Our First Lesson in Backpacking

I really didn’t think about jet lag when I was planning this trip.

Sure, people kept telling me I would have it but I figured we would be so excited we were here that we would just get through it. Plus, I had a night flight to Dublin so I figured I would sleep on the plane and be well rested when I arrived.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

The man next to me on the flight was really nice but man, was he chatty! He talked to me almost the entire flight about Lord only knows what. And when he wasn’t talking to me, he was talking to the girl on the other end of the aisle. So sleep really wasn’t an option.

Missing a day in Dublin due to my missed connection really threw me off. We only had two full days there now so I really wanted to get the most out of it. When I first met up with Chelsea, I only slept for about 30 minutes before we were off sightseeing.

Chelsea had a day without me to rest and try to get onto Europe time but I wasn’t as lucky. I’m only just starting to get over the feeling of jet lag.

By dinner time, I was completely delirious. Sitting at dinner, I could barely hold a conversation with her.

Looking back, I think we should have splurged for our own room for the first stop and spent a little longer there. That way we would have had time to get accustomed to the time and still see the city.

So for any future travelers – my best advice is that. You will have jet lag! I don’t care how excited you are, how much water you drink on the flight or how much sleep you get on the flight. Jet lag is inevitable and it is difficult to deal with when you’re backpacking!

Sleep in general has been tough on this trip. We’re only in each place for a short time so we’re trying to make the most of it.

Going out with our football playing roommates in Dublin until 4:30 a.m. the night before our 8 a.m. flight to London probably wasn’t the best idea.

We overslept and almost missed our flight. Then I threw a little bit (OK, a lot bit) of a temper tantrum on the streets of London when we couldn’t find our hostel or at least wifi so we could figure it out. Carrying that 25 pound backpack when you’re tired, hungover and hot is probably the closest thing to hell.

We basically lost a day in London because we were so exhausted. We sat in the hostel for about an hour and a half until our room was ready and then went to Chipotle (ahh!!). We did walk past Big Ben, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey and down the Thames a little before heading back to the hostel so it wasn’t a total bust.

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We’ve decided that if we continue at the rate we’re going, we’re going to need more sleep! Otherwise we’re definitely going to burn out and it won’t be fun anymore. All the blogs I read before coming here said to go slow but I didn’t believe them. Figured I could just do it. But looks like all the experienced backpackers were right.

Slow (and sleep) wins the backpacking Europe race.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. theelliottquest says:

    Best way to get through jet lag is to fight through it and stay up! Don’t take a nap.. Just go to bed in the evening at your destination! You’ll wake up fine!

    1. I think you’re right! I got about 10 hours of sleep the first night in Dublin and felt a lot better the next day. But it was pretty hilarious being so delirious.

  2. Michael says:

    Yep, easy does it.

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