preparing for Ireland adventure…

So I have my airfare, my room to stay at, bus routes that I need, but not the mindset to pack for a trip over a month long. How many pairs of shoes do I bring? will I want to wear heels, will it be nice enough to wear flip flops?

Also I need a new memory card for my video camera but now idea how large of a memory cards is necessary. Then I need to find my outlet converters or buy new ones. I’ve already looked for them but they’ve totally disappeared. I also need to figure out if I should bring my regular camera or borrow a digital camera and leave the film behind. I found 8 unused rolls of film and 1 is even black and white, but I guess I can save them for another time.

Next I need to make sure bills are all paid off and that I have reminders to pay them online while I’m going. Need to go to the bank and find out the fee structure for using an ATM in a foreign country. I’m told waterproof shoes, waterproof jacket, and an umbrella would be good things to have.

Overall, I think I am way too excited about this trip and need to just go with the flow or I’ll drive myself mad. Also will suspend my facebook account. People who want to keep in touch can follow my blog, twitter, and chat on aim.

I think the packing thing will drive me nuts. How much clothes do I drag along with me? Will I even have a washer and dryer to do my laundry while I’m there?

Also need to add a video of my fav song! Enjoy!


ABCs 123s… totally stolen from Stina

A. Age: 26. gee I’m old as hell.

B. Bed size: full size and even though I’m short, I still sleep with my feet hanging off the end of my bed. I honestly can’t understand how its physically possible, but I still do it.

C. Chore you dislike: dishes. right now, my dad does the dishes and I love him for it. Cuz I’ll never do it.

D. Dogs: My mom has a dog named Max and my dad has a dog named Harley (Harley is currently a resident of my grandma’s house since my apt doesn’t allow pets).

E. Essential start to your day: Everyday is a little different. My work schedule is flexible. I try to be up around 8am, but that doesn’t work half the time. and Thursdays are the only days I have school. Weekends involve a lot of sleeping in.

F. Favorite color: Green and not just because it’s March.

G. Gold or silver: Silver for sure

H. Height: 5’3″. I used to say 5’4″ but some jerk decided to measure me to prove me wrong.

I. Instruments you play(ed): I am bad at music, I just don’t have it in me. As a kid I played the trumpet and clarinet. I tried to play bass in High School but never practiced enough.

J. Job title: Website content writer and Grad student.

K. Kids: I have sims characters? does that count?

L. Live: South Suburbs of Chicago

M. Mom’s name: Diana

N. Nicknames: Coalleen was my high school nickname. I have also been called Rayne (Joy gave me that one) and Coco was a nickname I got last summer. We were drinking so I don’t remember how I got this name.

O. Overnight hospital stays: I have had pneumonia a few times. I recall being in the hospital for a month when I was in Kindergarten. I was also accident prone so I’ve been in the hospital more than I can remember.

P. Pet peeves: I have so many of them. I don’t even know where to begin.

Q. Quote from a movie: “To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure” Dumbledore. Yes I know this is from a book as well, totally cheated on this answer.

R. Righty or lefty: Righty

S. Siblings: One older brother, Shawn. He is awesome, trust me on that!

T. Time you wake up: I don’t have a normal schedule.

U. Underwear: Um yes. I have a draw stuffed full of underwear and wear a pair almost every day.

V. Vegetables you don’t’ like: Onions! I hate onions! YUCK!

W. What makes you run late: I am notorious for being late to everything. When a train or bus schedule is involved, I am always early. But meeting with friends, I am often late. The best time was my 25th birthday. I told everybody to go to the bar at 9ish and arrived at 10:30pm and this caused a round of applause when I walked into the bar. Made my feel like epic royalty! haha

X. X-rays you’ve had: I have had way too many. Probably 5 x-rays on my head, my back, my hands, my left foot. Accident prone ftw

Y. Yummy food you make: My new favorite is sweet potato fries. yum.

Z. Zoo animal favorites: Monkeys. I want a pet monkey and I don’t care if they are illegal, I’ll steal one from the zoo and treat it like a baby.

travel plans and intentions

I came across an interesting quote, and I found that I could apply it to my life in some ways and made me think ‘deeply’.

