An hour away is a world away if only you allow it

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

There’s a guy I used to work with in Dublin, who was a Dub to his blue blood, who lived and breathed Dublin; didn’t know a lot about life outside the Pale – and every year he used to take a week’s holiday . .  in Dublin.

He lived on the southside but repositioned himself, his wife and two sons in the city centre, from which base they used to take in the museums, the restaurants and all the other attractions.

The highlight for him was their annual trip by pony and trap around the city centre – where uniquely for a tourist, he was likely to be greeted by people he worked with as he trotted past in all of his pomp.

His reasoning for his holiday habit was simple – he loved Dublin but never really got to see it; he didn’t drive, so this was a holiday he could arrive at via the 15A bus . . . and most of all he didn’t want to spend a day of his holidays getting to his destination and another one getting back.

Eventually he caved in and bought a holiday home in Wexford, thereby doing exactly what he didn’t want to – spending hours stuck in traffic with every other Dub heading to the sunny south-east on a Friday evening.

But the point is, that we seem to think the further we travel the better our holiday will be – when the truth is that we could actually spend more of our limited time off enjoying ourselves if we holidayed closer to home, because we could be at our destination in minutes.

And clearly, we’re not without attractions on our own doorstep – just look at all those tourists who pay a fortune to be here and you realise what we could enjoy, almost for free.

Of course you don’t want to necessarily base yourself in your own house, but by driving for an hour, you’re in Clifden or Clare or most of the way to Westport; you’re on a boat on the Shannon passing through Athlone or on a ferry heading for Inishbofin or the Aran Islands.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.