Kindness – Indie 30 Day 5

Kindness – Indie 30 Day 5

Bootsnall prompt: One of the greatest joys of travel can be the random acts of kindness you’ll receive from total strangers. Have you ever found kindness from strangers in unexpected places?

People in the hospitality industry are supposed to be gracious and helpful, but there are a few times in my travels when I’ve found that hospitality workers are especially helpful, go above and beyond, and show true kindness. Nowhere have I encountered this more often than in Ireland. When my brother and I went to Dublin in 2008, we arrived at a B&B off O’Connell Street about quarter of nine in the evening. We asked our host where we could get something to eat. He said not a lot of places would be open for dinner at this time, but he knew the chef at a pub around the corner. He said the kitchen closed at nine, but if we promised to go there quickly he’d call the chef and ask him to stay open for us. Of course, we took him up on this offer.

This year, my boyfriend Kevin and I experienced similar kindnesses throughout our Ireland road trip. At Paddy’s Hostel in Doolin, our host, David, was enormously helpful. He told us where to hear the best music sessions and eat the best food, drew us a map of Doolin with all his recommended spots on it, and helped us plan the next leg of our trip. He loved to talk and gave us recommendations not only for Doolin, but also for the rest of our itinerary. In the afternoons, he built a fire in the woodstove and made us tea to enjoy while we sat by the fire between our daytime adventures and evenings of pints and music. I’ve stayed in some nice hostels before, but David’s kindness made this one my favorite that I’ve ever stayed in.

And in Kilkenny, we stayed at a Bed and Breakfast on the edge of the city center. The woman who runs it is so gracious, sweet, and kind, I just wanted to be her friend. Every morning she made us an amazing breakfast. When we got up, there was cereal and fruit out to start with and then she came in to make us tea and offer us a full Irish breakfast, which we ate most of the days we were there. She cooked us delicious sausages, ham, blood pudding, eggs, and mushrooms. And then she offered us porridge. A 3-course breakfast that kept us full until mid afternoon when we would stop for a coffee or tea break to tide us over until dinner at one of the pubs she recommended. We were there during Lent, so on Friday she made us a lovely vegetarian breakfast (at our request as Kevin is Catholic). She also sat and talked with us in the afternoons when we made ourselves tea with the kettle she left out for us. She helped us get tickets to a community theater performance, inquired about our lives back in the United States, and let us pet her adorable dog.

It’s kindnesses like these that make a place I stay stand out in my mind. Often when I travel, a place to stay is just a place to crash at the end of a long day. But in places like these, where the hosts are truly kind, the accommodations are a highlight of the trip and I enjoy passing an afternoon by the fireplace or lingering over breakfast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *