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:
- boarding + settling in + first meal = three hours;
- trying to sleep = eight hours (that's usually when I watch at least three movies); and
- 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.