Adjusting to Taipei Time: Overcoming Jet Lag and Embracing New Experiences on Day 1

We landed in Taipei at 6:30 p.m. local time after an almost 20-hour journey that included two flights, one six and the other nearly fourteen. On the flight, we talked about overcoming jet lag in Taipei by fighting sleep on the flight to adjust our sleep pattern, but that wasn’t too realistic for either of us. How many movies can anyone watch without their eyes burning with exhaustion? We gave in to sleep.

My first day in Taipei began at an odd hour, 1 a.m. local time, which sent me into a whirlwind of physical and mental adjustments. I wanted to succumb to sleep to force my internal clock to reset, but I found myself wide awake because my body understood it was 1 p.m., and I wanted to work.

It was clear to me that overcoming jet lag would be a challenge. But Rather than fighting the inevitable wakefulness, I immersed myself in reading, switching from insightful historical articles about Japan to losing myself in the narrative of “The Storyteller of Casablanca.” Before I knew it, it was 4 a.m., and knowing that the city of Taipei lay outside, I tried to get some sleep.

At that point, the question arose: “What will my first day in Taipei look like with no sleep?” But as dawn approached, I embraced the day ahead, bringing the gentle light that signifies a new day. I never fell back to sleep, so the fatigue was immense. My typical day in New Jersey starts at 5 a.m., so I embraced my morning even though I was 12 hours off in the time zone.

While my husband slept, I made the coffee, set up my laptop, and started working, which felt grounding. In silence, I started to appreciate my surroundings, another adjustment I was dealing with during the night since I had plenty of time to contemplate our concrete and paper palace. My brain kept jumping around the unfamiliar details like bamboo doors, paneling, and low beds. I anticipated this when searching on Airbnb months ago. I searched for something with Western decor and lots of natural light, but none existed at our price point.

What Will Day 1 In Taipei Look Like with No Sleep?

Overcoming Simplifying the Experiences

Once my husband got up, we assessed each other’s energy and decided to keep our day simple to accommodate our limited bandwidth—a morning walk to the Dalongdong Baoan Temple. The temple experience was nothing short of perfect for day one. The chants of the Buddhist monks enveloped us, resonating deeply within, offering a sense of peace and grounding that was much needed for both of us.

overcoming jet lag in taipei. photo of temple sign.

While photos are allowed in the temple, even taking a few with my phone (which was all I had on me at the time) was distracting from the beauty, so this is all I got once I exited the temple—just to mark my day 1 visit.

The reality of jet lag is also why the photos on this post are what they are, shitty. It was all I could manage on the extreme physical fatigue and pervasive grogginess that overshadowed our walk. My husband, who was in better shape, was in charge of thinking. I just had to follow.

overoming jet lag in taipei. photo of temple orchids

Overcoming Jet Lag in Taipei with Soup

Recognizing the importance of self-care, especially when adapting to a new time zone, we hauled ourselves home on the metro, which was super easy to navigate. We ducked into our apartment for a short stop and then headed to indulge in a nourishing lunch at a local eatery famed for its soup and roast pork buns, Lan Jia Gua Bao. The meal was delightful and comforting. It was weird having soup on such a hot day the broth was so good to my soul.

Overcoming Jet Lag in Taipei by Letting Go

Our energy waned, leading us to the inevitable—a brisk walk back to our apartment to succumb to a long nap and pause to allow us to recalibrate our bodies and minds to our new environment and everything else that comes with it.

It was clear that we had planned our trip well. Taipei could wait a day; we were here for a month, ready to explore, learn, and grow, but first, we had to let our bodies adjust. Good night or good morning, whatever, we were out.

About Angela Acosta & the Atelier

Based in New Jersey, Angela Acosta specializes in personal branding and portrait photography for women business owners and professionals in New York and the tri-state area. She expertly channels brand narratives through tailored images, offering insights on wardrobe and styling to ensure authenticity. With a deep commitment to capturing the essence of each client, Angela transforms branding with impactful photographs that resonate and inspire. Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.