I left Beijing on Monday morning and spent the day travelling home. Since then I’ve been fighting the worst jetlag I’ve ever experienced.
It’s taken me until today – Friday – to even feel remotely like a normal person. At any point this week where I was able to relax I ended up falling asleep, on one occasion in between sentences in a conversation with my flat-mate.
I’ve travelled a lot in my life and I don’t remember jetlag ever being this bad. It could simply be because I’ve been on the road and working long hours with the day job, every day for over a month.
It’s possible that now I have some downtime my body is just forcing me to recuperate. At this time of year I usually just fight through whatever jetlag I should have because I have to go to another event and there’s no time to stop and sleep for a few days.
Whatever the reason it’s been a little inconvenient this week because I had a bunch of things I wanted to get going but never really managed. It’s going to make my weekend busier than I’d initially planned.
Final Thoughts on Beijing
I’ve been thinking about my trip to Beijing since I got home and how it differed from the first time I was there.
I got to explore a little more of the city this time, and experience things I simply never had any time for in my first trip. I got so explore some of the parks and temples. I got to spend time with my friends that I don’t see all that often.
The one thing that was significantly worse this time around was the air pollution. The first week of the trip the air was so bad that breathing was difficult after being outside for more than a few minutes. Even though I had more free time I didn’t want to go outside. Not only would it be tough to breath, all my clothes carried this feeling of grime and a smell of smog for days afterwards. It was not a pleasant experience.
On the last weekend the smog had completely cleared up, I assume they’d closed all the factories, and it was blue skies and sunshine for the last few days of the trip. It was great and we all took every opportunity we could to go outside.
The difference in the air quality was stunning and when the sky is clear Beijing is a beautiful city. Unfortunately, that isn’t something that happens all that often and my original opinion of Beijing still holds. It was nice to visit, but I couldn’t live there and I really don’t have any intention of going back if I can help it.
Overall, it was a fun month or so in Asia. My next trip with the day job takes me to Canada in a few weeks which is a completely different experience, but one I’m looking forward to. Until then I have an Italy trip in the summer to plan.
Photos © Christopher Hamilton