This weekend, I went on a safari with Karen and a family from Australia. I sang Taylor Swift’s Wildest Dreams in my head the whole time, because that’s what I learned in International Development. The family was kind, the elephants were exactly as spectacular as I had hoped, and it was hot. Toward the end of our trip, the father asked us if we missed the cold weather this time of year. Of course. I miss a lot of things this time of year.
Canadians celebrated thanksgiving this weekend, aka the first weekend where people really embrace fall weather. My Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat were full of pictures of turkey dinners, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and the Rockton World’s Fair. I was intensely jealous all weekend. Me, who got to go on a safari this weekend. As Caroline put it, “I have thanksgiving FOMO”.
FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, is “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website” (x). I’m over here experiencing an entirely new world, and this weekend I wanted to be anywhere but here. I had the best weekend I’ve had since probably Canada day, but I woke up this morning feeling like I had missed out on something really important, because I had missed out on one of my favourite shared experiences.
This thanksgiving marks one year since I last saw my Oma and Opa, two of my favourite people on the planet and my best friends forever. They’re pretty sick right now, and it hurts to be even farther away from them than usual. Two years ago, I had short hair and wore mittens in Rockton and watched a demolition derby with my sisters and cousins. Ten years ago, I wore a stylish teal and brown outfit that my grade 5 teacher said made me look like a movie star and celebrated 50 years of the church in Hamilton. Eleven-year-old Linneah never would have guessed that in 10 years she’d be living on a tropical island, sad she couldn’t eat her least favourite poultry.
I don’t regret coming here at all, but just so you know, every autumn photo (or winter photo, for those of you in Alberta) that gets posted and every tweet about overeating at thanksgiving dinner makes me a little sadder about not being at home. FOMO is present even when you’re having the time of your life.
I hope everyone who celebrated this weekend had a wonderful thanksgiving. I’m especially thankful to be in Sri Lanka this year (despite the FOMO) and to know I have the most incredible support team all over the world.
Have some pumpkin pie for me,
Here are some photos of how I celebrated this weekend.