my 2014 “crisis country challenge”

This year, I’ll have visited four of five countries in the Eurozone that are facing economic crises: Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy (just missing Ireland). If I got a free space, I could win Crisis Bingo!

In the fall of 2011, when the fiscal stuff really hit the fan, I was in a macroeconomics class in which we learned about exactly why everything was going wrong for these countries, especially Greece. Every day we came into our lecture having heard more grim news about how badly these countries were doing, which made for great educational fodder, though it seems that three years later things are still moving pretty slowly due to the crisis. It’s referenced quite liberally in Spain and Portugal, as I learned when I was there.

I didn’t plan my trips this year around visiting the crisis countries, but it did happen to work out that way, and now I’m approaching this from a humanitarian perspective. Germany is funding me this year, so I’m introducing my German money to these countries’ economies as I travel. Looks like I’m staging my own personal European stimulus! You’re welcome, depressed Mediterranean countries!

I’m headed to Greece this week, where I will attend my first professional conference and be as far east as I ever have in my life. I’m looking forward to views of ancient monuments and pristine Mediterranean waters, cheaper prices, and warmer weather! Coming up on the blog while I’m gone is a series of posts that have been in the works for a long time. I hope you enjoy them!

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