Back in the U.S. of A.

We touched down in D.C. this afternoon and are approaching hour 24 of being awake. I’m hoping to end that streak soon by sinking into bed, so I’m sorry but you won’t be getting much of a coherent post out of us tonight. But as I made the trip back across the pond, I was contemplating the difficulties of traveling across multiple time differences and debating which is worse: traveling east or traveling west.

I decided that for me it’s definitely traveling east. I hate losing my night. I detest red-eyes. I can’t sleep on airplanes, but I’m tired while flying because I’ve usually been up for a full day before boarding the plane, so I’m just pretty much miserable. Then when you land you still have a full day ahead of you, which you have to try to stay awake through if you have any hope of adjusting.

Flying west makes for a long day, but I don’t lose my night…it just gets pushed back. Plus I take off in the morning and so I’m not tired on the plane. I don’t have to try to make myself sleep; I can just pass the time reading, watching movies, etc. And with an afternoon landing, it’s not that many hours until I can hop in bed. Like I said before, I’m a girl who likes her sleep, so that, in the end, is the deciding factor for me.

But I know there are people who disagree with me. So I’m just wondering what you think: is it easier to fly east or west?

8 thoughts on “Back in the U.S. of A.”

  1. When planning our RTW, I originally wanted to travel from South America to Europe and continue on around (west to east). But the more I studied other traveler’s itineraries, the more I found others traveling in the opposite direction (east to west). I could never figure out why.

    But then it hit me. I figured it had to be the very phenomenon you describe… my guess is that for most people, traveling east to west lessens the impact of time changes…

    That’s my theory, anyway.

  2. I’m with you… when it comes to crossing the ocean I prefer flying west. I simply cannot sleep on the plane and I’m just not one of those people that can force myself to stay up all day long waiting for a reasonable hour to go to bed. I end up giving up and falling asleep around 4pm, then waking up in the middle of the night. Ugh, just thinking about it is making me tired.

  3. I may be changing my mind. The flight itself is more comfortable going west rather than east, but I’m having a much harder time adjusting physically now than I did when I flew to Sweden. There I slept in my first morning and was all caught up and on schedule. Back here, I’ve only managed to sleep one of the three nights we’ve been back. My body is so confused!

  4. Ditto on Craig’s comment, we chose east to west. But I just had the unpleasant experience of trying both out in a short amount of time, and I think they both stink.

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