'trip of a lifetime'
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM Last Post By: MTL
Jan 20, 2013 7:05 AM
'trip of a lifetime'Where does this horrible phrase 'trip of a lifetime' come from?
every time somebody here is posting that they are about to embark on their 'trip of a lifetime' I tell them I am sorry to hear they are terminally ill. Because how else can you know that this trip will be the trip of a lifetime? Only if it's the only one you'll ever make this seems to be appropriate.
I don;t know how many trips i have made in my 20+ adult years but i wouldn't for the life of me be able to single out one of them as the trip of a lifetime. They were all different, and although some were longer than others (like the 50 weeks I spent travelling South East Asia 15 years ago) I wouldn't rule out that another long trip could happen before I am dead which will be as interesting as all the other ones.
Or is it just that some people lead such boring lives that a 10 day trip to Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre will stand out as the most exciting trip of their lifetime?
I am just wondering what popularized this phrase- e.g. ever since this movie http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0825232/ people started having 'bucket lists' so i am curious if something set off the use of this horrible phrase.
Jan 20, 2013 7:36 AM
Jan 20, 2013 9:13 AM
Jan 20, 2013 1:10 PM
3First, getting bent out of shape over the semantics of how someone refers to a big trip is really strange.
second, learn not to take everyone literally. Perhaps English isn't your native language so you don't "get it" but "of a lifetime" is just an expression used to mean extraordinary and not meant to be taken literally. For example, say some football player Who's never scored more than one goal scores 4 in a game. someone might say he had the game of a lifetime. It's assumed people have enough common sense go know it's not meant to be a statement of fact about the players lifetime and is just a way to say it's a really big game for the person.
Jan 20, 2013 1:44 PM
Jan 20, 2013 1:44 PM
5Yes, yes OgieOglithorpe2. I think everyone realizes all that. What YOU don't seem to know however is that a great many posters come here and attempt to cram 526 things to see/do into a month of travel. There is no doubt that part of the reason for that is that they literally see it as a 'trip of a lifetime' What is often written alongside that phrase is something like, 'I'll probably never visit Europe again once I get into the rat race, a wife, 3 kids, a mortgage etc. So I want to see as much as possible on this trip'.
It is a way of thinking that it represents and while making fun of it as literal nonsense is popular, there is more to it than that.
MTL, how about another view on a 'trip of a lifetime'. A friend of mine refers to each year of her life as a chapter. So you bump into her after not having seen her for a while and ask, 'how's it going'? She responds 'I'm on chapter 47' or whatever. So she sees each year as a chapter in her life. One could just as easily see life as a road and you are at mile marker 47 in your trip down that road. You're on the 'trip of your lifetime'.
That's a far more intersting play on semantics I think. No doubt Ogie will want to tell me that there really isn't any 'trip' involved and I have mis-used the word.
Jan 20, 2013 1:47 PM
6On further thought as to where it originated MTL I had this thought.
Back in the day, most people could not afford to travel. Those that wanted to had to be satisfied with looking at pictures, reading books, etc. At some point it became possible for the average person to save enough money that they could undertake one journey after having retired from work.
That made that journey the culmination of a lifetime of saving for it. Thus again, a 'trip of a lifetime' in a sense.
Jan 20, 2013 3:01 PM
7Since the expression is in English I was wondering when I read the post if it had its roots in the 'Grand Tour' which young men of good families and affluent means would take upon leaving the university. It was designed to give them a continental polish and a touch of culture.
" In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music"
Of course the old Grand Tour is quite different from the bucket lists and such. The former designed to broaden ones views and prepare for a life where the experiences and culture would figure in that life and the latter seems to regard everything as an end in itself, the experience as a personal possession.
I think the idea that there just one chance for a great trip, that life after that will be limited by marriage, children, etc. is a real misperception. How many posts have we seen where a couple brings their children on a trip with them, or an older couple with their grown children?
It's the desire to travel and experience different things that distinguishes the constant traveller (I think even when one isn't physically travelling there is still a mental/emotional participation in travel...as with participation on this site) from the 'once in a lifetime'. traveller.
In learning French in school we read Le Voyage de M. Perrichon...the story of a bourgeois who goes on vacation with his family and how his attitudes make a comedy of the story. In writing his comments in a book maintained by the alpen resort, he wrote "mere de glace" (mother of ice) rather than "mer de glace" (sea of ice) when speaking of a glacier. The book was written in 1860 and it is quite apparent that even back then people took their 'trip of a lifetime'.
Jan 21, 2013 9:07 AM
Jan 21, 2013 9:40 AM
9"There is no doubt that part of the reason for that is that they literally see it as a 'trip of a lifetime'"
Oh, ok....so what? Why is someone bothered by that? People generally have control of if they travel or not so if someone says it I'd take it at face value then and not wonder how they know it will be their only big trip. They know because travel is a choice and they control that choice. Pretty simple.
Jan 21, 2013 9:46 AM
Jan 21, 2013 2:20 PM
11Someone could mean it literally Ogie but in fact the vast majority do not. It's become a throwaway phrase and meaningless.
If anything, someone saying they are going on a 'trip of a lifetime' is probably more about bragging than anything else.
For someone to think 'horrible' means only one thing micky is equally as odd, don't you think?
LOL, the phrase 'trip of a lifetime' is so obviously mis-used here on the TT by so many posters and yet there are always people who want to argue anything including the obvious.
Trip of a lifetime ranks up there with the stupidest comments, along with 'must see', 'best', 'cheap', 'reasonable price' and all the other meaningless things people post.
Jan 21, 2013 6:58 PM
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