Travelling: Kids, Budget and the Happiness of Southern Countries

Far away shores are alway’s the most appealing one’s, aren’t they? (Ultra long time exposure – 2 minutes – of waves)

4 weeks after Woodpecker’s are back from their fantastic Italy journey (see here and following posts), I would like to wrap-up some general findings from this trip:

1)      Where to go

2)      Travelling with small children

3)      Keeping Budget

4)     A southern lesson in Happiness / What we can learn from our friends in southern Europe

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The income and consumption illusion – Part 2: What to buy

A boat might be worth its money if it’s becoming your daily working vehicle or if it allows you to live your life differently on a frequent basis (If you love sailing, the exercise and then nature and have the time to use it). But not if you buy it only to impress your friends and it stays in the harbour 350 days a year.

As indicated I would like to continue the discussion from this post on the optimal level of spending and consumption.

We saw in the last post that the effect of adaptation will in general nullify any gain in happiness that you get from buying something or from increasing your income after a certain amount of time passed.

However we have seen that the effect of adaptation regarding income applies only beyond a certain threshold of income. This is in line with common sense:

Even if I’d advocate that most people could be equally happy with less money than they actually spend, it is obvious that no money at all makes it quite difficult to achieve happiness. Unless of course you are one of the really bad-ass Cynicists like Diogenes.

But now I would like to look at the consumption side:

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The income and consumption illusion – Part 1: More and more will NOT make you happier!

Ever increasing happiness by ever increasing income and consumption is as much an illusion as this one…

One of the most stunning findings of happiness economics is the effect of adaptation.

It basically says, that from a certain point on you will quickly adapt to

(a)    Changes in your income/wealth

(b)   The possession of new stuff

Basically, common sense should already have told you that this effect is at work, but the credit of happiness economics is that this effect was statistically verified and even quantified by extensive field studies and experiments (check this post for more and for sources).

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A new era of work – Part 3: Improve your holiday/worktime ratio.

How can you combine paying for you hobbies while working as little as possible? Try the middle way… (Pic taken sailing close to Mallorca, Spain)

Back in Munich after the quite decent Italy journey of 7 weeks.

A very good duration for a trip in my opinion.

Unfortunately for most employees quite difficult to manage if you are working (like Woodpecker).
But you might go back to this post for some ideas how you could manage as well if you want.

So this is a good time to think about how to achieve great breaks like this regularly.

So I would like to share the current plan on how to go forward as well as laying out a general tabulation below how you can do this as well:

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Italy Part 5: Sicily

The southern Italy traffic nightmare continued: A street in Cefalú

The journey continued on our final destination: Sicily

As always we underestimated the richness of this island, the sheer amount of things to see and the time you need for seemingly small distances (probably got used to much to racing along on German Autobahn…)

So we decided to skip most of the cultural and ruins stuff 😉 .
Well, to our defense I have to add kids needed rest (if nothing else available, blame it on the kids 😉 ) and it was getting rather hot – see below on our sirocco adventure.

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