Irish grandmother is headed to the States on her second J1 visa

By Fiona Frawley

May 16, 2023 at 11:32am


If she can make it there, etc etc.

If you're on the aul 9-5 grind (or 7-7, 8-8 or whatever contract hustle culture has you trapped under these days), you probably regularly dream of life after retirement. Pottering around the garden, finally finding out what bridge is, a few leisurely trips to Spain - but a grandmother from Tralee in Kerry is going one step further with a tour around the US and Mexico.

Joining the thousands of Irish college students who avail of the J1 visa every summer is Fiona Griffin, who's headed off for her second stint in the States at the age of 67.

The grandmother made headlines nationally and internationally last year after acquiring her J1 visa and spending the summer working as a camp counsellor at Camp Clearwater in Wisconsin.

Speaking to the Kerryman earlier this week, Fiona said she believes she's one of the oldest, if not the oldest people to ever go on a J1.

The Tralee native worked at the same summer camp last summer, and says she's "honoured" to have been asked back for a second season.


Fiona documents her travels on her Instagram page, "Retiree on a J1 Visa", where you can see her partaking in the usual prep before heading off for the summer - getting the hair done, a pedicure, the works. She started the first leg of her journey this morning and will travel to Mexico and Washington DC before the hard work at Camp Clearwater gets underway for the summer.

You can keep up with her adventures right here.

Header image via Instagram/retiree_on_a_j1_visa



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