One of the books that I read this summer was entitled The Great Reset by Richard Florida, and in it, the author reviews the history of past economic declines and shares what he thinks the current economic situation will bring. He quotes a Gallup survey that said overall spending in the U.S. was down twenty percent in 2009. Florida says, “Although spending on tangible goods, especially luxury goods, is demonstrably down, consumers haven’t stopped spending completely. Some of the consumer power has been redirected toward more experiential purchases: travel, wellness and fitness, entertainment, self-expression and self-improvement. The creative class… will continue to seek out restaurants and cultural events, they will take their families kayaking and skydiving or on “volunteer vacations,” they will brew beer and start vegetable gardens and build furniture…”
This summer, our family looked to travel as a vehicle for making memories, and most of the things we did were plain, inexpensive, old-fashioned-fun activities. My daughters and I visited my mother in Missouri, and in my mother’s small town, there is a roller skating rink. So we gathered up cousins and other relatives and went skating! That evening, my sister barbequed chicken, and we watched as all the cousins caught fireflies. We ate my mother’s famous homemade cheesecake, and to finish up the evening, we gathered around the grand piano, and while my mother played, we all sang. I would rather have that day in my memory than anything that could be purchased in a store.