When I was 22 I realized that the best way to cure jetlag was to simply shock it out of existence. What I mean by that is surround yourself with such awesome stuff that you’re so blown away by what you’re seeing that you just don’t notice the fatigue anymore.
I discovered this miracle drug during a 19-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur on my first trip to Cambodia for my MA research. It was, honestly, the sight of the Petronas Towers for the first time that made me forget I hadn’t slept in 24 hours, and ever since I’ve tried to plan small trips on layovers where I don’t need an expensive entry visa: Miami Beach for 9 hours on the way to La Paz, Shanghai for 18 hours (I have a 9-year multiple-entry Chinese Ordinary visa…I have no idea how I pulled that off) on the way to Siem Reap, and in 2017 I’m laid over in Seoul for 20 hours between Beijing and Phnom Penh. Hence the term layover-cation was coined.
My longest (and arguably most fun) layover-cation was four days in May 2015 at the beginning of Pilot Research: three days in Hong Kong to visit my good friends Marco and Ellie (Marco was my roommate at SOAS (he went to LSE) and Ellie was his girlfriend (also LSE)), and one day in Singapore because Silkair changed my flight time from 6pm to 12pm the next day. Both completely blew my mind – it’s incredible how fast Asia is developing – but were at the same time nightmarishly claustrophobic. Take a look!