Other items not included in the above list include:
An extensive Google Maps tour of the area surrounding the IES Abroad center that lasted about an hour and covered maybe half a mile’s worth of land.
Inconclusive internet research regarding all things electronic and adapter-y.
Countless hours spent browsing Dublin listings on Air BnB.
Mostly, there has been daydreaming; juggling the logistics of day-to-day preparation with imaginative wonder. There are parts of predeparture preparation that are tedious, like spending forty-five minutes on hold with the bank for a 2 minute conversation and a file update, or finding yourself in a travel blog clickhole over which travel adapter is best, but still, mostly, it’s all lost-in-thought excitement and hope.
Most of 2015 has felt like preparation, time spent in the wings waiting for Dublin (which, of course, isn’t to say that there weren’t great adventures to be had - I’m a very adventurous lady, but, again: Dublin). My coworker and I have a little homemade calendar tacked up on our bulletin board, days marked off towards the Next Big Thing. For him, it’s returning home, a reunion, and for me, it’s goodbye, a welcome. We take turns crossing off the days in Magic Marker red ‘x’s and each box filled gives me another thrill of excitement.
I am already (perhaps a little prematurely) imagining moments to be excited for: the first glimpse of fog and green as the plane begins to descend, the glimpse of city on the bus journey from the airport, the shape of the windows on all of the buildings we pass.
Everyone I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks has asked some variation of the same question: “Are you ready?”
I keep answering, “No, probably not.”
The paperwork is printed out, I’ve taken a side in the rolling vs. folding debate when it comes to packing (rolling wins 100%, trust nothing else), and I’m just a few hours away from checking in to my flight and getting my boarding pass. I have condensed my things down into a purple suitcase and a backpack, picked out my raincoat, and added Dublin weather to the app on my phone. The logistics are all as neatly lined up as international travel can be.
There’s not much else to plan and prepare for, but that doesn’t worry me. I look forward to meeting Dublin in a few days, our first greeting on a tarmac and then becoming acquainted with her streets and parks and people. You don’t prepare for great friends; they just happen.
Which is to say: I am as prepared as I’m probably going to get, as much as maybe anyone can be. (Mostly, though, just anxiously excited.)