Like Wally the Walrus we all have a new love of West Cork vacations


As a news junkie, I have found myself rationing my exposure to TV news, Twitter, and breaking news in all their grueling forms over the past few years. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by what you read on a daily basis.

I’m not saying we should bury our heads in the sand, but letting the doors of your psyche open to all the disruptive information tech companies want to pass on to you in an attempt to get your attention is the recipe for success. ‘an unhealthy mind.

I have found that removing apps from my phone and turning off notifications is a good start.

Usually I know I can get everything I need by reading the newspapers and listening to the radio every weekend.

For me, it’s about being in control of what I allow to color my day and it’s not good for me, or my young children, if my head is buried in a smartphone leaving an epidemic of Covid in Australia causing me completely unnecessary stress on a Tuesday morning.

Don’t get me wrong, keeping the phone at bay is a weekly fight. I can Instagram my meals just as well as the next guy. But I try.

With stress being the root of so many health problems in the modern world, you wonder if society will ever see someone looking at their phone endlessly in public the same way we see someone smoking a cigarette. .

Luckily, I completely lost my mind and my mind last week because I’m on annual leave. The joy of putting pressure on Out Of Office has been particularly sweet this year. And with the silly season in full swing in the world of politics – anyone remembers #Merriongate? – I took the opportunity to completely disconnect and live as if it were in 1990 for a short and happy period.

It was a case of Staycation, once again this year, as we were fortunate enough to spend another summer vacation at home in lovely West Cork in what is emerging as an annual pilgrimage .

There was so much to do with the little ones, delighted to see their cousins ​​and hang out with their grandparents, and the parents too, desperate for some fresh air and a respite from a year of juggling between remote work, family life and watching West Cork – based on real documentaries about crime in the midst of a global pandemic.

And what time we spent.

We saw a minke whale and a pod of dolphins off the Seven Heads on a whale watching excursion. We hiked the Glengarriff Woods nature reserve and snorkeled in the Poolen near the waterfall.

We had lunch at a converted gas station in Ballydehob.

One gloomy afternoon, in a surprising alternative to Disneyland, the kids spent two hours happily watching mules swim in Rosscarbery Bay.

We sampled the best food and wine in Timoleague, in a charming light-dappled courtyard – the closest thing we’ll reach at Electric Picnic this year.

We spent many mornings on Red Strand Beach, Ardfield, the beach I spent many childhood summers on, this time creating childhood memories with my own children.

Of course, there was no food truck that pulled pancakes in my day – there’s a positively Australian vibe around several of our beaches this year and we were damn happy about it the day we forgot about the sambos.

And there was only an occasional trip to the toy store in Clon, for peacekeeping reasons of course, when the rain blew us away and the walls were being scaled. And I didn’t even mention Fota Island, Barleycove, Drombeg Stone Circle, Three Castle Head, a pint in the drizzle at Crookhaven… It’s fair to say we’ve hiked more ground than Wally the walrus.

It struck me how unambitious we had become over the years when it came to vacationing at home.

You get into well-worn routines. Familiarity dulls the imagination in many ways. By default, you automatically use the equation “vacation = sun”.

But once you start to treat your own home like a vacation destination, once you’ve planned an itinerary and done a little exploring online to see what’s on offer, then honestly, I don’t know why you would accumulate air miles going elsewhere.

Of course, you can always use the weather as an excuse, but we’ve found that there’s nothing that a raincoat and a change of clothes can’t resist.

And there have been a lot of comments about the outrageous prices for accommodation, but we were fortunate enough to have a home to settle in, which is free as long as you’re ready to empty the dishwasher and to cook the occasional barbecue.

The big question for the Irish tourism industry, however, is whether it can catch on to this new market, which has been captive in recent summers but could start to itch soon once international travel returns. to normal.

Are we all gagging to go back to the cheap sun vacations of old?

Or can our local product become competitive enough to keep us a bit more at home?

I mean, if it’s good enough for Wally the walrus …!

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