Some Wandering Thoughts about Birthdays

Today I have been having some wandering thoughts about travel and birthdays.Birthday Cake, Candles, Canada Map, Birthday FeastIf you have been following Braman’s Wanderings you know that I travel a lot.

Grave and Flag, Memorial Day, small flags, remembranceMy birthday always falls on or near a holiday. Having a birthday near a holiday can sometimes help you stay near to home, but sometimes it being near a holiday means that you may be away from home more often.

Think about if your birthday falls near Thanksgiving. You may be away from home visiting family more often. If your birthday is near the 4th of July, you may be able to keep from traveling for work and be home more often.

1968 Station Wagon, Ford Station Wagon, Ottumwa, IowaWhen I was just a kid we would often be loading up our 1968 Ford station wagon on the weekend nearest my birthday and taking a trip to visit family in Hamburg, Iowa.

Also since my birthday was usually right after school was out for the year this made it a good time to make a trip somewhere.

As an adult, I have been able to be at home more often for birthdays. However, I remember two times when I have been in Toronto for work on my birthday. One was decades ago for a trade show and the other was just four years ago. I was able to bundle a training trip with a visit to friends and celebrate my birthday with them.

Old Town Suzhou, Canal, River boat, ChinaLast year I was in China for my birthday. It just happened to be the only week that would work for a meeting and I decided that I could give up a three day weekend and spend my birthday in China.

This is a bit interesting from a time/travel perspective as it means that I just completed a longer than normal year. The time between my last two birthdays ended up being 365 days and 15 hours. Also, this last year was 30 hours longer than the one before which was only 364 days and 9 hours long. Of course, next year will most likely have 366 days unless I am traveling somewhere.

It also makes me think of whether I should be celebrating my birthday a day earlier when I am at home. I was born in the wee hours of the morning and since I now live two time zones away from where I was born, the time of my birth there now falls on the evening before here.

Einstein, Frankfurt Airport, Selfie, Einstein statueThis makes me think a bit of Einstein and his theory of relativity.

In Einstein’s theory of relativity, time dilation describes a difference of elapsed time between two events, as measured by observers that are either moving relative to each other, or differently, depending on their proximity to a gravitational mass.

Which makes me think:

Time is relative to physical proximity to where an event takes place.

An example: When my grandfather passed away I remember everyone talking about his last day. They kept talking about Friday, and to me he had passed away on Saturday. This was so much in my mind as my mother had called me right after his death and I knew that I had received the call on Saturday. I knew it was Saturday as I was at the airport getting ready to fly home after two weeks of teaching class in Australia. I remember making arrangements for my flight on to Missouri to be with my family, and thankfully was able to be there in time. I just had less time to travel further than everyone else. At least I had the International Date Line to help out and give me more relative time.

Hmm, my mind wandered a bit, but that it just what happens.




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