Author Adam Sachs argues that jet lag is overrated as an explanation for feelings of displacement:
With 24/7 media overstimulation coming at me from every corner of the planet, do I really need a jet to throw me off my sleep schedule? Trust me, you can forget what day it is even without a passport.
And why do we insist on blaming the flying itself? Sit me upright in an easy chair for 13 hours, replay the Bourne trilogy three times, ply me with gin-and-tonics and let me doze off with my chin tucked into my clavicle…. I’m pretty sure I’d wake up feeling weird without ever leaving my living room.
The main thing, though, is this: Tokyo is really far away from New York. Thousands-and-thousands-of-miles far away. Around-the-bend, other-side-of-the-world far away. And when I get there—when I finally arrive and somehow restlessly fumble my way out of Narita and into that big, overwhelming city—I experience the rush of displacement all over again.