And They Borrowed Again to Travel Abroad for Summer

Anayo Nwosu
Anayo Nwosu

And They Borrowed Again to Travel Abroad for Summer
By Anayo Nwosu

“Mr. Nwosu, just leave that matter. It’s long settled. My family must go on summer holidays in the US. I’m not the only person feeling the economic crunch. Everybody expects my family to go on holiday every year. It’s a tradition. If you don’t want to lend me the money, don’t worry. My God shall provide.” With the above words, my friend stormed out of my office.

Of course, I declined her loan request to fund her family’s annual vacation to the US. I had put my family’s trip in abeyance to enable me to read the direction of the economic wind of change blowing in the country. It would have been unconscionable if I had given someone else the kind of loan I wouldn’t take at this period.

She eventually got a soft loan from another person and travelled. My friend and her family of four would be staying with a widow with two kids living in a two-bedroom apartment in the US. She would be gone for 3 weeks.

Many middle-class families in Nigeria, especially jobholders, have put themselves in a deep economic hole by their refusal to adjust to the harsh economic condition in the country. They want to keep up with the Joneses by travelling for summer to the UK or the US. They also want to indulge in other expenses that make people see them as the fortunate people, the blessed family, the loaded family.

Doesn’t it feel cool to be admired and envied by those around you?

Those who are “executive members” of this self-indulgent and thoughtless class, who allow their desires and environment to control them, are mostly the bank employees and families of former and current political office holders. They believe that their social status or standings are measured by their consistency in travelling abroad for summer, evidenced by regular change of wardrobe, quality of jewellery, brand of cars, and depth of swagger.

Upon arrival from their summer vacations, they would inundate family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and all willing ears at the beauty parlour, salon, shop and parent-teacher association meeting with tales of New York, London, Paris, Rome and recently Dubai. An unwary wife, after listening to the over-bloated summer tales, simply gets fed up with her husband’s backwardness and inability to make her feel complete.

A colleague in my former workplace told me that her main reason for insisting on summer vacation abroad was to enable her kids to do well in their first term composition assignment on “How You Spent Your Summer Holiday.” Most of the high-fee-paying private schools in Lagos demand that the pupils narrate their summer vacation experiences.

My friend also encouraged me to always take my children abroad for summer as that would expose them to the world and would make them do well in school as well as eliminate a possibility of my children developing an inferiority complex whenever their friends discussed their travel experiences in school. She had a point. But, I couldn’t afford the trip then as I was building a house.

It is an irrefutable fact that travelling on its own is priceless education for the kids and families. It not only affords the family an opportunity to see new things and learn about other people, it also makes the parents know more about their children as the distracting workplace will be unavailable. abeyance.

The question is: must someone borrow or utilize funds meant for house rent or children’s school fees to travel abroad for summer?

It is a clear case of misplaced priority for any parent to waste family’s house rent or children’s school fees on vacations. Funds or expenses for vacations should be saved and not borrowed. Neither should a wise parent strive to travel to appear comfortable or affluent. Early purchase of travel tickets makes a whole lot of difference in the total travel budget.

When the funds are not sufficient to travel abroad on summer, parents can arrange to travel to some holiday resorts like Inagbe Holiday Resort Island and Obudu Cattle Ranch in Lagos and Cross River states. There are also many other interesting or attractive places or tourist sites in Nigeria that can give educational values to the children.

Whenever I have an ongoing investment project, my family knows that their summer holidays would be in my hometown for the yearly Afiolu Festival or later for Ofala of Igwe Nnewi. My children have grown to be looking forward to these key festivals in my hometown and have written so many essays on them.

The current economic situation in the country demands prudence in the management of family expenditure to avoid leisure-induced poverty. Those you wanted to impress with overseas holidays and other show-off activities would not be of any help when you run into serious lack. In fact, they would be glad to see you lose your peacock plume, so that they can have the last laugh. Why give them that chance?

Surely and expectedly, many more job losses would happen as is usually the case in an economy in recession. Nigeria’s economy is officially in recession.  Don’t mind whatever name anybody gives it or tries to explain it.

Therefore, salaried families owe themselves and children a duty to save more than they spend, because the rainy day may come earlier than expected. And when it comes, it does not just rain: it pours and drenches those with no umbrellas and raincoats.

An expended income on leisure may never be recouped.

  •  Anayo Nwosu is a financial expert and can be reached via anayonwosu@gmail.com

5 Comments

  1. manliness August 4, 2016 Reply
    • Anayo August 5, 2016 Reply
  2. Dele Ola August 5, 2016 Reply
    • Anayo August 5, 2016 Reply
  3. Azuka Onwuka August 5, 2016 Reply

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *