Dave and I have been jet setting all around the world during 2012 and have come to realize that we live in a constant state of jet lag.
We flown to five different continents and thirteen different countries in 2012 alone. This looks amazing on paper. Who wouldn't want to travel the world and make a living while doing it? However, while we have loved globetrotting around the world, we are also tired, very tired. It hasn't been good for our health or our relationship.
Perpetual Jet Lag
The problem has been that we spend only short stints at any given location. Last week alone we flew from California to Canada where we had a mere four days to prepare for TBU in Portugal. We had another four days in Portugal before we had to fly to Indiana for five short days before returning to Europe to start a stint here in Girona, Spain.
Now it may seem like we're complaining, but we love travel and that is why we chose it as our career. We want to spend the rest of our lives jetting off to far off places and sharing our experiences with you, but we wish we could do it without the jet lag.
Grumpy in Paradise
We didn't understand why we are so irritable and grumpy with each other until we stopped to think about our jet lag pattern. We spend the first three to five days in every destination, upset, arguing and exhausted.
We're tired and frustrated, we're gaining weight and we feel like we're on edge every single day. We can't get into a workout pattern because just as we're feeling good again, we're back on a plane for another two days in transit. We never seem to get a direct flight anywhere and we constantly spend our time in airport lounges catching up on work.
When you travel for work, you never have the chance to give into the jet lag. We are up at the crack of dawn working on a presentation, writing a travel blog post or attending a session. We're heading out on excursions, touring the city and spending our evenings at galas and dinners put on by the destination. We're being wined and dined and all we can think about is how we should be back at the room working or hitting the gym. We look at the bags under our eyes, the puffiness in our faces and our expanding waistlines and we know that something's gotta give…but not yet.
Symptoms and Signs of jet lag?
Since we have come to this realization that we spend at least half the time at each destination jet lagged, we've decided to give ourselves a break. We now know why we are grumpy and why we are short with each other and why we are so emotional. We know why our metabolisms are slowing down and why we feel stress each and every day for no apparent reason. Jet lag doesn't just cause fatigue, it also causes anxiety and confusion. Just check out these symptoms we found on MedicineNet.com
Jet Lag: Besides fatigue and insomnia, jet lag can cause emotional and physical ailments such as anxiety, constipation,diarrhea, confusion, dehydration, headache, irritability, nausea, sweating, coordination problems, dizziness, and even memory loss.
We experience at least one of these symptoms at any given hour all day long!
So What's the Solution
There isn't a lot we can do about jet lag right now. All we can to is accept. We can accept that we are busy and we can accept that we are going to be emotional and tired for three or four days every couple of weeks. Now that we know what the cause is, we can relax and move on and be happy again.
A few times throughout the year, I thought I was losing my mind. I felt like Sybil. One minute I'd be crying or yelling and the next I'd be laughing and feeling complete contentment. But I'm not Sybil and neither is Dave, we're just tired two tired people who act a little nuts at the start of every trip and by the time we relax into the time zone and the routine, we're back to our own selves laughing and feeling the joy of travel again.
Our travels aren't slowing down any time soon. We are in Spain for the next two weeks before flying to Switzerland for another two weeks. It's then off to a trip that our readers and Expedia's fans are choosing for us in November. We are then back to South Africa before our end of the year surprise trip. We'll be crossing time zones, sleeping on jets and yes, we'll be tired, emotional and anxious because of our jet lag.
While, we won't be able to slow down our schedule anytime soon, we now know the cause of our troubles. When we put our foot in our mouths during conversations or when we feel the need to snap at each other or a complete stranger, we will stop, take a breath and realize that we are just tired – Not crazy.