Sorry for the Inconvenience

As I was putting the last few items in my backpack in preparation to leave for my “Goodbye Europe” trip, I got a phone call from the hotel in Dublin where I’d booked a handicap accessible room for my friend Heather and I to stay in for one night.

“I’m so sorry, but our lift is broken and won’t be repaired in time for your arrival, and we don’t have any suitable rooms on the ground floor,” the nice Irish accent lilted over the phone.


After a couple clarifying questions and calls back, we determined I could manage the two flights of stairs if they could give me a discount for my inconvenience.

It was a weird moment when I realised this woman was first calling to communicate, “Don’t come; we can’t take disabled people today.” Where else was I supposed to go? The rest of my trip is already planned, and I’m not missing out on visiting one of the coolest libraries in the world with one of the coolest librarians in the world. This is a big deal for me. Also, there were no other affordable accessible hotels around when I was making the booking weeks ago, so what would be on offer day of? Not their problem, from the initial comments.

To be fair, the woman on the phone was actually super helpful, and once I communicated that I could manage stairs and short distances with my crutches, she actually checked the conditions and location of the room to confirm it would be possible for me. When I texted Heather the change of plans, her response was the obvious frustration and disappointment that I’d not get a fully accessible experience like we planned. I, however, am already writing the silver lining out: this is my exercise for the next two days to get up and down the stairs, and I still get the see the freaking BOOK OF KELLS. Nerd alert.

After the arrangements, I sat at my table with a cup of coffee to talk to God about how much easier it would be if he miraculously healed me before getting on the plane to Dublin. As of yet, no such luck, and our flight leaves in three hours. I’ll be ready to make do with the wheelchair and sticks to have an awesome adventure anyways. Plus, I downloaded James Joyce’s Dubliners on my iPad to read on the trip because, again, nerd. The disability is a huge inconvenience, sure, but I also get this incredible life where God allows me friends who will still adjust their vacation to bring me along. Actually, full story later, but Heather’s whole family really gifted me this trip opportunity when her husband said she could go to Ireland with me and leave him and the kids behind.

I’m leaving for the airport in about 20 minutes, and I’m so excited for the adventure ahead – with or without the wheelchair.

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