The economic crash has meant many things for many people, but for nearly all of us it has involved putting cherished dreams on hold.
As the years slide by, those postponed ambitions start to look like foolish notions, a far cry from the business of survival.
There are always plenty of reasons not to go away.
For each of us, a parent endured a long illness and died, children came along and needed rearing and the recession reared up to put the kybosh on our ambitions. Or so it seemed.
On the one hand, the arrival of our fourth child in 2013 seemed like a permanent end to any plans to travel. On the other, why not just bring the baby?
We cut our cloth according to our measure by abandoning thoughts of round-the-world travel. With four children in tow, we’re not the fastest-moving group on the road. And we had a four month old baby to consider.
Keen to expose the older children to a very different culture, language and environment, we settled on Central America, in particular Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
So here we are. The three girls are enjoying attending a local school here in Granada, Nicaragua, as well as keeping up with their Irish school work. They have adjusted to the heat and way of life in no time at all. And while this is a beautiful country, it’s also the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a troubled history to boot, so the children’s eyes are being opened not only to natural beauty, but also to the challenges faced by people living in poverty.
We’re learning some Spanish. The baby is lapping up the adoration he gets everywhere he goes.
Life’s a bit more stripped down here, so there’s plenty of time to do things as a family, enjoy the outdoors and shoot the breeze with new friends.
We’re discovering the difference between living somewhere and taking a holiday.