Why to Move to a New Place: It Slows Down Time

Steven Johnson, author extraordinaire, is moving from New York to the Bay Area (at least for a little while). Here's one of his reasons:

And then there's the passage of time. Another old friend — my oldest, in fact — wrote an email to me after I told him the news of our move. We've both been in New York for two decades, and we are both watching our kids growing up at lightning speed. "Change like this slows down time," he wrote. When you're in your routine, frequenting the same old haunts, time seems to accelerate — was it just four years ago that our youngest son was born? But all the complexities of moving — figuring out where to live, getting there, and then navigating all the new realities of the changed environment — means that the minutes and hours that once passed as a kind of background process, the rote memory of knowing your place, suddenly are thrust into your conscious awareness. You have to figure it out, and figuring things out makes you aware of the passing days and months more acutely. You get disoriented, or at least you have to think for a while before you can be properly oriented again.

So that is why we are moving: for the natural beauty, yes, and the climate, and the Bay Area tech scene, and the many friends out there we haven't seen enough of over the past twenty years. But more than anything, we're moving to slow down time.

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