k equity and with savings the houses are so cheap in rural france that i will buy one with cash…i will pledge alleigance to the french flag and this horrible oppressive prison can go fuck itself

  • ZoeBlack

    what about if your 13?

    • Dahlia Ponce

      Eh, just think about it. Here in the US the legal age for disappearing is 18. So, going by the guess that that’s where you live and the date of your post, you have about 2 years to think about it (if you haven’t already, really). Viewpoint on life changes in a heartbeat, but if you want to it’s your life, your choice, and your reasons. No one has the right to take that away from you.

  • My dream is to become a waitress in Santa Fe. I care about my boyfriend and my sister too much to disappear, but I’ve thought about it. I really cannot stand life as it is at the moment, but don’t have a death wish. I’m also pretty sure that even if I disappeared I wouldn’t be able to escape myself, so it wouldn’t actually do much good.

  • Taylor

    What about if they can track you down by your name? Im in department of social services n I want to run away

  • onur

    Nomad vagabond
    Call me what you will

  • Jack Marshall

    I feel like this every day of my life

  • Fross Fairy

    “Tell me the truth – how do you feel?”

    So, the truth it is then…

    To hear my story we have to get back far before I was born. This part I heard from my mother, but it explains a spasm in my left leg once I calm it down when I try to sleep.

    When my mother was pregnant of me, she found out my father was a total lunatic.

    She never really was a strong… or even a slighly intelligent woman because of her past, so my father easily manipulated the crap out of her, to try to kill both her and me within her.

    My mother told me that he forced her to eat raw meat that he illegally stole from farms nearby, how he managed to do it, or if it is true in the first place, I have no idea.

    She said she was also pushed of the stairs and that she kicked and punched my mother’s belly, hoping I’d die. It even came to the point that he threw kitchen knives at her at the heat of the moment. He locked my mother in his closet and told his friend to keep watch, he was about to get his gun to shoot my mother, but his friend rescued my mother and said to run away as far away as possible and that was exactly what she did. She went to Rotterdam, to family temporarly. (Rotterdam is a place in the netherlands) My mother put an article in the paper that she had to find a place to stay to give birth and going through the rest of the pregnancy. That was how my mother went to Gerard te kaat or how I always called him “Opa te kaat” (Opa = grandpa) He was an old man, around the age of 80, but he cared for my mother, and eventually for me as well.

    Also what my mother told me… after my birth when I was two years old. I also died of anemia. But since I was too young to remember anything, I have no idea.

    The earliest thing I remember is when I was at the age of 4. My mother had a new boyfriend (Ex stephdad) he forced me to get away from y mother as far as possible since I spend already “enough” time with my mother. I was a four years old, already partially in an adult’s world. I remember for survival stealing my mother’s money to buy food and drinks, mostly chips candy and cola. Obviously, I became quite heavy as a child and even became obese before I even reached 6.

    To note by the way, my mother is and was a sweet woman, but she had no limitations AT ALL. Luckily after 3-4 months my mother broke up with that basterd because he tried to push me away as far as possible.

    Life went back to what I can call… “normal” sitting in front of the tv getting fat, or going outside deep into the night which gave me my rebbellious street credit since the police frequently came to my house because I was missing.

    I always went back of course between the time of 1 and 3 am. In one way I feel sorry for my mother to put her through it, but I didn’t knew better but to live my life.

    Once I turned six my mother had a new boyfriend called “Tunçay” he appeared to be a pedophile and multiple times raped me. In all honesty I am unable to remember how many times it happened, but I do know that it hurted me until the age of 8 when I broke, but that’s where I get to later.
    Also when I was six, I used my street credit to show the adolescents at went there to school that the terrain they were on, was my terrain. This memory is both quite funny but very, very wrong from me that I did but still. Now I can at least laugh about it so I’ll share it anyway.
    I got a few people extra from my age to get together after I stole 50€ from my mother (which is 55.46 U.S. dollars as google says) and brough a lot of cola of it, from all of it was cola. Once the adolescents were done at the school those people and I sprayed them with cola to try to scare them off what I called “My property” It was the first and only time when my mother hit me, which I find quite understanding but I was totally out of control because of everything.

