Viking Invasion of Ireland Part II

“You have to take risks.  We will only understand the miracle of life fully when we allow the unexpected to happen.”  – Paulo Coehlo

Booking a return trip to Cork, Ireland for a man was a huge risk.  Separated by 4,500 miles of land and ocean, anything was likely to happen between the mid-January booking and the late-March arrival.    While I dreamed of driving Irish coastlines and peering over cliffs, old castles, and his green eyes, my Cork man was getting to know a woman who’d unexpectedly entered his life. 

It’s a truth that borders a lie to say I’m happy for him.  It’s good that he met someone in his own country and that he’s happy.   But, that didn’t change the fact I had a non-refundable ticket to Cork, Ireland.    And since the only reason I was going was for my Garda, I began looking for alterative trips.

I will have a layover in Amsterdam, so I called the travel agency that sold me the non-refundable ticket and asked what would happen if I just disembarked in the Netherlands.   Unsympathetic to my situation, the phone specialist advised me in broken English that it’d be $400 to make any changes to the ticket because I’d bought it at such a super-reduced fair.  That was crap, and between his stupid broken English logic and refusal to punch me through to a supervisor, I became angry and slammed down the phone.  I called the airline directly, who advised there was nothing that could be done on their end since I bought the ticket through a third party.  

Frustrated and upset, I then called my friend Paul in Dublin.   Finally, a reassuring voice!  I remember staring out the window at work at the most amazing blue sky as we chatted about taking the train to Dublin and spending the week with him instead.   I felt like things would be okay.  Well, it turns out more recently that his girlfriend may also have an issue with us spending too much time together, so it seems like – aside from the Friday and Saturday of my trip – I’m on my own.  I cried most of the afternoon today.

I met my friend Kimberly at The Fountain this evening.  Kimberly is one of those rare women who is both beautiful and intelligent, and we had the most amazing conversation about everything from work to vacations to the homeless to clandestine meth labs.   We are both writers (one day I’ll pay good money to buy her books), and we discussed how these disappointments are really opportunities.  Now, it’s no guarantee that the earth will move and my life will change, or that I’ll meet the love of my life, but the fact of the matter is – these events are pushing me towards some other destiny.  It may be an exponentially more expensive destiny at this point, but this is a wonderful opportunity to be alone with my thoughts, meet new people, and explore parts of a country I’ve never seen before.  It’s all perspective.  

I’m going to fly to Ireland.  I’ll meet people, I’ll explore.  I’ll blog and drink good whiskey and drive on the wrong side of the road and pave a way through my disappointments that catapult me into a new level in my life.   I alone am responsible for my happiness, and by God I will not let these men ruin my trip.  

I am that person who does have to make risks.  I will expect nothing next Friday when I land in Cork.

And I will embrace the twists and turns and ride out the waves of destiny with a Jameson in my left hand and a pen in my right, a Viking girl with a small chip on her shoulder ready to invade Ireland a second time with no regrets. 

12 thoughts on “Viking Invasion of Ireland Part II

  1. I’m glad you decided to go with your original plan. There must be a good reason for this opportunity. I’m sure you will know what it is when you get there. Have a great adventure Jolene, drink your Guinness, meet cute Irish guys, take lots of pictures and just live in the moment. 😀

    1. Not sure what the reason it yet, Emily…but I have to believe it will work out for the best. Some Guiness and a few cute Irish guys would make everything all the better, I’m sure! 🙂

  2. Jolene, you will have a fabulous time, I can feel it. I can’t wait to see the pictures from your new camera gear and hear all about the great adventures you had. Have fun and be safe!

  3. It’s a bummer when you’ve conditioned yourself to share an experience with someone and it doesn’t happen.

    It may not be the same, but be sure that we’ll be there with you in spirit. I, for one, can’t wait to hear the tales of this brave Viking girl who dared 😉

    Whatever you do, Jolene, I hope you’ll have fun!

  4. I can understand why the girlfriend would be threatened by you (intelligent, talented, funny, beautiful) especially in light of how fickle their Irish men seem to be!

    You will have a blast! Just think you’ll be able to do what you want, when you want – nobody else to consider.

    1. Oh Lisa, I should have just gone to South Africa!! I know it will be fine, though. Thank you for your words of encouragement. It’ll be good to have a trip where I get to call all the shots anyway! 🙂

  5. I like your outlook and how you’re viewing the curve balls that life can send our way. I think you will have a great adventure. And I like the photo of the hillside.

    1. That picture was taken in the Wicklow Mountains of Southeastern Ireland…a favorite part of my last trip. I’m trying to make the most of this. Change is hard sometimes, though. BUT, I think this may be good blog fodder!

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