What the balls is ‘onism’?

I first came across the idea of ‘onism’ about a year ago, while searching for flashy new tongue-twisters that travel brochures of the future will be peppered with. I don’t speak millennial so occasionally Google comes to my aid in staying ‘in the know’.

‘Wanderlust’ is old news – I discovered I am a nemophilist, am plagued by fernweh, frequently experience exulansis, and can label myself as a gadabout. Bonus points for extra syllables, apparently. This is why I hated English class.

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Up popped ‘onism’: the frustration of being stuck in one body, in one place at a time. The acute awareness of how little of the world you’ll actually experience. Realizing all of the adventures, events, close-calls, coincidences, risks, and endeavors that you’ll never see come to fruition. The dormant dreams of the depths of your mind, never to occur.

Basically, a gigantic stark reminder that YOU ARE HERE. Just without the gigantic red arrow.

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This was obviously a super uplifting find, so you can understand why it stuck with me. Really? ‘How little of the world I’ll actually get to go to/see/do things in’? What an epic friggin’ downer! Who the hell wants to think about everything they might miss in life? All of the foreign cheese I won’t get to eat, and microbrews I won’t ever try. All of the fun people I’ll miss out on traveling with before their picture appears on Passenger Shaming. All of the sunrises and sunsets and scuba dives and gnarly pow…none of it.

After I poured a Graham Cracker Porter and sliced up a supreme aged white cheddar, I thought about onism further. You are here. Well, you’ll only ever be here if you keep getting in your own way. It baffles me how many excuses we have at the ready to explain why life stays in the background, just so you can live comfortably in your known world a little while longer.

Where’s the fun in that? Clue: THERE IS NONE FUN IN THAT. None. Never has the world been so accessible, so small, so flat (Thomas Friedman for President 2020!). But I hear an excuse a week on why clients ‘just can’t’ travel:

I can’t afford it. 

I’ve never traveled before/I can’t speak that language.

I don’t have anyone to go with/I’m too young/I’m too old.

It’s not safe.

But…my job.

All I hear is “I’m scared”. I have potent answers for every excuse in the ‘I have an excuse for everything’ handbook and will save you a side rant for another time. Let’s leave it at this: Change YOU ARE HERE to YOU ARE GOING THERE. Start carpin’ all of your diems.

Find your comfort zone. Explore it, if you want to. Then leave it. Send me a postcard when you get to where you’re going.

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