The Oaxacan sky reflected in my cup of coffee this morning.
After flight delays and detours (all good), I have finally arrived in my other homeland: Oaxaca, Mexico.
The loose plan is that I’ll be here through the New Year of 2014.
But since 2013 turned out to be what seemed to be an entire year of detours (good kinds of detours) who knows?
More on the good detours, and how I used a personal strategic plan to navigate them, coming up.
Detours? Or just…life as a creative soul with an incurable case of wanderlust?
If you want the backstory on why I moved to Mexico in the first place and how the inner journey of that year was like for me, I invite you to check out the book I wrote about it: Sketchbooks: My Personal Creative Practice.
The book is a memoir of sorts, with writing from my own journals, including examples of the visual way I work in sketchbooks, and love letters to the people who were following my work closely at the time.
When I arrived yesterday, I felt jet-lagged, yet happy.
I can feel the possibilities of what is next…these are what inklings feel like.
Nothing certain. Just…something new a little out of reach of consciousness. Or maybe that is just the jet lag talking.
And while I’m on the subject of jet lag, I thought I’d share with you a few tips for how I deal with it. When I stick to this program, it’s almost as if I my normal self, without jet lag.
Well. My version of normal, anyway.
Jet Lag: It doesn’t have to be such a drag. Five tips on how to deal.
1. Hydrate. Drink a lot of water. More than you think you need. You’ll be peeing more than is convenient. That’s when you know you’re drinking enough water. Like I learned in mountaineering school: clear and copious. That’s what your urine should look like.
2. Balance Your Electrolytes. Add some Emergen-C or other fizzy drink supplement to your water. If you don’t have Emergen-C, here’s how to make your own electrolyte replacement drink:
Squeeze a whole lime or lemon into a tall glass of water (still or sparkling), add a pinch of salt (preferably mineral or sea salt) and a pinch of sugar. This is a natural form of what Gatorade is, only without the chemical, color, or flavor additives.
3. Skip the free beer, wine and booze on the plane. And in the airport lounges if you are lucky enough to be flying business class. Simply put: don’t drink alcohol en route. Yes, the drink will take the edge of you your throttled nerves and make you sleepy (for a moment), but ultimately you’ll get more dehydrated and feel more depleted the more you imbibe.
Salty snacks, soft drinks and coffee are also dehydrating. Just the stuff they love to serve on flights. Make water your beverage of choice.
4. Move your body. Whenever I arrive in a new destination, the first thing I do is go for a long, long walk. This is an ideal time to go on foot in search of a new restaurant or market to get some nourishment.
5. Stay up until bedtime in your new location. No matter how little you slept en route, or how many time zones you crossed. Bring your industrial strength ear plugs and a sleep mask and go to bed at the new bedtime in your new time zone.
Because I took a red-eye overnight flight to Oaxaca from San Francisco, this meant I essentially missed a whole night of sleep on the way. When I arrived in Oaxaca at lunchtime, it was time to eat, and then find a way to stay awake until at least nine p.m.
After lunch and lots of hydrating, I took my long walk across town to a favorite natural foods store, and then zig-zagged through town just to see what’s new and different since I left last April. This kept me awake and occupied until an early dinner of soup, mexican hot chocolate and guacamole, another long walk, some unpacking, and a call to RocketMan, until I reached my goal of staying awake.
If you are going to a place with a different altitude, these tips will help with that as well.
I just went from sea level to 7,000 feet in Mexico City. Oaxaca City is a mile high city like Denver. Adjusting to altitude is something that goes a lot more quickly if I follow my jet lag plan.
How about you?
Tips for jet lag?
Questions or ponderings about planning a life with big goals and dreams while pursuing good detours and mysterious callings of the soul?