The Celtic Tiger has, if you haven’t noticed, been stabbed, mugged, run over, shot and is therefore dead. I’m not trying to be morbid or anything, but it’s unfortunately a fact. The Irish economy is probably one of the worst economies in Europe (East and West), if not the worst in the Western world, all thanks to a bunch of rogue bankers and mental property developers. Not forgetting the Government for failing to put safety measures in place, failing to prevent high risk loans to be given.
For years, most people in Ireland have had too much money and have spent it on traveling to exotic places, luxury cars, import goods, jewelry and other strange expensive purchases.
Traveling was one of these perks of the Celtic Tiger that allowed people to fly off to bounty locations. Not only once a year, but perhaps multiple locations a year.
We’ve been no different. Hey, why should we sit at home, when we can afford going to beautiful locations around the Globe, seeing sights you’ve only dreamed of seeing?
So, at the ages of 4 and 5 our kids have already been around the Globe. We’ve been on several long haul flights to Mexico, Dominican Republic, USA, Costa Rica and various locations in Europe. It was fantastic. You should be able to spot some of these adventures in my blog list. 🙂
The problem we are facing is not the fact that it might have cost a lot of money, which was totally worth it, but the fact that we’ve spoiled your kids into thinking that we can go to these locations every year. If your kid was swimming off the coast of Punta Cana, in the Caribbean Ocean, then it’s difficult to tell them to swim in the bath tub. There’s no sand in the tub and it’s very small. And, the warm sun doesn’t dry you afterwards.
We simply had to change this excessive and lavish lifestyle, but were faced with the consequences in full when our 5 year old daughter asked us (with a smile on her face and a glimmer of hope in her eyes) “dad, can we go to Costa Rica again?”.
There was no way of avoiding this question, so we simply told her that we couldn’t afford it this year and that we would be traveling around Ireland instead. With those simple and cold words we managed to extinguish the glimmer in her eyes and remove her smile. My heart was in pain as my daughter’s disappointment became more and more visible – to the point where a tear was building up in her left eye.
How do you explain to a 5 year old kid that you can’t afford to go abroad this year, swimming with dolphins, sliding across the jungle on a wire, sailing on rivers, swimming in ocean + pool and have parties every night; not to mention all the fabulous food and ice-cream?
In fairness, my daughter understood our dilemma. I talked to her and explained that we need to save up money. By going on holidays in Ireland we could save up money to go on a nice trip next year – I hope.
The next thing she did took me completely by surprised and forced tears in my eyes. She wanted to help us save money and gave me her piggy bank and said we could save up together. That made me so proud.
My little girl was growing up so fast.
So, during the summer of 2009, we travelled around Ireland to see some of the beautiful sights here and I’ve written several blogs about our adventures – about our stay-cation. Do a quick search for “Irish Vacation”.