    As I mentioned before, at the age of 8 I broke and told my teacher what happened, or was still happening with me (The raping) I was hoping I could trust her but until the day of today I regret coming out that I have been raped. She called child protective services and from there, it was around October two wildly strange middleaged men from child protective services what I remember is that they grabbed me at school out of nowhere, forced me into their car and put me in a strange group for autistic people apparently.

    Since that day… I banished myself from reality and only trusted myself.

    When I went to the new school, I had nothing. I used to have money, power, a powerful status. But I now had nothing and I didn’t get any either. My biography right now went from bad to worse.

    I was bullied by people for the first time and got even pushed off my bike, I have no idea if people have supported me at this point because I abandoned every living human in my mind trying to push all of them away.

    When I reached 9 years I moved again to a different place and met new people, there I slowly started to open up because of one sweet woman that worked there called “Karin” the main reason why I also trusted her is because I may have found her very attractive. I already developed my taste of women what I liked, but it was still not much since it was just the beginning. There was also a cool guy as a superior called “Reneé” the things he did with his life was very inspiring. And what he was able to make with clay was astonishing, but since he was male, I kept a fair distance because of my past. Also when I was 9 I had my first real relationship with someone my age called “Esmeé” let’s just say that I was emotionally far more developed then she was and her father wanted her to break up with me… well, alright. I didn’t like it but I do see it was for the best.

    At the age of 11 I moved to another place, gladly it was just the group next door, why? I don’t know but It’s still moving and had an entire new place. There I met my frist friend with intelligence called “Kelvin” good person, fun to hangout with, I also got a girlfriend named Veron which didn’t last long, exact time I don’t remember, but it was long, that same year I got my third girlfriend, and emotionally perhaps more developed then I was called “Dayenna” she meant really a lot of me, she’s probably one of the most maginificant women I have ever encountered in my life, except for one other person. Dayenna was developed enough to have sex but… I found out she was actually doing the whole bunch already which… was what made me feel very uncomfortable.

    The extremely fragile rlationship was holding on for quite a while… a long while. Until I moved again to a foster family. That family was religious and I wasn’t and didn’t want to be. I was 12, had a foster sister who was 12 and “peaking” if you know what I mean… I had a younger foster sister Romana and another older foster sister called Serena, I had a foster brother Yorrick and of course two foster parents, Frits and Annemarie. My foster parents were uable to control my furious and tyrannic personality, and that clashed very, very terribly. I had a crush on my little foster sister though, idk if that was wrong yes or no. Because of age or because it is still somewhat sister /sister, but I am happy that I was too shy to entirely show her. I spoke once again later with her on a chatsite called Hyves and she gladly seemed fine, I even think that I may have felt more uncomfortable then she did during the conversation so I am happy that I didn’t push the boundries. After a while I moved away again. temporarly to a place in Huissen and within a weekend to Tilburg for 6-7 months which they forced me again to move to PBN in Lobith. You can google it where it is, it’s all in the nehterlands. During there movements I had a crush on a homemate called Rowena and I found someone back who I saw before a girl named Sheriva. Those memories are neutral to positive in between them.

    At PBN I had a relationship with a girl called Marloes which I did the deed with the first time. She was sweet, nice and I cared quite for her but in style, I found out that I had a fetish for long hair, she still had it but I knew that she wouldn’t keep it. It was very dissapointing but I got quite over it until I found out I had to move AGAIN… By the way, at this point I have been walking a lot to somehow show some respect to my ex-foster parents that I am thankful that they have tried to help me which I couldn’t see back then. I walked so much, I actually reached to be a Light weight. End 13 years old and 40 kg (Google says 88.1849049 pounds) I was too lightweight but I first never realized it but ok.

