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How time moves without a watch

On Mike Dariano

I took my watch off, placed of reverently on my dresser and took a deep breath. I had worn a watch almost non-stop since I was 10 and got my first Timex as a gift. It was a green army style watch with their glow in the dark hands and numerals. Whatever it is, all kids love things they can use the dark, flashlights being the best example. My girls will play with flashlights or light up wands for hours at a time, exploring basements, closets, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Taking my watch off was inspired by @JFM and his book about being a minimalist. After reading it - which was very good - my thought was to experiment with how time might move while you're not consciously aware of it.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="250"] The watch I don't wear.[/caption]

Checking the time was second nature to me. Like a nervous tic I would do it whether I needed to know the time or not. What were the things I really needed a watch for? I have meetings to attend but never more than four or five in a day so my iPhone certainly sufficed for that. My iPhone also has an alarm and my computer has a clock. Before taking it off my hopes were high that things wouldn't be too difficult and this might be a permanent change, here's what I learned.

We don't give enough credit to things moving at their own pace. Having a watch does not make lines move faster, traffic more efficient or kids dress quicker. Having a watch does not manipulate time but it lets time manipulate you. My wife and I went to Disney and there were many lines there. Without having a watch to watch it seemed like a simpler, less stressful trip. There was just waiting for something and when that was completed we would head to the next thing and wait more. A quick aside - we were in Disney for four days and did some nice adult things.

Taking a timepiece off my body also made me check my phone less. It doesn't matter exactly what time it is and I found that this applied to nearly all the other information my phone could display. Weather? Look around. Weather in five days, does that matter right now? Facebook updates? Enjoy this moment, check later. Very important emails? With my job there's nothing that important.

The 2016 Gear Post

On Tynan

Welcome to the 2016 Gear Post! This is my most anticipated post of the year, which means that it's the one I'm harrassed about the most. Due to popular request, I did individual photos for each item, which takes considerably longer to do. My curent backpack weight is around 10.5 pounds, and as you probably know, this is everything I take with me to 20+ countries per year. A huge thank you to the people who buy items through my Amazon links (which fund more experimentation for the next year) and to all of the companies that give me free products to evaluate.

If you are one of the many travelers who bases your own packing list off mine, consider linking to this post.


My main criteria when choosing clothing is versatility. I need clothing rugged enough that I can blaze trails on the island, yet formal enough for nice dinners. For many years this balance was impossible to strike, so I opted for rugged clothes that got the job done but made me look like a confused alpinist. Now such great options exist that most people don't realize just how versatile my clothing is.

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