Humans are expert escapists. Of course, there's the literal interpretation of this, a la Harry Houdini in the late 1910s, but in the artistic way, humans are even better.
Humans created theater, television, film, opera, novels, musicals, puzzles, video games, all with one purpose: to escape the confines of daily life. And they work very well. Here in the 21st century, you can even put on a virtual reality helmet and truly, fully escape the world in front of you without a second thought.
"What do you do to escape reality?"
Here were some of those answers.
A Zombie Day
"Walking with my kid! We'd jump on our bikes, circle the block, 'find' a care package (backpack with water, snacks, etc) and ride to 'far away places'.."
"Sometimes we'd hit up the elementary school about a mile away and have to fight off the horde of zombies then sneak back on our bikes and ride. I personally, have died many a times, according to him. Lol"
"Eventually, we planned on doing a nighttime ride too but I wanted to set up the bikes for that- reflectors, headlamps, etc but it kept getting shoved off for other bills, or he'd rather do something else instead..."
"Until finally, he completely outgrew hanging out with mom. Sometimes, I'll get a few COD zombie sessions in, and we'll grab chipotle and try to catch up on flash but that's a very rare treat for me now."-freedom_oh
The Quiet Of Night
"I grew up in a household with parents who did not know how to communicate. Lots of yelling and screaming all the time."
"It took me until my late 20s to realize the reason I stay up so late is probably because I conditioned myself to be awake and do the things I liked/needed to do during the peaceful night time."
"Even still, I just love the night so much. It reminds me of peace. It feels so serene. Daytime is just so loud and glaring."-djsedna
The Truth Inside Fiction
"Maladaptive daydreaming. I've had it all of my life and only recently learned it's a thing. I've daydreamed so many possible scenarios that some of them have actually come true, just based on the odds."
"Mostly, it saps my mental strength and makes me feel disassociated from the real world. When I'm anxious it fuels the anxiety because I can see the bad thing happening SO clearly."
"I think it's a mechanism my mind developed to help me cope with a lonely childhood but never disassembled, and it continued to churn away even when it was no longer needed."
"On a positive note, I write fiction and have come to recognize that the daydreaming is my mind's way of telling me there are stories I need to get out."-jew_biscuits
Some of these things evolved from us as methods to cope that we simply never dropped.
Always Working Together
"When my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer I hid in video games, notably World of Warcraft. It was the only thing that kept me sane."
"I mean, I still worked and interacted with people and took her to appointments and spent time with my dad, but when I found myself alone with my thoughts I would log into the game and spend hours there."
"The beautiful thing about video games is that the problems have solutions. You can generally solve every dilemma and even get a reward. That's not the case in real life."-donquixote235
An Escape To Nature
"My day to day reality is tiny apartment in city, with loud neighbours, dogs barking, constant sounds of traffic, looking at computer most of the day, sitting behind desk..."
"So when I need a change I go to nature, to the mountains, where I can find peace, forget about problems and try to enjoy things I enjoyed when I was kid. Really listen to nature, observe shapes, colors and daydream."-purpleowlie
"Late at night, I take my bike and ride to my old elementary school that's now a public park. I sit down on the same bench I've always sat at, and I start recording."
"I've found that talking my problems out, or talking about anything, just helps me to escape. Some of those audio logs I've listened to countless times. I catch myself thinking 'wow, I actually said that.'"
"Maybe someday I'll post them online, or preserve them as a memento to the times I've lived through."
"I can tell you right now, if I never started making those logs I wouldn't be half the person I am now."-D3SYNK
You Can Fly If You Want To
"I am a flight simulator hobbyist, and I escape by delving into the simulator. For over 10 years now, when life gets to me, I make an escape by perfecting my flight sim world, not much unlike a model train enthusiast creates dioramas in their basement."
"Aircraft modelling, sound engineering, environment textures such as the sky, ground, water, and trees, buildings, airport details, there's always something to tweak and work on and improve to make actually using the simulator for simulating just a bit more fun and realistic!"
But my favorite part of it all is AI traffic. Myself and a team of other enthusiasts have worked for years now to "back-date" the AI traffic in flight sim with schedules and aircraft going from the late 90s and early 00s all the way back to the 30s in some instances."
"We can choose what year we want to fly, and with a week or two of work on installing schedules, we can fly in that year in our flight sim. Currently my project has been 1998, and this has been so incredibly rewarding!"
"I live by and love my flight sim. It has always been there for me when life is too much and continues to be there for me when I have free time. Nothing else like it on this planet 🙂"-chris34121
A major fantasy fulfillment is truly one of the only things that can keep a human being satisfied in a pretend environment--so while we escape, we live out our fantasies.`
My Life As A Teenage Robot
"I pretend I am a robot stuck in a human world that needs to blend in by acting overly human. An example, I felt down so I put my phone and stuff away and got some food at a noodle place."
"Since I had no phone to bypass time I instead marveled at the chefs putting together a meal for me and made sure they got hyped up by me watching."
"After enjoying a meal that I watched with so much anticipation I let those guys know that damn that food made my day! It makes an occurrence like just going to eat food a lot less boring dystopia and a lot more human!"-KableSoft
Thoughts At The Surface
"Go free diving. You have to leave absolutely everything behind at the surface. Quiet your mind, calm your body, and meditate while you sink into the weightless and peaceful embrace of Mother Ocean."
"Plus you can get super close to all of your gilled friends. Or rock climbing (real climbing outside), similar concept but not quite as immersive."-saynotosealevel
It's A Ritual
"I could give a bs answer like music and video games but if I'm honest it's drinking whiskey outside at night. I'm a night owl and I feel more alive during night time."
"Whiskey soothes me during the day. So doing both just works. Sometimes I just go outside look at the stars and take a swig or two."
"If it's raining then it's 10x better. I know it's not healthy but I'm poor so I can't afford therapy but I can afford whiskey and there will always be another night."-AStrangeViking
As creatures of habit, we create the same world to escape to over and over again. True human connection seems to arise, though, when we would rather be here, on planet Earth with that person, than in our own little worlds.
Or perhaps humans can work on making more friendly and welcoming little worlds together.