I’m sure you know a few FOMOs… Most of my wife’s family are prime examples and my daughter epitomises someone suffering from the “Fear of Missing Out“. I, on the other hand, am NIJI. No, not a rainbow (Japanese word), although the parallel is quite funny in an ‘opposite’ kinda way – I am more like the wind blowing in the storm clouds than a rainbow heralding the sun. Nope. I am a prime example of “No Intention of Joining In“. I can’t claim to have come up with the term, my wife, brother-in-law and niece decided on it while we enjoyed a week in a beach paradise.
To celebrate his 80th birthday, my father-in-law treated us to an idyllic beachfront holiday. All sixteen of his immediate family climbed on an A340 and four hours later touched down in a warm sunny Mauritius. For those of you who don’t know, Mauritius is a small (only about 60km by 45km) island east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It’s best known for its amazing beaches and the extinct Dodo Bird made famous by Ice Age 1 and watermelons. We stayed for 7 glorious days at The Paradis Hotel & Golf Club, and in the words of the waiters – “Oui Monsieur, Paradise has everything!”
My wife was the first to suggest NIJI while we sat enjoying another delicious lunch at La Palma, one of the resorts many restaurants. The topic of discussion was how, like any committed FOMO, my teenage nephew was attempting to do everything available, at least once during our stay. I think he did everything possible to do, and some more than once: sailing, skiing, glass bottom boat riding, canoeing, pedal boating, snorkelling, bike riding and swimming with dolphins (something he described as “probably the best thing he had ever done in his life”). My brother-in-law, also FOMO when it comes to non-social activities (Sorry B) and with a lot more grey than me, went to golf lessons in the morning, skiing before and after lunch and 9-holes after.
I, by contrast, was more interested in pulling up a lounger by the beach, reading a book and relaxing for the first time in a long while – something I actually got to do thanks to Kids Club entertaining the rugrats for a few hours and being able to leave them to dig sand castles, swim in the pool and search for crabs in the rock pools nearby. The only time they really needed me was to slap a plaster on a bleed from stepping on coral and to open coconuts so that they could eat the flesh – hint for anyone going with kids, buy a really big knife when you land – opening bloody coconuts with your bare hands is an exercise in both ego and finger strength – you can do it with some determination, but most times the bloody nut wins!
So, I became NIJI for the rest of the time and it’s a badge I wore proudly. I did very little while everyone rushed off to do one of the activities each day and it was great. 7 days of sunshine, beach and rum spiked lemon drinks that could probably substitute for rocket fuel.
The Hotel, was exquisite and the entire resort (shared with other hotels) was the kind of place that leaves you dumbfounded when you first see it. Everything from the reception area you stumble into after the hair-raising bus ride (Mauritians are probably the worst drivers on the planet with the narrowest roads) to the tropical beachfront you see when you wake the first morning. The snap on this page is one I took, and the featured image and photos on the hotel website are actually exactly what it looks like. No Photoshopping required, I promise. It really did look like a paradise. As you could probably imagine, it was expensive for us South Africans, but it’s probably ok for anyone earning dollars (or any other real currency) – just divide everything by 30 and the Ben & Jerry’s costs about $6 a tub and a meal, if you are not on full board, is about $20 – $100. One thing that does take a while to get used to is the service at the restaurants – I’m all for good service but for goodness sake, I can pour my own water and carry my plate 5m to my table!
It was a wonderful place, and to top it all, for a family vacation (something usually incredibly stressful for me), it turned out to be a great holiday.