I’ve always suffered from terrible FOMO (fear of missing out); what if I don’t go out with my friends and I miss an amazing night, choose not to go to event and forgo an amazing opportunity or order the wrong thing on the menu and get terrible food envy? My FOMO manifests itself the most whilst travelling I want to see everything because what if I never go back to that place, what if I miss out on the meal of a lifetime and what if I don’t get that once in a lifetime experience…
FOMO is actually a form of anxiety, with many options open to you there’s a sort of anticipatory regret that you may choose the wrong one. As a classic type A personality, I’m always plagued with this anxiety, hence my through planning for any trip that we take. The problem with this is that we can end up feeling exhausted with trying to make sure that we see absolutely everything and return from a holiday feeling more tired than when we left and not at all relaxed. Fortunately Mr S is much more chilled out than I am and I’ve *started* to learn how to get over my FOMO and here’s five ways to combat that fear and make sure that you leave a place satisfied that you’ve enjoyed it to the full without exhausting yourself.
Read Reviews and Plan
Do you really have to see every temple in Bali? Visit every museum in Rome? Check out all the fountains in Paris? Probably not…Make sure you read travel guides and check out TripAdvisor reviews so that you’re seeing the sights of most significance and interest. Personally, I prefer to read blogs to get an idea of what I want to see as they often give an insiders guide, local and personal opinion about the best things to see and the top places to eat. Once you’ve read an honest review you may realise that place isn’t for you and you can cross it off your list without any regrets. I’ve mentioned before that I’m an avid user of Excel spreadsheets in order to plan trip and once I know what I want to do in a particular place I’ll allocate space on the spreadsheet to make sure that we can make time for it. For sites of significance, tours and popular restaurants I book well in advance as I know I’ll be really disappointed if I don’t get a booking at my place of choice after all that research. For example, I booked The Test Kitchen in Cape Town six months in advance to make sure I got a table at the hottest restaurant in town.
Turn off from social media
The world’s obsession with social media is a terrible trigger for FOMO; we see our friends checking in on Facebook, posting cool pictures on Instagram and tweeting images of a fun night out. Let’s be honest if we see a group of our friends have checked in on Facebook and you’re not there for whatever reason, you’re always going to feel a sort of rejection. Yep, social media anxiety is now a thing…
Social media can induce FOMO when planning your trip or while travelling. Once I’ve decided on a few restaurants that I’m interested in going to I’ll check out their Instagram accounts particularly to see pictures of the food as this really helps me to narrow down my choices and pick the places that I want to go to. But after that don’t
obsessively stalk keep looking at the places that you rule out, you’ll just make yourself regret that you haven’t chosen them and worry that you’ve made the wrong choice.
Get a private guide
When visiting somewhere packed with history and things to do such as our trips to Cape Town, Rome, Florence and New York, Mr S and I enlisted the help of a private guide. By doing to this we put our holiday in the hands of a professional who can ensure we’re not missing out on the most significant key sites. I also think it’s great when tour companies tailor the itinerary to suit the particular interests of their clients such as foodie tours, street art or places of religious interest. In order to find the right guide I usually ask the advice of the hotel concierge or check TripAdvisor. I’ve also used Viator many times, a website which suggests experiences for both private or group tours.
Go somewhere you’ve been to before
One way conquering my FOMO is to go to somewhere I’ve been to before, that way I know I’ve already seen the most significant things and I can relax and take my holiday more slowly. For example, Mr Silver and I are heading to Florence in three months time, as we’ve already been and seen many of the major sites I feel like this time we can relax more, go for long lunches, drink plenty of wine and try new gelato places. Plus it gives you the chance to try restaurants that made the short list but didn’t make the cut in the end.
Just give up one day to chance
If you’re as
controlling well organised as me you’ll struggle to leave even a day to chance but maybe just try it or let your travel partner organise one day. Sometimes the best restaurants are found by total serendipity down an alleyway you wouldn’t think to turn down or maybe you’ll come across a beautiful park or square that doesn’t feature in the guide-book. This happened to us in Melbourne, there were just so many wonderful little lanes and byways serving great food and coffee, in places like that you can’t really wrong.
Also remember that FOMO can be a good thing. It’s the drive to live life to the fullest, explore new places and have rich and fulfilling experiences. It’s something I need to conquer myself but I think it’s important to remember that you really can’t do everything so don’t exhaust yourself trying.