2017 is the year of our amazing adventure. It is also the year that Andrew and I each celebrate turning thirty. The big three-zero. The ol’ decade numero trois. Flirty, dirty, hurty (? I’m clutching at poetic straws here, sorry) thirty.
Zero number years
Lots of people freak out when they hit a round number; 30, 40, 50… and I am no different. Yes, there are some feelings below. You’ve been warned.
So this happened – turning thirty
I had the pleasure of turning 30 in the beautiful Nepalese town of Pokhara, under the gaze of the Annapurna ranges (I assume they were there behind the clouds). I’m both super delighted and extremely thankful that I spent my birthday somewhere so ‘exotic’.
Turning 30 means I am now full of wisdom and wit (yeah right) and in lieu of a tipsy speech in front of my friends and family, I have written a quick reflection on celebrating a significant birthday on the road means for me. In short, I reckon these typically millennial abbreviations, FOMO and YOLO, just about do it.
FOMO – Fear of missing out (Or “what if I can’t do it all?”)
None of us can see it all, be it all, enjoy it all, know it all….you get where I am going with this, right? Having FOMO can be a double-edged sword. Wanting to go to all the places, try all the food, experience all the random off-chance meetings and snap all the great photos is stressful work and quite frankly gives me a lot of anxiety! Anxiety! When I’m on the trip of a lifetime! It’s true. It’s real. And it sucks.
I’m sure that no two stories of anxiety are the same, but for me it manifests like this: I can’t relax when the little voice in the back of my head says things like: “Why haven’t you seen anything new today?” or “You could be sitting in Wellington drinking coffee and reading a book, why did you quit your job to sit and read and drink overseas?” or “How will we afford to do everything that TripAdvisor recommends?”.
It’s not all bad though. A bit of anxiety can keep you on track. FOMO is an excellent motivator to get up, get out there, try new things, talk to new people and just do our best at living our lives. In the end, I have come to accept, I am accountable to no-one but myself. Didn’t see everything on the ‘top 10 things to see in India’ list? Meh! I had a blast traveling India. I met some cool people, saw some interesting stuff and ate some fantastic food all in the company of my darling husband.
YOLO – You only live once (Or “to hell with it, let’s try!”)
Call it what you will… “Carpe Diem”, “life’s short”, “live every day as if it’s your last”. YOLO has been the backbone of our trip and is the perfect boost to the good kind of FOMO. From inception to saving, to quitting our jobs and getting off the plane in Mumbai, YOLO has always been there with us to support and guide.
Seeing places, things and people that put us out of our comfort zone or change the way we see the world is literally changing our lives and I could not be happier. Even when things go bad, it rains, we make dumb choices or get sick. It’s all an experience and we’re making ourselves richer people by investing in these experiences and one another, not things.
If you have a dream or even half a dream. Do it. Remember, you only live once.
In honour of my ‘first big round number birthday,’ I am going to embrace YOLO and work to reduce the anxiety caused by FOMO. I’m going to be grateful for the opportunities afforded to me. Say “Yes!” more often. Regret as little as possible and have a flippin’ great time doing it.
Bring it on, dirty thirty!
Got any other sage advice for a new 30-year-old and a 6-months-from-expiry-29-year-old? Hit us up below, on facebook or on twitter.