It’s been a week!

I’ve been in Menorca a week and I feel completely at home and in my element. I’m back to the old me. The me who embraces life and enjoys every experience. The last week has been nothing short of amazing. Seriously one of the best of my life.

It’s been so busy – up at 0515h every day to be eat and catch the bus to the dig site and start by 0715h. Dig for 3 hours in intense humidity and heat, catch the bus to the lab and either lecture or clean or label pottery, then bus back to the residence by 1500h. Because it gets so hot by 0900h, we start early and finish early. By 1500h, we are free to do whatever.

Cala Macarelleta (top) & Cala Macarella (bottom), Menorca

The dig site has been amazing. We were filmed for an interview on local tv news, and I’ve learned so much about a late antiquity Roman settlement. I’ve also been pretty lucky to find two coins, bronze fish hooks, a lead weight, and some pretty neat bone fragments. I’ve learned more about ancient Mediterranean pottery than I ever thought was possible, and gotten quite the workout with a pick axe. ⛏

Most of this week has consisted of walking the old town’s back alleys and gorgeous buildings, trying and eating amazing tapas, drinking frozen pomadas, and parking my ass on one of the many gorgeous beaches. Yesterday, I did my first dive for my open water certification. Quite the experience.

Today, my roommates and I ended up at Cala Blanca, about ten minutes away from Ciutadella. We swam, napped on the beach and finished up with an amazing few hours at Hola Ola Mediterranean Bar. Such a fun, kitschy bar with an eclectic decor and delicious cold drinks on the edge of the cliff with the perfect view of the setting sun. It was so fun to just relax with some friends and enjoy a gorgeous sunset in a completely laid-back environment.

So excited to see what week 2 brings. Tomorrow we’ll be trying our hand at actually trying to identify and classify pottery sherds… should be interesting! Thursday is excursion day to see the Talayotic sites across the island, and hopefully some more beach time. I head to Rome and Pompeii on the 18th for five days before returning to wrap things up here and head to Barcelona.

I have to say, I was a bit worried about my language skills but I’m pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily I am picking up and understanding both Spanish and Catalan. The locals are so happy to practice and explain and I’m enjoying every second of it. I’m also enjoying every second of tapas for dinner here! 🤤😋 Menorca is such an amazing and special place and I am already excited to plan a return trip soon.

The fun thing about traveling is that each new place I go, I leave a piece of my heart behind. I fell in love with Menorca on day 1. It captured my heart much like Rome did.

Day 1 of the Dig

Day 1 started bright and early at 0600h. We were on the road to the dig by 0630h, and on site by 0715h. After a quick orientation of the site, we were discussing potential finds and asked to take a walk and see what we could find. After a few feet, I happened to look down and find a bronze coin. I couldn’t freaking believe it. Literally the thing I had been hoping to find ever since I signed up nine months ago, and I found it within 30 minutes of being on site!

The site is really cool. As I mentioned, it’s an old Roman settlement – first as a fort and then the city. We moved on to take a look at the necropolis number 4, which contains Christian burials. We know this because they face East, towards the rising sun – a trait that signifies Christianity.

I was digging in the city today, and will be all for the entire dig. We started the excavation of Street Number 2 today, and after a few hours of finding pottery sherds, glass pieces, and animal bones, I came upon a piece of smooth oval-shaped quartz. The consensus is that it was/is an insert for a piece of jewelry – likely a necklace or ring. Another way cool find! Another few hours of digging saw some bronze slag (scraps from forging).

As we finished up and headed back to the residence, I couldn’t help but think how incredibly lucky I am to be able to participate in this. This is my dream. And finding something so amazing on my first day was literally one of the coolest and best things that has ever happened to me. I’m so excited to see what tomorrow brings!

Less than a week (!!!) to go!

Oh my. I’m in full on vacation mode. I’ll be totally useless at work til Friday at noon (though, I did get a ton accomplished and it’s only Wednesday). I haven’t even thought about packing yet (beyond my bathing suits, that is)… 😬 I’m checking and double checking plans, reservations, and dates. It’s been a super awesome distraction, honestly, and has kept my mind off of other things.

Sometimes, you think that losing a close friend who was so damn important to you is the end of the world. You can’t breathe, your chest hurts, and you keep checking your phone waiting for a text from them that never comes. You keep thinking about what you could have done to fix it. What you could have done to make it better or done differently. You think about all of the fun times you guys spent laughing and talking…They knew you better than anyone…You didn’t have to say a word because they knew what you were thinking and feeling just by looking at you. They were your best and closest friend.

And then one morning you wake up and you’re at peace. The heartache is fading (because best friends can break your heart, too… way more so than any crush you ever had). Your chest goes from a full-on crushing feeling to a dull ache. You realize that there is nothing at all that you could have done to save the friendship, and that if they really cared about the relationship you two had, they would have tried harder. They never would have let it get to that point. There is nothing, nothing at all, that you could have done to save it. You realize they are no longer worth your energy, and thoughts, and efforts, and friendship. Because you fought hard and in the end they gave up. They stopped caring. They stopped trying.

Finding that feeling is like taking a deep breath of fresh air after years of drowning and man, has it been a long time coming.

Finding that feeling is like along a deep breath of fresh air after years of drowning and man, has it been a long time coming. Two years, to be exact. Deciding to take this trip set me on the path to feeling amazing again. Of being the best me. To living my best life.

I am totally a believer that everything happens for a reason. People are brought into our lives to teach us a lesson and then taken away when they no longer have anything of value to add to our lives. I’m not quite sure what lesson they were supposed to teach me at this particular time, but I’m sure it’ll come to me eventually.

In the meantime, I’ll try and take the advice of Dr. Seuss and forgive them for hurting me. I’m taking all sorts of chances, changing my life, and generally just done with putting up with other people’s shit. It certainly hasn’t been easy getting to this point, but the payoff in a week looks to be way worth it! 🏖✈️🗺🏛⛏🏺⚱️☀️