Make your holiday last longer

There’s a common theory that, for retirees, every day is a weekend. That may be true for many older Australians, but that doesn’t necessarily make every day a holiday.

Let’s face it, we probably all wish that every day was a holiday.

It sometimes seems that when we take a trip it’s over before it starts. They just go too fast, don’t they? Well, according to neuroscientist David Eagleman, a professor at Stanford University and the author of The Brain: The Story of You, there is a way to make your time feel as if it passed slower.

Seems that you can make your holiday, or any other day, feel as though it lasts longer by doing new things or, to be more precise, to seek out newness.

Think of your brain as a hard drive. If you spend two weeks going through the same routine or just being bored, your brain doesn’t require much space in which to store the memory of that time. In other words, that two weeks will take up very little ‘brain data’. So, when you look back on that period it will feel as if little time had passed, or like all those days blended into one.

When you seek newness, your brain needs more space in which to store those memories. New settings and new activities make your brain feel that time passed more slowly because it was focused on collecting this unfamiliar information into a memory. So, when you look back on that two weeks, it will feel as if the time taken to do all those things passed much slower, or took longer.

“When you go and experience something novel, [time] seems to have lasted longer,” said Prof Eagleman.

“When you’re a kid, everything is novel and you’re laying down new memories about it. So, when you look back at the end of a childhood summer, it seems to have taken a long time because you remember this and that, this new thing, learning that, experiencing that. But when you’re older, you’ve sort of seen all the patterns before.”

To make your holiday feel as if it lasted longer, then milk every second from each hour, and seek new experiences. Do new things, eat foods you haven’t tried before, visit places you’ve never seen. Even when staying inside, read a new book instead of one you’ve already read.

You can either be bored and make it feel like time drags on, but in hindsight, feel like that period was wasted and barely memorable.

Or you can live in the moment and try new things. At that point, it may feel as if time is flying, but when you look back, it will feel as if it was time well spent.

And you’ll be more refreshed and your holiday will be packed with fond memories worth revelling in.

Read more at www.nymag.com

How do you make time pass? Do you have any tips to make your holiday last longer?

Related articles:
How to holiday at home
Home projects for the holidays
Are you ruining your holiday?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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