May 2008

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Comments

Tim

I read somewhere that your brain will always remember that positive experience over the negative, but it also has something to do with which came first. e.g. if your bad three days came after your two days of good times you would remember the experience as a bad holiday. A better example is if you road a push bike to work every day and your home and work were on the opposites sides of a hill. Each day you would have to ride to the top of the hill before you rolled down the other side to your destination, but because rolling down hill is the last thing you experienced from the task you remember it as positive. On the other hand someone that lives at the top of a hill and has to ride into a gully then back to the top of a hill to get to work is much more likely to find the whole thing a lot more negative even though in reality they had a similar ride just in a different order. This can be put to good use if you think about it. Why not get up early and do all those things you've been putting off instead of leaving them til the end of the day say after work and use this time to relax(or take a nap depending on how early you got up), when you look back you will remember the day in a more positive light.

Timothy Fridey

I read somewhere that your brain will always remember that positive experience over the negative, but it also has something to do with which came first. e.g. if your bad three days came after your two days of good times you would remember the experience as a bad holiday. A better example is if you road a push bike to work every day and your home and work were on the opposites sides of a hill. Each day you would have to ride to the top of the hill before you rolled down the other side to your destination, but because rolling down hill is the last thing you experienced from the task you remember it as positive. On the other hand someone that lives at the top of a hill and has to ride into a gully then back to the top of a hill to get to work is much more likely to find the whole thing a lot more negative even though in reality they had a similar ride just in a different order. This can be put to good use if you think about it. Why not get up early and do all those things you've been putting off instead of leaving them til the end of the day say after work and use this time to relax(or take a nap depending on how early you got up), when you look back you will remember the day in a more positive light.

Laj

I thought the three days of "hard work" feels like fun when you're planning for two days of vacation...

Laj

I thought the three days of "hard work" feels less like hard work when you're thinking about the vacation time ahead...

Justin

Sometimes the packing and planning can add to the enjoyment of the whole trip. I'm a climber, so planning a trip and packing my gear involves a lot of enjoyable research and imagination.

Packing each item of gear not only stimulates imagination about how I'll be using it, but brings back good memories of how it was used on previous trips. For instance: Tent (good thing I mended that hole where the wombats tried to get in), rope (held two scary falls out at Mt Victoria, I wonder what lives you'll save this time), First Aid kit (Good thing I checked, I'll need some more Imodium).

I don't consider the planning and packing to detract from the experience. To quote the guy from The Simpsons "And now the moment - greater than the moment of climax: The Moment Of Anticipation..."

I hope you enjoy your trip.

pompomtom

If you really want to optimise the exchange, get someone else to do all that planning.

swio

I remember some research about how happy people were during a holiday. They measured people's happiness leading up to the trip, during the trip and afterwards. Re-inforcing your theory people's happiness was lowest during the trip itself as the inconvinences and problems they faced seem to be a problem. In the leadup the anticipation of getting away made them happy and afterwards the memory of the bad parts was overwhelmed by the good memories.

pam

i love you, dude.

David O

That's why you don't go to Amsterdam from the UK by coach - it's even worse than it sounds.

Most times, though, getting stuff ready /is/ fun. Not forms and stuff, but packing and planning, definately.

Joshua Jacobsen

I generally hate travelling vacations, for the very reasons that you mention. Spending a lot of money to throw an entire day away and be nowhere near my computer... big waste of time and effort in my book.

Andrew Kun

Gotta go on longer vacations. That'll give you a better ratio.

Also, don't you find you need a week to unwind from work and only the second week of your vacation is truly relaxing?

Cristin

If you were holidaying in my hometown and we ran into each other and you refused to give me an autograph, would I still continue to come here?

Elit Alice

oh come on, we would do MUCH worse things for a little good time than sitting on the airport. :P

like.. i always eat the whole cake, even if i know i will have to starve myself in the next two days! :D :D
although you might think its not as bad as waiting at the airport. for me, waiting at the airport is a precious time, when i can read or think without being distracted by the internet. IF i dont have my laptop with me, of course. if i do, then again, its like sitting at home, not too bad at all!

Craig Steffen

Clearly there is something wrong with me. But if you are reading this blog, you probably have it too.

No, actually. I enjoy planning for travelling, I think that's part of the fun. I love looking at maps and planning routes. Modern mapping technology has added the dimension of attempting to construct better routes. Possible, but mostly doesn't happen.

I enjoy the travelling part. Not so much the cramped seats, and certainly not the security, but I like sitting around airports because I have the wonderful freedom that there's absolutely nothing productive I can be doing, so I work on my web site or do other frivolous things.

And I love driving cross-country.

Mark Robinson

Sounds like you *need* a holiday...

Pontus

Your blog attacks me in ways that makes me feel special. These are the type of ideas I think about all the time, and what makes me intolerable to the women! That's one of the ideas too, just more self-handicapping!

Sandy

Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” We should add 'bad-memory-reference pointers' to the list!

Brain Man

When creating the memory of how pleasant or unpleasant an event was, the human brain takes the average of (1) how it felt at the best or worst point, and (2) how it felt at the very end.

This is known from brain research, no kidding. (Sorry, I don't have the reference, please look it up yourself.)

When performing a painful examination (say a rectal exam), doctors who know this effect will artificially prolong the exam so that the patient has a not-so-unpleasant final feeling about it, which will improve that average. (This is helpful because usually you can't easily improve the worst moment of the exam.)

For vacations and other hopefully happy events the best strategy is therefore (1) to enjoy a very happy best moment and (2) to leave on a happy note. You say vacations are about memory upgrades -- very true. Even better, you can optimize those memories!

So, have a nice [memory of your] vacation!

trafficduck

Actually I think any new experience, even trivial, rewires you. But for the rewiring to be permanent, either the experience has to be a real epiphany, or you have to repeat it a zillion times.

So this little trip, banal in itself, won't make any lasting difference. Unless something happens! I hope not, though...

Robert

I remember childhood trips to Disney where my dad would start reading guides months in advance to plan each day to avoid the lines. I honestly think that that was the part of the trip he enjoyed the most.

Diana

I thought I was alone in this. I love to travel yet hate the process. I have a minimum time required after each trip in order to forget all the inconvenience and frustration involved with travel. It is usually 3 months. Then I am ready to get back in the car/plane.

The Lazy Organizer

It's true. Vacations are about 80% misery but aparently they're worth it since we keep doing them.

wild bill

Is sacrificing 3 normal days for 2 extras good ones worth it? My normal days suck, so YES!!!
If I were a millionaire cartoonist? Maybe.

James Jefferson

One of my favorite sites is Damn Interesting which had a nice write up of the favor you did for them. You're a good guy Mr. Adams. Kudos to you.

David

I remember sitting at the airport.

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