Preparation and Departure

Dr. Newman (my wife) is really smart, in case you didn’t know already, and got a dissertation improvement grant from the National Science Foundation. But because the federal government is working slower than normal, it took till now to be able to use it. So we are getting our poop in a group (thanks Aldo for that one) and are ready to head north!

Our condo is rented for the summer, our mail is being forwarded, Olivia has a home for the next two months. We now just need to figure out how many pairs of underwear to bring (hint, a lot) and how many shoes we need (hint, not a lot). This blog will track our progress north and I will be sure to post pictures on Instagram too.

I know a lot of photos (mine included) show van life and long term travel as glorious and beautiful all the time. And I count myself really lucky that I get to so see a lot of cool places but holy shit is it stressful trying to get everything ready. That is something none of those photos show. Just when you think you go everything done you remember another thing! And there are a lot of flaky people looking for short term housing on Craig’s list.

Things are starting to fall into place, but there were definitely a lot of hours of missed sleep (on my part) and tense moments of prioritizing things. Behind every beautiful  Instagram that will be coming this summer there was a lot of planning, stress, and money spent (and privilege used) to get to those spots for that picture. I am not saying that people shouldn’t post beautiful pictures but there is a cost, and no one should feel envious (especially of our 8 hour drive with a howling cat to get to Olivia’s summer home).


We all do cool things and want to share them, I hope you will be sharing yours too this summer!


About handyatmurlo

I am a Latin teacher at Regis Jesuit High School. I earned my MA at CU Boulder and my BA at UMass Amherst. I have spent my summers working in Italy as an archaeologist at three different sites. One I have worked at for 10 years at Poggio Civitate at Vescovado di Murlo. I have worked at the Villa of Maxentius in Rome for 2 years, before the project ended. I also spent 2 summers at the FSU excavations in Cosa.
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