Thursday, April 27, 2017

Too much sun

I am back from my trip to Hawaii.  It was a trip with many firsts involved.  My first time off of continental North America, Pinkie Pie's first time leaving Ontario, my first time doing proper snorkelling in fish filled waters, and even my first experience with jet lag.

It is funny sometimes to talk to people about travel, and have them assume that everyone is familiar with how jet lag feels.  Up till now the largest time difference I can recall being involved in a flight of mine is merely 1 hour, not enough to even notice.  Hawaii is six hours off though, so it should have had quite the impact.  That didn't end up being the case particularly, as I adjusted both ways quite easily.  I felt it though, a little at least, and now I know what that experience is like.  Before I felt a little out of place responding to some comment about jet lag with "no, in fact I don't know, because I have never experienced it" and having the whole room stare at me like I had grown horns.

There is an assumption about travel that a lot of people make, namely that if you don't travel immense distances you must hate travelling for some reason.  I am not the most wanderlust filled person around, that much is clear, but my reasons for not travelling have generally been financial and environmental, not so much a hatred of travelling itself.  I struggle with the cost of long trips and the environmental cost of travel really gets to me.  I find it hard to square my desire for a low impact life and the almost vulgar cost of flying a quarter of the way around the globe for entertainment.

Those things make for awkward conversations.  I find that people love to go on about how wonderful travel is, but they can rarely justify it from an environmental standpoint.  Certainly they can justify the monetary cost, and honestly the price often seems absurdly low... it is just my money demon that makes it hard for me and I know that is irrational.  But the cost in waste and carbon that comes with long distance travel people just ignore, and I find I have to do the same.  When I consider it I find I have to simply ignore it and accept the cognitive dissonance; my other choice is to never travel and I don't like that option either.

However, other people also seem to actually like the travelling part.  They talk about liking being on planes.  I find the concept quite ridiculous as to me planes are constantly uncomfortable leaving my legs in a perpetual state of pain and strain.  I can't rest, I can't sleep, I can't relax.  Being tall is generally a good thing, but not on a bloody plane.

Not in economy class, at any rate, and I can't see myself in the rich person seats.

All that aside the trip itself was great.  I took a snorkel tour to a partly submerged volcanic caldera, swam around with schools of fish, got to watch a group of three sea turtles eating off of a reef from a distance of just three meters, and spent a ton of time in the sun.

Too much time in the sun really since I got myself a savage sunburn, probably the worst I have ever had.  It wasn't as though I ignored the danger, as I applied sunscreen three times and wore a sunshirt for much of the day, but it turns out going from Toronto winter/spring to Hawaii and then spending six hours on a beach was too much for my skin to cope with.  Thankfully the pain was not enough to stop me doing all the things, and was merely extremely unpleasant.

I don't know that I will go back to Hawaii.  It was a fine place to have gone, and now I know the best way to spend your time on Maui, but I think I lean towards staying closer to home for a variety of reasons.  Bloody airplane seats being built for midgets being the big one, for sure.


  1. I've never looked into it (mostly because I think I've only flown twice of my own accord) but what is the cost difference between first class and economy? I fit just fine in an airplane seat so I wouldn't care, but for someone tall like you it should be at least worth looking into the price increase for the big increase in comfort?

    1. Hundreds of dollars in each direction. I can't see myself paying $50 an hour to increase my comfort, at least not in my current circumstances.

  2. Quick note - Maui is different from the Big Island. The Big Island was amazing for us with the volcano and forests.

    Not saying it justifies going all the way back though. But that's part of the art of travelling, if you're going that far, do everything so you don't have to go back.