Science Explains Why the Return Trip Seems Shorter, Even if We Take the Same Route

When Alan Bean was returning to Earth from a trip to the Moon, he thought the trip back to Earth was shorter. You probably felt the same way when you got home after a long trip. This phenomenon has already happened to many of us and scientists finally have an answer.

We are very curious about this occurrence and decided to share what we learned about it with you.

Even If We Take A Different Route, It Still Feels Shorter

Science Explains Why the Return Trip Seems Shorter, Even if We Take the Same Route

At first, scientists believed that the “return trip effect” was actually due to familiarity. As we have already passed the same road, we are attentive to our surroundings and, therefore, when we return home, it does not affect the feeling of time.

However, this did not end up being true, after all, the same effect was noticed in air travel, as well as when taking a different route.

This Is The Way Our Body Measures And Experiences Time

Science Explains Why the Return Trip Seems Shorter, Even if We Take the Same Route
© shutterstock.com© shutterstock.com

It is not about measuring the time that passes, but the judgment we make of time based on our memory.

During the trip, we didn’t feel the difference in how time passed but once finished, it seemed that the return trip was shorter than the other.

In addition, when we leave home, we usually have a plan of the time when we should arrive at our destination.

This makes us pay attention to the time and look at the clock more often, which gives the feeling that time is not passing.

We Are Too Optimistic About The Trip

Science Explains Why the Return Trip Seems Shorter, Even if We Take the Same Route
© depositphotos.com© depositphotos.com

When we go on a journey and are excited, it creates the feeling that it took us a long time to get there.

So when we prepare to go home, we think it will take too long, but now the circumstances are different because we do not feel the same joy.

The feeling of anticipation leads us to think that it takes us longer to reach our destination than when we return home.

We Might Feel The Same Effect While Watching A Video

Science Explains Why the Return Trip Seems Shorter, Even if We Take the Same Route
© shutterstock.com© depositphotos.com

For their latest experiment, the scientists wanted to see if we felt the same effect when watching a video. Then they showed 2 videos of the same person on a bicycle.

Both lasted 7 minutes and the experiment participant had to observe them and see if they could feel the “return trip effect”. The results: yes, they still thought that the rider got home faster.

Have you experienced this event in your life? Did it happen while you were following the same route or a different route?

Did you feel it when you were walking, driving, or on a plane?

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