During my ten-day trip to France I heard very little music
despite being in a variety of public places. The closest I came to a church
concert was in the in the Eglise Des Halles when I heard a street busker as I
walked around inside. But without music during the long plane flights to and
from France I would have gone absolutely bonkers.
Going from Denver, Colorado to Paris, France took almost twelve
hours of flight time and another four hours of connection and
being-treated-like-a-terrorist time. During most of that I had my Ultimate Ears
Reference Monitor in-ear headphones in my ears and up and running. The
Reference Monitors were my one bit of traveling extravagance – I even
jettisoned my mechanical watch and extra 160 GB iPod for the trip. And I almost
left the Ultimate Ears home, because who in their right mind carries $1000+
headphones on vacation? Me.
I didn’t listen to music all the time during the plane flight.
During the transatlantic crossing U.S. Air had quite a number of perfectly
mediocre “airplane movies” I hadn’t seen (for good reason in most cases) that
took up eight hours of the flight. The rest of the time I let my iPod 160’s
shuffle take me wherever it wanted to.
Except for while I’m working out I usually don’t spend a lot of
time continuously listening through headphones. During the flight was the first
time I’d had the Ultimate Ears installed in my head for more than twelve hours
at a stretch. Fortunately, they felt as comfortable at the end of the flight as
at the beginning, and given the noise level when we first got to Charles De Gaulle
airport, I felt no strong urge to remove them once we’d landed.
So, if you want to make traveling, if not painless, at least a
lot more tolerable, carry a good, well fitting, set of headphones. Next to
Ibuprofen and clean underwear, they’re the most important items in my travel