Ran away at 16. I went back for visits, but they were few.
When I was about 11, my step-dad started beating the crap out of my mom (as he was known to do on occasion). I decided I was going to walk the three miles to town to call my dad and have him come get me. I stopped off in the basement for a baseball bat in case step-dad decided to come after me (as he was known to do on occasion).
I got about 100 yards away from the house. Our neighbors across the street had left their gate open, and their two angry german shepherds came after me. I’m still convinced that if I hadn’t had that baseball bat I might be dead now. One of them grabbed a hold of my right calf with his jaw, so I bashed his head in. He ran off. I swung at the other one a few times until I hit him, then he left too.
I was limping and bleeding, and knew I couldn’t make it all the way into town. So I went back to my house and interupted their fight to ask my mom to please take me to the hospital.
I only once thought about it. I had just earned $100 for a paint job, and I got to thinking, if I just walked out the front door, how long could I survive on that money? I figured I could stay at a youth hostel or a YMCA (do they let you stay for a dollar a night? Did they ever?), get real cheap food (luckily I like Ramen noodles), maybe sell some of my possessions to keep my money supply lasting longer.
But since I’m getting free room and board at home, I think I’ll just stay here.
I just remembered another time I “ran away”. I wasn’t really running away.
I just wanted to go be with my big sister who was in elementary school. The
school was at the end of our street where the street dead-ended. I was about
5 years old. So I just walked out of the front door without the babysitter
knowing I’d left. I walked the 3 blocks, walked across the field to the school and
went in a side door. It was after school had let out (I’m not sure why my sister
hadn’t made it home yet but school was definitely out for the day). I wandered
around, just looking into different rooms. I saw no-one. I wasn’t scared, just
curious. But it started getting dark and I guess I lost my bearings in the school
because I couldn’t find the door I’d entered the school through. I’m sure I
could have just pushed on any door and gotten out but, hey, I was only 5 years
old! So I just stayed in the school, meandering around. I’m not sure how much
time went by but after dark, the police and my parents came in there and
found me. My poor mother was just about in hysterics. I do remember that
we had a new babysitter after that. Iwas later told that the babysitter who
was on duty when I left the house had never even noticed I was gone. When
my mom got home around 5:30 she was the one who immediately realized
that I was not in the house or in the backyard (the only place I was allowed
to go when I went outside). But it was made VERY clear that I was never to
do that again!
I ran away when I was five or six because a: my cousin was staying and my parents were paying her too much attention, and b: we were having tuna casserole for dinner and I’d told them I didn’t like tuna. (Yes, I was a juvenile attention seeking drama queen.) After my tears did not prevail in getting my way about dinner, I ran away.
I went to school because it was the only place I knew how to get to. It only involved crossing one road, and not too busy a one. My parents have since said that they were terrified once they realised I was missing, every time an ambulance went by (apparently a couple did.) They found me fairly quickly, playing in the school playground.
The added bonus was I got carrot sticks and didn’t have to eat the tuna casserole.
When I was about 9 we were living in the country and I tried to run away but didn’t even get as far as town because the walk was too long. My parents didn’t know I’d run away.
When I was 12 I hid in the back garden shed after a fight with a friend, I was supposed to be walking home with her but we had a falling out and I was really upset so I hid. My parents were furious with me for frightening them by not coming home, and I got over the running away thing and was responsible about letting them know when I was out, and when I’d be back, from then until when I left home.
When I was 6 I rode off on my pink Big Wheel to see the world! My cousin came with me on her Snoopy dog thing (a wooden Snoopy that had wheels and a place to sit on and you kind of pushed yourself along on it). There was no good reason why. We just decided we would be wild kids.
We came home when it was dark. I think because Six Million Dollar Man or some other favorite TV show was on. Real hellions we were. Mom didn’t even notice we were gone.
Once, when I was about six and my brother was four, we both decided to run away. I have no idea why but I’m sure it was something stupid. Anyway, our parents said fine, go ahead, so we packed up some toys in a cardboard box and proceeded to run away. As far as the back porch where we discovered it was dark, starting to rain, and my brother started to cry. I suddenly decided we should probably stick around home for a while longer.
When I was 9 years old, my best friend and I decided to run away together. For years, we planned the best way to bike from Red Deer, Alberta, to the U.S. border… we figured that once we managed to cross into Montana, we’d be home-free. I think we both knew, deep down, that we never really intended to do it, but it was just so much fun planning it!
My brother ran away from home when he was 7, because Mom wouldn’t let him watch Power Rangers. He packed all his Ninja Turtles in his backpack, along with a few pairs of underwear, and headed out the front door. He made it as far as the end of the block, and then sat down, trying to figure out what to do next. After half an hour or so, he came back. He’s 18 now, and we’ve never let him live that one down.
I don’t know if this counts or not. During the summer after my junior year in high school, a friend and I convinced our parents to let us take a couple of weeks fishing trip to New Mexico. He lived in Waco and I lived in Houston.
