Travel Flashback: You're Getting Veeerrry Sleepy


Our bodies were not designed to be flung halfway around the world in less than 24 hours.

The proof is in the jetlag.

At best, jetlag makes you very tired; at worst, it can make you downright ill.

And sometimes, it just makes you stupid.

After spending about 20 hours on an airplane and crossing 9 time zones (or something in that ballpark), we had finally arrived in the promised land: in this case, Sydney, Australia. We enjoyed a lovely lunch next to the Opera House, with a perfect view of the Harbour Bridge. We explored the city’s Vivid light festival. And finally, as darkness fell, we made it to dinner. We had successfully stayed awake all day, but by this point we were all a little punchy.

As we waited for our food to arrive, I rummaged in my purse for my tiny bottle of Purell. Trying to be discreet with my very-American habit of disinfecting, I held my hand over my purse as I squeezed a bit of Purell onto it.

Except it wasn’t Purell. I had instead opened up my large bottle of water and was pouring it out directly into my purse.

To my credit, I did recognize pretty quickly that the clear liquid running through my fingers was water, not antibacterial gel. But until that moment, my brain had been powerless to prevent the mistake; jetlag had long since had its way with my normal mental functions.

Somehow, we all managed to eat our food and make it back to our hotel in one piece, where one of my travel companions promptly discovered that she had locked her suitcase keys inside her suitcase.

Fortunately, by the next day we were back to our old selves.

I was reminded of this story as I sat down to write this blog, late in the evening, feeling exhausted. I’m so tired that I keep jumbling my words as I type, and I’m not entirely convinced these sentences contain coherent thoughts. I’ll have to check my work in the morning.

Like jetlag, this kind of exhaustion-induced impairment can be cured by only one thing: a good night’s sleep.


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