I Don’t Have FOMO – I Have FOBAN

And to a great extent it keeps me at home. When I venture forth it colours my behaviour – to my benefit, I believe.

FOMO is fear of missing out – on something, somewhere, somehow. Others have it and you think that you want it and if you are not sure what might be going, you are desperate to have it all. It is a small niggling worm that drives you relentlessly – as soon as one experience or possession is achieved, another is suggested…and you are anxious again.

FOBAN, on the other hand is fear of being a nuisance. A traveller, tourist, or visitor can be a pest long before they loom up on the horizon and long after they disappear back over it. The crasser sort of individual never perceives this – or revels in it – while I agonise in case I might be the source of a bad experience for people in their own environment.

It has kept me out of many places – and a lot of them are tourist destinations that might well have welcomed my visit and cash. Languages I do not understand or speak well bar me, as do regimes and religions that do not welcome me. In most cases I do not grieve for lost travel – I am comfortable at home.

Yet, there are times and places. As the reticent traveller I welcome a real reason to go somewhere – it turns down some of the anxiety. If there is a familiar place to go, and hopefully a familiar person there to see, it frees me up mentally to add other experiences to the trip. And then I can enjoy it all – as long as I am not making someone else’s home a burden to them.

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