August 22, 2014

A Philadelphia Layover

I can still remember all 7 times I've crossed the Atlantic into Europe. I just stay longer than most Americans.

The first two times (2001 & 2011), I was a part of volleyball tour groups with agendas and activities to drag the jetlag out of us. The fourth time I came back in the midst of volleyball season; I had to knuckle down and get back on track sooner than possible - I had a match the next afternoon.

But the other four times have been my August re-entry dates, always with a few extra days planned for adapting to the 9-hour time difference. [Read: an entire week as a zombie who naps from 11am to 7pm.]

This year I finally beat jetlag at its own game.

I had a wild itinerary this summer, going Barcelona to Sacramento, then returning LA to Amsterdam (the day after getting back from Alaska, of course). Because of my bizarre schedule, I decided to go even more extreme, and opted for the nine-hour layover in Philadelphia on my way back.

And it worked.

Not only was it my first time in the city, but I was also thrilled to hang out with my sister-in-law, Alex, who made the drive up from DC, and my inner time zone gracefully arrived on the East Coast.

We had a late lunch at Reading Terminal Market, which translated to what would have been dinner in Europe. I skipped the dinner on the plane, having already adjusted my watch to EU's midnight, and went to sleep. In a strange way, our plane sitting on the tarmac for an hour and a half before take off (Philadelphia might want to look into building enough runways for scheduled planes...) only helped my cause, giving me a total of 8 1/2 hours of downtime before landing in Holland.

I was still wary of my potential energy crash after Cat picked me up from the Schiphol Airport...but it never came. I unpacked my stuff. I took a shower. I watched a movie. I ate dinner. (Don't you wish my blog always read like this?) And I made it all the way to 7:30pm without ever nodding off or laying down to recover!

I thought maybe the time change hangover would sneak up on me later...but it never did. I feel great, and I'm ready to start my season next week!

Moral of the story: Embrace the layover! If you struggle with jetlag and/or time change, find a cool city to touch down in and stay awhile. The layover is a free day trip to anywhere you want to go along the way to your destination! 

The layover is your friend.


  1. I always want long layovers, but I don't usually find ones longer than a few hours and to me that's okay 'cause I'm always anxious to get to the next destination. But I definitely would embrace a long layover and explore a city if I could!

    1. Hi Yvonne! I've been wanting to try the Iceland Air layovers - you should check them out! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Sounds like a great layover! I love having the chance to see a new place from a quick layover, no matter how little time you have :)
    - Marcella

    1. Hi Marcelle! It was really was a lot of fun and a really cool opportunity! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  3. I love a layover! I agree, it's the answer to beating jet lag. Sounds like you had a great one.

    1. Thanks, Rachel! Layovers are totally the best solution! We know best... :)


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