Time Zones and Jetlag
I understand there are 24 time zones in our great big world, but each time I travel, I have to stop and consciously think about what it means and how it applies to my particular travel circumstance.
We just returned from a trip to Italy and they are 6 hours ahead of us here on the east coast of United States. Easy enough to figure, add 6 hours to the time it is now and that’s the time in Italy and most of Europe.
Now add the time it takes to fly to wherever you’re going, then plus or minus the time zone depending on if you’re going or retuning and it can cause one’s mind and body to be in a bit of a frenzy.
Fortuanely for me, upon my return, I did not have to wake up and go to work like I would have in the past, part of my deliberate escape.
When we were almost home from the airport, it was approximately 4:00 a.m. in Italy. It was so strange driving to our house, it seemed foreign. We have been living in the south for near 1 year, and my mind was in a bit of a fog trying to make sense of where I was. Of course I knew exactly where I was going, but it was an odd experience.
Often times when I sleep in a strange place, I wake up and wonder where I am. That did not happen while in Italy. However, my first night sleep at home, I woke up and in what I assume to be a semi-conscious state, looked at my room, saw my furniture for over 30 years, and didn’t know where I was.
The next night, night 2, my dreams incorporated conversations I had with my girls that day and deposited those details into my travel experiences. It is so strange how conscious conversation and happenings can be transported into ones subconscious or your dream life.
Why bring this all up? I was gone for about 12 days. I slept relatively well, at least for my standards while I was away. I returned home to a place I love and have lived for near 1 year and yet I felt a bit out of place. I began to think of those who are far away from their home, whether due to work, business, mission work or military service and thought how difficult it must be for them to adjust and acclimate to the place where they actually belong, home.
I find it interesting that in less than 2 weeks, returning to your home can be an adjustment. Things looked a little different. The house was a bit stagnant even though the dogs and cat were cared for at home. It also reminded me that it doesn’t take long, even a house, to start to shut-down after a very short absence of care.
I find we give ourselves little time to adjust, to acclimate, to return to what is supposed to be normal. We often fail to recognize or prepare for what lies ahead. Maybe we need to do some mental-exercises to prep our brain when we come back from a trip so we adjust better, accept the situation more and pickup life perhaps in a clearer picture.