Posted by: monsonmadness | November 6, 2011

Losing a day of our lives/time travel

Little did we know that of all the adventures we would experience when we moved here, time travel would be included as one of them.

I am not kidding. This one is going to take a while to explain…

First off I haven’t announced the good news is that we are taking the whole family on a week long vacation to Western Samoan for Christmas. Hooray!

Western Samoa is only a 30 minute flight away, but it is quite different in many ways from American Samoa.

One of the crazy things about Samoa is that they have a leader who likes change! For example, in September 2009, the Samoan government switched all driving for the country from the right side of the road to the left, in order to be in line with other South Pacific nations.

Can you image the chaos this would have caused? They gave everyone a national two day holiday to keep cars off the road so that they could redo all the road signs and markings, but there were also issues with steering wheels on the other side etc. They can now get left sided driven cars shipped cheaper from New Zealand than they could from the states. The change makes sense really because Samoa does all it’s business with Tonga, Australia, and New Zealand, while American Samoa does theirs with Hawaii and the rest of the US, but still…crazy to experience it. When Michael and I were there in September, we could still see faint road markings going the opposite way.

Well, if that huge change a couple of years ago wasn’t enough, the Samoan leader has now decided that they want to change their position in regards to the international date line. They want to move it around them! Can they really do this? I guess they can and we are going to experience it firsthand.

Here is a map of the current international date line, where Samoa and American Samoa are on the east side, and on a different day to New Zealand. Samoa is going to switch to the other side of the timeline so that it will be on the same day as New Zealand and Tonga.

Here’s how it is going to work. The change in dateline will happen at midnight on 29th December 2011. When it’s 12.01, it will become 31st December 2011 instead. I didn’t really realize the full extent of this until I was trying to book our vacation. We will be in Samoa for the week between Christmas and New Year, staying in two different places. We are staying at one place on the night of the 29th, but leaving the next morning, so we will actually be checking out on the morning of the 31st. We will be losing a day of our lives. We will never get to experience 30th December 2011. It just won’t exist for us. Isn’t that weird?

Here comes the other crazy part though. While we’ll be in Samoa losing a day of our lives, nothing is changing in American Samoa, so although we will be flying back home from Samoa to American Samoa on Tuesday 3rd January, we will arrive half an hour later, but on MONDAY 2ND JANUARY. We will be going back in time. We will live Monday 2nd January twice!  We will have Monday as the last day of our vacation in Samoa, fly back the next day, but then Michael won’t miss that day of work and will get to redo it! How many of you have been able to experience time travel like that? Pretty crazy. Now all we have to do is figure out how to explain all of this to our autistic son who lives and functions by dates, times, and schedules!


  1. That’s funny! I hope Matthew can make sense of it all!

  2. Oh, and that is AWESOME that you get to take the kids to Samoa!!!

  3. It’s bizarre but kinda cool too. I have friends who lived in the Middle East and the country (either UAE or Bahrain) they were living in at the time decided to change its weekend. I think they went from Thursday Friday to Friday Saturday. Being able to change the calendar (and time) like that, well I don’t think it would every fly here in the USA.

  4. Just think, since 2012 is leap year your family will have a year that is 367 days long. Longest year EVER!

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