I am back from my break. During this time, I was in Sri Lanka with my wife, older daughter, and her husband to attend a big family reunion. I grew up with a large and close-knit group of cousins. Sri Lanka being a small country, even though we lived in different parts of it, it was easy for us to all get together regularly. School holidays would see many of us spend extended periods of time in one another’s homes where our aunts and uncles treated us like their own children, and the bonds that we forged when young are strong.
Unfortunately, we are now scattered to all points on the globe and do not see each other so much and this occasion, organized by one particularly energetic cousin based in London, enabled most of us to get together. And what a get-together it was! It began with an initial party for over 150 people (Sri Lankans like to party) and was followed by a four-day trip by about 75 of us to various parts of the country that included a wildlife safari, visits to the ruins of ancient cities, and the ocean beaches for which Sri Lanka is rightfully famous and draw many tourists. The extended time together on the bus and in the hotels enabled us to renew all those old ties and it was a wonderful experience. The large group was more than my immediate cousins and consisted of cousins of cousins, other relatives, and friends.
Of course, since I was away from my computer all this time, on my return I had nearly 500 emails to wade through, not to mention all the snail mail, though that was mostly junk. Yesterday was spent mainly clearing my desk of all the stuff that had accumulated.
A word about jet lag. The average travel time each way (including layovers) was about 32 hours, Sri Lanka has about a 10-hour time difference with Cleveland and you would expect massive jet lag but I have noticed that I do not suffer from it. I tend to adjust to the new time in less than a day but I have friends who make the similar trip and it takes them about a week to adjust. In fact by the time they adjust, it is time to return and be disoriented again. I have heard people say that it takes a day to adjust to each hour time difference.
Why do I not experience jet lag? I don’t know. It may be something biological. But it may also be due to my belief that jet lag is partly due to exhaustion. My strategy is to get as much rest and sleep as possible while traveling. For example, in the 14-hour leg from Boston to Dubai, I read until the meal is brought about 2 hours into it, and then immediately sleep for about 9 hours until the next meal that arrives a couple of hours before the end of the flight, and then just rest with my eyes closed until the flight ends. I avoid the over-stimulating atmosphere that is practically thrust on you on these trips. I do not watch any of the in-flight films or other shows on the displays and during the long layovers in airports, I stay in one place and read or sleep so that the over-stimulation of the airport atmosphere is minimized. As a result, when I get to my destination, I feel really refreshed and rested, and this may explain why I do not crash immediately upon arrival, which is what I feel disrupts the sleep pattern and causes jet lag.
Of course, this may not work for everyone. Also, adopting my strategy requires one to be able to sleep seated and in strange places and not everyone is able to do that.
Anyway, I am back and rested.