Over a year ago, when my boy had just turned seven, he asked if we could travel to Ireland. I tilted my head and must have looked quite puzzled. What seven year old boy asks if we can plan a trip to Ireland. We are not Irish. We certainly have traveled much with the hopes of inculcating a love of the world in him. I have mentioned quite often my top ten countries that I would love to someday travel to. While I am sure Ireland, is lovely, it had never been on my top ten lists.
I told my son that we can surely consider traveling to Ireland but we wanted to know why he would like to go there. He then went on to explain that his favorite YouTuber Jack Septic Eye is from there and he would like to go find him. A YouTuber? Wow. Now, YouTubers inspire people to become fans. My son was an ardent fan and wanted to meet a supposed role model. I suppose that I have heard of worse reasons to travel somewhere. I had to laugh. Most people would think that he wanted to travel to Ireland because of leprechauns or because of some book character or possibly cartoon. However, reflecting what society is like now, my son wanted to go somewhere to meet a social media “celebrity”. Those fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol warned us all about, has become widespread and even more than 15 minutes. We are now looking at 30 minutes or more. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
We went on to explain to my son the geography and politics of Ireland and Northern Ireland. We also went on to explain how we can’t just go to Ireland and he will be there. Wherever there is. All these explanations didn’t dissuade my son. He went and figured out where in Ireland this YouTuber is at. As my son furthered explained I thought about what a scary world it is in which you can easily find out where people are at. Luckily my son is young, sweet and just a fan. I wonder if people have considered what their 15 or 30 minutes of fame means in this crazy, social media obsessed world? My son wants his own YouTube channel now and we have to think carefully what that means in terms of his privacy and safety. He will get his YouTube channel, though, We, as parents, just have to be extremely vigilant in a way that our parents never imagined.
We will also probably make a trip to Ireland. I hear it is beautiful. It must be considering all the great poets and writers that have come from there. I am hoping I can interest my son in that historical aspect.
Kids these days make me feel like I can’t sit still for a second. Which, luckily, for me, I never do anyway. Its not in my DNA to just sit and be still. Its also in my DNA to travel. I have a grand wanderlust and I am happy that my son has the desire to travel at such a young age. I thank this YouTuber for giving my son a travel goal. Now lets see what we can make happen.