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Posts Tagged ‘jet lag’

There’s a difference between travelling to a destination and coming home, which I know is stating the obvious. Whilst coming home does not have the same excitement of new or exotic pleasures, the relief of the familiar, and the pure comforts of home at the end of the journey are nonetheless worth celebrating.

It’s always a pleasure turning on the tap and drinking delicious water after a trip overseas, but I have to admit that on this trip, both Iceland and Norway provided very drinkable and even quite tasty water, unlike the ghastly stuff that comes out of the taps in places like France and Italy and the rest of Europe.

Even though it is winter here, the light seems so much brighter than the early summer light in Scandinavia; here, the colours are vivid and the landscape sparkles.

After five weeks away, it is nice to have a washing machine on call!

Cooking again, and not having to pay the exorbitant prices of Iceland and Norway for food, is fun – or it will be once I recover fully from the jet lag.

Speaking of jet lag, according to the experts it generally takes about one day for each time zone changed (with eastward travel, because you lose time), which means that we still have two or three days to go to consider ourselves fully recovered. I can usually tell when I have adjusted back to NZ time when I stop waking up early, so I figure that I’m almost there, as I noticed a familiar desire to stay in my warm, cosy bed this morning!

 

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  • We arrived home last night, 40 hours after leaving our hotel room in Oslo, and that is just too long. But, as I told my disbelieving father-in-law (who is not enamoured of travel), it was worth it.
  • Five weeks of dust is actually quite a lot, considering I cleaned the house the day before we left.
  • It’s a bit depressing coming home to a dusty house, especially since – did I mention this? – I cleaned it the day before we left.
  • The seasons have changed since we left, with only a few sad brown leaves left on our oak tree.
  • It was the same temperature here in Wellington as it was in Oslo when we left, even though we are in opposite seasons.
  • It’s quite nice though to go to bed under a cosy duvet and in the darkness, as it never got dark in our five weeks in those northern reaches.
  • My body might be in this time zone, but my head is not, as it tries to fast-forward 10 hours, so I really wish I’d written and scheduled today’s post before I left!

 

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jet lag

As there’s no chance of (a) at the moment, there are no prizes for guessing why I’m feeling like an afternoon nap today.

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Space time continuum

When our plane left London, it was 4 pm GMT on Friday afternoon, and 4 am New Zealand time.  When we arrived in Wellington, it was about 10.30 am Sunday morning, and would have been 10.30 pm Saturday evening, except for the fact that the UK and Europe ended Daylight Savings Time during my flight.  So we had moved as far as you can on the planet in terms of time zones.  And adjusting to that takes some time.

They say that it is easier to adjust to flying west, not east.  That’s true.  Flying to Asia (west) is usually easier than flying home (east).  I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that flying west usually means you fly during the day, arrive in the evening, and then have a full night’s sleep, even if you find that you’re going to sleep about 4-5 hours later than usual.  Whereas flying home is usually an overnight flight, with broken or no sleep, and arriving first thing in the morning.  Adjusting to the sleep deprivation as well as the time zone change is, well, unpleasant.

They say that it takes one day per time zone (or hour) for your body to fully adapt.  That means all those people who blithely say “I never suffer from jetlag”  or insist that they alone know the secret to adapting, don‘t know what they’re talking about.  I’ve travelled across time zones a lot for business, and I’ve tried a lot of so-called solutions.  Sometimes they work and that’s great.  Sometimes they don’t.  I usually ignore the sleeping advice, taking the view that when in the air for any length of time  “any sleep is good sleep.”  That has served me well.  Getting sun and exercise, and eating at the appropriate time for the local time zone both help.  But they don’t eliminate jet lag.

And when your body has to flip its schedule completely, east/west issues are irrelevant.  And it takes time.  We’ve been pretty lucky.  Not too many sleepless nights.  Forcing myself not to nap in the middle of the day helps.  But I’ve certainly endured that energy-sapping, eyelid-drooping jet lag fatigue every day around 11 am, and I’ve woken up unnaturally early (for me).  It’s easing now though.  We’ve been home for over a week.  And I’m starting to sleep in.

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Unpacking

  • Jet lag (I lost 11 hours)
  • the inevitable downer of ending  an amazing trip
  • the scales, judging me
  • the annoyed look the washing machine gives me as I lift its lid
  • getting used to a benign environment again (no menacing  puff adders, baboons, lions, etc)
  • reacquainting myself with the sun

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