Hey everyone Ive been going through a tough patch right now and was wondering if anyone had any words of wisdom to shed.

Recently my Mom and Dad split up, my mom moved in with her brother,my dad into his own place,and I was thrown into my,very critical,closed-minded grandparents who dont very much like me because of my free nature.

Ive been here for about a month (and it feels like 7!) Ive had to quit cigs because they dont like the smell, I have to ask to go anywhere, and going on a nature walk,isnt a good reason in their eyes. Im used to be out till 4 in the morning and now i have to be in by 10. Ive even been yelled at for wearing a grateful dead shirt! Theyre shoving joining the Military down my throat, and are trying their hardest to make me conform and follow the corporate paved road. I cant stand it any longer.

Im thinking of leaving,well more like planning on leaving very very soon.  

I have my backpack packed and am thinking of hiking west towards Oregon and Cali. I dont have a sleeping bag or a tarp yet and Id have to travel alone so im worried about that.

I guess what the point of this is : Im gonna leave,and Id like to hear from people who have done it before,any advice on backpacking? Like equipment for my pack,gathering water and food, and just past experiences. Any input will be appreciated. Please respond soon, Idk how much longer I can bear living here, and the road is calling my name.


Peace Love and Light,


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Oh,and anyone who wants to travel with me is more than welcome. Im supposed to meet up with a Sister in Georgia,but abyone who wants to travel with us is encouraged.
Exactly the reason I want to start a PA family. I was a runaway. I wish I had a home of my own to welcome you into. All I can give right now is my love. Hang in there, I know exactly how you feel. My real mother and father abandoned me when I was a baby. I was taken care of by my Great Aunt and Uncle. My Great Uncle was truly GREAT, but my Great Aunt was like your grandparents, and she ultimately made the rules in the house. I ran away so many times. My art supplies were taken from me, I wasn't allowed out of my room most of the time, much less out of the house, she allowed her own children (much older than me) to monitor all my activities on the computer, I couldn't have phone calls. Most of my adolescence was pure living breathing HELL for a hippie kid. I feel you, brother, I really do. I'm bout to come up to Reading and snatch you. ;) I know you'll find good people and good advice here. We love you. Hang on and it will get better, I promise.
excellent advice, Rokk and Sagetea!!!!
I have to agree with Sour Daddy. Life in Babylon is not easy even for a hippie that feels they know their situation. Every house has rules even a hippies. Respecting boundries is all just a part of growing up. If you are under 18 you can be made to come back or worse put into a home. Show a little respect, play it cool and before you know it you will be 18 and your own man. You don't have to lie to your grandparents just be respectful and say I'd perfer not conform but I will abide. The way you carry yourself will define you in their eyes so Buck up and ride the storm out.
Thanks Shawnee, I feel the love and can feel from your words that you've been there. I've had my fair share of a pretty bad childhood, I feel like we could relate on alot Sister.I would def not turn down that offer to snatch me away hahaha
Sagetea, I understand what youre saying, and I know thats what I shoudl try and do, but most of what I said was simply a minor background story. When I said theyre shoving Military down my throat, I wasnt kidding. Ive managed to come up with enough excuses each weekend to not go,but Im running out of reasons. I used to have long hair..they made me cut it. Ive been isolated from all friends and family, Ive gone from freedom to prison.
WenchRokk,You gave me alot of good ideas with secret stash spots and how to get away with planning all of this, theyre quite intrusive.But alas, Im not trying to stay here any longer. I know I should just rough it out, But Ive been doing that for the longest month I have ever lived. I take great pride in being the most laidback person any of my friends know,none of them has ever even seen me angry! But i can only bite my toungue for so long here, They have gone far past the point of annoying me,And idk how much longer i can keep a cool head.Ive been searched, and ridiculed, and shaped and morphed for the last time. Im not going to be some puppet they can control, some poor schmuck working to pay the bills of last month, and being forced to revert into a consumerist lifestyle.
And Ive always wanted to travel,Ive had a travelers soul for as long as i can remember! Born in Germany,moved to France,then Mississippi,Ohio,Cali,PA. Ive been here for far too long, and I feel the need to leave once more.
Sour D, I feel what you say,and after rereading what I originally said, I can see how you construed it as such,and I prolly would have too in your shoes. Its not really the case, Ive lost freedom,that I can stand,barely. But living in a home where everyday you are hounded on for wanting peace in the world? I cant do that. And on a side note,ill be 20 in August :)
Ive hiked the Appalachian Mountains, and camped for most of my life. I grew up in the city,so Im pretty street smart, Im 6'5" so not too many people try and mess with me, and if they do and I cant solve anything peacefully,I have years of Martial Arts training to fall back on,Although I would much rather not have to use that.
I guess Im more looking for advice on what to bring, what to do, and if anyone has traveled before, any storied to tell or helpful hints would be very much appreciated.
Thank you Shawnee,SageTea,WenchRokk and Sour Daddy for your words of wisdom, I appreciate you responding on such short notice.

