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Eugene: I would like to think of this trip as something more than seeing tourist sights or exotic scenery. This is my chance to connect with the inner-person. A journey to myself!
Well, the series is over, and a whole lot of stuff happened. Battles, deaths, perhaps a betrayal or two; but now that's over and everyone can build their lives back, right?
Well, not for the person who figures it's too hard to deal with the events of the series. Maybe they were the Well-Intentioned Extremist, or maybe they were controlled by Puppeteer Parasite, or maybe one too many of their loved ones died. Anyhoo, it would take more time than the epilogue has to constructively rebuild with the rest of the cast, so they decide to go Walking the Earth until they feel better about themselves.
Usually with a promise that they and the others "will meet again, someday," assuming the others don't think they're dead. This reunion is rarely ever shown, though if pulled off correctly can result in a very good open ending.
Compare The Atoner.
Anime and Manga
- Tower of God': After successfully making his sister a princess but still feeling dissatisfied, Koon Agero Agnis decided to climb the Tower to search for what he really desired.
- Ogremon from Digimon Adventure.
- Jiro, from the Anime Kikaider.
- Subverted in Mai-HiME, when said by Natsuki Kuga. Problem is, her attendance is too low, so she does not have the time to go on a journey.
- Soujirou, from Rurouni Kenshin.
- The latter arc of Honey and Clover.
- Battle Couple Allelujah Haptism and Marie Parfacy does this in the Grand Finale of Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
- Daisuke Aurora takes one of these at the end of Heat Guy J.
- Touma in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Force goes on a trip by himself in order to come to terms with the destruction of his hometown, which leads to him encountering Lily and the events of the story taking place.
- Snufkin does this at the end of the first Moomins book. Granted, he's kinda The Drifter anyway...
- He leaves for winter every year. One time, Moomin offered to join him, but was rejected.
Live Action TV
- Merrick Baliton does this at the end of the Wild Force season of Power Rangers.
- Oz leaves the show with one of these in Buffy the Vampire Slayer to learn to control his werewolf side. He returns for one last episode, seemingly able to control the transformation (not changing to a full moon). He finds his feelings for Willow, who has since moved on, can still trigger it against his will, and leaves for good.
- Doctor Franklin did this on Babylon 5. It ended in a near-death hallucination.
- In Gekiranger, Jan and Gou both go on separate journeys.
- Playfully subverted in Lonestar's "No News," when a woman leaves her man to "find herself" and he agonizes over improbable things she must be doing ("rocking out with the band/ On the road with Pearl Jam") when the implication is that she's simply left him.
- Croix from La Pucelle Tactics.
- The "neutral" ending of Disgaea.
- Ganz in the human ending of Radiata Stories.
- Lynn and Ryouga from the video game Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2. Also, Master Sakuro from the first game, and Shintetsu prior to the game's start.
- Murray from Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves (A rare case in which the character's return is included.)
- Kain from Final Fantasy IV, who has a specific goal in mind -- he is going to try to renounce his sins and become a Paladin, as Cecil did in the game.
- At the end of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, having found out his mentor and a figure he greatly admired were both truly amoral, leaves on a journey to understand true justice. In the second game, Justice For All, he is briefly assumed to be dead, but returns to prosecute the final case, having learned what he sought out to find.
- This Troper thought he was looking for a theme tune..
- At the end of Suikoden V, Georg leaves to travel the world, setting up his eventual appearance in Suikoden II.
- The Protagonist of Lufia and the Fortress of Doom. The apparent conclusion of his journey is the final scene of the ending.
- Ryudo of Grandia II.
- Knights of the Old Republic II establishes that Revan did this following the end of the first game. Word of God says that he never came back. The Exile shares his fate.
- Magus in the best ending of Chrono Trigger does this. Although he does it because he's looking for his sister, Schala.
- Grace at the end of Gabriel Knight 3.
- Gilles de Rais, at the end of Jeanne D Arc, after taking Roger's place in sealing Gilvaroth within himself. If the post-game history sticks to reality, he will not succeed.
- Gentz along with Lloyd at the end of Front Mission as an example of the extremist.
- At the end of Lugaru, Turner is Offered the Crown of the rabbit kingdom, but turns it down and chooses to wander the island in search of purpose.
- The backstory of The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening is that Link left Hyrule to go on a journey of self discovery and training. The game begins with Link returning towards Hyrule at the end of his journey, but along the way he gets shipwrecked and washes ashore on Koholint Island.
- Ben of Darths and Droids does this in-between the events of Episode III and Episode IV. However, he makes the mistake of not keeping in contact with everyone and they all think the worse.
- Vork does this during season 3 of The Guild.