50 Hoped-For Escapes

I once mentioned a website called 43things. It doesn’t exist any more but I wrote a note of something I found there. (Update: the site is back!)

43things was a social network about personal ambitions. You’d enter your dreams and goals and other people could cheer you on. When successful, you could write a little post about how you did it and whether it was worth it.

I mainly used it to eavesdrop on other people’s life plans.

I once popped the word ‘escape’ into the in-site search engine and came up with some 472 items. The result was like a measure of gross international unhappiness. Or at least dissatisfaction. Or, more positively, a measure of people’s desire to put things right in their lives.

Many of the ‘escape’ ambitions are either similar to other ones or don’t make sense, so I’ve boiled them down to a single report of 65 hopes for escape. It’s almost like a poem, composed by the Citizens of the Internet, circa 2013:

Escape the masses
Escape from Google
Escape into nowhere
Escape my past
Escape from this city/country
Escape the cubicle
Escape America
Escape from Alcatraz
escape death
escape reality
escape society
escape capitalism
Escape my parents
Escape From Jail
Escape materialism
escape Suburbia
escape from it all
Escape escapism
Escape…(for a while)
escape from myself
escape to a rainforest
Escape solitude
Escape from Zajecar for a while
escape from my life
escape winter
escape poverty
escape by train
Escape Debt
escape depression
Escape England!
escape the office
escape the routine
escape the midwest
escape the “curse”
escape from my ego
escape Nottingham
escape to paradise
escape plastic
Escape from Shawshank
Escape religion
Escape Ireland!
Escape from Iran
escape from LA
escape tradition
escape everything
escape from intolerance
Escape anxiety
escape from the matrix
escape to scotland
escape a life of corporate servitude

Pssh, I could tell you how to do any one of those.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at wringham.co.uk

6 Responses to “50 Hoped-For Escapes”

  1. Jon Marsh says:

    Some of those seem easier to achieve than others.

    Last accessed 43 things in 2007, might have been fun to check what my ambitions were back then, but it looks like those electrons have been recycled. Site has been relaunched this week I see.

  2. Hi Jon. I was a tad disingenuous in the post, as I used the site to log some ambitions myself. Some I accomplished (I wanted to walk the length of the Lachine Canal in Montreal, visit Hawaii, and be in the studio audience for QI) but some I am yet to tackle (write a novel).

    What an odd coincidence that the site is back. I’d been planning this post for ages.

  3. Drew says:

    An observation about the list. There are only 4 examples of people escaping “to” or “into” something. Maybe if we focus on where we want to go, rather than on where we don’t want to be, we will actually get there. Select and maintain the aim.

  4. Good point. I suppose you’re less likely to focus on the escape element of the migration if you’re primarily going into something. You might not necessarily be avoiding something awful by moving to somewhere better. But yeah. Wilde: “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at”.

  5. Drew says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for celebrating the escape and flipping the bird at the thing you’re leaving. I just think that the “escaping something” bit is only half the equation, and if you don’t quickly turn around and set your sights on the destination, the escape is less likely to be successful.

  6. You are right. I’m hoping to do another Escapology book: The Good Life for Wage Slaves.

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