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why does going to a place seem longer than returning from it?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by sjmc View Post
    I googled it and apparently the "return trip effect" is a very real and highly studied thing!
    Wow! That shocks me, I always thought it was just some weirdo thing I experienced. I can't believe it's actually been studied.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
      And tired. On the way home I often just want to get in and go to bed, which seems very, very far away.
      Same here.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Blackcatbone View Post
        And tired. On the way home I often just want to get in and go to bed, which seems very, very far away.
        This... Trips home are always longer to me.
        I just want to be back in my own home and it's taking way too long, and that makes it feel even longer.
        Kind of like how you need to pee even worse the closer you get to a bathroom... and needing to pee makes the 14 miles to the rest area seem like ETERNITY, when normally you wouldn't even notice 14 miles out of 800 or so that might fly by out the car windows.
        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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        • #19
          The return trip is anticipation and exhaustion, sometimes. You're thinking about getting home and relaxing. You're tired and just want to get back home. It makes you experience time differently. For me, I get excited about going to a place. I don't get excited going home. My drive back is filled with thoughts of what I just did and the place from which I'm coming.

          For those that may experience a longer time getting home, what are your thoughts on the return trip? Are they filled with what you just did, or are they filled with what you need/want to do when you get home?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by vtphoenix View Post
            For those that may experience a longer time getting home, what are your thoughts on the return trip? Are they filled with what you just did, or are they filled with what you need/want to do when you get home?
            The trip home is always shorter for me. What doesn't make sense is that I get fatigued from social interactions/going out even though I really enjoy them. So usually, when I'm leaving an event, I'm feeling really tired and looking forward to getting home and relaxing.

            You'd think this would make the drive home longer for me, based on what others have said, but I have the opposite effect. Maybe it's this way for me because even though I'm tired, I also tend to overanalyze and re-live experiences, so maybe that's what's happening in my head, which then distorts my sense of time.

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            • #21
              I think it's the way our brains deal with novelty. I also think this is why a period of time seems so much longer when you're little than when you're grown up.
              The Champagne of Beards

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              • #22
                To the extent my subjective time perception skews during a journey, it skews towards perceiving the return as taking longer than the departure.

                The funny extreme comes from my Alaska vacation of a year or two ago. The trip to AK involved a long flight to Calgary and about 2 weeks of driving through Canada and AK. The trip back was by air from Anchorage and even with the delays, busted connections, and so on it only took about 30 hours from entering the Anchorage airport to unlocking my front door.... but subjectively the return seemed to take far longer than the trip out.

                Usually my perceptions are just about dead on though. I know my drive to work in the morning is going to take about half an hour, and my drive home in the evening will take about an hour, and my perception matches that reality.

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