At nearly three this morning, I finally arrived from a very long day of airports and airplanes. I've spent a lot of time in transit for the past year: audition flights in the winter, near-weekly trips between New York and Boston, and my hour commutes from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side. What do I do to fill the time so that a) I don't lose my mind to boredom and b) I don't feel that my life is slipping between my fingers in the form of recycled air?
1) I read. This is easiest on the subway, especially if I can sit down, as I sometimes get motion sickness on busses or above-ground trains. When you look around a typical subway car, it's obvious that I'm not the only one who's adopted this method of entertainment. I even enjoy my commutes when they're not at peak hours, because I'm able to have a focused, timed reading session.
2) I learn, memorize and review music. I don't always particularly enjoy this. But "silent practicing" is something that demands a good deal of my time, so if I can fit it into a boring bus trip to pass the time, I feel that I'm killing two birds with one stone.
3) I knit or cross-stitch. (This is very Domestic Young Lady of me.) I don't always have room to bring along supplies, but it's a good alternative to more thinking-heavy distractions.
4) I listen to podcasts. Radiolab and This American Life are favorites, but I also listen to Rachel Maddow, NPR Culturetopedia, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! and Ted Talks.
5) I cut out pictures. Collages are a favorite of mine, and I've been heartlessly cutting apart magazines for years. So, assuming I have space in my bag and at my seat, and that scissors aren't forbidden, you can find me happily snipping away.
6) I do crosswords. Ah, Will Shortz, you have kept me company on many an excursion!