Getting over the fear of missing out in Spain

Getting over the fear of missing out in Spain

When it comes to travel, I happen to be more of a slow traveler while Parichay loves hop-skipping locations. So if I take 3 days to get used to a new city, Parichay is already through it and set to explore some place new. When we planned our Europe trip in 2016, we were the happiest to include Spain on our list. Initially it was more like ‘let’s see what the fuss is all about’, but when we started listing the things we wanted to do/see in Spain, it was already a great deal for us.

Now I know many Indian families take a complete 6N/7D vacation to locations like Spain. But as we planned, we realized that 7 days really aren’t enough. Before we could take off for our trip, the best itinerary that we could manage was 3 days in Barcelona, 2 days in Madrid and 2 days in Seville. Even with all that excitement, I kept complaining about getting only so much time in these places. Parichay on the other hand kept reminding me that we were actually going to miss out on destinations like Granada, Malaga, Costa Brava, and Cuenca. These destinations were shortlisted from a longer list, which was finally cut down to just 3 destinations!

Spain has this vibe to it, which is warm, pleasant yet peculiar. The minute we reached Barcelona, we knew we wanted to be here. (I can still visualize those small shops full of fresh vegetables, tapas bars, friendly locals and the welcoming airs of Barcelona as I type this). Our last most impactful reference of Spain was Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. And yes, most of those elements were right here.

You know that YOLO feeling that gets to your head when you’re all set for a Spain trip with friends? That.

Spain was our eighth country on the trip, the warmest, most vibrant, I am not sure we would’ve had this kind of an enthusiasm even after 40 days of constant traveling. We couldn’t be happier!

Barcelona totally stood out for me. After all the gothic-baroque architecture and the blacks and greys, you can only enjoy the excitement and joy of watching Antoni Gaudi’s defining architecture. Most of Barcelona’s character comes from Gaudi’s works, which can only be described, as passionate, colorful and creative genius. Everything else came to us as complimentary- be it the tiny, crowded bars, the football fans, the Saturday night enthusiasts or the talented artists spread across the street. Barcelona was a dream.

Madrid came across as the most beautiful surprise. A surprise that felt like home, Madrid was heartwarming affair! Madrid was about it’s people, about the shopkeepers, about the bar owners, about the dancers who occupied the Puerto de Sol by the night, and the tourists that hounded around this beautiful, warm and pacey city. Words aren’t enough, and I’ll probably never be able to put it in words what made me fall in love with Madrid, but it was real. It still is!

Madrid

Leaving Madrid was a sad feeling, but Seville was calling and promised to be different. To start with, Seville had all the elements that made it an exciting stay. Especially, having sangria all night on the open roof terrace of The Nomad Hostel. Seville had a very relaxed environment compared to the other to Spanish cities. Shops would shut by 9:30, and the night would begin chatting away with friends. When we stepped out to explore the town the next day, it was what I’d call a surreal experience walking around this tiny little town. Yes, I don’t remember taking a single public transport in Seville. We walked, and walked and discovered. And what we discovered the most were dozens of street musicians each with their unique style. And then we hated having to miss the Bull Fight and the Flamenco Performance because we had little time.

These 7 days literally flew away for us. We kept discussing what we’d missed. We wanted to stay each place a little more, but we also wanted to explore more places. We were very keen on trying some fun adventure activities in Malaga & Seville.

You know what we were living with?

THE FEAR OF MISSING OUT

Street of Spain

The fear of missing out on local explorations, the fear of missing out on experiences, the fear of missing out on beautiful locations, the fear of missing out the must-do-things on our list, the fear of missing out on the bragging rights, the pictures, the knowledge, the good and the bad…

Of course we could’ve planned things differently. Seen some more of a single place or explored a couple of more places in the blink of an eye.

But guess what? We would’ve still missed out on something.

This wasn’t about Spain being an exciting destination alone; this was about exploring the world. There will always be so much to see and so many places to go to. The bucket lists shall be endless and most of us might now even get to each of the place or experience.

But you know what matters? What mattered on our Spain trip and what shall matter always? It was the fact that we surrendered to acceptance and execution of the plan that we have devised. There on, we were right there living it to our fullest without any regrets and remorse.

When you travel, and in life what matters more is where you are and what you have. Every other destination, experience, desire is nothing but an aspiration, a hope.

The fear of missing out is an experience that we should start missing out on. In either case, there will always be another Spain trip to miss out on some more and cherish what has been conquered, nevertheless!

