Have you ever fantasized about dropping out of your current life and starting all over again with a new identity in a new location? Hundreds of thousands of people go missing in the US each year, and of these a small number are people who have vanished deliberately. There are many reasons an adult would choose to leave everything and everyone they’ve ever known behind, including trying to leave a spouse behind for good, trying to run away from obligations that have become overwhelming, and simply wanting a fresh start. The idea of a tabula rasa appeals to many, but if you are serious about making it happen, you’ll need to do quite a bit of planning and preparation if you want to stay gone for good.
The First Steps
If you disappear, people will try to find you, and if you don’t want them to succeed you’ll need to start preparing for your eventual vanishing act well in advance, and the best place to start is with social media. Begin decreasing your online networking now so that no one will be alarmed when you cease using it completely. Most disappearances of adults are not investigated by law enforcement, but if your case is then your internet history will be the first place they will look. You will also need to ditch your car, destroy photos of yourself that could be used to identify you, slowly taper off interactions with family and friends, and begin planning your long-term budget.
Paper or Plastic?
In today’s society we are so attached to our debit and credit cards that for many the idea of getting along without them is inconceivable, but if you want to disappear without a trace plastic currency is one of the first things you’ll need to give up. Now is a great time to begin getting used to keeping cash and using it to take care of your day-to-day expenses. The key is to slowly taper off the paper trail that will connect your whereabouts to your spending habits. Just be sure when you dispose of your cards that they are completely destroyed. Either burn them or cut them into tiny pieces.
Make Sure You are Legally in the Clear
You already know that it may be illegal to take a minor with you and that it is extremely inadvisable, but you should take disappearing because you owe debts or for insurance fraud reasons just as seriously. Do not try to vanish off the face of the earth if being found will result in legal trouble. Take steps to clear up any potential problems before you leave to reduce the chance of an organization searching for you, because chances are their resources are better than yours are. If you are disappearing because someone is doing something illegal to you, such as blackmail or stalking, just know that there may be legal solutions to these problems that are less extreme.
Don’t Blow Your Cover
You are certain to be discovered if you do one or both of two things: tell someone else, or take someone with you, especially if you take a child. Taking a child not only endangers you, it also potentially leaves you open to having charges pressed against you, so it is a very bad idea. You should also take steps to make it clear that you left voluntarily, which will make law enforcement far less likely to agree to become involved. If you are running from a specific person or agency, take into account how far they would be willing to go to find you and what resources they’d have at their disposal if they were to begin searching and plan accordingly. Vanishing without a trace has become increasingly difficult in today’s tech savvy society, yet still it can be done. But only if you are smart about it.