Jet Lag in Laos
Day 2.5 in Laos, a country I’ve been wanting to visit for the past 5 years, and I’ve slept through most of it thus far. Jet lag, you stinker, you’re foiling all my plans to explore and learn and be creative and make new friends and, and…zzzzz! Arriving in a new place is usually a boost enough to wake up at ungodly hours and join the daylight, but I just can’t seem to kick the sleep monster this time.
We arrived on October 8th in the evening after 2 days and 4 flights traversing 2 continents. Five years ago I made a similar trek while living in Dublin, visiting Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand with childhood friends. It was one of those epic friend trips filled with neon colours, eyes wide with wonder, wobbly buckets, ancient wats & rickety tuk-tuks, fingers tickling with excitement, and bellies wrought by who knows what bugaboos…but zero jet lag.
Tricks of the Trade: How to Beat Jet Lag
I have a few theories on how this is possible:
- almost thirty vs. early-twenties = pre-historic vs. pre-mature bodies coping with the tick-tock of the world
- my love of sleep has overtaken my love of travel
- contrary to my previous beliefs, a diet consisting of mountains of chocolate from around the world doesn’t provide you enough energy, or
- I didn’t play the jet-lag game as well as I could have this time
You see, jet lag is a funny little sneaky turd of a gnome. You can beat him at his game by guzzling water (check), eating healthy (almost check), exercising (questionable check), and sleeping while the sun is down as you chase it across the skies (definitely no check). But I didn’t follow the rules. Seasoned travellers win this game with their eyes shut, just as baby-faced early twenty-somethings can run a race after a marathon night of university “studying”. Instead of ticking the boxes and triumphantly crossing the ribbon at the finish line, I was preoccupied with holding my breath next to stinky seat neighbours, documenting the desert below, binge-watching a new tv show on the in-flight entertainment system, and lastly, counting the odd sheep jump over my head.
Time for Sleep
Perhaps I should have had more water, eaten more vegetables (and less chocolate), and closed my eyes when the desert was laid out beneath me. But I did not and now it’s 3pm local time and I’ve been awake for only an hour today. My other travel half is currently in la-la land, sawing logs and blissfully unaware of the time.
For now I’m going to catch up on writing, something I’ve missed terribly and forgotten to do while soaking up life in new lands. I’m going to chug some water, and I’m going to strategically set my alarm for bedtime and follow it no matter how wide awake I am…maybe…hopefully…honestly!…probably.