You haven't told us exactly how old you are, but it looks like you are still below high school graduation age. One of your main concerns on the road will be how to find work so you can make money to survive. Lots of times you are going to find this can be hard to do if you are under 18, and truly impossible if you are under 16. I hope you are ready for stuff like construction or unloading trucks and are not afraid to associate with the kind of people who do manual labor (some of them may look scary, but they might turn out to be your best friends).

The longer you can stick it out with your grandparents the better it will be, especially if it means you can graduate high school. They can't force you to join the military (and they definitely won't take you if you haven't graduated). If they take you to the recruiter, tell him that you don't really want to go; he might be your best defense against them. (The days of the draft and the Army that will take anything that walks are long over, they want good people who are motivated for recruits.)
Where are you? I'll travel with you. =)
To everyone who missed in my previous reply, Im 19 "And on a side note,ill be 20 in August :)"
and I live in Reading PA.
Much Love everyone,
Stay alive inside; don't be a stranger.

Keep the lines open to the folks back home.

Don't run and hide when everything changes;

Walk between the raindrops dry as a bone.
I was a "runaway" most of my childhood... the only words of wisdom i can give is outside of stores and restaurants are the the best places to find long cig butts lol. and be careful.. there are some very scary people in this world.. I wish you the best of luck and i hope you find what your looking for...

also just as a side note i wanted to say ive stayed at alot of here and there places and even the situations that may not seem so great there was something important to be learned there..
Hmmm, methinks your grandparents are not saying something on their minds whilst yelling. Had they truly wanted you there, they would be trying to get you to get work and contribute to the family. Getting by is harder these days; 19 yr old young men eat a lot. But I hear you saying they are eager to get you away... to the military because they don't think you can make it on your own? or even just maybe, well, away, asap? At 19, your parents are no longer legally responsible for you; no one is. Neither parent took you, I note. I suspect you are getting an abrupt shove out of the nest, young bird.

I think getting out is the right track; I support you in that. Travelling in the East is oranges to those NW apples in WA/Oregon/CA hippieland. Can't hurt to compile of list of friendly family/folk state to state. It's still cold at night in PA; never hurts to carry gear even if you don't need it! As a backpacker, you do know what to carry. Learn how to use city help; cop shops and the Catholic Church give out travelling money; and Social Service can help. Go online or down to SS in Reading, grandparents allowing, and learn how their system works. Once you learn, all you need are the differences state to state. If Reading is somewhat liberal, a social worker there may just teach you the ropes. Live somewhere long enough to get a food card. They are only good in the state issued so when you change states, spend the rest at one time before they stop the card. Surely there are hippies in Reading; maybe you just need a change of address. Living on your own you will qualify for more help than with blood family. Be sure to carry all the ID you can. Get a copy of your birth certificate! It's easy enough to do online.

Just some conservative ideas adding to the un-stoppable optimism which will give you the magic to go with your handsome cute 19 yr old smile!

Faring thee well now.
Let your life proceed by its own design....

Love to you on your journey!
well if you ever do make it to Cali...i would love to travel with you guys!!! i honestly completely understand what you mean! i somewhat find myself in the same situation.its not pretty and i just want to be FREE! but my family doesn't understand the true definition of freedom/: and i dont want to be like them or like the rest of Babylon.i also want to travel but i'm scared to do so by myself. I don't know how or where to start or if it even is a good idea...best of luck brother! i wish you a safe journey and hope everything goes well~much love and positive vibes.


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