Two Hours in London

Evade jet-lag.  That’s my goal at the start of every plane journey.  Though, one must ask oneself, can one ever truly escape the time difference warp? My determination to not succumb to jet-lag may seem ridiculous, but I continue to persevere.  This can involve any number of techniques from closing my eyes the minute I get on the plane to drinking a litre of water to watching as many movies as possible.  It’s a skill I’m getting better at with each flight.

Take that jet-lag.

I wish I could tell you that when I flew back to London in January I had no jet-lag, but that would be a half-lie.  Why only a half-lie?  Because I was wide awake for half of the day, then falling over with complete sob-inducing exhaustion for the other half.

I’m not joking.  Sobbing in my kitchen whilst making some soup?  Not a pretty sight.

It began innocently enough.  Sitting on my big, comfy chair at home in NYC I decided to book my train ticket to Bristol late enough so I could spend a bit of time in London.  I would check my bags at left luggage, get some good coffee, and explore London for a bit.  No big.

I was awake for that.  After standing in long customs lines filled with study abroad students (who all looked painfully tired after having watched two movies and eaten…I don’t know what. I slept through the meal), I hopped on the Heathrow Connect and went along my merry way to find some breakfast.

I pretend to know London quite well, but not well enough to avoid getting lost.  My two hours of exploration London were filled with losing my bearings, finding myself, going off track again, making out centre point and losing it several streets later.

It was fantastic.

I walked around the UCL campus.  I walked through Russell Square.  I passed by the Royal Academy of Dramatic arts (and took a photo which makes me so happy).  I even had enough time to get some macarons from Laduree and spend a few minutes admiring the houses of Parliament.

Walking, however, can be tiring.  By the time I returned to the station to catch my train, my energy was at precariously low levels.  Sure, I did fall asleep while listening to Stay The Night on my ipod.  Yeah, I nearly nodded off on the shoulder of the guy I was sitting next to.

But my time in London was brilliant.  Who needs energy for a train ride?  Who needs the mental capacities to sort out dinner for themselves, or at least not to sob from exhaustion when examining the onions at Tesco?

I don’t.  I only need the energy to explore.  I only want the awareness to see, experience and live something new.

And that’s why I half beat jet lag.

How do you avoid jet lag?  Do you have any tricks for falling asleep on planes?

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