This is a delicious hot whiskey along with Megan. It was taken in January, the second day we’d known each other. She was couch surfing with a mutual friend, and when we met we hit it off. Megan is American, she graduated from a California university last year, but instead of finding a job she decided to explore Europe. We’ve got quite a bit in common, starting with the fact that she’s attempting to obtain dual citizenship (with Italy) through descent – the same way I got my Irish citizenship. She has that same adventurous attitude that is required of us long-term European transplants – she too hopes to move out here on a permanent basis. I offered up my couch if she needed it. It was an offer she would accept on more than one occasion.
I met Megan at a time when I was really falling into a routine here in Galway. Monday through Friday I’d go to work at nine, come home at six. I’d check my email, make dinner, watch TV, do some reading and apply for jobs. Come weekend-time, I’d stay in one night doing nothing, go out another. On Sunday afternoon I’d videochat with my family. It turns out moving to a new country doesn’t eliminate the enticing allure of routine.
Meanwhile, Megan was actively rejecting that temptation. Over the next few months she was a bit of an enigma, sending in dispatches from all over Ireland as she hitchhiked across the country. Eventually she settled into a farm near Oranmore (about 10 miles away) where she’d occasionally call in to crash my couch so she could have a night out in Galway. Last week, I took her out for lunch as she was about to depart for Dublin Airport. She was returning home to consult with the Italian Consulate about her citizenship application. She’ll return later this summer to do god knows what.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in Ireland, but Megan helped remind me that I’ve really got to make the most of my time here, the way she’s been living. That’s why, when one of the commenters on this blog invited me out to her country cottage to spend a weekend in County Kerry, I accepted her offer (I’ll blog more about this later). That’s why I just bought plane tickets next month to rural Austria and London. That’s why I’m not going to let another weekend pass me by because I’ve fallen into a familiar routine.