While I was studying in Ireland I experienced many adventures traveling all over the country. One of my favorite memories is from my journey with friends to the town of Dingle. We thought we had left Dublin with plenty of time to hitch hike to Dingle with time to spare. We had not anticipated the problems we would encounter on the road down the Dingle Peninsula. We had experienced a few minor struggles getting to the Cliffs of Moher but we had never faced anything like our journey to Dingle.
We found ourselves walking for hours along the road that led to Dingle waiting for any car to pass. When a rare car drove down the road we literally got on our knees and begged for them to stop and pick us up. But no one was going to Dingle. We later learned that the majority of traffic to and from Dingle was via fishing boat. As we stood along the empty road we discovered the value of using the right vehicle to get where you are going.
Hours into our journey we were trying to come up with an alternative plan that would get us somewhere safe for the night. We were not willing to detoured from our desire to see Dingle and no other plans worked to get us to our goal destination. So we walked along the road turning back repeatedly to look for any sign of a car. Finally, past dinner time and before the sunset a lone car pulled over and drove us into Dingle. The driver informed us that no one hitch hikes to Dingle unless they are doing so via fishing boat. We nodded in exhausted agreement.
When we arrived in Dingle we were starving but we headed directly to the Youth Hostile. Little did we know that a group from France had taken the entire Youth Hostile and there was literally no room at the Inn for us. Suddenly we found ourselves at our goal destination, after dark, walking down the road, exhausted and dejected towards town. We had nowhere to stay and no way back out of town. None of us had enough money to stay in a hotel, there was no bus out of Dingle and we had already proven that there was no traffic along the Peninsula to hitch hike out.
We wandered into a local pub (the living room of Ireland) to eat and to figure out what to do next. The owner of the pub inquired into the reason for our long faces. We explained our situation and she had great sympathy for us. She returned to our table with more food than we had ordered and an invitation for us to stay at her home above the pub for the next two nights at no charge. We had all been away from home for a long time and the luxury of living in the pub owner’s home was heaven sent.
My journey to Dingle was memorable for many reasons. I got to experience true hospitality first hand. I learned that there really are “roads less traveled” and that they are worth adventuring down. But more than anything the experience gave me an image to refer to in my mind when I need to weigh whether I am riding the right vehicle to my destination. Am I heading to a fishing village down a deserted road? Or am I heading to a fishing village on a fishing boat? If I am on the deserted road, is the journey worth the heartache and if so am I traveling with friends.
Are you riding in the right vehicle to accomplish your dreams? Have you found it lonely and deserted? Sometimes the road less traveled is worth every moment of it and other times it is time to change vehicles to get to your destination. Either way it is good and healthy to spend time evaluating your journey. Many are finding that their job won’t get them where they thought it would or at the pace they wanted to arrive. Some are finding that their hobby all along was the fishing boat to the fishing village. And others have been hitch hiking in the long way, and have found miraculous hospitality at the end of the road.