3.27.2015

Am I Going Biking in Ireland in August?

Yes. Yes I am. At least, I am about 99.9% certain I am. A couple of trivial factors factor (appropriately enough) in.

The first is MONEY. I have the money right now, thanks to a fairly phat tax refund this year. The money is in my savings account where it will remain earmarked for the $1,300 round trip ticket to Dublin and probably that much again for lodging and meals, plus that much again for "cushion." So, if all goes well, and I do not incur any unforeseen major expenses in my life between now and mid-August, I should be well within budget.

The second is my JOB. This is a bit of a wild card, but not one that would significantly threaten my probability of cycling through Ireland on a bike in August (the 0.1% remainder on the probable certainty indicated above). If nothing at all changes with my current employment status as a contract technical writer, I am all systems go. My free agent status as a contractor has the perk of allowing me to take time off from work, albeit unpaid, to do things like that. My boss is always super cool about that kind of thing, like when I spent 2.5 weeks in Australia with my extended family last fall. Most of the costs of the trip will already have been paid by the time I suffer the immense hardship* of one week of unpaid vacation in mid-August (*Note: In no way is this a hardship...I was being facetious). This is the second best case scenario.

A slight permutation of this scenario is that I will most likely be offered full time employment status (with paid vacation and benefits, etc.) by my current employer between now and then. If this alteration of my employment status happens soon, I may start off with, or accrue, enough paid vacation (five business days) to have underwriting from THE MAN whilst I cycle tour Ireland (best case scenario). If it doesn't happen until close to my departure date, I will simply have to negotiate some pro-rated vacation against salary as part of my accepting the full time role (third best case scenario). Based on how awesome and flexible my current employer and boss have been about such things thus far, any doubts and fears about the latter job option undermining my trip to Ireland are purely irrational. In any case, I wouldn't want to work for an employer that would heartlessly deny such a character building travel experience to one of it's ranks. There is perhaps no other educational experience that empowers and self actualizes a person like international travel.

One other minor factor is my passport. I have not researched it at all, but it seems to me my Australian passport ought to work, since Ireland is a Commonwealth country. However, I need to look into that. I am sure my American passport with a visa will work too, but if I can avoid the cost associated with a visa application, all the better.

Being the borderline type A personality that I am, I naturally find myself thinking of totally irrational and unlikely "worst case scenarios." I suppose it's possible I could lose my job. That is, it is not impossible that I would. But the probability seems to lie somewhere between zero (0) and epsilon (a number slightly larger than zero), notwithstanding the current trend in Wisconsin to defund health care (my professional sector of the economy) and labor standards. It's actually kind of nice to be a private contractor in this labor-hostile, free-market friendly political climate Wisconsin is in, I am chagrined to admit. Don't get me wrong, I am totally pro-labor and economic regulation, because it's the ethically right thing to do and my job status isn't threatened by a more socialistic ideology with regard to employment and labor. But I don't ignore reality just because I don't like it (I leave that to the politicians). Suffice to say, I am geeked for this trip. I have never been to Ireland, much less biked through it, and it will be a great opportunity to exercise my amateur travel writing ambitions.

So to summarize and conclude: Yes, I am going biking in Ireland in August, as of now.


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