How do you remember your first memories
Would you travel if you couldn't remember anything?
How well can you remember your last trip? Which pictures come to your mind first? How many of the things you remember can be seen in your vacation photos? How many times have you looked at these photos? Does it happen to you every now and then that you see a photo and suddenly remember something that you almost forgot?
When you have pondered these questions for a moment, I would like to challenge you to a little experiment. Suppose someone invites you on the journey of a lifetime. A trip according to your ideas. You don't have to pay anything for it and you can do anything you always wanted to do.
The only catch: Your photos will be deleted after the trip. Just like your memories.
Would you still go away?
Put away anything that is bothering you and just think about this question for a few minutes before reading any further. Without distraction.
The thought experiment comes from Daniel Kahnemann. Kahnemann is a psychologist and Nobel Prize winner and he raises this question every now and then when he compares remembering with experience. Roughly speaking, there is the following difference between remembering and experiencing: We are constantly experiencing something, our brain is constantly processing information. However, not all of this information is stored in our brains as memories. Most of our experiences are forgotten almost as quickly as they came about.
But travel is something very special for our memory. They supply the brain with a wealth of new information within a short period of time. Every unknown situation is experienced more consciously than a known situation and that is why extraordinary experiences become more firmly embedded in the memory. That is why we can remember in which year we went where - while we find it difficult to place an experience at work in a time frame.
Even more: we even work actively on vacation to consolidate our memories. For example, by buying souvenirs and taking photos. Souvenir comes from French. Translated it means: remember. There was a time before the smartphone, when vacation was the only time you always had a camera with you. The camera allows us to frame special experiences. And in a photo an experience merges with a memory, because the photo is nothing more than concrete evidence: I was there.
If you were to embark on the said trip, you would not only have to do without memories of your experiences, but also photos. In other words: You would have no proofthat you were ever gone, neither for yourself nor for others.
But what about the experiences themselves? As in hardly any other activity, we learn and change while traveling. Is this knowledge uncoupled from conscious memory or is it related to it? The all-important question is: Anyway, does traveling bring you anything?
Would I go on a trip with no memory? It would be an adventure and I like adventure. But my answer is no. I could do without photos. To experience something knowing that I won't remember it is too scary for me.
How do you choose
about the author
Anna | Anemina Travels
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