Social media and the busy world around us has led to a FOMO epidemic where we spend so much time engaging in what others are doing. But my most recent trip to Antarctica reminded me that what we’re actually missing out on is the experiences right in front of us.
First a little back story. Antarctica was an adventure I’d been planning for years. I’ve always wanted to see the penguins there and it was the last of the 7 continents on my list to visit. With so much build up, you’d imagine I’d fall right back into that do-everything-possible pattern I’ve come to adopt so well. I was ready for it. Give me all the expedition gear, tell me all the hikes available, and fill my days with activities.
Like most cruises, I expected there to be an endless supply of entertainment and a staff ready to entertain 24 hours a day. To my surprise (and delight), the message they kept delivering over and over was to get off internet, put down the books, and just take in the beauty of Antarctica.
If there was any FOMO to be had, it would be missing out on these incredible real-life images right outside the window. Yes, there were some lectures and a trivia night, but there was a lot of quiet time both on and off the boat. I would spend hours just sitting in the panorama lounge looking as icebergs and humpback whales passed me by.
This idea of taking it all in was really made clear when my husband, Ross, and I decided to camp one night in Antarctica. The guides told us to bring nothing but winter clothing. They provided the tent and sleeping bag.
Once camp was set up by 9:30pm we were instructed to be quiet. Ross and I just sat there for a while listening to the crackling of the ice, feeling the crisp air, and watching as seals and penguins went about their business.
We were there, completely present in the moment, and it was pure magic.
I was never bored even though there was nothing to entertain us. In fact, I didn't want to go to sleep for fear of missing out on a single wild sound in the distance. I was totally in the present and no Instagram moment could capture that pure bliss. Even better, I didn't fear I was missing anything exciting back home.
While we can’t have this type of stillness all the time in our hectic lives, it is a good reminder that the moment and place you are in is where you're supposed to be. Don't worry about what you're missing or what you’ll really be missing out on is life.