    As I said… I was forced to move while I finally found a place that felt like home… this place I consider the worst place that I have EVER lived in my ENTIRE life. It was called RIWIS and it was when my depression started. I didn’t eat much, I drunk a lot of coffee, and at the place what made it the worst place ever… Not only lived the bullies there that have been harrassing me during this school but also that there were pedophiles there. 3 in total which made me EXTREMELY uncomfortable, I felt no safety at all, everything of my past what you read bounced back twice as terrible and I began to shroud away, during this time I multiple times tried to commit suicide and I had no help from anyone except a few people who wanted to help online… people my age, but never knew HOW to help. I had a RL account on Hyves at first and out of boredness I searched for “Pikachu” since I was a pokémon fan. I came into the world of RP and first RPed as a mutated Typhlosion. Even made my first written story that I lost “The six legends” based on Rozen Maiden the anime. I came across many people that came and went. Both friends and eventually even online I lost my safety which I will explain now why.

    At first it was as a joke with Naomi (My ex) and her friend Samantha. I was planning to make a female Hyve just for fun, just to troll at first, needed a name, and to tease Samantha I called the character Samantha… but what first began as a joke and a troll it… I felt “myself” I was who I wanted to be, I was who I wished to be if that makes any sense to you… It kept my depression limited, I felt finally something positive. I had there my first girlfriend (Lesbian character was Samantha) called Froslassa. In trust I told her who /what I was and at first she never minded, but eventually we began having fights. I already was depressed, even near death, and then she began to hurt me the most. The exact thing she did, I can’t remember but I knew it choked me mentally. So eventually when she and I broke up, she told the world my secrets and I got bullied Online… at this point I had no safety at all.

    Offline (Reality) I got bullied at school and at home. I was depressed and empty, didn’t want to live.

    Online (RP) I got bullied for being who I was and people even made Anti -me hyves and tried to push everyone against me. My last encounter with her which I remember… all I know is, I went black in front of my eyes to eventually hear from others that she jumped in front of a car, until this day I never know what I said that hurt her that much to make her kill herself, but how cruel this sounds… for everything she put me through, all the hatred and pain: SHE DESERVED IT!

    But it kept going of course… and going… I got in real a relation with Naomi, a girl which I eventually found out wasn’t trustable at all, I don’t blame her entirely though, only for a part since things that you go through can’t be an entire excuse, until it’s as lifeslaughtering as how I have felt that moment. I do know that I used my Autism to survive my life killing massacre. I created my save haven in my mind, and called it “Fross” as a reminder of Froslassa. Somehow I think I still cared /care for her (Btw she did survive) since I wouldn’t have given it that name. I was around 14-15 and Planet Fross existed all about nature, with Winx Club fairies that caught Pokémon. That was how my save haven started. At that point I also my the most extraordinary divinity lovable and most intense influental person in my whole, entire life. Claudia. She Roleplayed as a fairy called Rosalina and she was always hanging out with my character, at first she never believed who I was in real life from those bullies who tried to take her away from me, and probably it was that loyalty that made her so special, but it also created fear. Anxiety for the day if I would tell her… what would she do? Leave me? Become a bully? Try to take me down? Perhaps at this point I already developed feelings for her… at atleast, I’ll tell that soon. as I keep on writing. It was very scary, but eventually my depression caught up with me since I was no longer able to hold on to y save haven… it was too unrealistic, it was not real, so It’s just bullshit to think about it and I was planning my fourth and last suicide attempt, at that point I told her who I was and all was blurry, but I knew that she didn’t care after I tried. All she wanted was me to return home… safely. As I knew she she wasn’t ready for a relationship though, I suppressed my feelings and tried to date other people instead during the “pauses” that Naomi and I had… all went wrong, mostly because of the haters, once because of myself, but hey… I am still human.

