Slobodanka Graham


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Light and sound travels: headphones + audiobooks = comfort

Light and sound travels: headphones + audiobooks = comfort

Five movie flight

'How long is the flight?' Mr Petman asked.

'Five movies,' I answered. That was when I watched as many movies as I could to while away 14 hours on board a flight to the Middle East, en route to Europe from Australia. Yes, it's a long time!

Generally when I travel long haul, the trip is divided into three parts:

  1. boarding + settling in + first meal = three hours;
  2. trying to sleep = eight hours (that's usually when I watch at least three movies); and
  3. eating breakfast + getting excited about landing soon = the last three hours.

But I've changed my habits after discovering the pleasures of audio books. I wrote recently about how I cocoon myself - headphones, neck pillow, blanket and face mask - which might make me look weird, but I'm happy drifting in and out of the cabin distractions.

Last year I travelled with my BOSE wireless headphones. Their soft, over ear-pieces, elegant design and compact foldability were a bonus in restricted online seating. Although these headphones are wireless, I linked to my phone with the included cable (no broadband on board).

I love Apple products, but sadly their headphone earbuds fall out of my ears so I only use them in emergencies. 

You can buy a similar set of headphones from Amazon, but make sure that the supplier ships to your part of the world.

Armed with good headphones, I needed something to listen to. I decided to buy a couple of books from Audible.

Listen to a good book

A friend recommended Patrick Leigh Fermor's A time of gifts: on foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube. Fermor is an acclaimed travel writer, and this is a beautiful book. He writes about a Europe long gone, set before the Second World War, describing places and people lost forever. I though it the perfect travel companion for a long flight.

What I discovered was that I could close my eyes and drift off into another world. And it didn't matter if I dozed off: the book has no 'plot' as such, just lovely entertaining stories about people and places with whom Fermor engaged.

Resting my eyes, listening to a good book and dozing on and off meant that I was well rested during the flight. No more manic watching of movies (with bad sound quality) or clicking through videos, news broadcasts and music channels. I was chilled and calm. A perfect way to start my holiday.

I have an Audible membership to access many more titles. These days I also listen to books when I drive medium distances: forget the traffic; tune into a good book.

And remember, download audiobooks before you board your flight.

[Podcast: Episode 7] Pack and travel like a man

[Podcast: Episode 7] Pack and travel like a man

Pack like a professional; arrive like a celebrity.

Pack like a professional; arrive like a celebrity.