FOMO. Have you heard of it? Yes, I am using a hipster acronym to start off this blog post, and for those of my readers who are still hooked on the “vintage” language, FOMO stands for: Fear of Missing Out. I think we have all suffered from FOMO at one point or another, and as a traveler I feel that FOMO is intensified, tenfold. I’m always worried about missing out on adventures, and I’ll admit that I fall into my own trap of thinking, “How often am I in (insert some random amazing country)”, and “When will I ever be able to go (skydiving-parasailing-flying-or-any-other awesome-adrenaline-filled-activity) again?” I think fellow travelers would agree that we are “Yes” people — we want to see, do, explore, learn, and grow — and we fear missing out on an unforgettable adventure along the way. (Can I get an AMEN? Seriously, someone pllllllease tell me I’m not alone in this).
By this point we all know how excited I was to explore the remote island of Koh Tao, so you can imagine my surprise when I found myself feeling slightly “underwhelmed” after we arrived. I confessed to Cody that maybe Koh Tao wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be, and after the second day I began to wonder if we were spending too much time on this tiny island. During our stay, I met many ex-pats who planned on visiting for a week or two, and five months later they’re still there — and still loving it — and I couldn’t help but feel like I was missing something. FOMO smacked me right in the face. I looked at the beauty all around me: the palm-tree lined beaches, the dramatic vistas from which we watched the sunsets, the ocean, the people, the island life, so many people raved about this tiny island, but to be honest, I wasn’t loving it as much as those around me. FOMO.
Could it have been my high expectations?–Most definitely! And to be honest, I think this was a huge component. I was so looking forward to our stay that I overanalyzed and set the bar too high and in the end I only disappointed myself. (Lesson Learned!) Could it have been our resort location?–This was another huge aspect. Through no fault of the resort, I think if we would have stayed closer to town we could have experienced more of the night-life on Koh Tao and felt closer to the action during the day as well. While the diving near Koh Tao still ranks as one of my favorite locations in the World, we really enjoyed the luxurious-yet-laid-back island vibe on Koh Samui; which was why after five days on Koh Tao we made the decision to head back to our favorite resort on Koh Samui. This was actually the first time that we have changed our itinerary mid-trip, and it was much easier than I expected, and at the end of the day, I couldn’t have been happier.
FOMO. It’s real, but it doesn’t have to be crippling. While one traveler might feel like they are missing out on an incredible location, another traveler may be entirely content passing by with no intention to stop. And at the end of the day, not every location we travel to will be our favorite-of-all-favorites, and that’s okay! We loved that Thailand was so different from anywhere else we have ever been, and I look forward to exploring more of the tiny islands along the Andaman Sea on our next visit.
Have you ever experienced FOMO as a traveler?
19 thoughts on “A Traveler’s Kryptonite”
Koh Tao was one of my favorite Islands! But I had absolutely no expectation before I got there. I signed on last minute when a guy sitting next to me in Bangkok was booking tickets. It was a very lazy place and I’m not used to being lazy but I think what made it so great was this amazing yoga class I took. It was very close to the beach and the studio had large open windows covered with curtains so you could hear all of the tropical birds and cicadas in the woods around you. Once class started, it started to downpour outside and finished right when class was over. Absolute bliss. I had to go every day! I also wish I had stayed closer to the beach. I was in a crummy hostel right near the port. There’s so many great places I could have stayed at on the beach but I don’t think many of them are listed online. Wish I knew that! Anyways, thanks for sharing. I can see how it would be easy to get your hopes up about the place. I’ll see if I can get some of my photos up from ze island. Cheers!
Sounds like an incredible experience, thanks for sharing. 🙂 You’re totally right about it being a super lazy/laid back island, and that’s definitely part of its charm. I would go back for the diving and look for a resort closer to the water next time.
Thanks for stopping by!
I am totally FOMO. I never want to miss anything, especially when I am traveling. My motto is never miss a good time for a little bit of sleep.
Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone in this! 🙂 I love that motto, and agree with you 100%! We can sleep when we’re dead. 😉
Oh my gosh, I get FOMO all the time. There isn’t really a cure, but I guess you have to decide what you absolutely can’t live without doing (and I always comfort myself with the fact that I may even be back soon- sometime’s white lies are necessary!)
You have a great blog Krystle, and a lovely writing style! I’m going to take a gander at your other stories now 🙂
~ Kate (Bean)
I always have to tell myself I’ll be back soon too. (I think that’s the only way my husband actually gets me on the plane when we’re leaving Hawaii). 😉
Thanks for your sweet words about the blog. I really appreciate it. Hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.
Have a great day!
Ohhhh FOMO how I despise you sometimes! I completely agree with you, I have it always. And especially when it comes to travel. 😉
I’m still hoping you get to go to the Maldives next year! I want to live vicariously through your photos!! 🙂 Thanks for letting me know I’m not in this alone. It seems to be a common occurrence for us travelers.
Ohhhh my fingers are still crossed for us too! But your travels are much more exciting than mine!! 🙂 I am always living vicariously through you. Maybe we should plan our trips at different times on purpose so we always have photos to look at! 🙂
I like that plan! Great idea!!! 🙂 Hopefully we’ll both cross off our “overwater bungalow” dreams next year… I can imagine the dreamy photos now… 🙂
Have so much fun at the T.Swift concert this weekend!!
Ahhhh thank you so much!!! I’m so excited! And also excited for your trip too! 🙂
Love this! Yes, I’ve totally experienced FOMO in our travels. Your post helped identify what I was feeling, and you’re so right – it doesn’t have to be crippling, or take anything away from your journey. Just the awareness of it can help keep expectations and reality in check. 🙂
You said it perfectly. It seems like as a traveler we’ve all experienced this to some extent, and I’m happy to hear that we’ve both found a way to still enjoy the adventure, even if it’s slightly different than what we expected. 🙂
When is your next big trip?
Our very predictable winter cruise is the next big trip – gotta get out of Minnesota in January. 😉 We are also plotting some hot sauce trips this fall and next year, that’s kind of taken over our life!
Can’t wait to hear about the hot sauce trips. One of these days I just know I’ll cross paths with your Hellraising Hot Sauce, and that will be such a cool moment. 🙂
I really enjoyed this one. You are not alone! I suppose if we were billionaires we might feel differently because our money and time might not seem so valuable and being underwhelmed might not seem like such a tragedy, but what do I know?
Thank you. 🙂 I’m happy to hear that I’m not alone on this one. Hopefully one day we’ll win the lottery, right?! and until then we’ll keep traveling as often as we are able to keep the FOMO at bay (as much as possible). 😉
Experience FOMO pretty much whenever I travel. Biggest problem for me is I tend to over plan, over “experience” and end up with a brain/body on overload unable to appreciate or process what I was actually seeing/doing. My lesson, which I’m still trying to apply, is to balance FOMO with TMI (too much input/information) so I don’t miss out on what I’m actually doing.
I can completely relate. Sometimes we feel like we need a vacation from the vacation 😉 I’m still struggling with finding the right balance too, I guess I’ll have to keep trying. And I’m completely okay with that, because that means we’ll keep going on more trips! Thanks for letting me know I’m not in this boat alone. 🙂