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

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    BestBetter's Avatar
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    why does going to a place seem longer than returning from it?

    Primal Fuel
    Silly topic that has nothing to do with primal living...or does it?

    Just wondering if other people experience this. Doesn't matter whether it's walking, driving, riding on a train...it always seems to take so much less time to return home than it took to get to the place. It seems to be more pronounced when the destination is an unfamiliar place.

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    SarahW's Avatar
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    I've noticed this too.

    My best guess is that it has something to do with stress. Even with my GPS up, I'm still ticking down the miles till I have to turn, trying to read the road signs to make sure I'm turning at the right place, and dealing with unfamiliar traffic patterns (is this a turn only lane!?!).

    On the way back I can go, "oh, this road takes me straight to the highway" and take the GPS down and cruise with half my brain.

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    Anticipation?

    You anticipate what is going to occur (whether it's good or bad) and that makes you think about it more. The anticipation might provide a sort of psychological illusion that the journey taking longer than it really is.

    And on the way home, the anticipation is over and the journey speeds along without the psychological illusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumroll View Post
    Anticipation?

    You anticipate what is going to occur (whether it's good or bad) and that makes you think about it more. The anticipation might provide a sort of psychological illusion that the journey taking longer than it really is.

    And on the way home, the anticipation is over and the journey speeds along without the psychological illusion.
    +1

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    I find it's always the other way around. So much longer to get home than to go somewhere. I think it's because it's exciting to go somewhere. An adventure.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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    I get your OP, but with me it is variable - sometimes it is just the opposite, because I am chatting away in the car with the kids (SAHM) and that makes my trip seem considerably shorter, but on the return trip we all are tired from a day out at sports and lessons and shopping and all, and those miles home seem to stretch out like that hallway scene from the Poltergeist flicks.

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    Anticipation and learning, really. When you're going someplace you've never been before, you're trying to learn your way to someplace new, a state in which you become more aware of the passage of time. A lot of the same chemicals are released as those when you enter a state of fight or flight. When you are no longer looking for something, you're more easily distracted and the passage of time seems quicker.

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    Also, when you're going to a place you've never been, everything's new - it's unfamiliar the whole time. On the way back, you'll reach familiar territory within an hour or so of getting home, so your brain thinks you've been home for a while before you actually get there.

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    Heh I've always noticed it takes me longer to get to work than it does to get home from work... despite the fact I'm in heavier traffic returning from work and almost none going to work and traveling the exact same route heh. I think it's just dread and celebration.
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    Opposite here as well. I was just noticing that on Thursday when I took a day trip with a friend to St. Louis from Nashville. The ride home took FOREVER.

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