The Idea Of Rubber Time: How Traveling Will Help You To Live Longer

The concept of time, and particularly the evasive passing of time, has always frightened me beyond measures. It’s a self-defeating fear, really, since fearing the ticking of time only makes its quick passing that much more noticeable and devastating.

If you, too, have this fear, you’ll be ecstatic to know that I’ve discovered the cure. It’s a lovely cure, with little side-effects or risks, and one that has many benefits, as well. It might also just be the only remedy ever invented that offers the benefit of "the life you’ve always dreamed of."

The cure for living longer, or at least perceiving a longer life, is really quite simple.

If you’re familiar with the Indonesian concept of time, which is literally translated to “rubber time,” then you likely agree that no two minutes are the same in length.

Time is nothing more than a flexible, malleable thing that can be altered at one’s own wishes, in harmony with one’s own desires. If the Indonesians are right, then the length and experience of time is dependent upon one’s surroundings, perception and interactions.

As I experienced more cultures, places and people around the world, this aspect of rubber time only became more apparent to me.

By the time I had visited Italy, a very short trip of just three days, the malleable aspect and the illusion of time was undeniable. My three days in Italy, in which I explored Milan and Florence, somehow felt significantly longer.

I returned back to London feeling as if I had been gone for weeks. How could three days stretch out and seemingly encompass two weeks of my life? Had I miscalculated something? Was I in some kind of a time warp?

No, I realized I had just discovered an incredible cure for slowing down time, and in the process, ridding myself of my fear of the elusive, slippery entity.

The cure, my friends, is travel.

As if to further prove this claim, my two months in London – in retrospect – feels like it spanned ages. I feel I’ve aged three or four years in these weeks, and I even catch myself thinking, acting and behaving in ways that would support my argument.

I’ve gained three years in a period of just two months. More accurately, I’ve expanded or extended my lifetime by three years, without adding any wrinkles (or so I hope).

As it turns out, my experiences which have led me to make these claims are not the first of their kind, either. The phenomenon of time slowing while traveling is backed up by science, too.

Simply put, the more we expose our brains to new atmospheres, the more they must go on overdrive and develop acute awareness in order to process all of the new information: the sights, the smells, the language, the culture and the customs.

Since these pieces of information are all new to our brains, we naturally process the information slower, which, in turn, slows down life itself – or at least our experience of life. And since perception is everything when it comes to life, I see no reason why we can’t logically leverage our love for travel to curb our fear of time.

If monotony is the cause, then excitement and new surroundings are definitely the cure, which, if nothing more, is an incredibly good excuse to get out of the office and book that trip already.

Photo via We Heart It