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How to Disappear Completely and Start a New Life

How to Disappear Completely and Start a New Life

We live in a dog-eat-dog world. Everyone’s doing what they can to stay afloat. As NSA whistleblower and gestapo “traitor” Edward Snowden has shown us, though, somewhere along the line, any of us could find ourselves in need of an escape route. You’ll have a lot on your mind, and disappearing takes discipline. You’ll walk a tightrope without a net, and you can’t ever lower your guard. Keep this page somewhere safe to use as a checklist in case shit ever hits the fan, and you have to disappear completely and start a new life…

meditate

    Remain Calm…

    A clear mind is always better than a cluttered one. Think about how your house is arranged. If everything is cluttered and things are in the way, you’ll have a harder time getting around, be less efficient, and get less done. Your mind works the same way: If you’re too busy dwelling on things that you can’t change (bills not currently due, a job you’re not currently at — anyone or anything that doesn’t exist in your physical present), you’ll miss opportunities in the present moment in which you’re able to act. You switch from P(roactive) to R(eactive) and your life begins to slide in reverse as your Spidey-sense loses that tingling feeling. I digress…

    The point is, you need to have a wide open mind. Starting a new life is possible in many ways, but you have to decide both what you’re willing to give up and put up with. The reason for this life change will drastically impact the way you start a new life. Resetting your social circle, family makeup, etc. based on a voluntary career decision takes a different approach than escaping from prison and going underground in the modern surveillance state in which we live. You’re about to embark on a serious life decision, many steps of which can’t be undone.

    Now Bug Out

    You need a bug out bag. I keep several for different situations, but you don’t necessarily need to go that far — I’m just giving you choices. Create a bug out bag that works for you. A lot of this will depend on your financial capability and resources. I have a backpack and messenger bag. Each one has different necessary items that help in various situations. Having two styles of bags helps you blend into different situations. My backpack is a well-designed High Sierra that has a high storage capacity. It’s useful for carrying basic survival gear along with personal electronics (laptop, music player, cables) I need to survive. The messenger bag helps in urban situations. There are times when you may want to blend into a city or professional environment, and a backpack won’t help that.

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    Fill your bug out bags with universally necessary items. You’ll need at least a small amount of currency for emergency situations. Keep identification on you. People will tell you that you should destroy ID cards, but there are more reasons to keep them than discard them. Think of how many identification cards you’re given in your life at school, work, conferences, parking garages, stores, etc. You never know when you may need to recreate an ID for something, so keep them all. As a whistleblower, I spend a decent amount of my time conversing with law enforcement and security personnel as both a consultant and person of interest. What I can tell you from detailed analysis of extensive field training is that police officers and security guards often tend to be human beings with jobs to do. More often than not, pairing an ID with a cool head and friendly demeanor can get you out of tough situations. Not every encounter wit’ the po-po gotta end wit’ yo .44 makin sho all dey kids don’t grow. They look at a situation in terms of the amount of paperwork they’d have to do to contain you. There are plenty enough ways of beating the house rules, but that’s a discussion for another time…

    Your bug out bag should also contain any of these survival basics: condiments, hygiene essentials, a water bottle, Camelbak, tea bags, spare stores of any medications you take (prescribed or otherwise), peanut butter, honey, chocolate, nuts, salt, trail mix, crackers, cookies, seeds, powdered drink mixes, bandages, hydrogen peroxide, sunscreen, a small mirror or compact, minor hand tools, writing utensils, a tape measure, duct tape, a sewing kit, cables (especially fax/telephone), chargers, batteries, a laptop (preferably sans wireless card…and I mean physically nonexistent, not turned off…), cell phone, several firestarters, vitamins, hand sanitizer, a flashlight, small umbrella, poncho, map, compass, eating utensils, radio, atlas, and almanac.

    You want to have at least one bug out bag on hand wherever you are. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a survival situation. A few months ago, for example, I woke up in a hospital with nothing but a pair of bloody shorts (sans Australian accent), my iPhone 5, and a cloudy recollection of the chain of events that led me there. The point is, things sometimes happen, and you want to be prepared for the basics. What’s important is maintaining your sanity, surviving, finding comfort, and continuing to push on. If you don’t already have one, put together a bug out bag and keep it in a safe place. You never know what the future holds, and you never want to be left out in the cold with nothing.

