One late night, when you are not totally in your mind you book a hostel in Wexford and your friend buys 2 bus tickets there. Next morning you get on the bus and check the hostel online once again. Apparently it’s 40 km from Wexford, where your bus is going. You don’t freak out and adjust your plan, which now includes a 2-hour hike from Gorey (a town on the way to Wexford, nearest to the hostel) to your hostel. You have a nice walk with your friend around Gorey and then along narrow roads with cars and arrive in the last hour of check-in, just in time to see sunset over the Irish sea. Next day you get to Wexford and find a cute tiny town, where everything is closed (as it was Sunday, duh). You discover a nice beach and walk down it, as the city is disappearing behind you in a veil of fog. Sun comes out and it gets so hot, that you just stretch out in the grass on a hill and spend an hour talking to your friend and remembering childhood stories. By the end you realize you’ve spent more than expected, and haven’t seen half of what you planned. You have a pint for the road, go to a casino and spend the last tenner you had (well, your friend had, you were already in debt by that time). No luck, but no regrets. Happy, you go home. You realize it was a good trip only because you and your friend were flexible and could find joy even in small things (well, there were no “big” things anyway). No complaints, no rush, just a nice company of each other and some fresh views.
Then you meet a pretty girl from Brazil and you start to really like her. You spend a wonderful evening with her in your apartment, walk her to the last bus, enjoy its late arrival while everyone else is shivering in the rain and giving you weird looks. You walk home smiling, music sounds especially wonderful and rain doesn’t bother you at all. You turn from the main road into a narrow street, your apartment is just around the corner now. Suddenly someone grabs you from behind, you think it’s your friend making a joke. You take off your earphones and hear hear someone a saying “giving your phone and your money” as he presses you against the wall and hits on the head. Then a second figure grows up in front of you and holds a knife to your throat. Not it’s much easier to decide what to do, so you give your phone. They are not satisfied enough so they try to beat money or a wallet out of you, which you fortunately don’t have. You start laughing inside about the situation, at the same time being astonished with a turn the day’s taken so suddenly, from one of the happiest days in your life to one of the scariest. You say “jesus, I’m a freaking volunteer, I don’t have any money”. They still run through your pockets and take you goddamn GNIB card, a registration for non-EU citizens. Well, there’s nothing to be afraid anymore, there’s nothing to take from you anymore, they just push you away and you go home. 15 mins later Garda packs them in a car and until now they are chilling there, answering questions and everything. They didn’t have the phone already or the GNIB card, when they were caught, but that doesn’t matter much. What matters is that you are alive and life goes on.
You never know what’s going to happen in life and it’s impossible to be ready for everything. But I believe it’s possible to be ready for anything: you just take life as it comes, you don’t freak out, you adjust, you keep on keeping on. You don’t get hung on minor accidents and don’t let a couple of scumbags ruin your experience, your mood or even your day. Life is about much more than that.