It was a cool summers night and although the doors of the holding facility were open, the bars of my cell were asphyxiating. I couldn’t take being locked up. I just couldn’t take it. I desperately craved the freedom of the road again and I knew I had to escape.
I began talking with the guard on duty. Luckily for me, a 16 year old, he was also young, probably in his early 20’s. Surprisingly, I managed to convince him to let me outside for a smoke. There, on the steps of the jail, I could see the Turkish border and its offer of asylum from EU and Interpol warrants. As I contemplated whether or not to runaway, I smoked a cigarette, then a second, then a third, a fourth, a fifth. With each cigarette, my heart raced faster and adrenaline surged through every cell of my body. It was like nothing I had ever felt before.
Half way through my sixth cigarette I stood up. Slowly I looked towards the guard. He was roughly two meters away, a safe distance. “Here we go” I thought. Before my mind could process what was going on, I had already sprinted across the road. Then, like a rabbit, I sprung 6 feet into the air and onto the 20 ft border fence. When I arrived on the other side, I found myself stuck in thick thorn bushes. Struggling like a animal stuck in a trap, I cried out in distress. I looked back. 6 officers had assembled. Their voices ferocious. Their guns drawn and pointing directly at me. A single shot rang out.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” — Mark Twain
Leif is The Run Away Guide. When he was 16, he ran away from home and explored the far reaches of Europe and the Middle East without a dime. It was a journey that opened his eyes to the world and changed his life. He learned some great techniques to travel on the cheap, which he shares on his site The Runaway Guide. Follow him on Twitter.