I'm just back from the Whitechapel 1888 Society/Jack the Ripper125 Conference and it was wonderful except the hours and the Ibis hotel. When I do research, I go to bed at my normal US time abroad, so avoid jet lag. Unfortunately, there was no time for that. I arrived in London at 6:30 am, couldn't get into my room till after 10:30 am, and had a whole day and night of conference talks and dinners. Next day it started at 9 and ended at 10+, though I left the restaurant banquet around 9:30 because I could not deal with so little sleep. Same the next day then I had to leave the hotel at 5am Monday morning for my flight home to teach all day Tuesday.
Not a happy person, and hated the Ibis London City. (See my review on tripadvisor -- not hard to figure out who I am.) Still, it was not only the conference hotel but the only one other than the Tower Indigo nearby.
Anyway the conference was great, but I was so exhausted for most of it I could not appreciate it fully. That's why I love my research trips - I don't have to show up at every single thing including banquets and dinners. I guess most people like that, but for a transAtlantic passenger (for a few days), it just makes life impossible.
But I'm home now, listening to music, and looking at the Shutterfly wall decor enlargements of my trip to Egypt in December 2010, right before the revolution. And I think, my God, what a lucky woman I am (music influence here "Lucky Man") that I got to the place I most wanted to see before it became almost impossible. I still am determined to get back to Upper Egypt, but circumstances may dictate whether or not that may happen.
The key point of this message is carpe diem! Seize the day! Had I not gone to Egypt then I might never have been to the place that has affected me more than any other. I am teaching my first ever course (though I took them as an undergrad) on ancient Egypt second semester. And I could not have done so without having been there, which makes all the difference.
So to all of you, go wherever you have really wanted to go. Don't put it off, because something may happen that makes it impossible. Do it while your health, international circumstances, and life in general make it possible.
Carpe diem, ProfChiara