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    disconnect

      Disconnect

      If you’re starting a new life, hiding from the internet seems like the most logical move. That’s not necessarily so. We live in a society where you blend in by hiding in numbers and not sticking out. If a police officer stops you, and you don’t have ID, you stick out and require further scrutiny. Applying this principle to the internet, you’ll still need to stay abreast of our constantly updating and evolving society. The internet is like having an all-knowing deity in your pocket at all times. Depending on the individual circumstances surrounding your personal disappearing act, you may need to connect to the internet in more creative ways. Hiding from the government is different than hiding from your family. Either way, digital isn’t the type of disconnect I’m referencing.

      In order to disappear, you’ll need to cut off connections to your family. In order to obtain a government security clearance, you’re asked a lot of questions about your family and friends. This is because your emotional connections can be used against you. Your enemies can tug at your heartstrings and torture you by opening wounds that have nothing to do with physical harm. I used to be a skip tracer for the banks. My job was to find you anywhere in the world you may be hiding. Carmen Sandiego couldn’t hide. Waldo couldn’t hide. You’re a three dimensional person, though. You have free will. You can take precautions. Disconnecting from your family and friends cuts off potential routes of finding you. If you’re seriously trying to start a new life, you can’t bring those connections with you, and checking them in is akin to returning to the scene of the crime.

      As a side note to cutting off personal connections, I realize that this is difficult. The thought of it provides anxiety and fear. You’ll have to face these afflictions sooner or later, regardless of whether it’s in your new life or your old one. Know that if you do lose someone in your life, you can meet new people. Life will go on. It’ll take effort and work, and you may have sleepless nights of feeling like a failure, but the journey will make you stronger and more resourceful. There’s a brave new world out there that’s yours for the taking.

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      shutterstock_72417484

        Hiding in Plain Site

        One of the most effective defense mechanisms you can use is the tactic of hiding in plain site. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it works a lot better than it sounds on the surface. The most obvious way of hiding in plain site is by simply ignoring someone. If the reason you want to disappear and start a new life is to get away from someone, it may be possible to simply ignore them. To apply this concept to a different perspective, when I first blew the whistle on Bank of America, they retaliated with some brutal tactics. My lawyer advised me to keep my head down, but I was already in too deep with Anonymous by that point. I instead hid on the internet and eventually in the media. By hiding in plain site, I effectively defended myself against a lot of underhanded tactics used by a large machine against a single unknown.

        Here’s another example: back in high school a, ummm… guy I knew… and his friend would test store security with some admittedly creative techniques. What… they… discovered was that the best way to circumvent security is to hide in plain sight. They’d test this theory out by walking into grocery stores at various “rush hours,” filling a cart, bagging it, and walking out without paying. The patterns were repeatedly tested in more and more brazen ways. Later on as an adult, one of those guys ended up testing the idea with various work badges and uniforms. The lesson to be learned from all of this experimentation is that the more obvious you are, the less likely someone is to believe they’re seeing what they’re seeing. If you want to disappear, tell everyone you’re invisible. Or just stand still until everyone just accepts that you’re there. Whatever you decide to do, own it. Reality exists at the intersection of perspective and perception. Learn to dance in the streets.

        good or bad

          Good Ideas/Bad Idea

          Good Idea – Using cash for all purposes…

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          Bad Idea – Plastic… and tipping your stripper more than your waitress…

          Good Idea – Having a plan, but being open to spontaneously reacting to hurdles…

          Bad Idea – Going in blind and getting upset when things don’t go as planned…

          Good Idea – Being friendly to every person you encounter…

          Bad Idea – Being friendly to every snake you encounter…. 

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          Last Updated on September 17, 2018

          7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

          7 Signs of an Unhappy Relationship That Makes You Feel Stuck

          Relationships are complicated and when you’re unhappy, it can be difficult to tell what’s causing it and what needs to change.

          Sometimes it’s as easy as opening up to your partner about your problems, while other times it may be necessary to switch partners or roll solo to get your mind straight.

          When you’re in the thick of things, it can be difficult to tell if you’re unhappy in your relationship or just unhappy in general (in which case, a relationship may be just the cure you need).

          Here’re signs of an unhappy relationship that is possibly making you feel stuck:

          1. You’re depressed about your home life.

          No matter what you do in life, you’re going to have good and bad days. Your relationship is no different.

