It’s no problem

Have you ever packed your suitcase only to realize that you forgot one very important thing? 

Well, I’ve got a story for you, my own little adventure that occurred on a recent trip to Ireland. Specifically, in the charming town of Killarney where I was hosting a client retreat and the majority of vendors needed to be paid in cash. 

The one thing I overlooked wasn’t a toothbrush or a phone charger – it was converting my bundle of $10,000 American dollars into Euros. 

Yep, you read that right. I arrived in Killarney with a stack of American dollars and not a single Euro in sight. I brought the cash but whizzed right by the place at the airport where I could do the currency exchange. I totally spaced out! 

If you’re not familiar, navigating foreign currency can be quite the ordeal, and in a small town, it’s even more complicated. 

My immediate instinct once I arrived was to Google local spots that offered currency exchange. However, the wonderful host of the home I rented, Mary, advised against these facilities. Banks were the ideal option, but, as luck would have it, they were closed for the next couple of days.

In an act of heartwarming hospitality, Mary offered to lend me 1000 Euros to tide me over for the first few days until I could arrange for the currency exchange. 

However, after those initial days, I soon hit another wall – the banks wouldn’t allow a currency exchange without an account. Talk about a wild goose chase!

I found myself resorting to maxing out my ATM withdrawals daily to manage payments to my retreat vendors, but it seemed like I was in an endless loop. 

Interestingly enough, despite my predicament, the townsfolk, including the vendors I owed money to, were incredibly understanding. They seemed to operate on a vastly different wavelength than what I was used to back in the States, where every cent matters and everyone’s on guard. #bitchbetterhavemymoney 

Here I was, in this small town of 5,000, where everyone knew everyone else (and certainly knew I was in town!), feeling oddly at ease in the face of my money dilemma.

As my trip drew to a close, I was almost out of money with limited options left, still needing to convert my remaining American dollars into Euros to make the final payments. In a desperate attempt, I sought advice from my cab driver. He called the owner of the cab company – who happened to be his MOM – for help.

Unsurprisingly, she knew who I was (a running theme by this point!), and without missing a beat, she instructed her son to lend me 200 Euros. There was no hesitation, no doubt—she trusted that I was good for it.

This entire episode made me realize something. Initially, I was reluctant, perhaps even embarrassed, to ask for help. 

But the responses I received across the board were some version of, “oh, Susan, it’s no problem.” 

In stark contrast to our hyper-focused, individualistic mindset in the U.S., the people of Killarney operated with a community-first approach. There was an unparalleled level of patience and understanding that stood out. 

This experience made me wonder – what could we achieve if we embraced the “oh, it’s no problem” attitude more often? 

How much more collaborative, supportive, and understanding could we be if we put community over individual interests? 

It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it?

Despite skating out of town with a meager five Euros, I departed with a full heart. Not just with the joy of the trip, but with the rich lesson I’d gained from the warm people of Killarney… that things can truly be “no problem.”

xoxo, Susan


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