Samoa Bends the Date Line


Beautiful timetraveling Samoa

In a decision that may mystify many, Samoa (the South Pacific island nation, not the cookie) will go from being among the last to see the light of day, to one of the first. This week the government announced that at the end of this year the nation will be redrawing the International Date line next to which it sits so that it circumscribes the other side of their islands. The country has stated it makes better sense to have a time more in accordance to those countries they trade with most often, that of Australia and New Zealand. And since the International Date Line is largely politically determined, and for the most part wholly arbitrary, it’s up to the country to decide where they sit.

Samoa did the same thing 119 years ago when it was trying to help bolster trade with the USA and Europe.

The history of the International Date Line is a fascinating one, linked to the delineations of lines of longitude, making its way into popular culture and literature in recent years.

If Pago Pago is of a particular concern to you, don’t worry, American Samoa will remain squarely on the east side.

If you’re considering visiting Samoa on your RTW and don’t know what the time zone change might do to flights, there’s still plenty of time to for the airlines to sort that out. The event won’t take place until Dec 29th.

* Samoa photo by sarah|rose.