May 20 and 21 was the longest day of my life


This day will never end.

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday morning.  The idea behind getting up early was to be tired enough to sleep on the plane.  Unfortunately, I got ahead of myself and could barely stay awake on the ride to O’Hare.  But while I was on the plane, I couldn’t sleep fully.  What should have been a fantastic seven-hour sleep cycle before heading out into Dublin for the first time just wasn’t meant to be.

It all started with the lady who checked my bags in Chicago.  She sold me on switching to a window seat instead of the aisle seat.  It’ll be perfect if you want to sleep, she said, because nobody will need to get up and get out.  It turned out I needed to get up the most out of the three of us in my aisle.  The women I sat next to didn’t feel like getting up when I had to leave my seat, and were surprisingly okay with letting a complete stranger crawl all over them.

When I was closest to falling asleep, one of the kind – or not so kind, depending on how one looks at it – women sitting next to me tapped me on the shoulder for dinner.  After choosing chicken and pasta over whatever the other option was, I thanked her for waking me up because I hadn’t eaten much in about nine hours.  Unfortunately, she tapped me to render a decision every time after that.

Drink?  No thanks.

Another drink?  Nah.

A box with unknown contents that I would soon discover was breakfast?  I wasn’t really in the eating mood at that point.

I got my best “sleep” on the descent, of all times.  At least three separate dreams entered my head between the time the pilot told us we needed to hold because of the fog and when he finally said we’d be down.  I asked Gabby inside Dublin International Airport how much time passed between then, and she said not much.

DART rail and Landsdowne Rugby Ground

We arrived in Dublin about a half hour late.  I kept asking Gabby and my roommate Dylan if it was time to go to sleep yet, but it was only around 9:15 a.m. in Dublin.  Accounting for the time change, that means I’d been awake for about 20 hours, and I never stay awake that long.  I was excited to take a little downtime at the Ballsbridge Inn after the flight, but Bradley faculty were having none of that, assembling their crews around an hour after checking in to head out on the DART, Dublin’s local rail system similar to Chicago’s CTA.  We took this to City Centre, where we walked in and out of a few stores to learn a little about the area before getting lunch at St. Stephen’s Shopping Centre.  It was one of the first times I actually felt hungry since eating dinner.

Grafton Street

After that, we walked down to catch the bus back to Ballsbridge, where I hung out and took a much-needed shower.  I lied down on the bed to watch The Simpsons, since I hadn’t seen it for so long, but I didn’t even make it to the commercial before konking out.  When I woke up, I realized it was only 7 p.m. local time.  It’s 10:15 local time right now and the sun has set, but it is still not totally dark.  That’s just one more facet to my already messed-up day that has now stretched into two days.

Thankfully, I can sleep soon.

Ballsbridge Inn

By Adam Bockler

Adam Bockler is a B2B marketing professional, a black belt martial arts instructor, DDP Yoga instructor, and a personal trainer.