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Day 230: Just Like That… It’s Over

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Day 230: Another Day Done

Day 230: Another Day Done

You take your time carefully saving and planning for every aspect of a journey; you apply for your visas weeks in advance. Every moment of freedom is longed for… for… days? weeks? months? YEARS? And then, suddenly, it’s over.

In the grand scheme of things, I haven’t really had this hit me too hard with my travels mainly because my travels have always been more of an open journey. I spent two months in Central America, returned home for a month, and even though I was sad that the leg was over, I knew I was going somewhere else (In other words: I didn’t dwell too much on the past, and focused on the future). This pattern has continued since 2007, so my trip in particular is very much different from those who plan, plan, plan for that ONE year out to suddenly find themselves post trip in a glass cage of emotion. Yes, I may find myself stagnant in Australia, but even that expat life is like a new and strange journey that has me wondering what’s next.

For Patrick, however, it’s been different. He’s back in the 9-5 (well 9-7) grind, talking about how he feels the recent trips to the USA and Malaysia didn’t even happen. They feel more than ages ago; they are a blur. A moment of time that only exists to us because we remind ourselves that it did.

moving faster

Time is always moving faster.

Remember when you were a kid and the days and nights lasted forever. School holidays were massive events, and weekends… they always felt like they were long enough. As you get older, though, time changes. Nowadays, we are always at a loss for time as we’re reading books on how to better manage time and using planners for scheduling in even the tiniest of events. It’s a struggle I face, constantly, because my mind will never stop producing “wants” that I just don’t have time for.

like a flash

Like a flash...

With travel, too, time zips by. A week is the same as a year; suddenly one month in Australia turns into 36, and we just say, “Wow, where did time go?”

Until I am measured
I am not known,
Yet how you miss me
When I have flown.

Time. It’s like the sneakiest, and richest, thief. It steals our youth, our emotions, our memories and our travel freedom and glory. I cannot say that I am happy with how it all works, but I guess I’m stuck with it since I have yet to find a way of stopping time.

slow black and white

Want to stop time.

How do you deal with time? How do you make the travel moments last longer?

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5 Responses to Day 230: Just Like That… It’s Over

  1. Kelly August 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm #

    I feel the exact same way as Patrick does, particularly when my trips are shorter than two weeks. At the end, I look back and don’t know where the time went. I know I went on a trip (I have the sore muscles to prove it!), but I feel as if it went by as fast as a blink of an eye. Sometimes even longer trips (3 years living in Japan) almost feel like a dream rather than reality.

    To remind myself that I went on the trip and what I got out of it, I keep in contact with the friends I made and look at the photos I took. Sometimes it’s easy to take photos and then never look at them again!

  2. laryssa August 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    You’re right — the clock IS a thief.

    It seems contentment is illusive in a similar way as time – we think once we achieve one moment or one dream, we’ll be satisfied, but in reality, we’re constantly chasing the unattainable– unless we find joy in every day, and not attach happiness to one distant thing/event/trip. Maybe that’s why we lose track of time? Always reaching for the next moment, not living in the here and now?

    Anyways, not to get TOO philosophical, haha.
    Making friends along the trip and staying in touch long afterwards reminds me it was real.

  3. Katina August 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    I never stop thinking about it. It’s only been two weeks since my latest return home and it feels like forever, but it’s always on my mind. Catching up on missed diary entries is a sure-fire way of keeping the memories real. There always seems to be periods that you can’t keep up with it! Photos help jog the brain.

    Having said that, I’ve been slack this time around and haven’t opened it since the day I got back. That’s because of another way that can make travel moments longer – get a job that you have to move halfway across the country for like I somehow just did…

  4. Chris August 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Whoa. This was such a profound read. Sad too. The flow of time is something I tend to dwell upon too much sometimes.

    But every trip that is over puts me a bit closer to the next one 🙂

  5. bethany August 30, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Time is such a bitch. Sometimes you can hold hands with her, hang out like best friends. Other times she’s slow as molasses and then most of the time she goes too freaking fast. I guess she’s a girl that knows her worth because she doesn’t wait around – for anyone. I know what you mean, I think back on where I was this time last year and I can’t believe another year has gone by. It’s crazy – an entire year! I think to keep remembering things you have to keep recreating some sort of feeling you felt during particular moments. For me, photos work really well because they bring me right back to not only a place and time but a very specific moment of how I felt. But other than that I really think you need to find what that little special piece of life was that you felt and then try to find a way to recreate a similar feeling in a new way. Then you keep feeling it and remembering it. I think Patrick needs another trip! 🙂

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