how and why did you run away I’m asked

Did you hear about a Kiwi woman  who runs away from home, then, whether being charged by a hippo, is trying to sit cross-legged and meditate at a Buddhist retreat, or is living with a young lover, she revels in it all.

No wonder she reinvented herself as a travel writer. That woman is me.

At a recent talk I presented a few facts about myself to answer the the question they had asked  – “how and why did you run away from home?”

I told them

  • Got first my passport in my forties and have made up for lost time ever since.
  • Ran away from home when I was fifty and travelled for a year with no plans from Alaska to Zimbabwe
  • I’ve  had a colourful life,  reinvented myself a few times: worked in real estate; been a model; a waitress on a Malaysian beach; an alcohol and drug counsellor, worked in suicide postvention, and even managed a catttle farm for three months.
  • I’m now following a childhood dream of being a writer and have written ”Naked in Budapest’ about running away from home.
  • I’ve had many travel related pieces published in magazines and papers as diverse as the Press, Listener, Women’s Weekly, NZ Gardener, NZ Wilderness, Korean Air and  Emirates’ in-flight magazines, and the South China Morning Post and a UK magazine to name a few recent ones

Why did I run away? In my late forties, I still didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I just knew I wanted more. Widowed – youngest child dead, two adult children away from home – and a secret desire to ‘do something.’

Friends hitting the brick wall called ‘50’ were not happy about the event. It’s coming, it’s coming, it’s coming, drummed in my head: on its way ready or not. I needed to change the perception of that fast-approaching milestone that those friends were giving me – that it was the beginning of a downward slide. How could I look forward to this half-century event?

So, I started saving, resurrected another childhood dream and planned a trip around the world – from Alaska to Zimbabwe :all with no plans and travelling solo.

It was so good I did it again and again  – each time for a year! And I will travel again as soon as I save some more!

See my home page for details  as to how you can read more about these travels and see reader reviews in the page  in this blog ( see above)

Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)

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