“Cabin Fever (noun): lassitude, irritability, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter.”
In other words, the turn of phrase that sums up what I’ve been experiencing for the past few months, except it isn’t winter where I live – far from it, in fact.
I’m suffering from a serious case of cabin fever, and I constantly feel the dying urge to get out of my damn house. Gone are the days when I would rush out the door to flee my home early in the morning only to return late in the evening from an exhausting day at school/work, or sometimes even to arrive in the wee hours of the night after going out with the girls. I’ve spent majority of my time in the confines of my home after my academic life consumed me, and even now as I’m working, my means of livelihood is still home-based. How cruel.
At 22, I feel like I should be more outgoing and find that spice to help keep me moving forward. I’m scared that I’m slowly morphing into a hermit because it seems like I’m heading towards a more anti-social path. I refuse to let this happen because I’m definitely an extrovert, and I’m afraid that my effervescence is dwindling at an alarming rate.
Coincidentally, around the time that I was moping around the house while feeling sorry for myself, I found out about EventBrite. Their campaign for getting into the habit of GOMO (or Going Out More Often) really piqued my interest, and I realized that I haven’t taken any opportunities to experience anything interesting or enjoyable at all this year. I took this as a challenge. Since then, I’ve been pushing myself to get off my ass and do something beyond these four walls. Here’s how I plan to continually put GOMO into action:
1. “You should be more outgoing”
These are words I never thought I’d hear from someone else, but I repeated this to myself until it sank in. I racked my brain for reasons as to why I was always home. Is it because I’m always too focused on work? Is it because I just can’t be bothered to take public transportation? Are my friends too busy to spend time with me? Am I too poor to go out, or am I just plain lazy? I knew I didn’t want to be cooped up at home, but what was holding me back? I suggest that you should first try and figure out what’s keeping you from doing the things that you want to do and tell yourself that you need to change*. I still haven’t found my answer, but I know that I do want to improve my current situation.
*Obviously, if you’re happy with your lifestyle of staying at home, that’s perfectly fine. If you ever feel like upping your GOMO game, then maybe consider following the next few steps.
2. Always Say “Yes”*
Much like improv acting where the key is saying “Yes”, the same idea can be applied to GOMO. How many times have you declined an offer to go out with friends, have dinner with your family, or even that date you planned with yourself to have some me time? It’s time to stop saying “no” and start saying “yes” to new opportunities by welcoming them with open arms. Think of it like Jim Carrey in Yes Man.
Since I started “Project GOMO” (yes, let’s go with that), I’ve been out at least twice a week. I know that probably doesn’t sound like a lot, but keep in mind that this is going to be a slow process as I become accustomed to my new routine of being out of the house more. It started out with me taking my dog for a walk around the park…
Followed by mother-daughter bonding days with movies, watching my friends’ plays…
…to attending a beauty event at this luxury department store.
*You don’t really have to accept every single invite. It’s okay to say no, but for things that spark your interest, take that chance.
3. (Re)establish connections
In relation to what I mentioned earlier, you may have declined one too many invitations with your friends and now they’re a bit upset with you. Maybe this is the time when you should reconnect with them and make up for lost time by catching up over drinks. The same thing goes for family. If you haven’t seen your parents in a long time, go visit them or take them out for dinner. They deserve to see you more often. I’m sure that even though they felt neglected in the past, they’d appreciate having you back in their lives.
If you feel that there’s room for more people in your life, maybe you could meet new people and make more friends as well. You never know, someone new might have a real impact on you and make a difference in your life. Being a bit more sociable wouldn’t hurt, right?
Recently, my bestfriend, whom I rarely see (since she’s in medical school), and I have started making plans for our bazaar. This is our third year of selling things, and we decided to make this year a ‘big one’ since it could be our last. This is one of my favorite things to do with her because aside from it being an interesting experience, it gives me a chance to bond with her for a longer period of time than our usual 2-3 hour dinner out. It’s a great way for us to spend time together and strengthen our friendship.
