Then the other day I mentioned my plan to go to Ireland to a friend of a friend.
“You have a job there?” she asked.
I explained that it would of course be illegal for me to work without a work visa or permit…
“But you could get a permit,” she insisted.
I went on to explain that Ireland doesn’t even except permit applications for retail, wait staff, or hospitality, the categories of jobs which I could get most readily. And seeing as Ireland suffers no dearth of writers or theatre people…
“But Rambler,” she said, leaning forward with both hands on the table, “how will you live?”

I explained that I’ve saved some money, will do some travel writing, and so on. But I wondered about her reaction. She’d seemed exasperated, almost scandalized, that I should be traveling for more than the standard American limit of two weeks. What was so troubling?

“She’s jealous,” my mom said, “that she didn’t do the same thing when she had the chance.” For myself, I don’t know, but I would like to thank all my friends with the far more common response of supportive surprise!

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