Have You Ever Spent the Night in a Haunted Castle? Here's a Look Back at My Night Alone in Ireland's Ross Castle
My Irish cousin thought I was crazy to want to spend the night in Ross Castle. In a place filled with reportedly haunted castles, Ross is said to be one of the most haunted, perhaps only behind the famously terrifying Leap Castle in County Offaly that's been featured in numerous paranormal shows. Plenty of paranormal investigators have stayed at Ross Castle, located virtually in the middle of nowhere in County Meath, reached through a maze of back roads which gives it even more an eerie, "should I really be doing this?" kind of feel.
Not one to shy away from an adventure like this and the opportunity to stay in an authentic historic castle, I left my cousin's house with little containers filled with what was marked as "holy salt" and "holy water" and I took off.
I recently wrote about my night there, which turned out to be a night spent all alone, in the castle's tower room at the top. You can read all about it here, 'A Night Alone in the Tower of Ireland's Ross Castle.'
Note: If you want to check out this castle, be aware that there are two Ross Castles in Ireland, the other one is located in Killarney National Park. This one is in County Meath, about 90 minutes northwest of Dublin.
Nihi Sumba offers the chance to stay in a slice of ultimate paradise overlooking the Indian Ocean - learn more about this incredible resort that's been name the first best in the world in my latest article here: Nimi Sumba A Lavish Retreat on the Edge of the Wilderness.
But know that it's not just about luxury. As James McBride, CEO, notes, and I witnessed firsthand, it's "become a philanthropic vehicle dedicated to supporting projects of the Sumba Foundation," a foundation that's been making life better for 27,000 Sumbanese every day, including water, health, education and economic iniaties. Owner Chris Burch covers all administrative costs of the foundation, including all staff salaries, so that donations go directly to fund these projects to help ease the burdens of poverty communities on the island were living under.
The resort has had to temporarily shutter its doors because of the Coronavirus, which means family's won't be able to pay for their children's education and even their most basic needs. They'll soon begin to run out of food, unable to afford to buy what they need due to consecuitve poor cropping seasons.
As I recently wrote about my time on Sumba Island, spending time with the local Sumbanese people was the highlight - their kindness, and the joy in their hearts, it was something almost tangible. I wanted to reach out, grab it and take it back home with me. While we're all hurting in one way or another, many of us financially and emotionally, being separated from the ones we love, and some physically too, for the majority, we are comparitively fortunate. If you are able, a Sumba Crisis Relief Fund has been set up here so that you can join Nihi Sumba and Sumba Foundation to help combat the spread of COVID-19 and provide relief to families affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.
Owner Chris Burch has pledged 1:1 matching for all donations, up to a cumulative total of $200,000, to The Sumba Foundation. All contributions will directly support The Sumba Foundation and the government's health services with medicines, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, testing, and monitoring equipment, virus education and prevention, tuition support, immediate food aid (rice, eggs, flour), and to directly support the Foundation's water and malnutrition projects.
If you can help at all, it would be a wonderful way to give back. and hopefully someday when this is all said and done, you can experience this magical place and its people for yourself.
The first half of my trip to Indonesia was incredible - I recently wrote about my time on Sumba Island staying at Nihi Sumba resort. It's a place I dream of going back to, and a place whose people I will never forget - every day, I worry and wonder how they are doing, how they will survive with tourism stopped. It was, as Nihi Sumba recently noted in an update, the "backbone of the budding Sumbanese economy. Families will no longer be able to pay for their children's education and basic needs. More pressingly, over the coming months, people will run out of food and will not be able to afford to buy what they need as a result of consecutive poor cropping seasons."
While I'll be supporting the Sumbanese in any way I can, the focus of this post is the story that a number of people have asked me to write. The day the monkey broke into my room on Bali, and the anxiety of trying to get back home. It was something I'll never forget. The article isn't like most that I write - it's a bit long, but I hope you will enjoy reading it.
Here is the link, written for Trips To Discover.
Lockdown in Bali with a Monkey Burglar and the Long Road Home
I knew that traveling to Sumba Island was an experience of a lifetime, but little did I know as I set out to embark on the 30+ hours of flights to Indonesia was how life-transforming it would be, and in more ways than one.
Sumba, and Nihi Resort particularly, was the reason I traveled so far, a decision not made lightly with the Coronavirus outbreak just starting to make waves. Little did I know how quickly things would change, but that's an entirely different story I'll be chronicling soon. For now check out my article on Trips to Discover: 12 Reasons to Visit Sumba Island, which reveals the best part of my arduous journey, and why I plan to go back as soon as I'm able.
Would love to hear your comments - have you had any life transforming trips? Where is the furthest and/or most remote place you've traveled?
After spending much of her life in a cubicle, at 40-something K.C. decided to finally LIVE. Today, she is always on some sort of adventure, or writing about it.
She hopes her journey will inspire you to do the same.