Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
One thing about being a solo traveler - the days can be longer when you don't have the right accessories. And in my play book, the best accessory to carry is music.
I am not going to broach the type of mp3 player you should carry. I'm of the mindset that you need to pick what you need. I prefer small players that I can fit in a pocket in case I ever have to head to an all day meeting. I keep a few music files loaded on my laptop to play as background music, but I find if I keep it on my laptop, I end up working. When I'm traveling, I really need to make a physical break from my computer or I'll end up on it 15 hours a day, purely for something to do.
Create playlists specifically for the tasks at hand. For example, I generally have flights that last about 2 hours, start to finish. So, I'll create a playlist that is right about 2.5 hours called "plane," to accommodate the time that I will listen while waiting for the passengers to load. I'm thoughtful about it, however; I start out my playlists with slower, lower energy tunes that help to relax me. In some cases, I'll even put a slow, classical piece to start it, then have a quick 10 - 15 minute guided meditation in the track 2 slot, and then load additional quiet pieces. The closer it gets to the 90 minute mark, I pick up the music pace. By the time I get off the plane, I'm listening to something that is high energy that makes me smile.
My second playlist is "Lunch," for the days when I don't have to have a meeting with someone over lunch. I use instrumental pieces for this. If I've been chatting or in meetings all morning, I find that if I shift my environment into something that's non-verbal, I can approach the afternoon with a clearer mindset.
My third playlist is "Sleep," which is the other benefit of having a small mp3 player. You can use a small set of travel speakers, but I just prefer to wind down with my headphones and shut the world out! I choose slow pieces that relax me and make me think and focus on times and events that bring happy memories or good feelings. It provides a much-needed escape, and can lull me into a deeper sleep more quickly, even if my environment is foreign.
With a little planning and forethought, your next flight and overnight travel can have a soundtrack that keeps you right on track!