    As I turned 16 I found out what was different about me…men freaked the crap out of me, and everytime, even today when I see Male humans I keep getting urges of hatred and anxiety. I found out it was Androphobia and Misandry. With my past it’s logical… Most men I met tried to kill me mentally and even fysical. No surprise there, but as women hurted me later on, it became Misantrophy. A general dislike, distrust, disgust, comtempt and /or hatred against human society, human nature and /or the human species. Not only that, with my hatred extremely aggressive towards men made my view about myself very negative. Since I live in a male body… As I mentioned before how comfortable I felt by RPing a female, I knew that I wasn’t entirely male inside… more female then a male. But I still had more problems on mind my at this point… My depression, my mentally different /undiagnosed facts and my supressed feelings.

    Also at my age of 16 I banished myself from my family and quit school to study on my own, since school only held me back. I did scietific reseaches towards astronomy, geology, climatology, biology, all things that make Planet Fross the planet it is today.

    I gained strong conciousnesses and lots of knowledge, I hope once I would turn 18… that humans would finally THINK, that they would communicate with me at a higher level, but no. I even know people almost 40 that act like children, right now, partially, knowledge is a curse and a blessing at the same time. It’s like if you would live in a society of crickets. Everytime I felt comfortable again in my comfort zone I had to do research to explain more facts.

    For years, bad things kept happening, but I feel quite unaware, even while I know it is Fantasy, and I even realize my hyper realistic fantasy = fantasy, I refused to be in this twisted society. In my dreams I always access my fantasy to be where I feel I belong, on Fross. But when I am awake at day Life = Hell. While I know Holland is one of the better countries to live… I am tired of it… I always say “It isn’t called NETHERlands without reason”

    When I access my dreams I sometimes talk with my own creations… perhaps somekind of conciousness state… One of those women I talk with is called Venezolana who offered to play a psychiatrist with me, I agreed and she knew things I didn’t knew of myself… or perhaps I did?

    Venezolana said I was holding things back which I first kept declining, then later with 2 weeks she confronted me with my feelings for Claudia which I kept supressing. she told me: Sooner or later; she will know.

    I first didn’t believe me because Claudia isn’t that smart. But even while she isn’t smart, she’s worth more to me then everything I own mentally, emotionally, fysically and materialistically. It was only a few weeks that she got a Facebook test that I had to do for her in Skype. As I grew myself up on Planet Fross in my mind, I was extremely social… eve if a bar closes, I help them putting the chairs on the table, or even if I have a dime left I’d give it away to someone who needs it more then I do. Even if rich people have a limit for their own money and because of that a few monthy problems, even I with 20€ a week (22.2634 U.S. dollars says google) I’d still help them, knowing they may even have over a hundred thousand saved up.

    One of the question standing there was “In love with:” I couldn’t lie to her, I just CAN’T… but I also can’t tell her the truth out of anxiety and fear of her reaction. All I written down was “Secret” she knew something was off… she didn’t have a clue what, but I tell her everything, she kept asking question for literally hours long I was freaking out, getting uncomfortable, even with a feeling to burst my head to a freaking meteor because I chickened out so badly, but she didn’t care or realize how extremely painful the pressure was and eventually she had a “vague” answer that I was her, but I was able to not give a clear answer about it. How Venezolana knew this… I don’t know, but she’s Samantha’s daughter. My character “Samantha”

    Around this point I have move two more times… but as I said, it was quite a blur. Sadly enough to end my story badly… sadly enough, I am getting paranoia here, I can feel it. They force me into the reality, literally between people that are trust unworthy because almost all of them don’t know what they are doing… making promisses, breaking them, pushng us when we break them, but I don’t leave it unpunsihed, just like two housemates I have here… I am happy that they are able to talk at a higher level as well like me, but that’s just… it. Even they have problems with the people working here, the one I feel closest too and this moment doesn’t have much time for me since that superior has the most work off all… I even adapted a way of communication with humans to outsmart my human hatred… at first, humans don’t exist to me, I can see them, but I do not recognize them, as it is the neutral state it can go either way, positive or negative. In a negative way I will look at them as humans and spuw my hatred against them, but to get my hatred, you have to be strongly aggressive in at least one way for over a whole year. I’ll always try to talk things out, even always try ignoring and all other options until only “war” would be the only option. If you get on my good side… which is easier to achieve for women then it is for men obviously. I will look at them as the first animal as I think off with them. Claudia for instance… I look at her as a Cat, as a Kittycat. And obviously, I’d rather think of a sweet little kitty like this then a “cat from hell”

    It is my method to be able to even be able to communicate socially in a strong, loyal and kind way.

