Jet-lag is a sneaky little bastard* as it doesn’t care if you are tired or not, if it’s night or day and it sure doesn’t give a damn** that you are on vacation and want to rest and enjoy!
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Jet-lag is there to ruin your vacation, its goal is to ensure that you arrive tired, stay tired during most of your stay and that you come back home even more tired. It will ruin your vacation, by making sure that you lack the energy to do things, it will ensure that your sleep deprivation causes you to become very easily frustrated, annoyed by any little setback, angry with everyone and anyone, uninterested by the wonders around you… It will rot your motivation and joy away.
Jet-lag seems to be number one enemy of overseas travelers!
You will find on the net, numerous recommendation on how to avoid or at least minimize the effect of jet-lag, with tips on how to prepare, what to do, what to eat and all.
But instead of being a jet-lag slave, why not make the most of it?
When we arrived in San Francisco, after our 11 hours or so flight from Paris, we were exhausted. It was around 7 PM when we got to the hotel. We grabbed a bite and went straight to our room where we took a nice shower and just crashed.
By 3 AM, we were both helplessly and utterly tired but awake.
When that happens, you can choose to toss and turn and get annoyed with your partner who does exactly the same. You can turn the TV on, which is probably the worst idea. You can try to read a book or your travel guide but frankly you are probably too tired for that. You can try other activities but you might lack the energy and motivation for that too. You can post on Facebook or Twitter how jet-lagged you are and see if anyone empathize with poor you who is on vacation (tip: chances are slim). Or you can kick your ass and get up!
And that’s exactly what we chose to do on our first morning in San Francisco.
Our hotel was close to Pier 39 and by 4 AM we were there walking around. The whole city was mostly asleep apart from a few workers, the seagulls and the sea lions which by the way are definitively very load and stinky! When you know how busy Pier 39 can be, you can only be happy to have the place to yourself.
The sky was clear and the air was refreshing and awakening. Walking and stretching was much-needed after our flight and what was supposed to be a little walk around the block turned out to be a 4 hours lovely promenade. The more we were exploring, the further we wanted to go.
The light was coming out fast as the sun was rising over the Bay. By the time we reached Ghirardelli, more early birds like us were out. Runners, dog walkers and even swimmers (yes swimmers!) were starting their day and it was great to be there, with them, to enjoy the quietness of dawn.
That first morning, we didn’t go that far and stopped for breakfast at a cafe near Ghirardelli and then went back to the hotel for a much-needed nap. But beating up jet lag by embracing it and making the most of it was so brilliant that we did it again the next day with a bit more in mind than just walking around. Check it out here.
So next time you are jet lagged, why not embrace it? Go out, explore, walk around until you are dead tired! It will most likely be a different experience.
A word of caution: Of course, we did this because we knew we would be safe. When we reached Sequoia Park our next destination, we didn’t walk around in the dark as meeting a bear would have probably not been as fun as seeing the sun rising on the Bay!
* Excuse my language
** Excuse my language again!
Want to beat jet-lag?
You could try Moon Juice Brain Dust or their Sleep Dust. It’s good even when you’re not jet-lagged!
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