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Has anyone runaway? Did it help?

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My wife and I were very into cycling. In fact I met her back in college when she was one of the group leaders for a month long bike tour of Australia. Well that is not completely true. I met her once before in the hallways of the art department and when I learned she was leading one of the groups for the trip I made damn sure I was in her group.

I find myself at a point in my life where I have very few responsibilities. The boys are both well on their way to adulthood. My oldest will be moving out at the end of the summer and my youngest will only be home in the summers. I can cover college for the youngest and I don't have any debt.

I have the ability to put my career on hold for a year. Actually quit and then go back to freelancing when I return to the work force. I am selling the house at the end of next summer to move somewhere smaller. It is tempting to take a year off, throw my tent and other essentials on the touring bike and circumnavigate the United States. But then I wonder if that will just make me feel more isolated.

It is something we talked about doing. Bike Touring. But it was always something we would do together. I am not sure this massive trip appeals to me at this time because I really want to do it or because it is a way to run away from some of the memories that are still raw. This would be one of those major decisions I would talk over with her. But since that is no longer possible I am throwing it out to the board.

So, those of you that are a few years out, what massive changes did you make. Are you glad you did it?

While I couldn't run away on any kind of scale that you are comtemplating, I did take a couple of extended trips. Mostly places we had planned to go. I either went alone or with a girlfriend. I don't know much about cycling, but I would assume you would stop for the nights and find yourself in places with other travelers, or the local people. I did not find my travel time alone isolating, but rather I was much more inclined to engage with people wherever I went. I made some new friends in far away places, and have been back to visit some of them.

If I could take a year off to that, I would in a heartbeat. I hope you do this, if it is something you truly want to do.

I made some big changes starting at about 2 years but nothing as big as taking off for a year.  Would you still be able to buy that smaller place so your kids still have a home base?

Can you try out a shorter bike trip, like 2 weeks, to see how you feel before taking such a big leap?

My other thought is that if you just go for it and it doesn't work out there is nothing saying you can't end it early.  The potential for it to be an amazing, life affirming, positive way to deal with your grief is real but you will never be able to run away from memories, they have an uncanny way of following us wherever we go.

Ummm...I have kind of taken off the last 7 years.  I left my job and then decided to leave my profession 7 years ago when I moved to be with the man who became my second husband.  We lived on his salary (it was weird not being self-supporting) and I eventually went back to college/university and we traveled quite a bit.  And then he died.

After that, I continued school and I have traveled a lot within the country during school breaks.  I've taken a couple of cross-country excursions of 6 weeks or so, seeing national parks and visiting people I knew from my past.  Travel is MY drug of choice.  The freedom to move and the space to think calm my anxiety on some level.  In the summer of 2014, I posted a little bit on the board about my plans and I got to crash with some board members along the way.

Now, I am looking for work in a new profession - so far I have not found it - but I get in my car every couple of weeks and hit the road to visit people and to get some time alone.  Traveling always helps me.  I would have to be in a lot better physical shape to consider something like cycling, but if this is your go-to place, why not give it a try?


It is the stuff of movies and great books!  Take off a year and experience things and regroup, rejuvenate, relearn who you are, etc.

I couldn't do it.   Too many responsibilities and my personality.  BUT IT REALLY SOUNDS AMAZING!  If you feel it may be isolating, make a plan to stop somewhere. Do some volunteer work somewhere and make that a destination on the ride.  Help some others which will help you, too.  What a gift!


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