At the time of this recording we have 49,392 downloads. Which means we will be celebrating 50,000 downloads with this episode! While I don’t get caught up in numbers and follows and all the metrics I do want to add some levity to what this number means. Ordinary Sherpa has been putting out weekly podcasts since November 2020. In May of 2021 we crossed 10,000 downloads. In 2022, I had 10,916 downloads since January. We average 1,100 downloads. These metric place us in the top 20% of all podcasts. But even bigger than that is Ordinary Sherpa currently has 91 written reviews. 90% of podcasts have less than 10 written reviews. It might sound like I’m gloating here, but actually the only thing I have done is consistently publish new episodes, everything else – you did that. As a listener who downloads my show. The listener who shared it with a friend or family member. To the 91 who left a written review, you are all contributing to this show continuing to grow and reach new people. Congratulations to all of you who continue to come back week after week. This is a milestone worth celebrating.
Email from Listener Susie (I asked if I could share with you for this episode)
I just wanted to give you some positive feedback. I have been listening to your podcast along with Choose FI and Everyday courage. I love your ideas validating small adventures such as eating with chopsticks or cooking a meal using a recipe from another country etc.
I wanted to share some accidental adventures we have had. My husband grew up near Boston but never really explored the area he grew up in. Unfortunately, his mom is not doing well so we have been flying up from Florida once a month and visiting. Because more than an hour of visiting time exhausts her, we go on adventures after our visit. This helps us destress and stay positive. Boston offers so much history and culture as well as a couple of casinos, and state parks ( Walden Pond) unusual off-the-beaten path rock formations. I always dreamed of visiting the big stuff (Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon) of course I still want to visit these places but for now, we are having a great time figuring out which pub really does have the best clam chowder. Eating dumplings in Chinatown and visiting the many historical buildings, parks, and graveyards Boston has to offer.
“Thank you for giving me a new perspective on an adventure. I used to think I was missing out on all these huge time and expensive travels and now I get to explore the most from any area we visit without just skimming through seeing what everyone sees and going on to the next tourist trap.”
Susie’s email demonstrated to me the essence of untourism. If you hadn’t heard my story I was working on some lifestyle goals of what I wanted my life to look like as I was aiming for Financial Independence and the phrase that stocks was “Everyday feels like a vacation” When I double click on that thought it could mean so many different things. Initially I thought it meant I wanted to travel the world, which I also want to do. But more importantly that What I wanted to do, I looked more closely about how I wanted to feel. Vacation has a way of calming my brain, being more present with my kids and husband, doing things together and creating new experiences and lasting memories. That’s how I wanted to FEEL. That spark led me to an adventure lifestyle which may or may not include travel. I realized I don’t need to travel 360 days a year to feel this way. It led us to explore new locations within our own state and even in the far edges of our own property.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out founded by Patrick McGinnis in 2004. I learned more about FOMO and FOBO on this episode of All the Hacks with Chris Hutchins. FOMO has become a commonplace in our language and officially became a word in the dictionary in 2014. The origin came from Patrick’s simple life in Maine to being thrust into the social setting as a business student at Harvard. His definition of FOMO is anxiety, often fueled by social media, based on a perception that others are having more beneficial experiences than you. The fear of being excluded from a beneficial collective experience. We see things that aren’t even real that provoke feelings of anxiety. The attention economy is designed to steal our attention. When you use social media, how does it make you feel? FOBO: Fear of a Better Option, analysis paralysis
JOMO: was a haphazard term that I heard Paula Pant refer to in this Afford Anything episode.Around 2:03 there is a listener question that leads her to talk about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To summarize she states when you make a choice you aren’t really missing anything, you are replacing that time with something else. Unless you are in a Coma, the time you are spent in envy of the thing you could be doing is spent doing something else, whether it be reading, etc. Really it’s JOMO: Joy of Missing Out
Wanting to do something else but feeling you have internal scripts that are telling you that you can’t or you shouldn’t
“Let the heart lead and the mind execute” – Paula Pant Begin with your values (Joe Saul-Sehy) if you don’t value it, then the thing you are missing is not an opportunity anyway.
