Don’t let FOBO (fear of better actions) keep you stuck!

If you’ve heard of FOMO (fear of missing out), then FOBO (fear of better options) is in a similar line of thought, with the difference being that you find it hard to make decisions because you think you’re about to sell yourself short. Or if you do make a decision and act on it, there’s a voice in the back of your head second guessing if it was actually the right one.

How can this four letter F word keep us stuck? FOBO can distract us from enjoying the present moment by planting a seed of doubt in our heads and continually second guess ourselves. When I came across FOBO on a friend’s Instagram story, it was exactly what I’ve been feeling since coming back to New Zealand. Even though I’m happy to be back, I wonder if it was the right decision or the safe decision.

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"So, what's next?" What happens after coming home from a gap year.

After almost a year of living in Peru, I’m now back in Aotearoa, the land of the long white clouds. “So, what’s next?” Once I had announced that I was coming back to New Zealand, that became the most common question
in my inbox. It’s not surprising really, after all we live in a world where information comes at the nimbleness of our fingers and only hindered by the speed of our internet connections. Life’s biggest questions can often be answered by a six-letter search engine, so why not this one?

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The reality of leaving

When you choose to live in another country for an extended period of time, leaving one place for another is something you eventually have to face. One place may offer that sense of adventure, while the other represents familiarity or security - going back to our ‘real lives’ is often a misrepresentation of what the experience gives us. I’ve been living in Peru for almost a year, and when to head back to NZ is something I’ve been torn about. Even though I have a return ticket, I always had the choice to forfeit it if I did want to stay.

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The old man in the alley

Growing up and until my early thirties, I just assumed that I would be a mother. It wasn’t something that I felt pressured into, yet something that I somehow thought I had to be. Motherhood is such a natural part of my culture, that it never occured to me to question it. I have friends who’ve struggled with trying to conceive, and I also have friends who chose not to have children. Then a few weeks ago it hit me. Whether or not I have children of my own in the future, I know that they’ve been an integral part of embracing my purpose. No matter how much I’ve tried to walk away from teaching, I somehow find my way back to it - whether it be teaching English or dance.

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Why taking a gap year in my thirties has been the best decision ever

If like me, you’re single and in your thirties, you’ll probably relate. I go through a cycle where I’m super comfortable about where I’m at in life - I do what I want, I’m going out and having fun and just doing me. Then,
I meet someone who either makes me rethink this whole being single thing, or it reminds exactly why I like being single.

People usually take their gap year after high school, but what happens when you get to your thirties and you feel like you’re on a raft in the middle of the ocean without a paddle? That’s why I decided to take a gap year. Sure, it isn’t the most adulting decision ever, but that space, time and permission to start over and get to know the real me again has been a real game changer. I’ve made some incredible connections and taken up new hobbies that I never thought I would, like rock climbing.

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Remember that you're not starting from scratch, you're starting over with experience

The cackle of my laughter briefly filled the room. Two of my girlfriends were teasing me about a guy I liked - they gestured a slight flick of the hair and it triggered laughter in me that I couldn’t contain. I had been away for three weeks and today marked just my third day back in Huaraz. There was a comforting familiarity in their presence and seeing them was the icing on the cake on being home.

I had a giggle to myself as I walked home, remembering the mischievous glint in their eyes. Huaraz feels like home, it really does. I’ve begun to build a new life here, made friends, so it will surprise some people back in Whakatane that I’ll be heading back in just three months. Mind you, that’s almost a year living in Peru.

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