How to Turn FOMO to JOMO if You’re Not Drinking This Summer

Amanda Kuda
9 min readJun 10, 2022

In January 2017, I made the conscious decision to stop drinking alcohol. Not because I had a problem (I was a “normal” social drinker), but because I couldn’t shake the feeling that my life would be more vibrant without the endless string of happy hours and hangovers that had become my reality.

In the Spring of 2017, just five months into my alcohol-free journey, my friend Summer invited me to be her plus-one to a wedding on an all-inclusive resort in Tulum, Mexico. By this point, I’d already committed to taking a full six-month break from alcohol I was just a month away from meeting my goal by the time we arrived in Mexico. I started the trip with confidence high, I looked forward to experiencing my trip clear-headed and hangover free. But my enthusiasm began to dwindle as we stepped onto the resort where I was immediately offered an umbrella-topped cocktail and found myself surrounded by carefree travelers and the promise of endless free, tropical drinks. Suddenly, my confidence turned to doubt and dread.

Me on the beach in Tulum, Mexico — FULL OF JOMO

I started down an anxiety spiral, intricately playing out the worst-case scenarios in my head. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to relax and fully enjoy my vacation. I felt anxious about being surrounded by strangers, all cutting loose and having the time of their lives at a wedding while I was the sober loser. Immediately, my fear of missing out set in. Everywhere I turned, there was an opportunity to falter on the commitment I’d made to myself.

There was a moment where I thought, “You should just make an exception, you’ve done so well, don’t you deserve a reward? After all, you’ve paid for unlimited drinks; why not relax and have some fun?” The idea of wasting money almost sent me over the edge. Then, I walked by the resort’s poolside bar and took inventory of what “all-inclusive” drinks included. Even the liquors that lined the top shelf of the bar guaranteed nothing but an all-consuming hangover. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a juice bar and that became my saving grace. Instead of spending my week drinking cheap booze and wine, I enjoyed an endless supply of smoothies and juices and felt all the better for it.

I relished the feeling of waking up in paradise hangover-free. Without the hazy veil of alcohol to cover my senses, I was…

Amanda Kuda

Seeker. Writer. Elective Sobriety. A 30-something sharing my journey of personal development, spiritual growth, & authenticity. IG: @amandakuda.