Lessons on joy and gratitude from a holiday vacation gone horribly wrong

Sometimes the most profound life lessons are learned in moments of discomfort

A questionable hotel.
(Image credit: iStock)

"This is the worst hotel I've ever stayed in," my husband said.

The guidebook had called this small inn in Lalibela, Ethiopia, "a romantic spot for budget-minded travelers." Our arrival luncheon, enjoyed under flowering trees in the courtyard, had delivered the romance, but here in the room, the drapes sagged, dirt menaced the corners, and wiring burst from an outlet. Then, the toilet handle broke off when I tried to flush.

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