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20 Comments

  • I went to Spain for 15 nights…5 in barcelona…5 in madrid…5 in seville…with day trips to toledo, segovia, cordoba and lloret de mar…also had one day in seville for skydiving…still I find I didn’t have much time….will go back definitely again…my favorite country in europe…

  • As always, loved the post. My trip to Spain was even shorter, only 4 days between Madrid and Barcelona so honestly, I’ve been jealous and hopeful everytime I read about your Eurpoe trip ever since you guys had gone. Have planned to stop doing short trips to Europe, will instead wait and go a leisured trip.

  • I love how you’ve expressed that fear of missing out. It’s something that somehow stresses everybody out when they’re traveling, even if they’re not aware that it’s a “fear of missing out”. From narrowing down which small towns in Switzerland to picking a restaurant, it all boils down to wishing we could do it all!

  • No matter how often you go somewhere, or how meticulously you plan it, you will always miss out on something. It’s the nature of the travel beast – you will never see it all. I’ve lived in London for 7 years and will never know everything there is to know about it! So you’re right, best to accept your experience for what it is…and it is a great one. I totally agree with you on Barcelona, and it sounds like you got a lot from the rest of your trip too 🙂

  • Yes I share the same feeling when i visit Italy. There is so much to see in so little time. The same goes for Spain. Every city is so culturally variant that you never get enough of it. We try to balance between slow and hop-skip travel and try to optimize our time.

  • I managed to see Granada too. It was a family trip and we drove across Spain.
    I agree however elaborate the plans be we tend to miss out on some place or other.

  • We have gone through this on our Europe trip too. There is so much to explore we always had a feeling that we are missing something and that the days arent enough to explore everything. We have been only to Barcelona and Montserrat in Spain and we know we have missed on so many great destinations there but again we have enjoyed every moment when in Spain 🙂

  • I know the feeling of fear of missing out. I get it all the time but I have accepted that I would rather see few places in each city rather than rushing through it. Maybe that is why Barcelona was a place I did not understand. It was too crowded for me and maybe that is why Madrid was a place I cherished.

  • I love Barcelona so much! I hope to visit this place once again, it has such an amazing and relaxing atmosphere. The architecture is truly fabulous, my favourite part of city is Park Güell.

  • Couldn’t connect more with this post. In fact, when I travel, one of my biggest fears is to be missing some experience, some more typical place. The truth is this: sometimes we’re so afraid that we are losing something that we end up not enjoying the moment. This is something I always try to remember in my travels.

  • I used to suffer from the feeling of fear of missing out when I started solo traveling couple of years ago and I had too much pressure on my trips to cover every single attraction! But now, I try to enjoy every destination at my own pace. Looks like you had a wonderful Spain trip!

  • I can totally relate to you about the fear of missing out on locations, particularly the beautiful ones 🙂 I am a slow traveler like you. So when I planned my Europe trip, I left out Spain. I want to head here and spend no less than 10 days. And reading your post, I feel the decision I have taken is a wise one 🙂

  • We absolutely understand what you want to say. We can relate this fear of missing out for almost every country we visited in Europe. But we are more satisfied by all the experience we gather from our travel rather rushing for new destination every time.

  • The fear of missing out is a real fear and there is nothing wrong in it. I suffer from it all the time and after every trip I come back with some unfinished business. But that is what makes us do what we do!

  • I relate to your article and agree that you can’t see everything. I have been very disappointment to realise that the distances during my last trip to Chile were huge and that even with 3 weeks to spare I had to decided only on 5 destination to see. But that was ok, because it gave me a reason to go back and I did get to explore those 5 destinations properly.

  • The fear of missing out is something I feel a LOT, especially when it comes to travel. I really feel you here, and i’m sorry you felt that way. I spent two weeks in Barcelona, and still felt it wasn’t enough! But making the best of the time you have is crucial, and you saying you can’t see everything is def true. Hopefully you’ll be able to come back soon!

  • I’m somewhere between the two of you Haha trying to chill but also pack as much in as possible! I always feel like I missed something every time though weather I spend a few days or 2 weeks in a city. Barcelona is a very special place though, I completely agree with you on that I loved it so much also!

  • I understand FOMO so well. I used to experience this when I started travelling with my husband- I wanted to see everything and he only selected places. So, it was a big big contrast. But now the things and timings both have changed with us. Its just exploration, getting lost in the beauty of world and leaving certain places for the another chance to come back.

  • Oooh I know this feeling of missing out. And trust me, it is for every place that I go to. But you seem to have done well. I agree with you…Barcelona does stand out.

  • All the fear of missing out prevents you from experiencing fully what you are doing right now. All worrying is just wasted time. You are much better off with enjoying the present moment and be grateful for all the cool new experiences you are having. I travelled for almost a year and saw a lot and missed out even more. But indeed, you can never ever see everything anyway:) Barcelona is so amazing!

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