    But as I said… people here try forcing me out at the wrong moment since most of them are not worthy to be trusted, giving me nearly paranoia… All I can think off are my dreams… hopes… Which I have the feeling never comes true.

    1. Finding a woman who appreciated me. The only things I ask in a relationship are these things:

    -Long hair (Out of a fetish… can’t help it) Ps. It can stay platonic until you’ve grown it.

    -No smoking. (Since my grandmother (My mother’s side) died because of lungcancer when my mother was 15… that says enough how it affected me. I even give time for the other person to stop… not stop to start again later but permanently.

    -Loyalty. Since years I am even more loyal to the other then I am to myself… I don’t expect the literal same thing, but… no cheating, deceiving, lying those basic things. are obvious.

    If that would never happen I have another dream.

    2. Changing gender. -Problem is the money, possibility, and actually… just the way my life sadly is.

    3. Breaking through with Planet Fross. -The reason why is simple… the past I made there is based on this, my real life past, I may be able to help a lot of people going through a lot of shit, to inspire them to stay clean and survive.

    Or else… as I would expect what I have to do with a tear for Claudia… I have to dissappear.

    But how? And when? I am not allowed to buy things online, pick up a new identity to I have a curator that only put 120€ (133.5804 U.S. dollars) a month on my bank which is far not enough… I am experienced in life, I have even spoken to war veterans that were shoqued by just looking at me, knowing that I have went through a lot as well. Knowing I can’t leave because of my capabilities of real life, I hope somehow that in life as I struggle through for that what’s left…

    I hope this was enough to show the situation, I also have no idea why I had to go through all this, but if not me; it would’ve been someone else. It is how it is with a strong desire to erase my life… to start all over…

    My fears gone.
    My hatred gone.
    My past gone.
    My future gone.
    My identity done.
    To get a second chance… a fair chance.
    A chance that I feel that I deserve.
    I am William (21) and this is my story what I went through.
    You asked me how I felt at the end of your story.
    Someway I am glad to know there are other people that know how tough life can be… but sometimes, a second chance is all you need to have.

  • Minspalast

    Wow. I imagine myself sometimes on a mountain in asia living with my sheep and just live.

  • Taz

    I almost fantasized about disappearing until I realized I would forever hurt the people who mattered to me the most:
    1. my wife
    2. my kids
    3. my mom
    4. my dad
    5. my brother
    6. my sister
    7. countless aunts, uncles, cousins etc.
    all of these people (with the exception of #7) genuinely care about me and I care about them. I already do not call #’s 3,4,5,6,7 enough. I would imagine what they would think, knowing that I was still alive but had just gone AWOL. Nope. It shall remain a fantasy. I can vagabond it for a couple of hours, maybe even a couple of weeks, as long as everyone knew where I was and that I was coming home. However what I love to do on my free time is to go to some small towns and slum it. It is refreshing to go to slow places and slow down. There was a 35 dollar per night motel me and my wife went to (before we had kids). The room did not have a phone. The phone was a phone booth next to the motel. The closest place to get a drink was the vending machine next to the phone booth. The motel itself was off of a country lane in the heart of hick land. I was kind of half scared because I am not a WASP and definitely not republican. however it felt great to be away from the city / corporate life. I recommend everyone that has a corporate job, to leave keep your job in the city, but in a rural area.. nothing can be better.

    • Tom

      I would miss my kids most if I were to disappear. I feel that my wife goes more out of her way to harm me financially than anything else. Sure I made bad decisions financially at the beginning of the relationship, but have corrected those habits. I feel that my wife makes bad financial decisions now as a way to punish me and never let me atone for the mistakes that I made.

