Okay, so what I’ve learned from reading Why Does E=mc2? (and why should we care?) by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw:
This I’m not as clear on as the time thing, but it all follows the same logic line. When objects move faster, the distance they’re traveling shrinks. Literally shrinks. Time, space, distance, matter–all that–nothing is absolute. It can shrink, it can expand. Just fling something around at light speed and you’ll see all kinds of crazy stuff happen.
Well, light speed is absolute.
It all has to do with the quotas think I mentioned last post. You can get from point A to B at one speed taking 10 years, or another speed (as long as it’s not faster than light speed) taking 10 seconds. But you might say, wait, it’s impossible to go that far in such a short time, and maybe it would be. Maybe going the 10 years-speed seems like it’s getting you such a great distance as soon as you possibly can. But when you go super-fast speeds distances begin to shrink dramatically. They just shrink–like your tessaract from A Wrinkle in Time. (I have no idea if it’s like this at all with the wrinkles and stuff, but that’s what I think of).
Basically, if you can get up to speeds close to light speed you can go millions of light years in a very short time. We could galaxy hop without much of a problem at close-to-light-speed. We just would have to bring anyone we care about with us, because we could pretty much never go back because hundreds of thousands of years would pass at the place we left behind.
And anything that works on this large scale has to work on a small scale to some degree too, or it wouldn’t be a universal idea. So yes, the faster you drive, the shorter the distance you’ll have to travel to get home for Christmas. (Just don’t try to use that logic to get out of a speeding ticket, okay?)