          However, no matter what you’re going through at home, you have to feel comfortable in your own home.

          If you constantly dread going home because your significant other is there, there’s a problem. Maybe it’s something you already know about, everyone has an argument or just needs some alone time.

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          When that yearning to be alone becomes an insatiable obsession over the course of months and years, it’s time to realize you’re not the exception to the rule.

          You’re unhappy in your relationship, and you need to take a look in the mirror and do whatever it takes to make yourself smile.

          2. You aren’t comfortable being yourself.

          Remember all those things you discovered about yourself when you first got together? The way your partner made you feel when you met that made you fall in love with him or her in the first place.

          If they don’t make you feel that way anymore, it’s not the end of the world. If your partner makes you uncomfortable about being you, then her or she is only dragging you down. It’s up to you to decide how to handle that.

          You need to be comfortable with who you are. This means being comfortable in your skin and with the way you walk, talk, look, breath, move, and all the other things that make you uniquely you.

          If the person who supposedly loves you doesn’t make you feel good about yourself, know that you can do better. They’re not even one in a billion.

          3. You can’t stop snooping.

          Mutual trust is necessary in any relationship. The only way to get that trust is with respect.

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          I can find you anywhere online, no matter how private and secure you think you are. The odds of you having a password I can’t crack are slim. If we’ve met in person, I could install a remote key logger on your device without even touching it.

          Finding your information online hardly takes a clandestine organization. Any idiot with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can cyberstalk you. I’m just the only idiot in the village admitting it.

          So now that we know everyone snoops, it’s time to address your personal habits. Governments snoop because they don’t trust us. If you’re snooping on your partner, it’s because you don’t trust them.

          It’s ok to have doubts, and it’s perfectly normal to look into anything that looks weird, but keep in mind that data collection is only half of an investigation.

          If you find yourself constantly snooping and questioning everything, clearly there’s a trust issue and the relationship likely needs to end.

          4. You’re afraid of commitment.

          If you’ve been dating longer than a year and you aren’t engaged, it’s never going to happen.

          Commitment is important. People will come up with a million ways to describe why they can’t be committed.

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          No matter who you are if you like it, you need to put a ring on it. Find an engagement ring, stick a gemstone in it and marry the person. If you’re not legally able to get married or you don’t believe in it for one reason or another, have a child (or adopt one, however you’re able to) or treat your partner’s family like your own. It’s a huge financial and mental commitment.

          If you’re not ready for one or the other after some time, don’t waste anymore of your precious life on the relationship.

          Your relationship should be something that propels you forward. If it’s not going anywhere, make it an open relationship and call it what it is—dating multiple people.

          5. You imagine a happier life without your partner.

          If all you’re doing is imagining a happier life without your partner, it’s a sign that you’re in the wrong relationship. You’re unhappy and you need to get out.

          Your partner should be included in your dreams. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a future with someone.

          Try to remember what you dreamed of before you got your heart broken by the realities of life, love and the pursuit of human success.

          Remember when you would crush on that cute kid in class? You would secretly imagine marrying him or her and going on an adventure—that’s the way life should be.

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          If you’re not at least imagining adventures together, then why are you in that relationship?

          6. You resent, rather than love your partner.

          When a relationship starts to crumble, you begin to resent your partner for all the things you once loved about him or her.

          When you’ve reached this point, your partner has reached at least No. 2 on this list. From your partner’s perspective, your unhappiness with them is picked up as bashing them for being who they are.

          If you’re both unhappy in the relationship, it’s better if it ends as quickly and painlessly as possible.

          7. You chase past feelings.

          It’s okay to reminisce about the past, but if all you do is wish things were like they used to be, it’s a sign you’re not on the right path.

          You’re unhappy and, at the very least, you need to have an open dialogue about it. This isn’t necessarily a sign that the relationship should end, but it definitely needs a spark.

          When you talk to your partner candidly about what it is you’re looking for, you never know how they’ll react. The risk alone is worth it, good or bad.

          Final thoughts

          If you’re feeling stuck in your current relationship, it’s time to reflect about it with your partner. Don’t ignore these signs of an unhappy relationship as they will slowly go worse and harm both you and your partner in long-term.

          Featured photo credit: josh peterson via unsplash.com

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