The maple life The maple life

Travel tip #1: Learn to love jet lag

Almost ten hours flight from the UK and eight hours behind in time, jet lag is an inevitable part of any trip to Vancouver from Britain. After two days of 4.30am wake-ups, I decided that as an alternative to lying in bed, furious and unable to sleep, I’d try and turn this bitter lemon of an experience into lemonade instead.

Getting up and heading out before the sun has poked its head above the horizon always brings back memories of childhood holidays. We’d set off in the dark, bundled in our pajamas into the back of the car, sleepy and confused. The journey’s motion would inevitably lull us back to sleep again and waking on the back seat, far from home, seemed like one of the most exciting feelings in the world. This time I decided to spare any of my insomniac new neighbours my pajamas. Instead I dressed in layers to stay warm in the chill of the night and headed out into the dark, my excited dog at my heels.


Good morning, Vancouver

I’d Googled late night/early morning cafes and there was a 24-hour bagel place just ten minutes walk away. Siegel’s make Montreal-style bagels, which are boiled and then baked in a wood-burning oven, to make satisfyingly chewy-on-the-inside and crisp-on-the-outside bagels. Coming from the UK, where I’d be lucky to find perhaps 5 different varieties of bagel, to discover a great 24-hour place that had 21 different kinds had me gurgling with delight. I went for the Rosemary and Rock Salt breakfast bagel special: eggs and cheese with coffee – just $4.75 – bargain.

I stowed my freshly-made and wrapped breakfast in my bag. Freddie and I trotted down to the beach, me to feast on my bagel (just as good as I’d hoped), him to sniff out all those exciting new smells. Slowly the sun appeared and I watched it rise, the rays twinkling on the high-rises, turning Vancouver into the golden glittering city of my dreams. There I was, on a sandy beach, sitting on a driftwood log, full of hot coffee and eggy-cheesy herb-y fresh bagels, watching dazzling nature meet stunning architecture to create something new and wonderful.


Because everything's better with a bagel...

This wasn’t suffering from jet lag, this was a precious moment that I’d never have experienced without it. I vowed next time I couldn’t sleep, I’d do the same; not waste time fuming at my lack of shuteye, but seek out something to make me feel lucky to be alive. Preferably with a decent bagel to hand…

Keep exploring Canada 

8 Discussions on
“Travel tip #1: Learn to love jet lag”
  • ouch – having flown back to Seattle many times I’m fully aware of that 4:30 am wake up due to jet lag. But, I kind of love it for a bit as well – it gives me several hours quiet time that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise on a holiday filled with visiting some many friends, staying with people and catching up with my old life there. Anyway, sounds like you had a fabulous start to the day thanks to the jetlag. Looking forward to more of the blog!

  • I found this blog through @Keep_Exploring on Twitter. I’m making the move in 2013 with my girlfriend and will be keeping an eye on your blog for a taste of what to expect :) It looks like you’re enjoying things already.

    • Thanks Nick! I cannot recommend it enough. Leaving was hard and painful, but being here is just wonderful so far. I love it.

  • You should definitely check out Deep Cove, it’s a gem. It’s in the very east of North Vancouver, can go kayaking, swimming, etc. Plus- it just looks awesome! It’s also a pretty easy bus trip from Downtown

  • Hi, thanks for the tips, we’re in the process of applying for immigration as my husband has a job out in Vancouver Island. I am so worried about leaving my mother but I can see you’re really enjoying Vancouver. I look at our trip as a day away from the uk! Dreading the jet lag with two kids in tow.

    • Charlotte, I love it. I think, yes – just see it as 12 hours from home. Skype is already making such a difference and I’ve loved ‘showing my friends around’ through it. Jet lag + two kids = a couple of days of weird meal times and odd walks! You’ll be fine.

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