Pardon me if I’m family indulgent in this week’s posts. The last few days have been incredible and I want to share them. I picked up my daughter at LAX last friday. What a rush to see her smiling face after ten months apart. We then had dinner with her brother and his girlfriend at Elya’s most beloved restaurant, Chipotle.
“This tastes amazing!” Elya squealed as she dove into a macho burrito.
“I miss Chipotle. Nothing in Korea compares.” She mumbled through muffled chewing.
The four of us chatted nonstop about her experiences teaching English abroad and the cultural differences she has experienced.
“I just love America.” She kept saying.
After dinner, Josiah treated us to a Keith Urban concert.
On the way to the concert, Josiah, Elya, and Monique discussed their upcoming life decisions and international trips.
“What am I going to do after Korea?” Elya lamented. “I’m seriously thinking about teaching English in Prague next.”
Josiah talked about his dilemma as well. His company sweetens a deal with the promise of funding business school if he commits to another two years afterwards. This would mean him and Monique shortening their nine-month pre-business school trip around the world to six months. The current plan is to combine a work/travel trip to South Africa, Philippines, China, and India.
While in the car, Josiah related a conversation between two fellow Bain & Co associates, one of which is trying to decide about an international pre-business school trip. She wants to go with the other students but struggles with justifying the expense. A colleague provided some insight related to her conflict:
“FOMO” The wise fellow associate said.
“FOMO? What’s that?” The youthful associate asked.
“Fear Of Missing Out.” Get used to it!
“That’s it!” I cried. “That’s what drives this young adult culture.” They know they have to work the dreaded “day job” but they also want generous amounts of travel and adventure. These young adults truly believe they can fulfill the practical while pursuing the amazing, and they somehow manage to pull it off.
Elya also interjected her insights.
“Maybe short trips are better. When you take a long trip, you see so many incredible sites that you start to compare them with each other. Cambodia’s uniqueness and exotic sites made Vietnam and Thailand seem boring.
Jeez, I thought, how could the rest of South East Asia seem boring?
Our conversation stopped once we entered the steep amphitheatre and found our seats amidst the cheering crowd.
I never thought I would see so many country western lovers on the UCLA campus. We hooped and hollered singing until our voices screeched raw. My children knew every word and my joy reached new heights.
“Yes,” I chuckled while reliving their playful banter and insightful conversation. It’s FOMO! That’s my problem. A phenomenon common among young adults never left this 50 plus woman. Prague, Czechoslovakia, here I come! I mused.
Then in the midst of my “desire to travel delirium,” I thought about the amazing evening we had together.
That night we redefined the word: FOMO, Family On Meaningful Outing.