If you are like me, you probably make more or less the same New Year resolutions every January, just to realize in December that you haven’t achieved your goals. But are your New Year resolutions fun, like going on a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James, learning to ride a horse or to ski dive, or are they the ever boring losing weight resolutions? How about slowing down time?
As we grow older, we all start complaining about how fast time goes by. The subjective feeling that time is speeding up is completely normal. As children, our minds take in so many new impressions and perceptions as we experience the world for the very first time, and everything is fresh, bright and exciting. But as we get older, we have fewer new experiences, we start to ‘switch off’ to the realness of the world, as it becomes more familiar to us. As a result, our minds take in fewer impressions, and so time seems to pass more quickly.
There’s no magic trick to it. If you want to make time pass slower for you, bring some new experience into your life. Learn something new, meet new people, TRAVEL to new and unfamiliar places! Don’t stick to the same destination year after year. Anything from taking the pulse of the Jaco home rentals to sleeping in an ice hotel, from trekking around India to diving in the Red Sea would do as long as you make it memorable. Be a traveler, not a tourist! The more adventures you have and the more unfamiliar the place, the longer lasting the memories you build and the slower the time will seem to pass by.
Don’t Plan It (too much)
Have you ever wanted to do something, planned it into the smallest detail, even started doing it, then stopped in the middle of it all, just because it didn’t seem so much fun as you imagined it in the first place? Then you’ve experienced the ‘model railroader syndrome’. What? Another disorder? No, it’s just the ability to see the completed project in your mind so clearly that you don’t actually have to do it. No, laziness doesn’t (usually) have anything to do with it. It’s just that because you’ve seen it all so clearly in your mind, you don’t feel motivated to do it anymore. It’s the same with planning a trip.
Obviously you need to know where you’ve going, what activities you would like to try while there, and do your homework on the possible dangers and health issues you might face. Nobody wants to fly half way around the world just to wander aimlessly or suffer. But don’t over plan it! Don’t look at every photo of your destination you can find on Google. Reality can hardly beat HDR and you might end up not only bored, but also disappointed.
Be like Nike, “Just do it!”. Don’t over think it. Just enjoy it. Learn from every experience and from every person you encounter in your journeys. There are a myriad of life skills to learn while on the road, from being more tolerant to strangers to learning a new language. You can always find lots of reasons to travel for.
One way to ensure you will remember both your adventures and misadventures well into the old age is by repeatedly telling others your stories. The other way is by keeping an online or offline diary while on the road. Write down your feelings, your impressions, your thoughts on each place you visit. Working with your memories makes them stronger and harder to forget, while replaying a moment in your head can bring you almost as much joy as living it a second time. There’s no wrong way to go when putting down on paper your life and as years pass by you will greatly enjoy reading your own writing. There is much to gain from rereading your journal entries; not to mention that a dairy is one of the most intriguing and precious things you can leave to your grandchildren.