What is JOMO?

If FOMO is the Fear of Missing Out (which it is), then JOMO is its opposite. It is the Joy of Missing Out.

FOMO is a concept that most of us have heard of (and experienced). But many have never heard of JOMO.

And it is a shame really, because JOMO is a worthwhile ethos to embrace. Fret not, Wandure is here to help you discover and embrace it!

But first, let's define FOMO and JOMO.

FOMO is the fear of missing out (on an activity, event, social gathering, swim, hike, trip, concert, dinner, conversation etc), while JOMO is the joy of missing out (embracing your choice to take personal time instead of going out, or of choosing a different event or activity, or simply choosing the activity/event/experience that suits you best). JOMO is essentially the opposite of FOMO.

The moment to embrace JOMO

We all know that feeling, that feeling that you are missing out on something epic. That the one night you stayed home and didn’t go to the party, Barack Obama showed up for dessert and Paul McCartney sang happy birthday to your friend (or any other outrageous dream scenario you can think of). Or something less outrageous, the one time you didn’t go for dinner with friends is the night that you would have met the love of your life.

Well, let me ease your stress. If that person is the love of your life, you will find them again and cross paths at another point. And maybe, just maybe, Barack Obama will show up for you at another point in your life - when you need him most :)

So instead of spending that night at home (that you decided to have) bruiting over where you should be and what you should have done, embrace what you chose to do! Whether it be with your book, time with your partner, your family, your dog or cat, or favourite blanket, popcorn, and a movie, or your pillow and bed - it's your time. While you are living in the moment you chose, actually do just that, live it and embrace the JOMO - and not spend the entire time thinking about what it is that you might be missing out on if only you had made another choice!

That’s right, missing out can be a joy because it means that you embraced what you wanted to do. You listened to your intuition or you didn’t, but either way you made a choice and now you are where you are and you can take a deep breath and embrace it.

JOMO is a wonderful feeling, and it allows you to enjoy your decision and allow yourself to choose what it is that you actually want to do, and not what you think you should do.

Once JOMO is on your radar, you won't be able to let it go (and you likely won't want to). From personal experience, I can tell you that it may take some time to actualize but once you make it a practice, it is likely one you'll stick with.

How do I make sure that I have JOMO instead of FOMO?

It is part of the human condition to believe that “the grass is greener on the other side”. That there was a better choice than the one we made. That, if forced to choose between activities or events, you chose the wrong one. That you would have been happier at the other activity or event, that you would have had “the” conversation you’d been waiting for, or that you missed out on “the perfect” afternoon.

And that is only amplified when you later speak with people who chose the other activity or event, who rant and rave about how wonderful it was (“it” being the activity or event you missed out on). Assigning it accolades like “best afternoon of the year”, “best party of the year”, “best meal of the year”, “best [fill in the blank]. Or you see the smiling photo of this "epic afternoon" on Facebook and Instagram. And with those rave reviews of the very thing you missed out on, your FOMO grows only this time it is hindsight FOMO - you should have chosen this or that.

So when you get into that FOMO state, keep this in mind.

You only have one tush.

These wise words courtesy of my mother and grandmother mean that you can only be in one place at a time. You made a choice that was the best option for you in that moment, and while you missed out on one thing you experienced something else! And isn't honouring yourself a beautiful, joyous thing to be celebrated?

So let the envy - both pre and post activity/event - go. Embrace the joy of what you will or did experience. Missing out can be awesome, too.

Embracing JOMO while you travel

To start, I will break the news to you gently.

You will not be able to do absolutely every activity in your destination of choice - nor will you be able to say yes to every trip, or every excursion/experience on the trip, or ever dinner out. Or for that matter, eat every item on the menu, try every flavour of gelato, or meet every person in your hostel.

Some nights, you will be so exhausted that you can't say yes to this street party, or that concert, or that night time scuba dive. Some days you will be too tired to surf and take a cooking class and trek to the next city on your list. You are a human being and you need rest, and again you only have one tush. And that tush has to make choices as to what suits you best, and which activities are a must and which ones can wait until your next adventure.

Travelling is a total privilege but it is also exhausting and some days you may need some down time, and as a result you may feel that familiar FOMO feeling creeping in. Or you may have to choose one activity over another, and again feel that FOMO coming on

So next time, instead of stewing in FOMO I encourage you to embrace JOMO and be content, be present, be happy with your choice, with your life, with your adventure. Because after all, it belongs to no one but you and it is yours to narrate and write.

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