QotD: In-Flight Entertainment

January 22, 2007

How do you pass the time during a flight?  What do you bring in your carry-on?

I am a voracious reader and the plane presents a wonderful opportunity to read. I will use my Bose noise-cancelling headphones and my iPod to help my focus–it's incredible how noisy planes are. I bring work magazines: Wired, Biz 2.0, Fast Company, T+D (a training mag). I've usually got the NYTimes, too. I also like doing the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine, or the Times if it's not Monday or Tuesday (those are pretty easy for me at this point–and Friday and Saturday are usually too hard!). If I'm on my way back from teaching a workshop or a meeting, I may do some personal reading. I love Weavings, "a journal of the Christian spiritual life." It's bimonthly issues are theme-based, with a small number of longer articles.

I also bring my laptop and a journal. Sitting on the plane allows my brain to slow down, and sometimes that means I can reflect on what's going on in my life. My new laptop, a Sony Vaio, is small enough to open on the plane. I almost never used my old laptop because it was too big to use comfortably. And of course I've got a book, usually work related. I have no greater fear than being on a plane or in an airport and not have anything to read. I remember racing to a Hudson News stand in O'Hare to grab a book because I'd finished one on my first flight and didn't want to be without on my connection.

Other items in my carry-on: a DVD or two, my camera, mints, Airborne (I'm a believer–that stuff works!), Purell, ibuprofen, an Ethernet cable (can't always depend on the hotel having one), a travel-sized mouse, and a presentation device (for the PowerPoint I teach with). And my new carry-on is a Swiss Army backpack-style bag–carrying with just one shoulder was painful after a while. Except for having to sling it off any time I need something, I love my new bag.

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