Moving Abroad: How to Get Over FOMO

Moving abroad - how to get over fomoLast month I started this series as a way to document my experiences of moving and living abroad and also as a way to help anyone else doing the same thing, so if you missed my post on facing the fear and saying ‘yes’ – go take a look. This month it’s time to talk about the dreaded Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

FOMO seems to sit hand in hand with the culture of social media – these days there are a million and one ways to find out about or follow an event as it happens (hello, hashtags) and it can feel deflating when you’re out of the loop.

The same applies to moving abroad – browsing a photo album on Facebook for a friend’s epic birthday party that you couldn’t travel home for, or in the case of blogging, an invitation to a launch party from a PR who hasn’t read your updated About page…

There’s no getting around it; it sucks a bit. I still get contacted by Bristol or UK-based PRs and brands and then have to politely decline and explain my new circumstances, only to see my blogger friends having an awesome night together on Instagram a week later. Then there’s the hen do that I can’t make becuase we’re flying back two weeks later for the wedding.

FOMO is definitely something you’ll experience if you move abroad, or go travelling for an extended period of time. Here are a few ways to get over it:

Focus on why you are where you are – it could be for work, studying or a fantastic opportunity that you just couldn’t say no to. Keep in mind the reasons you decided to move and why it was the right choice for you.
Have a break from social media – I’m not talking weeks or even days here, just a few hours if you know your friends will be posting photos or talking about something you couldn’t be part of. Putting your phone down and logging off will also help you to…
Stay in the moment – practice mindfulness and be grateful for this amazing experience or journey you are on, even if it’s not always where you think you want to be.
Don’t forget about reverse FOMO – you might have missed out on that amazing house party, but your own status updates and Instagram snaps are probably making your friends back home have that same FOMO feeling that you’re experiencing.
Make your own memories – from European cities to the plains of Africa or the Californian coast, there are so many of your own memories to make right now. Go to that coffee shop you’ve heard great things about, watch the sun set in your favourite park or try the cuisine your new home is renowned for.

Those are my tips for getting over FOMO – what are yours?

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  1. March 8, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    I am always worried about missing out, I need to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more I think!

    Maria xxx

  2. March 9, 2015 / 11:13 am

    The first two years I was away I had a really hard time with this and cried a few times when I saw people attending things that I had always gone to as well in the past. Over time though my current life just became so much more important and now it is usually only Christmas that brings it out.

    • SJ
      May 26, 2015 / 11:27 pm

      Christmas was hard for me here, but luckily we’d only been away for 6 weeks and had friends visiting so that definitely helped to soften the blow.

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