08 August 2011

Things to do on trips

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!


  1. I'm also "heartless" in my magazine snipping, haha. Ah well, at least they're being put to good use.

    I'm not a huge podcast person, but I want to be - I'll have to check out all your recommendations.