My Diamond Shoes Are Too Tight.

Over the summer, this blog, that was conceived (pun intended!) as a way to track our progress toward procreation and which has in recent months morphed into a daily idiocy parade, will change yet again – this time into a travelogue/field school journal, because in about one month, I’m going to be flying to Ireland by myself to spend five weeks digging up a cemetery.  

For years, I have been desperate to go and do.  There is so much in the world that I am fascinated by and interested in and passionate about, and I want to see and experience all of it.  I’ve got a friend, who I am trying to strong-arm into guest posting here, who has, in the nine years since high school, lived in several different countries by herself.  I am in awe of her.  When I discovered that participation in a field school was a requirement for graduation from my Masters program, I started saving up money to escape having to take the campus-run 10-weekend program based in the California desert.  I wanted to go somewhere far away and have an experience, because I like to think I’m open-minded and adventurous and totally game.

However, I am also the kind of person who read Cheryl Strayed’s incredible memoir Wild, in which she gets her ass kicked by the Pacific Crest Trail (and her own perceived failings) for months, and was most upset by the scene in which she takes a shower in a camp bathroom and uses a bar of communal soap she finds sitting leftover in the stall.  My hypochondria runs pretty deep.

I am clearly not that adventurous.

Which brings us to:

When I booked my flight recently, I scheduled my arrival early intentionally, so that I’ll land in Ireland two days ahead of the first meeting of the field school participants.  I did this because I didn’t want to worry about missing the boat (literally) over to the site, and because I thought it might be cool to have some travel time alone before launching into an entire month of archaeological work.  Now, as I’m watching the days between now and then fly off the calendar, I can’t believe I thought that flying in early would be fun.  I am in full panic mode about being in a foreign country by myself.  For two whole days and two whole nights.  I can barely sleep at home in my own bed when my husband is away.  I don’t like walking down my own street at dusk because my father, the prosecutor, has instilled in me a pretty intense distrust of everyone.  (Actually.  His most repeated advice to me: “Trust no one.”)

It doesn’t help that I’m a woman.  Feminism be damned, we are just, very simply (and statistically), easier targets.  (Please don’t crucify me over that.  Maybe you are a female martial arts master who fears no one.  However, I believe that even though I am as capable intellectually and professionally as any man, when it comes to sheer violence and malice, I am no match for a male lunatic.  And I am 100% convinced that my lifelong awareness of that has kept me out of a lot of really terrible situations.)

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ALONE IN IRELAND FOR TWO DAYS?  (Cue world’s smallest violin.  Perhaps being played by a leprechaun?)

Tickets are confirmed, hotel reservations have been made, The Husband has been convinced to come visit me at the end of July.  I will get my adventure – and I will be scared shitless the entire time.

 

In related news, in order to function like a member of this century at field school and at work and while writing my thesis, I need a new laptop.  My ancient, seven-year-old MacBook exploded into small pieces of silicone dust and I need to replace it before I leave to have anxiety attacks in another country.  Does anyone know anything about the MacBook Air?  (Lest this inspire a turf war over Macs versus PCs, let me state for the record that I cannot be swayed.  I am a hopeless Apple-loving hipster.  I blame it on the fact that my earliest computer memories involve playing “Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?” on my grandfather’s gigantic Mac desktop in the early 90s.  Never underestimate the power of early branding.)  I am a fan of the Air almost entirely because it is the cheaper option.  I am scared of the Air because it has the density of two sheets of printer paper and doesn’t have a CD port.  (Is that shit even called a CD port?  Answer: definitely not.)

Any thoughts?

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8 thoughts on “My Diamond Shoes Are Too Tight.

  1. Whining about being in Ireland and which model Apple laptop to get is hilarious to me! Oh, the suffering! Lots of Catholics, so don’t let on that you’re Jewish! Geezaloo, woman, it’s not like you’re going to Iraq or even China. You’ll love it, I’m sure.

    • I know it’s obnoxious. Hence the title of the post.

      In my defense, this is the first time in my entire adult life that I have enough of my own money saved up that I can even consider buying a new laptop (or paying for a trip) outright without having to put it all on credit cards. Thinking about it like that makes me feel less like an entitled princess.

  2. I totally understand your fears, so here are the things that I found that worked for me when travelling:
    1) Consider signing up for a guided tour of something (it shouldn’t be too hard to find a company that runs them). For example, when I was in Scotland, I did a “Lochs and Glens tour” – it was awesome! You get to see a bunch of great things while on whatever tour you sign up for, but since you’re traveling alone, you now have the benefit of traveling with a group and most importantly: a tour guide who has the job of keeping you safe (and entertained)!
    2) Wander around and find a hostel (even if you have booked a hotel room) and ask what the person working behind the desk thinks you should go see. Hostel workers are used to seeing young people (who might be low on funds) – so your questions about safe areas, etc, won’t be new for this person. And they are used to suggesting fun/hip things to do!
    3) If you’re still super nervous, hide out in a museum. I don’t know about you, but that’s the least scary place I can think of! 🙂

    Good luck! Don’t worry too much. You’re going to have an awesome time and we can’t wait to hear all about it!!!!

    • Thank you so much for this! Those are awesome ideas. I have most definitely thought about hiding out in coffee shops/museums/my hotel room, because I am so social and confident. 🙂 I think looking into a day tour is a fabulous – after all, I should probably take advantage of flying in early (and having to pay for two extra nights).

  3. I actually recommend Couchsurfing (www.couchsurfing.org) My wife and I surfed around eastern and western Europe after our stint in Peace Corps. It was a collection of the most amazing experiences. Our couchsurfing hosts in Ireland were amazing! The community is very safe and secure and offer a cultural connectivity you can get nowhere else.

  4. So exciting! I have a serious case of wanderlust and am dying to go on another adventure ASAP! Just relax and take in all that Ireland has to offer – especially the yummy food! 🙂

    And as a fairly recent Pro-to-Air convert, you’ll definitely love it! Surprisingly sturdy and it makes the backpack waaaaaaay lighter.

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