Dubliner Debbie Killeen’s career had taken off and she was reaching dizzy heights with Lancashire Airlines in England.
However when parents Cynthia and Paraig announced they were buying a hotel on Arranmore Island, she felt compelled to help them out.
The couple had once tried to buy a holiday home on the island 17 years ago and always planned to return one day.
And it wasn’t just Debbie who felt drawn to give her parents a helping hand.
Sister Paula also felt family loyalty tugging at her conscience and she too decided to pack in her job as a Legal Executive with top Dublin legal firm Beauchamps.
Now a year and a half later, the young women say they have no intention of ever leaving the island again!
Debbie, 36, revealed: “I can’t describe how I feel about the island. There’s no ATM, there’s no retail therapy and yet I feel I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.”
It’s a far cry from the upmarket North Dublin seaside village of Howth where the girls and the rest of their family were raised.
Debbie puts her new-found happiness down to the fact that everyone on the island is equal.
She fills her day with working in the hotel, jogging and fishing.
She says she has never been so healthy because she eats the best of food and the air is probably the cleanest this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Debbie has just come out of a relationship but says the island also offers the chance of love – if someone is looking!
Proof of this is her younger sister Paula, 34, who is now dating local fisherman Edward Gallagher.
“We’re all mad about Edward – he’s a lovely guy and I think himself and Paula will make a go of it,” smiled Debbie.
Debbie admits she misses her friends but says there is an open invitation to them all to visit the 24-bedroom hotel whenever they want.
“A number of them have been out and they absolutely love it here. Of course they all get hobs in the hotel when they land but that just goes with the territory,” she said.
Debbie says the one drawback on the island, which has a population of just over 500, are the roads.
“The roads are terrible but you get used to them after a while. You can always jog places,” she laughs.
The family’s other two siblings Thomas, a boat-builder based in Carrick-On-Shannon and sister Aideen, also call to the island regularly to give their parents some help.
“Mum and dad run the hotel but we help out as much as we can.
“I never thought I would survive here but I can never see myself living anywhere else in the world at the moment.
“My outlook on life has completely changed and I know find chatting to an 82 year old man every bit as enjoyable as flying a plane or going on a shopping trip.
“What can I say – my entire outlook on life has changed,” she said.
Killeen’s of Arranmore is open all year ‘round.
* Debbie and mum Cynthia below: