What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Importance of Coordinates July 20, 2017

I spent three summers living in Alaska. I love the quirks of that beautiful place, and you sort of get that feeling that it’s preparing you for other adventures in life. Like how you start to feel super cocky about living in a place where an address is really just whatever mile marker you live closest to, and a prayer that your mail actually gets to you. And then we went to Ireland.

The first two days were fine. We were staying in a city. We’d bought the update so our Garmin worked in Ireland, which sort of felt like cheating, but whatever. But then Killarney happened.

Killarney is amazingly beautiful. We got there before dark and wanted to poke around the outside of the national park to see what sorts of things we wanted to do the next day. We found the park, found a way in, found a ruin.


It was simply breathtaking.

I had naively been expecting Killarney National Park to be like an American national park—all rough trails and long forgotten woods. But it was more like an estate placed in national trust. Beautiful lawns, ruins, paddle boat rentals, a castle but we’ll get to that later.

We figured out what we wanted to do on our big park day and decided to head back to the hotel. Put the hotel in the Garmin…nothing. Checked the print out of the confirmation…nothing. Our phones didn’t work, so… we found a fancy hotel and asked the concierge for help.

He was shockingly unsnooty, though he was shocked that we were staying so far from town. He looked up the hotel for us and… it didn’t have an address. Not like there wasn’t one on our form. The place didn’t have one.

The concierge managed to print us driving directions-ish and wished us luck.

We spent a while questioning every choice that had led us to that moment. And then the landscape changed; we weren’t in a forest anymore, but driving through barren mountains. It was like Arizona mated with Maine and had mountain babies.


We found the sweet little B&B run by a kind man who thought cities like London don’t have enough air for people to breathe, and it was lovely.

And we learned from then on to always find the GPS coordinates for our hotels and how to enter them into our fancy updated Garmin.IMG_1015
In other writerly news, The Tale of Bryant Adams: How I Magically Messed Up My Life in Four Freakin’ Days will be enjoying its release on August 15th! Come to the Facebook Party by clicking here and join the fun! Giveaways and guest authors galore! And my author site has moved and received a facelift. Click here to check it out!


2 Responses to “The Importance of Coordinates”

  1. […] our adventure trying to find the address-less hotel, the time came for our brief day in Killarney National […]

  2. […] just couldn’t happen within our timeframe. But Ireland is really great about signs—not so much addresses, but very much with the signs. Signs for historic sites, signs for epic views, even signs for […]

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