Eclipses make everyone fit in with their schedule. You simply have to go where they occur, and when. But don't despair if your diary clashes with the heavens or you can't afford to go to a far distant eclipse. This natural wonder will eventually come to a place and time that suits you.
The main event may be in the sky but take stock of the setting too. During the eclipse, marvel at the hush as birds fall silent in the strange twilight of totality, then the wonder as light returns. And in the days around the eclipse, discover the country you're in and its people. The big celestial event offers instant conversation!
You must take proper precautions to look to the sun at any time, even during a 'total' eclipse. Even at the moment of totality there will be enough visible, UV and infra-red light to damage unprotected eyes. Take expert advice on filters for looking directly at the sun or check how to safely project the image of the eclipse.
Solar eclipses are a great spur to finding out more about your place in the universe – literally. You can learn fascinating stuff about orbits, moons, stars and more - then add cultural understanding about events that have awed humans since history began. If you have kids, it might even inspire them to become astronomers!
We love the idea of 'being civilised' – but not the modern link between 'civilisation' and urban development which brings light pollution that destroys our view of the majesty of the night sky. To really see the glory of our universe – such as the dazzling silvery gauze of the Milky Way – get away from 'civilisation'.
Understanding eclipses is a balancing act. Learn enough to have a sense of why they happen but don't fret about lots of detail, and feel bad if you aren't quite clear of the difference between an annular eclipse and others. Feel free to just enjoy the spectacle, and let a little understanding carry you along.