An té a bhíónn siúlach, bíonn scéalach.
He who travels has stories to tell.
MISADVENTURES IN DUBLIN
It was coming up on the end of my three months studying abroad, and I decided I needed another trip to Ireland, because honestly one was just not enough. My roommate agreed to go with me to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day. I know what you are thinking, but we also wanted to hike and meet people and stay somewhere that wasn’t a hostel for once. I was excited that this would be completely different than my backpacking trip and in a completely different area of the country. Also, I was running out of money and the only way I could afford it was if I shared the cost of a hotel room. So, we booked our flights and four nights at a cheaper hotel in an outlying suburb of Dublin.
Well, long story short, my roommate forgot her passport and decided that she just wasn’t going to come anymore. The problem was that I didn’t find any of this out until I had already landed in Dublin at 11pm and was waiting for her at the gate exit. I’m usually good at handling curve balls but I was tired and cranky and broke and I admit I freaked out a little. I couldn’t afford the hotel without her and it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend so EVERYTHING else was booked. I spent that entire night up late in the hotel trying to find somewhere in my price range to stay – spoiler: there was nothing.
And now for an inspiring continuation of my story about the kindness of strangers and Irish hospitality.
After a long night of finding nowhere to stay, I went to the front desk of the hotel and told them I had to cancel my reservation for the rest of the nights because I had been ditched and couldn’t afford it on my own. After hearing my story, the girl at the front desk says, “Well then, we need to find you somewhere to stay, wait a moment.” After talking to a few other employees and making a few calls, she informed me that an older couple who were regulars in the hotel restaurant host students on occasion and would be happy to take me in for a low cost. You can imagine my utter shock and surprise.
Where I come from, people are generally kind, but I can’t imagine strangers working at a hotel (where one just cancelled a reservation!!) would drop everything to find somewhere for a random foreign college student to stay. My long weekend in Dublin was not the greatest (being by yourself, and not by choice, in the middle of a huge celebration, can put a damper on things), but the strangers I did meet showed me that kindness and selflessness still exist. Also, outside of the United States, most cultures are so incredibly welcoming in comparison.