“If Jane Austen suffered in any way from her circumstances it was in the narrowness of life that was imposed upon her. It was impossible for a woman to go about alone. She never travelled; she never drove through London in an omnibus or had luncheon in a shop by herself. But perhaps it was the nature of Jane Austen not to want what she had not. Her gift and circumstances matched each other completely. But I doubt whether that was true of Charlotte Bronte, I said, opening Jane Eyre and laying it beside Pride and Prejudice… And I read how Jane Eyre used to go up on to the roof when Mrs. Fairfax was making jellies and looked over the fields at the distant view. And then she longed-and it was for this that they blamed her-that “then I longed for a power of vision which might overpass that limit; which might reach the busy world, towns, regions full of life I had heard of but never seen: that then I desired more of practical experience than I possessed…”

A Room of One’s Own by Virgina Woolf (page 68).

I read this while doing research for a paper about an Austen novel and Mary Wollstonecraft’s a Vindication of the Right of Woman. But I thought about this applies to more than writing novels and literature.

When you think about it, we are all sometimes content with life as we know it. The cliche idea that you don’t know what you have til it’s gone, doesn’t really work in my mind anymore. It’s not that you didn’t know what you had, it’s that you are comfortable with what you have and losing that thing puts you in the unknown. Does that make any sense at all? It makes sense in my mind, but I may not be using the right words to express it.

The little exert lays out a philosophy for two types of people. There’s the Jane Austen’s who make the best out of the current situation and do not want what is beyond reach or reason. Then there’s the Charlotte Bronte’s whose mind dwells on what else there could be or what lies beyond their reach and long for it. I also think these could be stages in life. I was content with life a feel months ago. But now I want to push myself and go beyond what I already have.

I guess that I would be a Bronte. I have always had those dreamy ideals that are beyond reach. But that isn’t fair to say exactly. Charlotte Bronte lived from 1816 to 1855. In her age, women could not own property, attend schools/colleges, publish anonymously, and were confined to the domestic drawing rooms.

When I compare my situation to Bronte, Austen, Wollstonecraft, or any other women writer that I am really familiar with, I feel a great deal lazy. I have the right to do more in my lifetime than they could dream about. Yes, women still have lots of inequality in the workplace and women writers are still branded as sentimental or insignificant, but I could travel anywhere I want and do anything I want.

To be fair, I have been to Dublin and Berlin but only for a week at a time. Not to undermine the things I’ve done in life, but I’m 26 now, and I have not achieved very much. I have my bachelors degree and in the process of completely my Masters degree. But I’ve never stepped out of my comfort zone, I’ve never lived outside of Chicago and the Chicago suburbs.

I haven’t even done anything incredibly daring. I guess this explains my month long stay in Ireland that is forthcoming this year. I will be living and working in a culture outside of my own. I will be completely alone for the 12 or 15 hour flights there and back. I will be alone for the three buses I need to take to get to Valentia Island, where I’ll be staying.

Some part of me thinks that I may never want to come back. After a week in Dublin, I remember kicking my feet at the airport and not wanting to leave. My ex boyfriend may have even pushed me into the airport a little bit.

So what will stop me from coming back in June? I have no clue. I might need to make a list or it will be really easy to stay there. Here’s a list in progress.

1) Family
2) Finish your damn Masters degree
3) your vast book shelf is in Chicago
4) hockey
5) the rest of your shoe collection?

Well it’s a start. I left friends off that list since a lot of them have let me down in the past month, either by ignoring me or lying and avoiding me. It was nice when I had lots of friends, or when I had a group of guys that I called my extended brothers. But I guess that doesn’t stay the same when you get older. You lose that when everyone is dating, having kids, or doing their own thing. Oh well. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, cause I do still have those great friends who’d be mad if I didn’t come back. I know who they are, and they know who they are. The people I’m mad at wouldn’t read this anyways.

But in the long run, I think I’m getting my priorities straight. Living in Ireland was a dream I had for a long time. A month stay will either have me running back after my Masters is done, and be a great memory that I’ll hold on to forever. Now I just gotta figure out how to pack for a month of living abroad!

Colleen’s Bucket List

Making a bucket list so I can do the things I’ve always wanted and keep track. Will update and cross things off as I go along, may even add more.


Eat a traditional Irish Breakfast (wish I didn’t look up the definition of Black Pudding)
Go Skydiving
Visit the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto
Do something regrettable in Vegas
Travel from London to Paris on the underwater train (channel tunnel)
Run in an 8K Race
Go to Mardi Gras
Visit a small Irish countryside town or Galway
Volunteer/Tutor young children or be a mentor
Ice Skate on the United Center
Visit a country in Asia
Spit into the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls
See a Shakespeare play performed live
Ride an Elephant in a Foreign Country
Drive a car on the left side of the road (legally)

Feel free to make suggestions for new things on my list or join me in achieving some of these things.