The real plan was to go to California to be hippies for the summer. We did do some fishing in New Mexico, when we stopped off at my friend’s girlfriend’s family’s summer cabin near Las Vegas. The night before we departed there we picked up a hippie hitchhiker, Jim, who wasn’t going anywhere in particular, so he stayed with us. And at the last minute GF’s brother decided to join us on the road.
We finally called my parents from Crescent City, CA, when we were already overdue, so they wouldn’t report us as runaways. The four of us spent that entire summer roaming the western U.S. in that Chevy ('63 Impala SS - kinda Texan for hippie wheels, but a little more hippie after my buddy smashed the front end). My friend and I had both just turned 17, brother was 18 and Jim was our sage counselor on life at 19.
We slept where we could, did some manual labor for a few bucks and just generally had a gas. I say I don’t know if this counts because I’d always had every intention of getting back by fall to finish high school. And we did arrive back in Houston at the end of August, hungry, scrawny and just a little bit tired of each other. I was the only one with even that much planned, as my buddy was already a drop-out and GF’s brother was adrift, but not quite as much so as Jim.
That was 34 years ago, and I still wonder if that CA muffler ticket’s going to catch up with me someday. They didn’t catch it a year later when they threw me in Monterey County for a week for a campfire (not guilty(!), but you knew that, right?) in Big Sur.
Heh. Just ask him if he wants to go to Burger King…
My friend and I also planned for years to run away. We decided we would do it when we turned 11. Because we decided by then, we’d be able to look after ourselves.
It never happened, but we had fun planning it.
I ran away when I was 4 because my parents (the brutes) sold my dog house.
The dog would never go in the damn thing-preferring my bedroom and the living room.
Didn’t matter a lick that I played on the roof of it all the time.
I made it to the end of the block and then sat down because I had been forbidden to cross the street.
They came and got me at dinner time.
I never ran away for real, but I did leave the house long enough to worry my parents. When I was about 9 or 10 I was sent to my room for something I did (probably for back-talking to my parents since I didn’t handle being scolded too well). I sneaked out of my bedroom through the window and stayed out until well after dark. After walking around the neighborhood for a couple hours I started to feel cold and headed towards home. I saw my mom and dad looking for me. At that point I went running up to them crying and apologizing for getting them so worried.
When a friend of mine was 16 he had his own car. When he stopped by one night and asked to borrow a road atlas book of mine I should have suspected something. The next day he and a couple other friends were gone and unaccounted for. He called me a couple days later to tell me he and the other guys had gone from Idaho to South Dakota, where another friend had moved after living here. My friend was pissed at his mom (couldn’t blame him, she was terrible) and wanted to prove to her that he didn’t have to listen to her or abide by her rules, however ridiculous some of them were. I don’t remember if he came back on his own or if he was brought back, but I know the police got involved and were contacted once his whereabouts became known.
I love how many kids in this thread ran away, but then wouldn’t do something like cross the street. It cracks me up.
My story is exactly like dwc1970’s. I don’t remember being mad at my parents, just jealous of all the freedom that my older sister (a teenager) had. I was about 11, and decided to go for a walk at night. I climbed out my window and walked around the block, just roaming and enjoying the stars and the freedom of no one knowing I was gone.
Except that they did know – my mom came in to say goodnight and I wasn’t there, so they freaked out and had been calling and looking for me for about 20 minutes. I didn’t get in any trouble, I just had to promise never to ever do anything like that again.
I think I was precluded from really running away because of all the Ramona Quimby books my mom read aloud to us as kids. There’s one in which Ramona decides to run away. Her mom helps her pack, and loads the suitcase with everything possible (and puts all the heavy things, like roller skates, at the bottom). The suitcase is so heavy that Ramona can’t carry it, and she winds up figuring out that her mom didn’t really want her to run away at all. I’m pretty sure that I realized from there that my parents wouldn’t really want me to go away, either, even if I was awful at times.
Once, when I was sixteen, for a couple of weeks. Huge fight with my parents, and I’d had enough. I threw some of my stuff in a bag, walked to the mall, and called my boyfriend from a payphone. He only let me stay the night on his sofa and insisted I try to work things out with my parents. Spent the next few weeks crashing at friends houses, mostly without their parents knowing, and very very tired.
Things have, thankfully, improved hugely with my parents.
The summer I was ten, my brother was in the hospital and I wasn’t paid much attention to at home, so I decided to run away to Mackinac Island. I packed a journal and pens in my fanny pack, but never packed anything else because I couldn’t decide how I was going to fit all my stuffed animals in my duffel bag (which sounds so cute, now that I think about it). I was going to follow I-75 north and sleep in the woods and steal food from gas stations until I got there, when I’d live wild in the woods on the island and beg food from tourists.
For a few weeks, I planned to leave the following Friday morning at the crack of dawn, but every Friday I’d wake up too late. So I never even left my house, although sometimes I wish I had, just to see how far I’d have gotten before I was caught.