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How I Found Karma in Ireland

I love to travel. During my recent trip to Ireland, I once again attracted, or was blessed with, much good Karma. Or perhaps on this trip you might call it the luck of the Irish.

My first bit of good  fortune was on the way over. I had a 10 hour lay-over in Frankfurt airport for a connection to my Dublin flight. When I arrived I saw a long line-up at the service desk, so I took a 2-hour nap on a bench near-by. Feeling refreshed, I inquired at the Lufthansa desk: “What are my options for the next eight hours?” I was hoping at the very least that the airline representative would direct me to a more comfortable place to sleep or someplace to eat. “I will see if I can get you on an earlier flight” was the response. The bonus was that I arrived six hours earlier than planned. I spent my evening in Dublin’s famed Temple Bar, instead of at a boring airport. I always say: “If you don’t ask, you’ll never know the answer.”

TIP: Ask for help. Always know what your options are – even in a foreign country.

There was more good Karma to come…

A week later I found myself temporarily homeless. Temporarily being the key word – as good luck once again came my way. I like to be spontaneous in my travels so I often don’t book accommodation in advance – allowing me the greatest flexibility to change my mind. So when Dublin hostels were fully booked because of a football game in town, I changed my plans and went to Belfast for the weekend. But I only had accommodation for one night and they were no hostel rooms available in Belfast via the Internet for the following night. I took my chances and went anyway. When I arrived at the hostel – staff assured me that they would help me find a sofa to crash on rather than a park bench. However, a few hours later I found a bed in a nearby hostel for the following night. My Karma came through for me – again!

Throughout my travels in Ireland, good Karma presented itself whenever I asked for help:

  • The lovely young lady at the shoe store not only recommended a manicurist (after I had been walking an hour looking for one), but she also found the address on the Internet for me. My new sandals looked even lovelier after a mani-pedi.
  • A few days later, I was able to get on a “sold-out” Literary Pub Tour with Colin and Frank.  I showed up on Duke St without an advance booking. Perhaps my “please sir, I was really looking forward to this” helped me get a ticket?
  • It was on that tour that I met Holly from Missouri. We shared a very interesting discussion about photography at our last pub for the evening. It was a delightful end to a fun evening. I cannot count the number of other times that I enjoyed drinks, had great conversations, or exchanged email addresses with fellow travelers – because we took a moment to make a connection.
  • My last day in Kilkenny was no exception. The night before I had made friends with the owners of the pub where I was staying. In the morning, they allowed me to stash my backpacks behind the bar – so that my load was lighter while I explored the local castle and art shops.

Good Karma is everywhere. You just have to keep your eyes open for it.

TIP: Sometimes when you travel, you just have to ask for help – and expect a positive response!

Good Karma also makes for good  storytelling – filled with great memories – to tell your friends and grandchildren. “I remember when…”

What are your favorite travel stories to share with those you love? Have you ever asked for “help” from someone (or a favor from a stranger) when you were traveling?

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