How to slow time down

We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.   ― Pico Iyer

infinity clockYou know how when you were little, cookies took a year to bake. The time between when you got hungry and when you got food was at least a week. A lifetime passed before Christmas would. Summer was always at least an eternity away.  And a driver’s licence…you couldn’t even conceive of the length of time before you could get one of those. Then life happens and the older folk find that time is just flying by!

I heard a really interesting theory when I was traveling.

I kept a journal of where I went and what I did on the trip. It didn’t have to be anything super exciting, maybe just a little note about the couple I met on the train, a place I found myself when I was completely lost, watching the sunset from a new horizon. And at the end of that trip, I could have written a whole book!

In this past month, I’ve done enough noteworthy things to fill a post-it. No wonder Year-End Newsletter’s are phasing out: it takes an entire family to come up with enough interesting to fill a short letter.

postcardsIt doesn’t make any logical sense, but somehow the 2 week trip you took provided you with more memories than the rest of the year. Even though while you are physically sitting in traffic it seems that it will never end, looking back the two weeks will feel longer than the other 50.

The idea is that by experiencing new things you slow time down. Routine speeds time up.

This makes sense when applied to the young and old. For children, every experience is a new experience. Older people have already experienced so much and have established a nice routine for themselves.

Ah to be a young fool.

The good traveler

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. – Lao Tzu

Yesterday I had fixed plans to publish my post on time, but being the good traveler that I am…this did not happen. And I thought This is just the moment to talk to you about “Italy Time”.

At UC Berkeley, when the class is listed as starting at 10am, it actually starts at 10:10. This is called Berkeley Time. Italy time is much less precise.

Italian-Swiss trainItalian public transportation is notorious for running late. They have a schedule of arrivals and departures but people rarely consult them because everything runs so late. If you are really lucky, you drivers or conductors will go on strike that day. This happens fairly often.

It’s easy to tell when you’ve crossed over into Switzerland.

This can be really frustrating, but its also kind of endearing I think. It gives character! Even in this small city I’m in now (San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily), kids rejoice when the bus drivers go on strike and they don’t have to go to school. Those kind of experiences are pretty cool. Like snow days. For the rest of the US snow days probably aren’t received so affectionately, but to this California girl, it sounds like a sweet deal.

Italian public transit epitomizes today’s quote–even if you have fixed plans, sometimes you just aren’t going to get where you thought you were going. “Travel” is just the word in an ancient language for “Planning is futile”.