I’m not brave at all

Matt Rud
Matt Rud
Jun 4, 2016 · 2 min read

I’m on Remote Year, where 75 remote workers and I will live and work in 12 cities in 12 months around the world.

Friends and family keep saying I’m “brave” for going to strange cities with strangers.

I appreciate the sentiment, but I’m not “brave.”

I was afraid of ketchup when I was a kid. I would literally convulse when a Heinz bottle was within a few inches of me. I didn’t travel abroad until I was 20, and I had nightmares about how I’d get murdered by drug-dealing, ax-wielding, sexual-healing Danish mafiamen, or something. I didn’t know. I was just convinced I’d die because I was going to the big, bad, “abroad.” Not-America will kill you, TV had taught me.

I was going to Copenhagen, one of the world’s happiest, friendliest, cleanest cities, where everyone speaks English.

Danish people are too happy to kill you, it turned out. It was safer than home.

I’ve always been scared of everything. But at some point in my life, I realized:

1) If you’re not growing, you’re dying.

2) You can’t grow without a stimulus.

Ergo ipso facto untoheretoforthwith, you’ll start dying if you don’t seek out stimuli. If you’re not changing something in your life, you’re dying.

The specific effect of the stimulus is always unknown. All you know is that you’ll grow. You don’t know how. But that’s all you need.

People think traveling with strangers is “brave” because the specifics are unknown. Who exactly will I be friends with? How many people will I like? Etc. etc. etc.

But what’s the alternative?


I don’t know much, but it seems irrational to choose death.

I’m not brave. I’m rational.

You don’t have to travel to grow. You just have to change something. Job. Hobby. Relationship.

When you start working out and put five more pounds on the bench press every week, is that “brave?”

No, it’s logical so you can grow big pecs, bro.

When you graduate college and fill out your first job application, is that “brave?”

No, it’s logical so you can make dem bills, yo.

When you tell your ex to go fuck herself because she cheated on you, is that “brave?”

No, it’s logical so you can stop having a shitty girlfriend.

You don’t know exactly how any of those things will turn out. You might not lift the weight, get the job, or your ex might stab you.

I’m going to grow personally and professionally and have fun. How is that “brave?” “Brave” is risking your life to help people. I’m just trying to live a good life.

I appreciate the sentiment, but it’s just a mindset. Convince yourself you have to grow or you’ll die, and people will call you “brave.”

I’m not “brave” for going on Remote Year. I just don’t want to revert back to being a person who’s convinced he’ll die if he touches ketchup.

Nomad Gonads

Weird stories as a writer travels the world with Remote…

Nomad Gonads

Weird stories as a writer travels the world with Remote Year.

Matt Rud

Written by

Matt Rud

Author, publisher, traveler, fortune cookie.

Nomad Gonads

Weird stories as a writer travels the world with Remote Year.