4. Go solo
If the opposite occurs and your social circle decides to momentarily abandon you instead, or everyone else is just too busy to pay attention to you, why not go solo? Being independent is so liberating! To be honest, sometimes, I’m perfectly happy with my own company. I don’t mind going out by myself – I’m able to walk around, shop, and even eat at a restaurant alone. I even like watching movies by myself, much to my mother’s dismay.
It might be strange to some of you, but I genuinely enjoy having moments alone with my thoughts. I find myself entertaining (talk about narcissistic) and I’m amused by the conversations I have with myself. Is that weird? Aside from that, I have this habit of people watching, which I also find interesting. However, I do need to learn how to stop eavesdropping on other people’s conversations or staring at strangers longer than I should, otherwise people might brand me as a gossip or a complete lunatic. Regardless of what they think, at least I went out and had a lovely time by myself, no?
5. Find something that inspires you
The one thing that I know truly inspires me is my strong sense of wanderlust. The excitement of taking a trip with friends or family is something that I live for, and I’m always thrilled at the thought of gallivanting around unfamiliar destinations, whether it be local or abroad. I never turn down an invitation to travel, and I often think about my wishlist of places I want to visit and what activities can be done. I think my mother passed on her “happy feet” gene to me, which probably explains why I’m so passionate about it and I’m always itching to travel.
Currently, my family and I have planned two trips abroad: one by the end of this year, the other, a long trip for the next. I’m already feverish with excitement at the thought of travelling with my family – although, I am anticipating that there will be moments of “What was I thinking?!” when we’re at each other’s throats. It’s been ten years since my family and I have travelled abroad, so this is certainly going to be an interesting journey. At the moment, the thing I’m most excited about is making spreadsheets of our itinerary as well as making packing lists!
In the mean time, I’ll stay inspired with memories of my past trip to Europe. This will keep me motivated to keep planning for our trips!
6. Be impulsive
The other week, my plans to watch a movie with my bestfriend fell through. I was disappointed, but I figured that I could stay home that night and finish working. Just when I started, my phone went off and I saw that I missed a call from one of my closest friends. He left a message asking “Julia, where are you?!” I wondered if he thought he saw me while he was out, so I called him back to say that I was just at home doing some work. I’d forgotten that it was his day off, so it was perfect timing when he asked me to watch a movie with him. He’d been wanting to watch Train to Busan and invited me to watch it with him, so I was happy to oblige. This was a last minute decision, and part of me was hesitant to go since it was already dark outside and I didn’t have a car (I fear public transportation beyond sunset, though only in Manila).
When we saw each other, we had such a laughing fit at our spur of the moment decision to see one another. We usually planned when we’d next go out, but I observed that when making plans with friends, the likelihood of it actually pushing through is doubtful. However, when doing things on impulse, and my friends and I make last minute plans to go out, we have a hell of a time together. I suppose the added excitement of acting on impulse makes the experience all the more thrilling, as well as lessening the chances for disappointment when you expect your friends to follow through with their promises but fall short. So, maybe try to be more impulsive instead. When you feel the urge to do something, do it now. Not every decision has to be carefully planned out or meticulously thought through*. Sometimes, these impulsive decisions are the best ones we make. (This does not include impulse buying of fluorescent yellow skinny jeans or drunken weddings in Vegas, but you do you.)
*Please know your boundaries and remember to be responsible.
A month has passed since I started my project of GOMO, and I can honestly say that I’m much happier now. I’m taking baby steps, but my cabin fever is slowly subsiding. I know the photos I shared aren’t exactly current, but I assure you, I really did go out a lot. I (almost) always keep my word.
GOMO doesn’t translate to just going to parties or getting hammered. It’s about investing in experiences and making the most of it by saying yes to opportunities for adventure and excitement. Hopefully, this post inspired you to get involved in spreading GOMO. I swear you won’t regret it.
If you’re interested in finding activities or events where you live or anywhere else in the world, visit the EventBrite Event Management page to keep up to date with the copious amount of events that are happening. You can even create your own events for free and sell tickets through their planning software. I’m sure many of you want to find something fun and interesting to do, so it’s time to get involved in GOMO!
Here’s to new adventures up ahead.
How would you start GOMO?