Jet lag makes you feel miserable. Your body and mind function like separate people; one is exhausted and wants to stay in and watch Netflix, the other is ready to head out to see the sites or enjoy the night life. The result is a hazy, achy, unsettling feeling and makes everyone in the family ornery at best.
When traveling with others, there is the added quirk of everyone exhibiting their jet lag differently. Some are super human for the first few days and then crash after everyone else has recovered. Some take days to recover, never seeming to fully acclimate to the new time zone.
Our trip from Singapore to Copenhagen had the added adventure of a drastic change in the amount of daylight. Singapore, in a word, is consistent. The people, the structure, the landscape, the weather, and the rising and setting of the sun are consistent all year. The sun rises at about 7:00 am and sets about 7:00 pm every single day of the year since it’s just about 88 miles to the equator. By arriving in Copenhagen during the summer, this exacerbated our jet lag by adding a layer of confusion. We’re ready for bed and it’s still bright and sunny; and when we wake up too early, its still bright and sunny.
So, on day two of our arrival, we headed back to our Airbnb early since we knew the kids would be tired. The rooms we were staying in–rented to us by a Dane named Henrick–also had a trampoline in the backyard. This was just not something that I looked for in my rental criteria, it’s was just a bonus amenity (or possibly a detracting factor if you just aren’t into trampolines.) The kids spotted it when we first arrived and despite being exhausted, they begged to go out and try it.
We arrived back home at 4:00 pm. expecting the kids to look at us bleary-eyed and tumble into bed. But they perked up at the sight of the trampoline and headed out to jump. Even though I was in bed struggling to keep my eyes open at 7:00 pm, they stayed out and jumped for four hours, with a brief break for dinner, before we had to call them in and force them into bed. Ditto for the following morning; they were up and awake by 6:30 am, begging to go out and jump. From 7:00 am until lunchtime, they jumped. This also included a few rounds of slow-motion videos to record epic as well as non-epic jumps. Jet lag conquered, for the kids at least.
The topic of trampolines leads me to share how well the Danes are at creating playgrounds. We stumbled upon a few yesterday, and they are fantastic. They are simplistic in design and make use of natural materials like wood and stones. The are a refreshing break from the overly protective and plastic made playgrounds we used in America, and the always in repair structures in Singapore. This also makes them more challenging for the kids and also pretty fun for adults.
They are also relaxing and pleasing to the eye, snuggled right into the landscape as if they grew there naturally. Things like trampolines were tucked in the ground into manufactured undulating green hills (since Denmark is remarkably flat) and ninja-warrior-type courses were laid out using large timber over a bed of deep, fish-tank sized pebbles which made for a surprisingly soft landing for falls.