      She always says she wants to pay off all of our debt and buy a house, then why does she always quit her job and spend countless hours in the casinos? I have been on the same job for 10 years, and have had only 2 jobs the entire time we have been married (~15 years). She refuses to hold a job for longer than 6-12 months at a time. She has had 15 jobs at last count during our relationship.I am even working a second job right now to just keep up with all of the money that is spent.

      I know if I disappeared it would hurt my kids most, but I don’t know how much more of this life I can take.

  • Laughing Sutra

    You can disappear without the steps described. Discard the mobile phone sim card. Just leave. It is not as difficult as you might imagine. The hardest person to let go of is yourself

  • Rea

    You nailed it, fantasize about this concept. So many unnecessary obligations and restrictions we put on ourselves. Thank you. We continue in this “prison” for those we care about.

  • Duncan Dunnit

    Plop plop really

  • brennan beaver69guy

    My name is currently Brennan Bordwell. I am a 16 year old kid that lives in Baxter MN. Not gonna lie, it aint no peaches n’ cream workin this yonder diners in ye winte’, but I get buy. I have 13 kids with my BFF, Beaver BoyFriend, who just graduated college. I don’t want to tell him, but I lack feelings for him now and our relationship is falling apart. We’ve been together since the third grade, so he knows everything about me. I am thinking about leaving this place to go and find a younger, more attractive, and heartful beaver. You have really motivated good sir. If you are a beaver I would like to visit you sometime.

  • Bryce Wise

    My name is Bryce w. I live in the Minnesota wilderness in a junkyard behind Brainerd. I truely enjoy being a hermit and getting paid minimum wage at Pizza Ranch for a living. This website helped me escape an abusive relationship with my wife shaniqua who beat me every night. I was scarred for life and I’m glad to get out of a relationship where my wife overpowers me with her obvious physical advantages.

    • brennan beaver69guy

      truley inspiring, i find a true passion in ur story. maybe we could meet up sum time ;)

      • Bryce Wise

        Thanks bro! means a lot that some people just understand.

      • brennan beaver69guy

        14463 Clearwater Ct, Baxter MN 56425

  • mattguy

    my name is matt i live up north of duluth mn. i have 13 kittens that all love very much. i work at a tree farm cauz dats da only job i could get. this article will help me escape and start ova. my wife left me already so i dont haVE WORRY ABOUT her. so thank you guy who wrote dis article you helped me start ova. peace out homies

  • userbronco

    It’s not about the money
    My father quit his job at General Motors and became a park ranger ,for 1/3 the paycheck

    You can live in a small small town in rural areas in the south for cheap rent
    Problem is. There’s no good paying jobs

    I also worked for the park service in the late 80s. I made $900 a month. Rent was $150 for a
    Old duplex or a nice singlewide in a cow pasture

    But you gotta eat. I quit that and became an independent trucker , earning $6000 a month

  • Vance Ritter2

    Interesting ideas . BTW , if your company is requiring a USCIS I-864 , my wife used a blank version here

  • no,YOU are not smart

    I want to run away. Every single day I fantasize about moving to a small town, living in a tiny trailer, having enough money to get by and not having a single soul that I know presently to know my whereabouts. I have way too much on my shoulders and I hate my life

  • Loner

    im thinking of running away from home

  • AJ Melvin

    I almost have this. I have an inheritance in the bank from my mom’s death, a free and clear, and my son. And that’s all I have. My son hates school, has no friends. I have no one. There’s an entire world out there, I keep asking myself why we are keeping ourselves trapped in this endless cycle of misery. The only answer I have is that I question how responsible it would be of me to project my mid life crisis on to my son, to drag him cross country on my quest for self fulfillment. I don’t know if that would help or hurt him in the long run.

  • Lodestar

    This reminded me of Life on Mars, the TV series.


    I want to escape the sinking feeling that I will remain alone in this empty ass world no children to call me mom- and no husband to hold. I thought I found that sometime ago, but it turned out a lie. I really hate this place I just want to crawl in a hole……….