Monday, November 2, 2009

Jet Lag - Can it work in your favour?

Flights to the Caribbean from Europe leave in the middle of the day. It’s not exactly a normal time to go to sleep, but in my case – as I’ve usually packed late into the night before - I doze off when there’s a moment’s quiet (knowing subconsciously that there’s eight undisturbed hours ahead of me). Generally I’m gone by the time the engines roar on take off. Then there’s a stuttering, low oxygen snooze for several hours. It becomes a sleep of Lethe. The whole of my recent life – the problems, concerns, even the pleasures – is simply elided from memory. The change in perspective, as forward looking as the plane itself, means that I wake up with nothing in mind but the coming Caribbean trip. It’s the way it should be.

And the good is just beginning. With the hour change you touch down at three or four in the afternoon, which in turn means that you clear the airport and arrive at your hotel just in time to see the sunset over the sea horizon. The tree frogs ring in the trees and bushes around you and there is the gentle wash of the waves. After that there’s a drink, and dinner. Understandably you’re exhausted by ten o’clock – it’s two or three in the morning at home – so off you go to bed early.

And then after a full eight hours of sleep you wake at six, in the still of the Caribbean dawn. The early morning is the loveliest time in the islands. It is usually calm and of course it is not too hot. If you take a walk you will see a few people about, perhaps taking a ‘sea bath’ in the calm water or dusting their porch. Life tends to start early in the Caribbean so that the working day is over by the time it becomes too hot. Waking at dawn can last for a few days, if you’re not pushing it at the other end of the day.

It all sounds too good to be true. And of course it is. Payback time comes on the flight home (somehow I never sleep until we begin the descent into land). Then the flight dumps you out on a cold morning, often still in the dark, feeling hideous. It’s a sting in the tail, but gradually the memories take over and soon enough you’re thinking about next year.

Check out the Definitive Guide to getting to the Caribbean.


  1. Awesome post and blog. I have been to the Caribbean and looove your plane exit description!!!

    Cheers! JJ

  2. Thank you for your kind words...I hope you enjoy our future posts.

    All the best...James


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