Pandemic Travel and Thematically Appropriate Airplane Playlists

Isabel Fernandez
September 5, 2021

I was more nervous about the airport itself than actually leaving my home country alone to study abroad but my nerves completely overshot my actual experience. Everything went pretty smoothly even with renewed Covid worries and potential bad weather. I took a flight from Indianapolis to Chicago and left from there to Dublin. Before the flight for Dublin, they checked passengers’ vaccination cards, passenger locator forms, and passports. The flight was comfortable and the flight attendants were as gracious as always. Arriving in Ireland for customs was the tricky spot of the journey. I printed out all of the forms IES Abroad instructs to bring and my officer only wanted my letter of acceptance. He was a bit skeptical of the whole thing but he let me in the country so really who cares. Nice try getting rid of me now. One 20 Euro taxi drive later and I was at Beckett house. Cars driving on the other side of the road was probably the thing that really cemented the fact that I was actually, finally in Dublin. 

As for Covid procedures in the city, it’s thankfully stricter than some places in the US. Stores require masks, restaurants prefer reservations and limit big groups, bars only have table service, etc. The restrictions are slowly beginning to loosen in Ireland. The population of Dublin is more than 90% vaccinated, which is insane to hear coming from America where so many people refuse to be vaccinated because of flimsy political and personal excuses. 

I wrote down some short personal notes over the span of my trip, maybe to write in my journal later. I’d like to share a few of them now: 

  • I just arrived in Chicago and I am so hungry I could eat myself twice.
  • Glad everyone here [Chicago to Dublin gate] is as clueless as I am.
  • I can now officially say that Collins LLC dorm coffee is worse than airplane coffee; this feels like a new low for Indiana University. 
  • The man next to me on the place has kind funky Uncle vibes, just like my own kind, funky Uncle. He keeps showing me all the fancy seat contraptions and his movie choices are excellent. 
  • How many times rewatching irobot in one sitting is too many? 
  • I wish I was shameless enough to put my head now on my seat table to sleep, I think I would actually sleep better. Alas, I am a creature of stubborn embarrassment so I guess I’ll just suffer the weight of waking consciousness. 
  • This flight is shorter than the drive to my family’s lake house, which is a fun(?) reminder of America's ridiculous size. 

I also put together a playlist on the plane (playlist making is a passion of mine and a very serious art form, I swear) for anyone interested. Setting your life to a soundtrack makes everything feel better. 

This trip is going to be everything I hoped for and more if these first days are any indication.

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Isabel Fernandez

<p>Hello! My name is Izzy (they/them) and I’m a senior studying anthropology at Indiana University. Within anthropology, I’m particularly interested in storytelling, intersectionality, and modern concepts of gender. I am studying overseas as a part of the IES Dublin- Irish Studies program in the Fall of 2021. I’m excited to share my adventures and discoveries during my time in Dublin. In my free time, I enjoy listening to alternative music, reading the same 4 books over and over again, and attempting to learn random languages before getting distracted after a few weeks.</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
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