After the seemingly endless great hangover, when we seemed 25 years old forever and prayed to our bohemian trinity of London, Berlin and New York, here we are turning 40, exhausted both mentally and physically and at a loss for words after so many all-nighters. Now, we’re attempting a Renaissance, of sorts, trying to rise from the ashes of excess by moving if not fully off the grid than at least away from its pulsating center.

We feel brand new, alive, whole. We are, we tell ourselves, different people. We’ve turned our back on the endless nights, and with a sober “Good morning” to the neighbor we move along, getting further and further away from everything we’d always thought we wanted.  We leave the past, and the It People and It Places and the endless stream cocktails and, of course, the maniacal Instagramming behind. We create a new life based not on FOMO, the engine that seems to drive just about everyone else these days, but rather on its polar opposite – JOMO, the term we’ve coined for the utter joy we now take in missing out.

Before we jumped off the band wagon, we’d have been petrified by the mere specter of missing out on the best party of the year (or even the week) and shrivel inside upon realizing, thanks to the compulsive checking of Instagram, that we hadn’t witnessed some mythic moment in the social life of that most exclusive circle – our circle.  

Photo: Samuel Zeller / Unsplash

Today, we make our toast not at the restaurant of the moment but at home, surrounded by our fellow JOMO travelers. And what do we toast to? To everything we’ve missed out on: the amazing party, the exclusive launch, the guest-list-only premiere, the art opening, the wedding of the century, this season’s tasting menu.

Today, we flee from the bright lights and big cities, taking what we regard as refuge in smaller places, long-forgotten second cities like Lisbon, Porto and Girona. We long for quiet – the rhythmic murmur of the sea, the pulsations of the forest. But we no longer want to hear about the latest, greatest anything. Please feel free to take us off the list. Go ahead and exclude us from everything!

We still don’t know where all of this will take us, but that uncertainty is kind of the point. We are open and experimental beings, and we are moving to the margins and, turning the key, unlocking the unknown. The world might be random, and we might be volatile, but we’ve discovered that there’s still room for wonder.