To come back to the idea of Untourism. One thing I began to feel was when traveling. When I would follow FOMO and let social media and the destination guide my travel planning, the experience almost ALWAYS fell short of my expectations. Which is why I have not embraced a bucket list. A bucket list to me is a FOMO list. Of some perceived place that I want to visit before I die. How do you know, based on something you saw on social media or fueled by someone else’s experiences. There are literally billions of places on this planet that I could visit – how do I know which ones I want to visit before I die? The only thing I think is helpful about a bucket list is reflective practice. Asking yourself “what do I want out of this life? How am I advancing that goal today?” Creating a list of locations you’ve heard about or saw in social media is often rooted in envy. When we show up curious, allowing space in our schedule to accept recommendations from locals, to check in with ourselves and everyone in our group to determine how we are feeling as opposed to powering through because the itinerary says so…we say yes to JOMO; to authentic, untourism path that allows you to slow down and be present in the moment. The greatest experiences we have experienced as a family are the places I never heard of, where things turned out better than we expected. Usually we discovered them from a local or a connection met along the way.
I would imagine the Grand Canyon is on many people’s bucket list. Do you know that 4.51 million people visited the Grand Canyon last year. According to an article “The typical visitor takes a brief look into the Grand Canyon and departs. The typical stay lasts from five to seven hours, according to park surveys, and the average time spent looking at the canyon is 17 minutes.”
I’m not saying don’t go to the Grand Canyon. What I am saying is the idea of spending countless hours planning, driving the South Rim with 3 kids to get out of the car and stare at this magical wonder of 17 minutes along with several hundreds of thousands each day, does not sound like a vacation to me. I want to create experiences that do more than check the box on a bucket list. I don’t want to be fueled by FOMO so that I can get to the instagram worthy location and fight to get the perfect shot and make others jealous. It’s why I have also resisted the label as a travel writer or influencer, because to me it’s not about the location. It’s about creating experiences for connection through adventure. It’s JOMO- the Joy of Missing out on what everyone else is doing. I don’t want to be fueled by the perception of being excluded from a collective experience. Instead I want to be in control of my thoughts and experiences. If you download my Beginner’s Guide to Untourism (Ordinarysherpa.com/untourism) you will see how traditional travel and bucket lists fuel the hive mind of FOMO and the difference in JOMO and untourism principles.
This past week was spring break in our house. As many of you know my daughter kicked off 2022 with a severe biking accident and spring break landed 12 weeks post op. The plan for spring break was to make full use of the kids Colorado Pass and ski several different mountains in Colorado. But my daughter didn’t think she was ready for that level of skiing, so my husband and boys went and my daughter and I stayed home. Full transparency, I had FOMO. I don’t think I have ever stayed home on spring break. I really needed to step into and practice JOMO this week. Instead of feeling like I was missing out on something I asked myself, what do I get to do this week? I needed to step back into the 9YO version of myself and remember that version of Joy. We ended up taking a 2 hour hike to an enchanted forest to create a fort; We put on mud boots and walked through the hybrid stream and ice. We rode on the 4-wheeler, she sat behind me with her eyes closed and her hands raised imagining she was riding a roller coaster. We met up with a group of friends and went indoor rock climbing. We made ice cream from scratch. She slept in my bed at night and we read silently next to each other. JOMO was a blessing. At the end of the week I was so grateful for the 1:1 ways we spent time together throughout the week.
My challenge for you this week is to do something that brings you Joy (or JOMO). That helps you to reframe the FOMO, envy and the desire to escape your life. What is something that you can do today that brings you joy? Adventures are accessible everywhere. We just have to be willing to stop looking everywhere else for inspiration and instead listen deeply and reflect on what you want this day, this week, or this year of your life to look like. You don’t have to plan it, or search the internet. You just need to be ready to receive it.
Resources from the episode:
Chris Hutchins All the Hacks podcast interview with Patrick McGinnis
Paula Pant Afford Anything podcast episode with Joel Saul-Sehy:
JOMO: was a haphazard term that I heard Paula Pant refer to in this Afford Anything episode.https://affordanything.com/356-ask-paula-fire-vs-fomo-how-do-you-balance-between-these/ Around 2:03 there is a listener question that leads her to talk about FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). To summarize she states when you make a choice you aren’t really missing anything, you are replacing that time with something else. Unless you are in a Coma, the time you are spent in envy of the thing you could be doing is spent doing something else, whether it be reading, etc. Really it’s JOMO: Joy of Missing Out
Beginners Guide to Untourism
Chicago Tribune Article on Grand Canyon National Park: