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Australia: The Time Travelling Masochist

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geralt / Pixabay

I’m not a particularly good sleeper at the best of times, but this morning I awoke at 02:37 and could not get back to sleep. Jet lag is one reason I’m awake, typing away on a proper keyboard (what a delight compared to my travel keyboard) and my birthday is another reason I can’t sleep. I’ve suddenly realised today is a milestone, it’s my third 21st birthday. Yes, I’m sixty-three today. So far so good, let’s see if I’m still babbling away on my fourth 21st birthday, in 2039!

Anyway, I digress. This is all about time travelling. Not in the Doctor Who science fiction sense of time travelling, but in the body sapping jet-lagging sense of time travel. This is about my take and my understanding of why we jet-setters can’t get our body clocks in sync very quickly.

There isn’t much science to it, but nor is it a fiction. Jet-lag is a reality caused when you decide to move between earthly time-zones. Because we’re all different, it’s all down to how we cope. With my body telling me it’s 10:31 in the morning and my computer insisting it 04:31 in the morning, jet-lag can be pretty hard to overcome. Six hours is a huge loss, or is it a gain? I’m not sure and I’m not spending a lot of time figuring it out. There’s a difference and my body knows there’s a difference and that’s good enough for me.

Coping with that difference is the key to getting back into gear quickly. The younger you are, the easier it is, that’s a simple biological fact… well, that’s actually false. It’s your metabolism that dictates how quickly you overcome what is essentially sleep deprivation. You see, what us jet-setters are doing to our bodies is essentially self-torture. Never mind keeping someone awake for hours to illicit secrets from them, we do it to ourselves for fun!

Thursday, in Australia, my wife and I spent our day with family who live in Perth. We had spent our last few days at a beachside holiday camp, so we had to drive back to Perth to catch our flight. We drove from Bussleton to Fremantle for two and a half hours, stopped to do some sightseeing and had lunch together. Then we did another hour, on the freeway, in the rush-hour traffic before reaching my step-daughter’s home in Perth, where we had a cup of tea and a chat before it was time to part company.

At six in the evening we drove to the airport. We spent a couple of hours at Perth airport waiting to be cattle-prodded into a small tube and then suffered a cramped and exhausting eleven hour flight to our change at Doha, Qatar. Mind you, the food was good and there was lots of it!

Next we flew from Doha to Larnaca and then spent Friday, all day, awake, telling ourselves this was normal and the reason we were yawning was an illusion.

Let’s face it, we jet-setters have reinvented the meaning for masochism. We take pleasure in putting ourselves through a degree of pain in order to derive pleasure.

The moral of this tale of time gone bonkers? There isn’t one. We are not Time Lords we’re humans who love to travel, so, we get on with it… and keep on yawning!

Tom Kane © 2018

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