In Luxor, I met Marie Vaughan who sold up and left Ireland because she felt redundant – her children had grown up, husband had left – eight years later her sons are feeling the cold wind of austerity back home, and coming to the haven she has created for them.
When Marie arrived she sunk the proceeds of the sale of her Irish home into land. It cost almost the same to build eight flats as two flats, so she did that. Sold two, and decided to turn the unsaleable six into a hotel.
The hotel plodded on until her eldest son’s Irish business failed and he and his partner came to join her. The result rejuvenated the business, guests flowed in the door, the hotel earned the tripadvisor top 2010 recommendation.
None of this was planned. She fell into buying land without any knowledge of Egyptian laws nor arabic, but found reliable people to help. She certainly could not have foreseen the Irish financial crisis.
Luxor was chosen because she had been there once on holiday drawn by the legend of Scota, the Egyptian Queen whose sons were High Kings of Ireland, and some say the origin of the name Scotland.
She listens to her intuition and instinct and acts on them with life changing decisions. The result could not perhaps have turned out better; she is now central in the family again. Has she made her own luck? It would be amazing if this was fated.